Part 7 of 12

The “Five Solas” of “The Faith”

The “Five Solas” articulate the five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation. These are pillars of Biblical truth that the Reformers believed to be essentials for Christian salvation, life, and practice. Some believing members of the genuine local “church, which is His body” today have come to see and enjoy the simplicity of “the faith” that is based upon the truths of the “Five Solas,” as seen in the Bible.

The Reformation can be said to have begun in earnest on October 31, 1517, in Wittenberg , Saxony ( Germany ). There, Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses” to the door of the All Saints’ Church, which served as a notice board for university-related announcements. These were points for debate that criticized the Church and the Pope. The most controversial points centered on the practice of selling indulgences and the Church’s policy on purgatory. The Roman Catholic doctrine, beliefs and practices under attack by Protestant Reformers also ultimately included other non-Biblical practices such as particular judgment (judgment given by God that a departed soul would undergo immediately after death), devotion to Mary (Mariology), the intercession of and devotion to “the saints,” most of the sacraments, the mandatory celibacy requirement of its clergy, monasticism as a form of religious life usually conducted in a community under a common rule and characterized by celibacy and poverty, and the authority of the Pope. None are Biblical.

Such is the roots of today’s organized Christianity, whether the Roman church and the organized Protestant churches. Most all organized systems of Christianity that evolved a hierarchy serve to cripple the living organism of “the church, which his body of Christ” (Eph 1:22b-23a) to this day.

As discussed earlier, “solas,” literally means “alone” or “ALL.” A Christian “solas” is a basic point of “the faith” that stands and functions “single-handedly” or “without help.” This element of “absolutism” applies to the fact that all blessing of God is to be found ONLY in “the Son,” Jesus Christ by grace ONLY through faith ALONE. Christ’s all-sufficient cross is the ONLY source and key to the effectual Christian faith.

The “message” or evangel of the Reformation is summarized by the “Five Solas.” In the next installment we will begin to cover each of these “Five Solas.” These five foundational doctrinal truths of the Christians faith are primarily drawn from the Apostle Paul’s teaching in his thirteen epistles in the Bible.

One might ask why Paul? It’s because Paul was called by Jesus to be “the Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom 11:13) with the “message” of “the mystery” which is the “secret” plan of God for this day of “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:1-2). Paul’s unique calling unto the Gentiles was clearly in contradistinction to Peter’s calling. Note below that Peter was “the Apostle to the circumcision,” that is to Israel (Gal 2:8 below), while Paul’s calling was unto the Gentiles.

Galatians 2:7-9 But CONTRARIWISE, when they saw that the gospel of the UNcircumcision was committed unto me (Paul), as the gospel of THE CIRCUMCISION (Israel) was unto PETER; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me (Paul) toward the Gentiles:) 9 And when James, Cephas (Peter), and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; (so) that WE (PAUL AND HIS CO-WORKERS) SHOULD GO UNTO THE HEATHEN (GK, THE ETHNOS, THE GENTILES), AND THEY (THE TWELVE APOSTLES) UNTO THE CIRCUMCISION (ISRAEL).

Though Paul lived in the time of Jesus of Nazareth it’s believed that Paul never was in the company of Jesus. Thus Paul was not one of “the twelve” apostles and in fact did not qualify for being one (see Acts 1:21-22). Jesus sent “the twelve” ONLY to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel ” (Matt 10:5-6).

Paul was converted from being a persecutor of the early Messianic believers of Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself appeared and spoke to Paul while on the road to Damascus , some several years after the cross (Acts 9:4-8). Jesus then gave Paul the ministry of the grace “message” that Paul called “the mystery” for “ye GENTILES” (Eph 3:1-5). Paul’s ministry was to the predominantly Gentile “body of Christ” with this new “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) that God had “kept secret since the world began” (Rom 16:25b). It was then and is today the element of “faith (in Christ) ALONE” as the sole requisite for salvation, as drawn from Paul’s epistles, that the Reformers came to see. Those who did not then and do not today recognize Paul’s unique calling and ministry for this age of grace continue to have significant confused and contradictory notions of Bible interpretation. This leads them to wrongly mix God’s “promises” made to Abraham concerning his offspring that became the Nation Israel… with Paul’s unique “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) for “the church, which is His body” (Eph 1:22b-23a).

This series briefly describes these “Five Solas” as the key fundamental and foundational truths and doctrines of what Paul calls “the faith” (1Tim 4:1, etc). These truths became recovered with the Reformation. The Five Solas are summarized in the great core or foundational “solas” – which is “SOLUS CHRISTUS,” meaning, “CHRIST ALONE IS ALL!” ( Col 3:11b). Christians should know that Jesus Christ ALONE is the very foundation of every aspect of “the faith.”

