The Five Solae
The Five Solae (Solas)
Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone & Glory to God Alone!
The Five Solae did not come to us (as some believe) from the 16th Century Reformation, but rather from the 20th Century. In fact they were never mentioned together until an article attacking Protestant belief was published by Johannes Metz in the Catholic publication The Church and the World in 1965.
These five principles are wrongly used by Rome´s apologists to explain how Bible believing Christians define the basis for salvation:
To sum up, all of this shorthand abbreviation for our faith in the 5 solas leads us away from the rest of what is necessary for salvation, like the Church, the Sacraments, prayer, helping the poor, performing good works, etc. After all, why do all of that if it’s just me and my bible, me and Jesus….
These five principles do NOT define the basis for Salvation, they are in fact the pillars upon which the life of the believer are based.
Rome teaches that The Scriptures contained in the Bible are not sufficient for us in order to formulate doctrine. We, as believers, are not capable of understanding the Bible so we need something Rome calls “The Tradition of the Church”. This “Tradition” has added dogmas during the past 1700 years which either contradict the content of scripture or are not even found in the scriptures of the Bible.
Ironically it was The Apostle Peter (who Rome declares to be the first Pope) that would warn us of the things that Rome would do:
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)
If that were not enough it was also Peter who actually defined the principle of Sola Scriptura in the previous chapter:
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:19-21)
As does, also, the Apostle Paul:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)
For the Bible-believer “Grace” is defined as God’s unmerited favour. It is kindness from God we do not deserve. Grace is God´s courteous goodwill towards man. The scripture best sums up this in the words of King David:
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (Psalm 32:1-2)
The Apostle Paul, writing to the believers in Rome, would quote this same scripture whilst writing to them concerning God’s saving Grace that comes WITHOUT WORKS:
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:6)
Paul reveals that Salvation is by grace through faith; and that it is not of ourselves: it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8). Whereas Rome teaches that Salvation is by grace through the sacraments as defined by Rome:
The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.
It is faith alone that pleases God, as the scripture states:
without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
In fact the entire life of the believe is lived by faith:
the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
So it is obvious that Faith alone saves:
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (Romans 4:1-8)
Rome often points to James’s words that “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20 & 26) and that we are justified “BY works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24) and that in order to be saved we need to have works. For Rome these works are defined as;
the Sacraments as well as prayer, helping the poor and performing charitable acts, but chiefly the sacraments of the Catholic Church for it is via the sacraments that Grace is received and it is via the church of Rome that we receive faith from God:
It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes and sustains my faith. Everywhere, it is the Church that first confesses the Lord: “Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you”, as we sing in the hymn “Te Deum”; with her and in her, we are won over and brought to confess: “I believe”, “We believe”. It is through the Church that we receive faith and new life in Christ by Baptism. In the Rituale Romanum, the minister of Baptism asks the catechumen: “What do you ask of God’s Church?” And the answer is: “Faith.” “What does faith offer you?” “Eternal life.”
Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: “We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation.” Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.
It is through Christ and Christ alone that we receive forgiveness and access to the Father. Christ Himself declared:
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
It is also written:
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:5)
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
It is at Calvary Christ made atonement for us and it is at Calvary we were reconciled to God:
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10)
It was at Calvary He redeemed us:
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (1 Peter 1:18-21)
Through Christ we have direct access to the Father:
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Ephesians 2:14-18)
Rome disputes this, however, and imposes upon us what it calls the “Sacrament of Holy Orders” or ministerial priests to whom we must look to for the administering of grace via the sacraments which only an ordained priest can administer:
1558 “Episcopal consecration confers, together with the office of sanctifying, also the offices of teaching and ruling. . . . In fact . . . by the imposition of hands and through the words of the consecration, the grace of the Holy Spirit is given, and a sacred character is impressed in such wise that bishops, in an eminent and visible manner, take the place of Christ himself, teacher, shepherd, and priest, and act as his representative (in Eius persona agant).” “By virtue, therefore, of the Holy Spirit who has been given to them, bishops have been constituted true and authentic teachers of the faith and have been made pontiffs and pastors.”
1566 “It is in the Eucharistic cult or in the Eucharistic assembly of the faithful (synaxis) that they exercise in a supreme degree their sacred office; there, acting in the person of Christ and proclaiming his mystery, they unite the votive offerings of the faithful to the sacrifice of Christ their head, and in the sacrifice of the Mass they make present again and apply, until the coming of the Lord, the unique sacrifice of the New Testament, that namely of Christ offering himself once for all a spotless victim to the Father.” From this unique sacrifice their whole priestly ministry draws its strength.
1584 Since it is ultimately Christ who acts and effects salvation through the ordained minister, the unworthiness of the latter does not prevent Christ from acting.
Soli Deo Gloria
It is written:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)
I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Isaiah 42:8)
Rome would have us believe that when the Bible speaks of the communion of the Saints this refers to those who have passed from this world into the next who Rome has declared to be Saints. We are thus to venerate and turn top these departed saints, and the “Virgin Mary in particular” to help us get what we need from God:
946 After confessing “the holy catholic Church,” the Apostles’ Creed adds “the communion of saints.” In a certain sense this article is a further explanation of the preceding: “What is the Church if not the assembly of all the saints?” The communion of saints is the Church.
947 “Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others. . . . We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head. . . . Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments.” “As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common fund.”
948 The term “communion of saints” therefore has two closely linked meanings: communion in holy things (sancta)” and “among holy persons (sancti).”
955 “So it is that the union of the wayfarers with the brethren who sleep in the peace of Christ is in no way interrupted, but on the contrary, according to the constant faith of the Church, this union is reinforced by an exchange of spiritual goods.”
956 The intercession of the saints. “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. . . . They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus . . . . So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.”
The heresies of Rome
Thus we have it. We MUST turn to the Saints in heaven and The Virgin Mary in particular as “Queen of Heaven” because we are weak! For some reason the assurance that we have been reconciled to God by Christ’s death on the Cross counts for nothing in the eyes of Rome. For some reason the Blood that Christ shed at Calvary was not sufficient a price in order to redeem us fully! For some reason Christ’s suffering at Calvary was not sufficient to give us direct access to the Father. For some reason we are unable to come boldly before the throne of Grace. For some reason having faith in Christ does not please God enough, so much so that it must be supplemented by n endless stream of rituals, penances, devotion to dead saints (and the Virgin Mary) through dumb statues and repetitive prayers!
Rome’s Bishops, Cardinals and Priests all reject the Gospel and the Jesus Christ of the Bible. As Christ said:
Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. (Matthew 15:6)
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (Mark 7:6-9)
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