The Five Great Solas: Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solo Christo, Solo Deo Gloria

by Pastor Edwin Lehmann on October 30, 2021 in ,

The Festival of the Reformation                          October 31, 2021
The Five Great Solas: Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solo Christo, Solo Deo Gloria                           21:2284

Solo Scriptura – By Scripture Alone (2 Tim. 3:15; Rom. 10:17)
“From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus…. So then, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through the word of Christ.”
If a person wants to be saved, he must first diligently hear, read, and examine God’s Word. Whoever does not want to do this cannot be helped, despite his prayers and concerns. He remains in the darkness of unbelief, bound in sin, and under God’s displeasure for He has rejected that which God wants to tell Him.
The Holy Spirit, who must work everything that is good in us, does not work without means. God’s Word is the only means of grace by which He works. Even Baptism and Holy Communion have power only because the earthly elements are connected with God’s heavenly Word and promise. Without God’s Word, Baptism is mere water and no Baptism. Without God’s Word, Holy Communion is nothing more than bread and wine rather than Christ’s body and blood. The Word of God is the hand God extends to us from heaven to draw us to Him. Whoever does not hear it turns away from the divine hand and therefore cannot be saved.
The Word of God not only shows us the way to heaven, but by itself it awakens people who by nature are spiritually dead. From infancy onward, only “the Holy Scriptures make one wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Only the Word enlightens so that we rightly know ourselves, our sin, and Christ, our Savior. Only the Word works faith in Christ. Thus, St. Paul says, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
The hearing of the Word is also required for us to remain in the faith. What earthly food and drink are to the body, the Word of God is to the soul. As the body loses its power and finally dies when it is deprived of food and drink, so also the soul of the Christian loses its spiritual power and sinks back into spiritual death when it fails to study God’s Word daily.

What wood is to fire in a fireplace, the Word is to the fire of faith and love in a Christian’s heart. As fire in a fireplace goes out when not carefully tended, so the fire of faith and love in a Christian’s heart extinguishes when he ceases to study God’s Word.
A tree withers not just when it is cut down, but also when it is no longer watered. Likewise, a Christian falls from grace not just when he returns to the world and falls into obvious sin, but when he ceases to hear and examine Scripture diligently. But when he makes the study of Scripture his constant concern, he is like a tree, planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season, and its leaves do not wither (Ps.1:3). He who has ears, let him hear.
Sola Scriptura. We are saved by Scriptures alone. (283/296)

Sola Gratia – By Grace Alone (Ephesians 2:5)
“But God, because He is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved.”
God’s Word tells us that prior to conversion to faith, every person is spiritually dead. Just as a person who is bodily dead cannot see, hear, feel, or do anything, so an unconverted person cannot recognize or understand anything spiritual, cannot perceive any truth concerning God, and cannot know the way his soul can be saved. In spiritual things, natural man is colder than stone that can neither desire something nor do it.
Can a stone change itself? As we were unable to do anything about the fact that we were born into this world, so also as fallen people we can do nothing to change our stony hearts. As a person who is bodily dead can contribute to his becoming alive, so little can we contribute to us becoming alive spiritually. If we are dead in our trespasses and sins (2:1) when we entered this world, then we are dead spiritually. Dead people cannot contribute to becoming alive. We are spiritually awakened and made alive alone by God’s power and grace that work faith within. As St. Paul says, “It is God who is working in you, both to will and to work, for the sake of His good pleasure” (Phlp.2:13). Only because of His love and mercy in our behalf can we be made alive with Christ. It is by grace alone.
Because God alone can convert us, fear and trembling should be in us so that we do not hinder the working of God’s Word within. Because we do not have the slightest power to work our conversion or even to cooperate in it, we must not, for the sake of our salvation, obstinately resist whenever God wants to convert us. He also warns us not to delay our conversion for even one hour, but to open for God right away when He knocks on our hearts.
If we would convert ourselves, when would we want to do so? Perhaps we would say: “Not today. I’ve got no time. Maybe tomorrow.” “Not this year, but next year.” “Not now in my youth; I am healthy. But when I become old and sick.”
Because we can do nothing for our conversion and God alone in His grace and undeserved love must do everything, we should think, as soon as God begins to work in us, “Now, now is the time for salvation! Tomorrow may be too late”
When we cannot come to God, in love He wants to draw us to Himself. When we cannot take God into our hearts, He will open our hearts for us. When we cannot see what serves our peace with Him who is holy, He enlightens us. “Indeed, it is by grace that 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” (Ep.2:8f)
Sola Gratia. We are saved by grace alone. (384/373 st.1-3)

