Getting Ready for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation: The Five Solas For Women
You may have heard that the 500th anniversary of the Reformation will happen on the 31st of this month. And you may suspect that Martin Luther's 95 theses still matter. And you may have a hunch that the Five Solas, which were born out of the Reformation, still bear weight. But did you know that the Five Solas have meaningful implications for today’s Christian woman? Indeed, the Five Solas are worth rehearsing and celebrating 500 years later.
Sola Gratia (Grace Alone) - Good news, women friends, all is grace in our lives. The Lord Himself gives life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25). Our lives and our salvation do not depend on us, but on the Lord. He is the One who is preeminent in all things (Colossians 1:18). The acknowledgement of God’s grace in our lives is huge. When we recognize that we were dead in our trespasses, but God made us alive together with Him (Colossians 2:13-14) we can rejoice and rest in Him. This life that we live—it’s a gift of free and undeserved grace. It is not incumbent upon you or me to to make the world go round. So breathe.
Solus Christus (Christ Alone) - Christian friend, our salvation was accomplished once and for all by the work of Jesus Christ alone. Our sins were taken by Him and His righteousness was given to us (2 Corinthians 5:21). This great transaction was His work and it is finished. No human methods or techniques will save us. The weight you may feel to do more, be more, and try harder to earn God’s love is not from Him—cast it off. It’s through Christ alone that we are saved. So release.
Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) - Girlfriend, grab your bible and read it. It’s as true today as it was 500 years ago—the Bible is our highest and truest authority. We have the great privilege of knowing God through His very own words. We live in a world of memes and craftsy wall-hangings that proclaim half-truths embellished over filtered photos of sunsets. By sustaining ourselves on snippets, we have become biblically anemic. The best way for you to know God and to understand His grace and the all-satisfying person of Jesus is by reading His word. You already know that all scripture is God breathed and useful for your entire life (1 Timothy 3:16)—let’s celebrate that the Bible is our authority and it’s available to us. So read.
Sola Fide (Faith Alone) - We are declared righteous because of Christ’s work alone, by the free gift of grace alone, through faith alone. Our exercise of faith is the way that we enjoy what Jesus has already purchased on our behalf. Paul prays for the Ephesians that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith (Ephesians 1:17) and he rejoices on hearing of the faith of the Colossians (Colossians 1:4) because of the hope they have in heaven. Paul knows that it is through faith that we receive the gracious gifts of God. As our faith increases so does our enjoyment in God’s gifts. May we be women who live by faith. So walk.
Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone Be the Glory) - This is the crowning jewel of our Reformation celebration—our lives are not about us, they are all about God, and that is good! Ladies, we do not have to clamor for self-created meaning, credit, and honor in our lives. We do not have to live as the world lives—exerting ourselves to make a name for ourselves. As women in Christ, it is God’s glory that we live for. Because all is grace in our lives, because we are righteous before God due to Jesus’ finished work, because God’s word has given us all that we need to know Him, and because we can walk in faith in His sovereignty—we can and must live for His glory alone. As the Westminster Catechism says, “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” So glorify and enjoy.