Summary: Soli Deo Gloria - Glory to God Alone is the basis of the Five Solas of the Reformation Era. As then - so now is its relevance needed in our post-modern culture.
Soli Deo Gloria | Glory to God Alone
25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began 26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith 27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. [NKJ]
. NT churches are living in challenging times. Many of the cherished biblical doctrines that we hold dear have been put aside for a more convenient way to please man, not God.
. In many ways we too are facing some of the same challenges as the reformers. This is especially so in regards to the Gospel becoming less and less proclaimed in its purity from the pulpits of today.
. It is particularly sad with us Baptists for we are witnessing the watering down of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ more and more throughout our ranks.
. As the Reformers of old stood up against the Roman oppression (the 15th and 16th centuries) against the truth of God and His word. We in this age also must stand up as stalwarts for God and His truth.
. As the Reformers acknowledge and stood for the Five Solas in defending them represented a fight to return to the biblical teachings of God concerning | Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone and Glory to God Alone | so too today are we to be engaged concerning these same issues.
. Let history show that we too found the courage as those of old and let us stand firm for these Biblical doctrines of the Word of God. Let us too earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints | Jude v. 3.
. To do this: We must first briefly reexamine the Five Solas. Though each of these great Solas stand by themselves and will eventually be looked at individually. It must be acknowledged that Soli Deo Gloria, in a sense, has become the foundation upon which the other 4 stand. This is because the theme of the fifth Sola, Glory to God Alone, has become the basis/purpose of the other four.
. To begin this reexamination of the Five Solas over the next few meetings - let us first look briefly at the Historical Aspect of the Reformers and the Five Solas and then with a closer examination of Soli Deo Gloria - Glory to God Alone.
I. HISTORICAL ASPECT
A. The Reformers
John Hus (c. 1369-1415), Martin Luther (1483-1546), Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), Henrich Bullinger (1504-1575), and/or John Calvin (1509-1564), and others. Their commonality: The Reformation.
. During the 15th and 16th century these men of God and others were raised up in a time when most of Europe was facing a darkened reality w/o knowledge and an alienated future w/o any hope of God for they were found under the wicked and evil control of papal religious rule enforced through the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church.
. Where the Roman Catholicism dominated throughout Europe, 1) the common man was suppressed, 2) the Scriptures were chained | only the priest were allowed to explain them, 3) Christ the mediator had been replaced by Mary, 4) rhe grace of God depended on confession and indulgences, 5) faith had been replaced by infant baptism, and 6) the glory of God was replaced by the glory of Rome with her idols and images.
. So who knew that on October 31, 1517 when a young monk, Martin Luther, by hammering his 95 theses onto the Castle Church doors at Wittenberg, Germany would ignite a fire of such enormous proportions that history declares this as the official beginning of what is known as the Protestant Reformation against the Roman Catholic Church and that Luther himself would become known as the Father of the Reformation.
. However, as much as we acknowledge and give honor to these great men of God used during the era known as the Reformation, let us not exalt them so high lest we forget that the Protestant Reformation was to them nothing more than an attempt to restore the apostolic Christianity and teaching to the church and so too should it be for us as well. While we dearly so love, preach and defend [what] is called the Reformed Faith, along with its many associate synonyms such as Calvinism, Sovereign Grace, and the Doctrines of Grace [may we as those before us be sure that our goal is to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints to bring praise to God and not to promote the glory to our ministries]. Anything less will not be a return to biblical and apostolic teaching and practice found within the NT churches of our Lord and among His redeemed saints - [Earl Blackburn, Lest We Forget: The Solas of the Reformation, The Founders Journal, 70, 22-33 (adapted)].