five solas

500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

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As you may know, many will be celebrating a holiday on Tuesday. I’m not referring to Halloween, but rather a different day. This day is known as Reformation Day. This day celebrates when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis on the door in Wittenberg. His theses consisted of objections to various practices of the Catholic Church which were intended to be discussion points among scholarly men, but it eventually sparked what we know in history as The Protestant Reformation. For a great resource on this, I would recommend Erwin Lutzer’s Rescuing The Gospel.

This moment was important, as some of the truths that are foundational to our Christian beliefs were being distorted. While many points of doctrine were affirmed through this movement, there were five critical beliefs that were attested to by the reformers. We call these the Five Solas (Sola is Latin for Alone). To summarize, we believe that we are saved by Christ alone, by His grace alone, through faith in Him alone, according to what scripture says alone, all of this to the glory of God alone.

Luther wasn’t the only person who believed these things. In 1415, a Bohemian man named John Huss was burned at the stake by the Catholic Church for sharing similar views that Luther later adopted. The name “Huss”, in his language means goose, and why I’m telling you this will make sense shortly.

Just like Luther would later would believe, Huss felt that it was scripture only which governs our lives, not human authority. It is reported, that while being burned at the stake, Huss said something to the effect of, “You may cook this Goose, but in 100 years there will come a Swan you will not be able to silence.” 102 years later, Martin Luther nailed his thesis to the door in Wittenburg.

Today, we do not celebrate Martin Luther to exalt him, but rather remember these three things. Firstly, we remember that God’s purpose cannot be thwarted. His message of reconciliation to fallen mankind, through His Son, will not be forgotten. Secondly, the truths that came out of the Protestant Reformation were not developed in the 16th century, but were the doctrines that came from the mouth of God. Thirdly, we do not celebrate Martin Luther as the swan that ushered in a new era of spirituality, but rather we celebrate the Holy Spirit of God who was the wind beneath Luther’s wings. The Lord changed Luther’s heart, and allowed him to fly to seemingly new theological heights.

Read more articles about the 5 Solas from here.


Preparing for Sunday - October 29, 2017

Hey Shoreliners!

I’m looking forward to this Sunday! We’ll be highlighting and celebrating the 500th anniversary of the reformation. We’ll be looking at the importance of what Martin Luther and other reformers stood for, many even gave their lives for the truth of the gospel. At Shoreline, we affirm and stand on the Five Solas - Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, through Christ Alone, by Grace Alone, to the Glory of God Alone! Our songs this week reflect this theme - check them out!

1.   My Hope is Built on Nothing Less - Traditional

This great hymn focuses on Solus Christus (through Christ alone). Our hope is built on Christ and the great work that he accomplished on the cross for us! Like we’ve been learning in our study in Ecclesiastes, everything else is vanity or “sinking sand”. He is the rock on which we stand!

2.   A Mighty Fortress is Our God - Martin Luther (arrangement by Matt Boswell)

What better way to remember the reformation, then by singing this hymn, written by the man who was the spark of it all. This hymn walks us through our relationship with God, while all the way praising him for his attributes, his victory over Satan, and how he equips us to live for him. 

3.   O Praise the Name (Anastasis) - Hillsong

This is one of my favorite songs that has been written by Hillsong. It helps us “cast our minds to calvary” and praise Jesus for the great work of redemption that was accomplished for us. Let’s praise his name together, for endless days!

4.   Give Me Faith - Elevation Worship

We’ll close the service by singing a song that focuses on Sola Fide (faith alone). We know from scripture that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Through this song, we ask the Lord to increase our faith and to increase our dependence upon him. He is the one who does all the work, we have no merit, nothing to offer - may we be faithful to trust in is word and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives as we grow closer to him!