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Hillside Baptist Church
Blake Hart  |  Anchorage, Alaska
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www.hbc-ak.org
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Hillside Baptist Church
5200 O’Malley Rd
Anchorage, AK 99507
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The Reformation and the Five Solas
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2019
Posted by: Hillside Baptist Church | more..
The Protestant Reformation was a widespread theological revolt in Europe against the abuses and totalitarian control of the Roman Catholic Church. Reformers such as Martin Luther in Germany, Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland, and John Calvin in France protested various unbiblical practices of the Catholic Church and promoted a return to sound biblical doctrine. The precipitating event of the Protestant Reformation is generally considered to be Luther’s posting of his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church on October 31, 1517.

As a background to the history of Protestantism and the Reformation, it is important to understand the Catholic claim of apostolic succession. This doctrine says that the line of Roman Catholic popes extends through the centuries all the way from the apostle Peter to the current pope. This unbroken chain of authority makes the Roman Catholic Church the only true church and gives the pope preeminence over all churches everywhere.

Because of their belief in apostolic succession and the infallibility of the pope (when speaking ex cathedra), Catholics place church teaching and tradition on a level equal to Scripture itself. This is one of the major differences between Roman Catholics and Protestants and was one of the foundational issues leading to the Protestant Reformation.

Even prior to the Protestant Reformation, there were pockets of resistance to some of the unbiblical practices of the Roman Catholic Church, yet they were relatively small and isolated. The Lollards, the Waldensians, and the Petrobrusians all took a stand against certain Catholic doctrines. Before Luther ever picked up a hammer and headed to Chapel Church, there were men who had stood up for reform and the true gospel. Among them were John Wycliffe, an English theologian and Oxford professor who was condemned as a heretic in 1415; Jan Hus, a priest from Bohemia who was burned at the stake in 1415 for his opposition to the Church of Rome; and Girolamo Savonarola, an Italian friar who was hanged and burned in 1498.

The opposition to the false teaching of the Roman Catholic Church came to a head in the sixteenth century when Luther, a Roman Catholic monk, challenged the authority of the pope and, in particular, the selling of indulgences. Rather than heed the call to reform, the Roman Catholic Church dug in its heels and sought to silence the Reformers. Eventually, new churches emerged from the Reformation, forming four major divisions of Protestantism: Luther’s followers started the Lutheran Church, Calvin’s followers started the Reformed Church, John Knox’s followers started the Presbyterian Church in Scotland (using Calvinistic doctrine), and, later, Reformers in England started the Anglican Church.

At the heart of the Protestant Reformation lay four basic questions: How is a person saved? Where does religious authority lie? What is the church? What is the essence of Christian living? In answering these questions, Protestant Reformers developed what would be known as the “Five Solas” (sola being the Latin word for “alone”). These five essential points of biblical doctrine clearly separate Protestantism from Roman Catholicism. The Reformers resisted the demands placed on them to recant these doctrines, even to the point of death. The five essential doctrines of the Protestant Reformation are as follows:

1 – Sola Scriptura, “Scripture Alone.” The Bible alone is the sole authority for all matters of faith and practice. Scripture and Scripture alone is the standard by which all teachings and traditions of the church must be measured. As Martin Luther so eloquently stated when told to recant his teachings, “Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”

2 – Sola Gratia, “Salvation by Grace Alone.” Salvation is proof of God’s undeserved favor; we are rescued from God’s wrath by His grace alone, not by any work we do. God’s blessing in Christ is the sole efficient cause of salvation. This grace is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit who brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life.

3 – Sola Fide, “Salvation by Faith Alone.” We are justified by faith in Christ alone, not by the works of the Law. It is by faith in Christ that His righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God’s perfect standard.

4 – Solus Christus, “In Christ Alone.” Salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone; no one and nothing else can save. Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross is sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to God the Father. The gospel has not been preached if Christ’s redemption is not declared and if faith in His resurrection is not solicited.

5 – Soli Deo Gloria, “For the Glory of God Alone.” Salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God for His glory alone. As Christians we must magnify Him always and live our lives in His presence, under His authority, and for His glory.

These five important doctrines are the reason for the Protestant Reformation. They are at the heart of the Reformers’ call for the church to return to biblical teaching. The Five Solas are just as important today in evaluating a church and its teachings as they were in the sixteenth century.

Category:  Church History

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The Deity of Christ was Not Invented at Nicaea
TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2019
Posted by: Hillside Baptist Church | more..
Irenaeus and Nicene Language The Council of Nicaea’s debate and solution regarding the nature of Christ and the problem of the Trinity was not a novel discussion for the church. From as early as the mid to late 2ndcentury, heretical groups...
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The Black Robed Regiment: The Role of American Clergy in the American Revolution Pt. 2
THURSDAY, JULY 04, 2019
Posted by: Hillside Baptist Church | more..
However, Christian ministers did not just teach the principles that led to independence, they also participated on the battlefield to secure that independence. One of the numerous examples is the Rev. Jonas Clark. When Paul Revere set off on his...
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The Black Robed Regiment: The Role of American Clergy in the American Revolution pt.1
THURSDAY, JULY 04, 2019
Posted by: Hillside Baptist Church | more..
“It was Sunday morning early in the year 1776. In the church where Pastor Muhlenberg preached, it was a regular service for his congregation, but a quite different affair for Muhlenberg himself. Muhlenberg’s text for the day was...
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How Suffering Serves to Advance the Gospel
THURSDAY, JUNE 27, 2019
Posted by: Hillside Baptist Church | more..
Philippians 1:12-14 – I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ....
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Expositors, Start Writing More Devotionals
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2019
Posted by: Hillside Baptist Church | more..
After becoming a pastor, one of the goals that I had was to create material to help equip lay people of all spiritual maturity ranges with a deeper understanding of their Bible. In the world today, there are few things that Christians turn to more...
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The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Why it Matters
FRIDAY, JUNE 07, 2019
Posted by: Hillside Baptist Church | more..
The Biblical Teaching The Synoptic Gospels contain diverse uses and meanings of the term Lord when applied to Jesus. Many instances of the use of the term do not designate deity. On some occasions, those who called Jesus “lord” were...
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Kiffin, Knollys, and the Formation of Baptist Ecclesiology
MONDAY, JUNE 03, 2019
Posted by: Hillside Baptist Church | more..
William Kiffin was one of the most influential and outstanding of the Particular Baptist leaders in 17th century England. In the 1630’s around the age of 21, Kiffin began his sixty-year pastorate at the Devonshire Square Particular Baptist...
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What sort of Man is this: Is Jesus God, Man, or Both?
THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2019
Posted by: Hillside Baptist Church | more..
And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” -Matthew 8:27 There is so much debate today regarding who Jesus was. Was he a teacher, prophet, good man, or God? Many religions have made...
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Progressivism's Myth
TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2019
Posted by: Hillside Baptist Church | more..
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us. There is...
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