On October 31, 1517, 500 years ago last week, a German monk named Martin Luther published a document composed of 95 theses that he hoped would spark a dialogue about the abuses of the Roman Catholic church of his day. Luther had written his work in Latin, directed toward the clergy and academics, but his work was soon translated into the language of the people and transmitted by means of the newly invented printing press - Luther’s work “went viral” as we say today. Luther’s work is called the spark that set the world aflame, and led to a re-formation of not only the church, but of the entirety of Western culture.
While the reformation impacted the entirety of life and culture, the question that emerged and energized the movement was theological - how can man be right with God? This question through Europe into upheaval and re-formed Church and State, but the answers that emerged from the upheaval point us back to the firmest of foundations, the gospel of Jesus Christ. The reformation identified 5 core truths, called the five solas of the reformation, because they each contain the latin word meaning “alone”: sola gratia, by grace alone; sola fide, through faith alone; solus Christus, in Christ alone; sola scriptura, on the authority of scripture alone, soli Deo gloria, to the glory of God alone.
Ours is also a time of massive social, religious and political upheaval. So many people sense this, we know society is fracturing and we see it in ourselves as well. Yet the secular answers in our age seem powerless to stop the upheaval.
This fall, many churches are joining together to point us back to the only truths that provide a lasting and sure foundation. Over the next five weeks we are going to be returning to the 5 truths that the reformation rediscovered. 5 Truths to Hold you Firm in an age of upheaval.
Today, our brother will be speaking on what might be the keystone truth, Soli Deo Gloria, to the Glory of God Alone.