This is the final episode in our Reformation Series. The first week, we looked at the historical context and timeline of the Reformation. Then we explored Sola Scriptura and Sola Gratia and Sola Fide. This week, we look closely at the beauty and importance of the final two solas: Solus Christus (in Christ alone) and Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone).
IV: Solus Christus
There is a Person at the heart of all these truths. Christ alone is the ground of God being reconciled to us.
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)
“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” (Galatians 2:21)
The Roman Catholics went through the saints or Mary or the Pope or the church, but not to Christ. There were many things that became the focal point of a man’s hope other than Jesus Christ.
“If thou puttest one atom of trust in thyself thou hast no faith; if thou dost place even a particle of reliance upon anything else but what Christ did, thou hast no faith . . . Christ will have all or nothing; he must be a whole Saviour, or none at all.” - Charles Spurgeon
Would we write NO FAITH over our soul?
Christ Alone has been the distinguishing mark of every believer - no matter the century, the race, the continent, the language, the time, even the theology. “Oh, what an only One is this Jesus,” Samuel Rutherford writes from his prison cell, “I would omnify Him.” He is alone is all-above us.
There are a few questions you should ask yourself honestly:
- Are you bored with Christ?
- Does it thrill you to think about Christ?
- Do you like to read about Him?
These questions serve as a good thermometer for our soul.
Roman Catholicism still teaches it is Christ plus that saves you. But it is only Christ who saves us, nothing and no one else. So we must know Him for ourselves.
V. Soli Deo Gloria
“He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:5-6)
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)
At the time of the Reformation, the culture was “Christianized.” Strangely enough, the glory of God was being robbed by the church herself. The Roman Catholic church existed for the glory of man. And this is a temptation for every church, even today, to glorify ourselves rather than God alone.
The chief end, the ultimate purpose, of the church and our own lives is God’s glory. Everything becomes better, brighter, and sweeter when our end is what we were made for: the glory of the God of all creation. All of the gifts God gives are so much better if they are part of Christ’s exaltation.
If the goal of all our decisions could be, “Whatever I do, I want it to be for the glory of God” — it will hold us to our course.
When asked which Sola was most important, John Piper said, “Well, which wing on a plane is most important?” All of them. The solas are organically connected. If you overemphasize one at the expense of another, our Christianity will suffer. Hold them all before your heart and let them be fuel for all of life.
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