Sola Fide, Solo Christo – By Faith Alone through Christ Alone
(Romans 4:3,16; 2 Corinthians 5:18,19; Acts 4:12)
“What does Scripture say? Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness…. For this reason the promise is by faith so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to the one who has the faith of Abraham….All these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting trespasses against them…. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”
Many people think that the proclamation of the Gospel is nothing more than a report of what Christ did and a lesson in what we must do to redeem ourselves as we follow His example. This is not so! Christ is more than an example. He alone must save us, for in our sin we could never do enough to reconcile ourselves to the God who declares, “Be holy for I the Lord your God am holy.” For that reason, in grace “God sent His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Christ did what we could not do and has already perfectly reconciled the whole world to God, redeeming it from sin and acquiring for it an eternal righteousness. This Gospel is truth; it is a divine promise.
Wherever it is preached, God absolves people for Christ’s sake and Christ’s righteousness is offered and delivered to them. Whenever people are baptized, God declares Himself to be their Father, Christ to be their Savior, and the Holy Ghost to be their Comforter. Whenever people partake of Holy Communion, Christ gives them His redemption, forgives their sins, and offers them eternal righteousness, sealing this His promise to them. What God once promised Abraham with the words, “In your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed,” He now promises to all people through the Word and the holy Sacraments.
No person should then say, “Oh, that God would come down from heaven and Himself speak to me, promising me righteousness and eternal life! Then I would believe and be happy!” One should not think such a thing because God has already spoken and promised that very thing is accomplished through Christ. To not believe His Word and promises is unbelief.
God has spoken and speaks with every person through the Gospel. In it He promises righteousness and eternal life to all. The Gospel is the receipt that is marked “paid in full.” God made it out and delivered it after Christ paid the debt for all sin on the cross. But if one does not believe it is true, what good does the promise do him? Faith is the hand the receives the gift that God has already prepared and presented for all to enjoy. But if one does not believe what He has already done, that person does not benefit from the gift. Instead in unbelief he turns away from it.
There is nothing else but faith that is necessary for a person to be righteous before God. Where a free promise is already given, faith alone is the means to rejoice in it. God promises in His Word to grant righteousness freely to all through the works of Christ. Therefore, what works we do or any virtue that we put forth are not the means of attaining the righteousness that avails before God.
This is our Lutheran, yes, our Christian heritage. Let us never forget what the apostle writes in these lessons, “For the promise is by faith, so that it may be according to grace.”
That we are saved by faith alone in Christ alone contains the only foundation of hope and salvation. It is the central truth of all the Holy Scripture. It is the article on which the church stands or falls. It is the sun that alone gives light in the darkness of life and in the night of trial and death. He who holds fast to its teaching, has the means to withstand all temptation; he enjoys firm comfort against all anguish of sin; and he walks through an open door at death into eternal life above. Sola Fide, Solo Christo. We are saved by faith alone through Christ alone. (Insert: “In Christ Alone”)

Solo Deo Gloria – To God Alone Be Glory (Luke 2:14)
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward mankind.”
Christ had hardly been born in Bethlehem’s manger when outside in the fields the angel of the Lord, shining with God’s heavenly glory, appeared. He called to the shepherds: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” With that announcement the heavens opened, and a whole multitude of the heavenly host came down and sang: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward mankind.”
The Lord of heaven Himself was lying in a manger. He had come to redeem those who could not redeem themselves. And the glory of the Lord illuminated the night of our sin with the heavenly light of salvation. It was the fulfillment of the heavenly Father’s promise.
As soon as His Son became man, the unbearable burden of all humanity’s sin was laid on Him at the cross. In that God’s requirement for righteousness was met by Himself, who alone could do it. Looking into the future at the time of Jesus’ birth, God the Father saw it as if it had already taken place. So, immediately He opened heaven’s gates as a sign of this glorious event, wrought by Him and Him alone.
Let us then rejoice and be happy today as these truths have been restored to us in the Reformation, for by the Word alone, by grace alone, only through faith in Christ alone heaven’s gates stand open once more, not because of anything we have done, but done by God. Solo Deo Gloria – to
“Now, to Him, who is able, according to the power that is at work within us, to do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21).
(New CW Hymnal 877/TLH 237)

The Festival of the Reformation           – Sunday, October 31, 2021 –

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”   John 8:31-32

F o r   O u r     V i s i t o r s

We extend a warm and sincere welcome in our Savior’s name. Please sign our guest book on the wall table to the right outside the sanctuary. If you desire more information about Zion Lutheran Church or are in need of spiritual guidance, please call upon our pastor. We are delighted to have you join us today and invite you to return soon.

