The Five Solas of the Reformation

from Oct 31, 2017 Category: Ligonier Resources

In each of the five solas of the Reformation, the accent is on the qualifier “alone.” Watch this brief clip of R.C. Sproul through the years as he teaches the truth of the gospel that was rediscovered during the 16th-century Reformation.

Throughout the “solas,” the accent is on the qualifier alone. The created world is called to reflect the glory of God. The very fact that God makes a creature places that creature in debt to the Creator. And the only reason you exist and that I exist is for Him. There’s nothing inherently dignified about dirt, and that’s what we’ve been made from. The reason why you count is because God says you count. And the whole world is full of His glory. Only God can bind the conscience absolutely. The peasant armed with one verse of Scripture has more authority than a pope or a church council who does not have Scripture. This is crossed out by the Reformers. This is crossed out by the Reformers. And my inherent righteousness is crossed out. So that you have faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone. The divine prerogative for mercy and grace is “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.” That’s His prerogative. God does not owe saving grace to anybody.

I talked to my Arminian friends all the time about this and say, “look, let me ask you a question. Why is it you’re a believer, and many members of your own family or friends that you have are not believers when you both heard the gospel?” Jesus doesn’t say no man can come to him unless God helps it. He says no man can come to Him unless God, in fact, gives it to him. No one is saved just because they affirmed the doctrine of justification. What happens if you deny the doctrine of justification by faith alone? Now that’s a different matter because now you’re denying that you’re saved by Christ and by Christ alone, and that denial may be enough to damn you. Christ alone merits salvation in front of a just and holy God. Because He’s the only one who is sinless. The whole doctrine of justification by faith, the whole doctrine of salvation by grace rests on the principle that the law of God has been fulfilled by Christ. When I put my trust in Him, He computes or counts to me His righteousness. And on the basis of that imputed righteousness, God declares me just right now. So if I die right now, I go to heaven right now, because I have all the righteousness I will ever need to get there—namely the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That’s good news. You reject that you’re rejecting the gospel.