Five hundred years ago this year, on Oct. 31, a feisty monk named Martin Luther challenged the Roman Catholic Church of his day and ignited a firestorm that would later be called the Protestant Reformation. It began with Luther nailed his famous “95 Theses” to the church door at Wittenberg, Germany. Among other things, Luther had the audacity to claim that scripture had more authority than the Church, and that faith in Jesus Christ alone was sufficient for salvation.
The Reformation—and all the Protestant denominations that hail from it—is often characterized by the “Five Solas,” Latin phrases that characterize the theological convictions of the reformers:
- Sola Scriptura—Scripture alone
- Sola Fide—faith alone
- Sola Gratia—grace alone
- Solus Christus—Christ alone
- Soli Deo Gloria—to the glory of God alone
These convictions continue to define the Protestant faith today. Of course, the “Protestant faith” is still simply the Christian faith, and although Protestants still differ from Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians on many theological matters, we all hold a common faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Whatever our differences, we are one in Christ.
To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Lemoore Presbyterian Church is hosting a sermon series in October called “Always Reforming: the Essential Tenets of the Reformed Faith.” Each Sunday will focus on one of the five principles of the Reformation listed above. Our Sunday morning worship services begin at 10:30 a.m. and we’d love to have you join us!