WIKIPEDIA: “Solas Christus (Latin: “Christ alone”), sometimes referred to in the ablative case as Solo Christo (“by Christ alone”), is one of the Five Solas that summarize the Protestant Reformers’ basic belief that salvation is through Christ ALONE and that Christ is the ONLY mediator between God and man (1Tim 2:5). The doctrine was thought to be in stark contradistinction to several teachings of the Roman Catholic Church: the Pope as Christ’s representative head of the Church on earth, the concept of meritorious works, and the idea of a treasury of the merits of saints (and more)”.

The Apostle Paul “laid that foundation,” having received multiple revelations of these truths from the ascended Lord concerning the all-sufficiency of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I (Paul) have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

“Solus Christus” means that “Jesus Christ has done it all”…such that no merit on the part of seeking mankind or any good work of ours performed here on earth or in a so-called purgatory, nor merit of the so-called canonized saints,  can add to THE COMPLETED, ALL-SUFFICIENT, SAVING WORK OF CHRIST AT THE CROSS. In fact, any attempt to add to that work of Christ is a perversion of the gospel as the Judaizers did at Galatia in their effort to undermine Paul’s gospel. Galatians 1:7 … there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. It then would in fact not be the gospel at all.


Jesus is the only ONE we needed to mediate God’s salvation to us. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Paul tells us, Jesus, as the resurrected Christ “became life-giving spirit” (1Cor 15:45). Christ now is “the Spirit of life” (Rom 8:2) who comes to indwell every believer’s human spirit. He then is eternally “one spirit” with the believer.

2 Corinthians 3:17 NOW THE LORD IS THAT SPIRIT: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; THE LAST ADAM (JESUS) WAS MADE A QUICKENING (LIFE-GIVING) SPIRIT.

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory:


Jesus Christ is the only prophet (speaker) today. He as “the Spirit of truth” reveals God’s word to us by speaking within us, from within our spirit. Thus all believers do hear God (John 8:47).

1Jn 2:20, 27a But YE (BELIEVERS) HAVE AN UNCTION FROM THE HOLY ONE (CHRIST), AND YE KNOW ALL THINGS. 27 But THE ANOINTING which ye have received of HIM abideth IN YOU, and YE NEED NOT THAT ANY MAN TEACH YOU: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is TRUTH

We need neither a Pope, nor Pastor, nor clergy to govern our Christian life. Christ is all - “SOLUS CHRISTUS.” Jesus Christ alone is the “Lord” (Gk., kurious, governor) of the “church, which is His body” (Eph 1:22b-23a) and “the Good Shepherd” of the “sheep of His flock” (John 10:11, 14).

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that not only is the Scripture critical, but more importantly the particular Scripture that is written to us for this day of “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2). Thus Paul wrote Timothy commending him to “teach no other doctrine” than that which is of Paul, applying today.  

In strong language the Apostle tells Timothy to “charge some that they teach no other doctrine”; no other doctrine, obviously, than that which Paul had taught them. In 1 Tim. 6:3-5 he closes his epistle by saying: “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ… from such withdraw thyself.”

In these passages the Apostle Paul emphasizes the importance of fidelity to that heaven-sent message committed to him by revelation; that message which Paul says in Tit. 1:2, 3 was “promised before the ages began” but made known “in due time… through preaching which is committed unto me (Paul)…”

Ever since Paul’s day the religious leaders of both Rome and Protestantism have substituted other messages for that committed by the glorified Lord to Paul. They ceaselessly go back to “time past,” before the age of Paul’s mystery “gospel of the grace of God” (Act 20:24) and the dispensing of Christ into the members of the Gentile “body of Christ.” The Law of Moses, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the so-called “great commission,” and Pentecost were all before Paul received his grace gospel; for us today. Thus, all these items have all been confused with God’s message and program for “the dispensation of the grace of God.” This misuse of Scripture is what has bewildered and divided the Church, ripening it for the apostasy we see over this past century.

With all the confused thinking about the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount over the past century it was little wonder that apostate Modernism swept so many off their feet with its teachings about “Jesus of Nazareth,” the Man of Galilee, following “in his footsteps,” social betterment, political reform, etc. Multitudes were and are so taken up with the social gospel, so eager to help make the world a better place to live in, that they did not and do not even notice or believe that the modernists denied the very fundamentals of the Christian faith according to Paul’s gospel. They ignore where Paul says we are to “no longer know Jesus in His humanity” because He now is the resurrected “Spirit of life.” 2 Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, THOUGH WE HAVE KNOWN CHRIST AFTER THE FLESH, YET NOW HENCEFORTH KNOW WE HIM (JESUS ACCORDING TO THE FLESH) NO MORE.

While modernism is so clearly “apostate,” the new evangelicalism of our day is still more dangerous. It is big, well financed, and popular. It’s subtle. Perhaps its greatest danger lies in the fact that while claiming to be “conservative,” it minimizes the absolute importance of the fundamentals and the danger of apostatizing from Paul’s absolute truths that the Reformers recovered.

Thus the inspired words of the Apostle Paul; “Charge some that they teach no other doctrine,” are more urgently needed in our day than they were in his.