O u r   M i s s i o n

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church exists to proclaim the Gospel, making disciples for Christ and strengthening believers for a life of service to God. To God alone be the glory.

W h a t   T h i s     S u n d a y   i s   A b o u t

The Truth Will Set You Free. Frequently, October 31, 1517, is cited as the “birthday” of the Reformation.   On that date Martin Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, calling for a debate on the abuses and misuses of Biblical doctrines and ecclesiastical power that enslaved the church, especially in the selling of indulgences. The teachings of salvation by grace alone, by faith alone, by Scriptures alone, as they had been given during the time of the prophets and apostles, were “re-formed” in the church. They are the foundational truths on which salvation rests. Salvation cannot be bought by the sinner; Christ’s blood paid for it. It is freely offered in the Gospel and is received by faith. This Gospel sets the sinner free, free from the coercion of the Law, free from the power of sin, free from death. Only the truth of the Gospel sets us free!

   As we celebrate this heritage today, one eye is on the past and the other is on the present and future for our Lord encourages us to “remain in His Word.” We shall not remain “free” for long if we neglect “the Truth,” and we shall not remember “the Truth” at all if we do not diligently continue to hear and study His Word.

Today’s Service Music: Jane Rips, organist        Today’s Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Trio: Lois Wiese, Jane Rips, Pastor Lehmann

The Order of Worship

The Preparation

The Invocation and Luther’s Morning Prayer (in unison)

Pastor: In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

All:      I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger. Keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. Into Your hands I commend my body and soul and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.

The Need for Reform

Narration: The Religious Climate before the Reformation of the 16th Century A.D.

The Christian church at the beginning of the 16th Century was badly in need of reform.   The church was not communicating the Gospel to the world. The Bible was available only in the languages that scholars could understand. Even then the Bible was used less than the writings and traditions of the early church fathers. The church was more active in political endeavors than it was in spiritual matters.   Relics, such as the bones of the early NT saints, were honored and revered more than Christ. The good news of great joy in God’s Son as the Savior was buried under the bad news of more sins, more money, more sacrifices, more rules.   Rules, rules, rules – the church taught salvation through the keeping of the law. Although there were endless laws a Christian was to keep, the church gave him more. Thus, the real message of Scripture, that man is saved from sin and death by grace alone, through faith alone, by Scriptures alone, by Christ alone, to the glory of God alone was not proclaimed. A reformation was needed.

God saw the need. And just as God raised up the prophets of old to reform His people in their religious lives, so now God would raise up reformers for the church.   They were men who would not seek recognition for themselves, but only for Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The religious climate of the day into which they walked, which needed to be reformed, is captured in the opening verses of our first hymn:

Hymn: “O God, Our Lord, Your Holy Word”                                                        st.1-3               204

 The Gospel of Salvation “Rediscovered”

Narration: The Five Great “Solas” of the Christian Faith

Central to the true, historic, Christian Faith given by God and recorded in the Bible is the foundational set of spiritual principles without which one cannot be saved. This set of spiritual principles is known as the “Five Solas.” By God’s grace they were “rediscovered” and promoted by the theological reformers of the 16th Century A.D., such as Martin Luther. Through careful study of the Bible, they became convinced that the church of their day had strayed from the essential teachings of Christianity that lead to the forgiveness of sins, salvation, and eternal life.

These 5 Biblical principles were spoken of and written about by the reformers of the 16th Century.   However, they were only expressed in a systematic way in the 20th Century. In 1916, the Saint Louis, Missouri-based Lutheran professor and scholar, Theodore Engelder, wrote an article on the occasion of the 400th Anniversary of the Reformation. The article was entitled: “The Three Principles of the Reformation: Sola, Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide.” Years later, the Swiss theologian, Emil Brunner added the terms: “Christus Solus” and “Solo Deo Gloria” to the original 3 “Solas”. They form the outline of our worship service today on this 504th anniversary of the Reformation.

Sola Scriptura, By Scripture Alone                                   2 Timothy 3:15 and Romans 10:17

“From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus….So then faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through the word of Christ.”

Hymn: “Speak, O Savior, I Am Listening”                                                                283

Sola Gratia, By Grace Alone                                                                                     Ephesians 2:4-5

“But God, because He is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in trespasses.   It is by grace you have been saved.”  

