I’m sure you were are all very excited about this last Wednesday. You had been counting down for some time, and yes it finally arrived: Reformation Day! It was on October 31, 1517 that the monk and theology professor Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg Germany. He was not trying to start a revolt and rift in the church. He had no idea what was to come. He was following the common practice of posting theses publicly (in Latin) for debate amongst the university faculty (the church door was used like a bulletin board).

In his 95 Theses Luther questioned the authority of the pope to forgive sins and questioned the practice of selling indulgences. He called the church to return to the authority of the scriptures. The theses was taken down, translated into German and reproduced on the newly-invented printing press and was distributed throughout Germany. Thus began the protestant reformation.

One of the great gifts of the reformation was the emphasis on the “five solas”:

1.      Sola Scriptura (scripture alone): The Bible is our highest authority and has no equal. All human authorities and church authorities are subject to biblical authority.

2.    Sola Gratia (by grace alone): In salvation, we are rescued by God’s grace alone. Salvation is not achieved, but received as a gift of God’s grace, entirely of his doing.

3.     Sola Fide (by faith alone): justification is by faith alone. We receive God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

4.    Solus Christus (through Christ alone): Salvation is accomplished by Christ alone. It is only through his substitutionary work on the cross that we have forgiveness and life.

5.     Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone): because of this, God alone deserves our praise. Our entire lives are to be lived before his face as a continual act of worship.


This Reformation Day, remember to celebrate being protestant and the glorious truth that we are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone, as revealed in the scriptures alone.

David Jones with excerpts from S.K.