Articles, On To Maturity

What Was the Reformation?

The Reformation was a pivotal movement because during that time, God’s people rediscovered two essential truths. The first truth was sola Scriptura, a phrase which indicates that Scripture itself is our only infalliable rule for faith and practice. The second truth was sola fide, meaning that justification is by faith alone in Jesus Christ. The “protest” of these two truths, along with other teachings, served to ignite the Reformation and dispel the darkness of the Middle Ages. Changes subsequently swept through Germany and beyond. Aided by the translation of the Bible in other languages, the reform spread quickly to France, England, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Eastern Eurpoe, and Scotland. It then made it’s way to the shores of America with the Pilgrims and Puritans during the seventeenth century.

SOLA SCRIPTURA

scripture alone

SOLA FIDE

faith alone

SOLUS CHRISTUS

christ alone

SOLA GRATIA

grace alone

SOLI DEO GLORIA

to the glory of god alone

To capture the basic theological principles that emerged from the Protestant Reformation, the Reformers embraced five Latin phrases that stood in stark contrast to unbiblical teaching. Commonly referred to as the “five solas” (Latin for “alone” or “only”), these phrases have continued to serve each generation of Christians as clear statements on the Bible’s authority, our only hope for salvation, and God’s purpose for redemptive history.

POST TENEBRAS LUX

After Darkness, Light

This Latin phrase engraved on the Reformation Wall in Geneva, Switzerland, embodies God’s faithfulness to His church, which rediscovered the light of the gospel in culturally and politically dark days. By 1560, the far-reaching effects of the Reformation were being realized, including the translation and printing of the first Geneva Bible–the Bible used by William Shakespear as well as the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. It was the first English Bible containing study notes to help explain Scripture.

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