Monday, November 16, 2009

Knowing About The Reformation Day The Five Solas

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF now has 140 member churches in 79 countries all over the world representing 68.5 million Christians.

The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and development work.

We have a long history of association with the Lutheran Church of America who assisted us tremendously in rebuilding our churches destroyed in the Second World War. Because of this unique relationship we submitted our application to be a member of LWF in 1978 and it was approved the following year. Since then, we have been closely linked with the LWF family and this also means that, we are Lutheran theologically. It is a requirement that all our pastors attend a course on Lutheranism. Lutheranism is more than “Justification by faith alone.” Read on ...

October 31 is the Reformation Day in which we remember Martin Luther who was originally a Roman Catholic. In 1517, he nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany. His writings sparked the Reformation Movement throughout Europe. He and the other reformers lifted up five solas that they defined as essentials of Christian belief and practice: (1) sola Scriptura (by Scriptures alone), (2) sola fida (by faith alone), (3) sola gratia (by grace alone), (4) solus Christus (by Christ alone) and (5) soli Deo gloria (by glory to God alone). These are the tenets of our faith as a Lutheran.

The reformers reiterated what Paul wrote 15 centuries earlier:

  • Sola Scriptura. ”All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives….God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

  • Sola fida, sola gracia, solus Christus, and soli Deo gloria. The holy Scriptures ”have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus” (v.15). We are justified (made right with God by grace (underserved favor) through faith, without need for good works (Ephesians 2:8-9); for Christ is the only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). And this is all for God’s glory alone.

Let’s reaffirm the five solas of the Christian faith and think about what they mean

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