Soli Deo Gloria

All of the “sola’s” so far discussed have led to one inevitable conclusion: Soli Deo Gloria (or To God Alone be the Glory). When the reformers declared Sola Scriptura, they declared that all doctrine must align with what is taught in Scripture, alone—than no teaching of Rome or any other church is to be considered mandatory or “God-breathed.” Since it was God who inspired the Bible’s writers, through the Holy Spirit, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura pointed directly to God, giving Him the honor.

When the reformers declared Solus Christus, they said there is only one Way to Heaven, and that’s through Jesus Christ alone. There is no other mediator than Christ—not Mary and not the so-called saints. Because Christ is the only way to be reconciled to God, and since God was the One who sent Christ, God alone gets the glory in this doctrine as well.

The doctrine of Grace Alone established God’s initiative in redeeming man. Since man was corrupt by nature (every desire of his heart was to reject God), he already warranted eternal damnation. There is no righteousness in man, in and of himself. It was strictly out of grace alone that God thought of redeeming man. It was out of grace—not obligation—that God sent His Son to die for the sins of His elect. The doctrine of Sola Gratia clearly gave glory to God alone.

The reformers’ flag ship doctrine, Sola Fide (or Faith Alone) declared that man in no way warranted salvation due to his “good works.” There, in fact, is nothing a man can do to even contribute to his salvation. Justification is gained by faith in Christ’s death alone. And as Paul states in Ephesians 2:8-9, even the faith is something God gives us—not something we come up with on our own: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that [faith] not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” All the glory is clearly given to God in this doctrine.

So, the culmination of Reformed Theology is the honoring of God alone in the process of redemption. It is He who reveals Himself to His elect, and it is He who provides His elect the necessary qualifications to bring them to Heaven.

Though the believer, with his limited point-of-view, sees faith in Christ as a decision he makes on his own, the reformers of the 16th Century searched the Scriptures and found redemption to be a sovereign plan initiated by God before the foundation of the world. They realized that even their apparent choosing of God was really God choosing them. It was to this revelation that they declared so boldly, “Soli Deo Gloria!”

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