Category: 5 Solas

The Five Solas: Part 4

The Five Solas: Part 4

Solus Christus: Through Christ Alone

Sunday, April 8, 2017

In your life what or whom do you look to for help?

Whom or what do you turn to find answers for life?

Where do you go to find eternal life?

When life’s challenges and struggles are overwhelming to what or whom do you go?

A woman caught (or set-up) in adultery turns to the only one who can and will help her.

 

John 8:2-11, p. 757

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.  The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group  and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.”   At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

 “No one, sir,” she said.   “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Facing a Treacherous Enemy who seeks your destruction (v.3-5)

Our ultimate enemy is Satan; Satan’s character is deceitful, devious and cunning as in a variety of guises he seeks to influence people for his own ends.

 

1 Peter 5:8, p. 859

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

 

He is evil (Matthew 6:13, p. 685)

He is a liar (John 8:44, p. 758)

He is devious (2 Corinthians 11:14, p. 821)

He is scheming (Ephesians 6:11, p. 830)

He is a slanderer (Job 1:9-11, p. 360; 1 Timothy 5:14-15, p. 840)

He deceives individuals (1 Timothy 2:14, p. 839)

 

Powerless on Your Own (v.5)

Romans 3:23, p. 797

“…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 

 

Isaiah 64:6, p. 531

“We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.” 

 

Salvation through Christ alone: Solus Christus (v7-10)

 Acts 4:12, p. 773

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” 

 

Romans 3:24-25, p. 797

“And all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.” 

 

This woman found mercy and grace in the eyes of Jesus.

This woman found redemption in the words of Jesus.

What will you find today?

 

The Five Solas: Part 3

The Five Solas: Part 3

Sola Gratia: Grace Alone

Sunday, April 2, 2017

 

Dark Human Condition

 

Psalm 51:5, p. 405

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

 

Ephesians 2:1-2, p. 827

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” 

 

Romans 3:23, p. 797; Psalm 14:1-3, p. 388

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.”

 

Jeremiah 17:9, 549

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?” 

 

John 3:19, 752

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” 

 

Romans 6:26, p. 799

“For the wages of sin is death.” 

 

Hopeless

Isaiah 64:6 NLT, p. 531

“We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.” 

 

Unregenerate man will never respond in faith to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Good News

Luke 19:10, p. 743

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

 

Luke 15:1-7

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.

 

Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”  

 

Acts 26:17-18, p. 793

“I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

 

God’s Grace (unmerited favour) is:

 

God initiated

John 3:16, p. 752

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 

 

God sustained

Ephesians 2:3-5, p. 827

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” 

 

God secured

Ephesians 2:6-9, p. 827

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

 

What will your response be right now?   

 

Seek God’s gift

Accept God’s gift

Exercise God’s gift

The Five Solas: Part 2

The Five Solas: Part 2

Sola Fide: Faith Alone

Sunday, March 26, 2017

 

In our “natural” fallen state we tend to rely on our own “efforts” to make ourselves “acceptable” to our Holy God.

 

We often try to live our lives on our own strength and wisdom putting God in a box and pulling Him out only as a last resort. 

 

This is not living by faith but by sight; this “natural” tendency does not lead to abundant life but to a cold spiritually lifeless existence.

 

When we discover what “faith” really is and the reality of “saving faith” then we can begin to live with meaning, purpose and power.

 

The Apostle Paul says, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

 

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:1-10, p. 827)

 

Sola Fide is from the Latin: sola having the idea of “alone,” “only” and the word fide meaning “faith” —Faith Alone.

 

Sola Fide means that Faith alone is by God’s grace through “faith” in Christ alone and not by our “works” is a key truth of the Bible that distinguishes Biblical Christianity from most cults. 

 

Most other religions and cults teach that you salvation is through your “works” but the Bible clearly states that your salvation is by God’s Grace through your living saving “faith.”

 

But… but… but… what about James 2:24? (p. 855) Some of my Catholic friends may ask:

 

“You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” 

 

Context is everything

In James 2:1 through 12, James is dealing with the problem of some in his church showing favouritism and the importance of loving everyone; then James addresses the issue of “dead” faith verses “living” or “saving” faith in verses 13 through to 24.

 

James is qualifying the type of “faith” Paul is referring to in his Ephesians’ letter.

Four Works of God for Us

 

  1. God loves us (v. 4)
  • Love is one of God’s intrinsic attributes (1 John 4:8, “God is love,” p. 863)
  • We are saved by God’s mercy (God does not give us what we deserve) and God’s grace (God gives us what we do not deserve – Salvation is a gift not reward) result of God’s love for us
  • At the cross at Calvary God displayed His hatred for sin and His love for sinners (Romans 5:8, p.798; John 3:16, p. 752)

 

  1. God resurrects us (v.5)
  • God made us alive even when we were dead in our sins
  • Power to resurrect through His Holy Spirit by His Word
  • Examples in the New Testament: widow’s son (Luke 7:11-17, p. 730); Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:49-56, p. 732); Lazarus (John 11, p. 760)

 

  1. God exults us (vs. 6)
  • Our physical position is currently on earth but our spiritual position is “in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”

 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going… I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:1-6, p. 763)

 

  1. God keeps us (vv. 7-9)
  • God’s purpose in our salvation and redemption is not just to rescue us from hell
  • God’s ultimate purpose is for our salvation for all eternity as Christ’s church glorifies God through His Grace

 

The completed work of Christ on the cross:  “It is finished” (John 19:30, p. 768)

 

Penal Substitution Atonement (Expiation: cover our sins)

  • Jesus died in your place
  • Took your sin upon Himself and became sin for you
  • Endured your punishment for your sins

 

Propitiation

  • Christ becomes our substitute and assumes our obligations
  • Expiated our guilt

 

Hebrews 2:17, p. 847

“For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.”

 

Be part of God’s Faith Family of Followers

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

 

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  

(Hebrews 10:19-25, p. 851)

The Five Solas: Part 1

The Five Solas: Part 1

Sola Scriptura: Authority of Scripture

Sunday, March 19, 2017

 

We live in a society of competing “truth” claims, pluralism and relativism within a post-Christian culture, and the attacks on the importance and integrity of the Bible both from within and outside today’s church.

 

What or Whom has real authority in my life and in the life of this church?

 

The Apostle Paul says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 

(2 Timothy 4:16-17, p. 843)

 

Sola Scriptura is from the Latin sola, having the idea of “alone,” “ground,” “base,” and the word scriptura meaning “writings”—referring to the Scriptures.

 

If Scripture is “God-breathed,” then it is not man-breathed, and, although it was penned by men, those “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

(2 Peter 1:21, p. 860)

 

Sola scriptura means that Scripture alone is authoritative for the faith and practice of the Christian.

 

Competing “sola’s

 

Sola Ecclesia

  • For hundreds of years the Roman Catholic Church had made its traditions superior in authority to the Bible
  • This resulted in many practices that were in fact contradictory to the Bible
  • Some examples are prayer to saints and/or Mary, the immaculate conception, transubstantiation, infant baptism, indulgences, and papal authority

 

Martin Luther (founder of the Lutheran Church and one of the key leaders of the Protestant Reformation) was publicly rebuking the Catholic Church for its unbiblical teachings.  The Catholic Church threatened Martin Luther with excommunication (and death) if he did not recant. Martin Luther’s reply was, “Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or by the clearest reasoning, unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the Word of God, I cannot and will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me! Amen!”

 

Sola Cultura

  • Secular culture has authority over one’s life and the church
  • Truth is ultimately defined by our culture

 

Cultural Marxism:  Dominant in our universities, main stream media, and other social institutions. The gradual process of destroying all traditions, languages, religions, individuality, government, family, law and order in order to re-assemble society in the future as a communist utopia. This utopia will have no notion of gender, traditions, morality, god or even family or the state.

 

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”  (Colossians 2:8, p. 834)

 

The sufficiency of Scripture is under attack today, and, sadly, that attack comes far too often in our own churches.  Management techniques, worldly methods of drawing crowds, entertainment, extra-biblical revelations, mysticism, and some forms of psychological counselling all declare that the Bible and its precepts are not adequate for the Christian life.

 

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.”

(John 10:27, p. 760)

 

As Christ Followers we are to read, study and put into practice God’s Word.

 

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