Dear New Life Family,
I heard someone say the other day, “Never waste a crisis!” One of the things a crisis does is it forces you to focus on what’s most important. Hurricane Harvey did that for many of us. For example, if you are fleeing a flooded home, you grab your kids, pictures that can’t be replaced and anything else that is a priority for you. We preserve what’s important no matter what the cost.
What are some of the things we as Christians value and hold dear? In a few weeks we will celebrate Reformation Day on October 31st. Did you know that this year we will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation? Why is this an important milestone? What was so important back then that our church fathers broke from the Catholic church? What were they protesting? What did they feel needed reforming? Does this still matter today?
The Protestant Reformation was birthed out of a deep desire to call the church back to the original and faithful teachings of scripture. 500 years ago pastors like Martin Luther and John Calvin lead the way to rally God’s people against the corruption and false teaching of the Catholic Church. The 5 Solas were their rallying cry. They were Latin phrases that captured essential teachings, especially about salvation.
Sola Scriptura = Scripture Alone (How do we know this?)
Sola Fide = Faith Alone (How do we access this?)
Solo Christo = Christ Alone (Who accomplishes this?)
Sola Gratia = Grace Alone (How can be sure about this?)
Soli Deo Gloria = Glory to God Alone (Who gets the credit for this?)
This Sunday we will begin a new message series on the 5 Solas. We will begin with Sola Scriptura and ask why it so important that Scripture Alone be the highest authority for the church? What was at stake? Why does this matter today? We will tackle these and many other questions in this series. Here is a series of articles about the 5 Solas that also have questions at the end to reflect on or discuss with others (ask Scott & Evie about the author of Sola Gratia!!).
Sometimes we forget what is most important in life or have never been taught these things. This is also true, especially about our beliefs. Our culture today says that truth is relative and that we should all find our own way with what we believe. Although I believe each of us has a unique story, we ignore God’s wisdom and lessons of church history at our own peril. Why? Because we find our story in God’s story. And in that story we find how much God values us!!
One of the images that we will all remember with Hurricane Harvey are the folks who went out in boats to rescue people stranded in homes. What an amazing story of salvation! How much more wonderful is God’s story of salvation and the amazing way he rescued us from spiritual death because of our sin. When we come to see God’s great story of salvation we worship Him. What love! What grace! He goes to great lengths to rescue and save us!!
My prayer is that God would teach us anew these important truths about his great salvation. I hope this is not just enlightening but also heartfelt and encouraging for you. May you put him first always. Grace and peace.