Summary: 1) Scripture alone (sola Scriptura), 2) Grace alone (sola gratia), 3) Faith alone (sola fide), 4) Christ alone (solus Christus), and 4) The glory of God alone (soli Deo gloria).

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All Hallows’ Day or All Saints’ Day (November 1) was first celebrated on May 13, 609, when Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to the Virgin Mary. The date was later changed to November 1 by Pope Gregory III, who dedicated a chapel in honor of all saints in the Vatican Basilica. In 837, Pope Gregory IV (827-844) ordered its church-wide observance. Its origin lies earlier in the common commemorations of Christian martyrs. Over time these celebrations came to include not only the martyrs, but all saints. During the Reformation the Protestant churches came to understand “saints” in its New Testament usage as including all believers and reinterpreted the feast of All Saints as a celebration of the unity of the entire Church. (

Quote:John D. Hannahdescribed the situation this way: "The Reformation was a call for authentic Christianity, an attempt to escape the medieval corruption of the faith through renewal and reform. Its teaching, which swirled around a fivefold repetition of the word sola (“alone” which) was a radical message for that day (and should be for ours) because it called for a commitment to an entirely God-centered view of faith and life". (John D. Hannah, To God be the Glory (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2000), 6.)

The greatest need of the Church has always been reformation around the Word of God. Thus, undergirding these five solas is the phrase: ecclesia semper reformanda est, which means "the church (is) always to be reformed.” The Word of God stands over us—individually and collectively. As Michael Horton said: “When we invoke the whole phrase — “the church Reformed and always being reformed according to the Word of God” — we confess that we belong to the church and not simply to ourselves and that this church is always created and renewed by the Word of God rather than by the spirit of the age.”( Michael Horton “Semper Reformanda”, October 1st, 2009, Table Talk Magazine, accessed 4 November 2014. )

In response to the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestants coined five slogans or battle cries: 1) Scripture alone (sola Scriptura), 2) Grace alone (sola gratia), 3) Faith alone (sola fide), 4) Christ alone (solus Christus), and 4) The glory of God alone (soli Deo gloria).

1) Scripture alone (sola Scriptura)

As far back as the late medieval period, men such as John Wycliffe and John Hus called people to return to Scripture. When challenged by hostile church officials, Hus repeatedly answered his opponents, “Show me from Scripture and I will repent and recant!” The Reformers developed Hus’s emphasis on Scripture in a number of significant ways. They stressed the scriptures authority, infallibility, self-authentication and power.

Please turn to 2 Timothy 3 (p.996)

The Reformers contended that all things must be tested “by Scripture alone” (sola Scriptura). They believed Scripture is to rule in the church, for it is the Word of God and the voice of God (verbum Dei). Therefore, its authority is absolute, not derivative, they said. John Calvin said that Scripture is as authoritative as if God Himself “had been giving utterance.” A Christian should rely on and be governed by its promises, (Inst., 3.2.6–7.) and the church should be wholly subject to its authority. (Inst.,4.8) In fact, all other kinds of authority—papal, creedal, and civil—must be subordinate to Scripture. (Inst. Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (Battles’ edition)1.7.1.)

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