Hymn: “By Grace I’m Saved, Grace Free and Boundless”                  st.1-3                 384

Sola Fide, By Faith Alone, In Christ Alone Romans 4:3,16; 2Corinthians 5:18,19; Acts 4:12

“What does Scripture say? Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness….For this reason the promise is by faith so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to the one who has the faith of Abraham….All these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them….There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”

Hymn: “In Christ Alone”

The Offering

 The Prayer of the Church

God provides in every circumstance. The Church comes to Him in thanksgiving and prayer, depending entirely on Him for its survival. One of the mightiest outpourings of such prayer from Martin Luther’s heart took place at Worms in 1521, 500 years ago, when he stood before prince and emperor in defense of the Gospel. Our prayer today is an adaptation of his plea to almighty God on that occasion.

Pastor:           Almighty and eternal God, what a contemptible thing this world can be.   Look how it causes men to gape and stare at it! How small and slight is the trust of men in God! How frail and sensitive is the flesh of men, and the devil is so powerful and active through his apostles and the wise of the world! How soon men become disheartened and hurry on, running the common course, the broad way to hell, where the godless go! Their gaze is fixed only on what is splendid and powerful, great and mighty, and enjoys a reputation. If we, too, were to turn our eyes to such things, we would soon be undone.

Congr:  O God, our God. Help us against the reason and wisdom of all the world!

Pastor: Do this!   You must do it, You alone, for this cause is not ours but Yours. Your cause is righteous and of eternal importance.

Congr:           Stand by us, O faithful and eternal God! We rely on no man for they are futile and vain as they follow the flesh and not You.

Pastor: O God, do You not hear us? Are you dead? No, You cannot die. You merely appear to hide Yourself. Have you chosen us for this task of proclaiming the truth of Your Gospel?   Yes, You have. Then let it be so, and let Your will be done among us.

Congr:           Stand by us in the name of Your dear Son, Jesus Christ. He shall be our Protector and Defender. Through the strengthening of Your Holy Spirit, let Him be our Mighty Fortress.

Pastor: O Lord, do not delay. Come!   We are ready to lay down our lives for Your cause, meek as lambs, for the cause of Your Gospel is righteous. Help us never to separate ourselves from You. Even if the world were full of devils and our bodies should be utterly ruined, they must leave us unconquered for they will fall before You. Your Word and Spirit are our eternal rewards.

Congr:  Our souls are Yours, bought with the blood of Your Son. We belong to You by faith. Grant us strength that we remain with You eternally. Help the sick and the weak. Keep us all strong in You. Amen. God help us. Amen.

 The Lord’s Prayer (Hymnal p.20)

Solo Deo Gloria – To God Alone Be Glory                                                                       Luke 2:14

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward mankind.”

Trio: “Glory to God Alone” (A Reformation Song)

The Benediction

Closing Hymn: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”                                                                         200

Silent Prayer












Next Sunday


9:00 am

Divine Worship Service with Holy Communion

On-line Facebook


10:15 am

Bible Study

For All Ages

 Pastor will be

MN District Circuit

Meetings in




Monday &



attending the

Council and Pastors’

New Ulm, MN


11 am


Bible Study



4:30 pm





9 am

Fall Cleanup with lunch provided


9:00 am

Divine Worship Service with Holy Communion

On-lline Facebook


10:15 am

Bible Study

For All Ages

T h i s   W e e k’ s   C a l e n d a r   f o r   Z i o n   L u t h e r a n   C h u r c h

Upcoming Dates

Mon.-Tues., November 1-2: Pastor attends MN District Council and Circuit Pastors’ Meetings

Saturday, November 6: Fall Clean-up at church; lunch provided

Friday-Sunday, November 12-14: LWMS sponsored Women’s Retreat at Heit’s Pt.

Sunday, November 21: Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck after the service

Thursday, November 25: Thanksgiving Day Worship at 10 am

Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Clyde Johnson; Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; Norine Richardson; Jodi Milam; William & Laurie Moon; Patsy Mickelson; Pauline Jaeger; Dave Ballou now in rehab at Quail Creek Nursing Home; Lois Wiese; Barbara Long; John Workentine, Schulz’s brother-in-law; Khendra Murdoch & Jason, her husband.

 Next Sunday’s Lessons

End Time 2: Last Judgment: Malachi 4:1-2; Hebrews 9:24-28; John 5:19-24 (Series B)

No Face Mask Regulations Facemasks are not required in a church setting in Springfield. If you feel more comfortable wearing a face mask, you may certainly do so. Masks, disposable gloves, and sanitizer are in the narthex and the fellowship hall for your use.


Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann