The past couple of months, I invited you to join me in a series of “Solo’s”. In July was our introductory welcome to the Sola’s by investigating together what Sola Scriptura means. It is Latin for Scripture alone. I shared how this term arose out of Christian history during the great reformation of the sixteenth century and birthed out of the hearts of God’s people for the purpose of drawing them to the holy scriptures of God and nothing but. This term was defined and created by the Westminster Divines, during the Protestant Reformation after heresy and false teachings begin to sneak into the church and believer’s hearts began corrupting the sacred teachings of the Bible and the holiness of Christ, turning others from God’s holy truth.
In August, we focused on Soli Deo Gloria which means “For the Glory of God Alone” but also translated as “Glory to God Alone”. The application of this term has been used by great composers such as George Frideric Handel who wrote the wonderful Handel’s Messiah to which people around the world join in praise to God every year, since its inauguration, during the Christmas season. Handel made sure the purpose, clarification and understanding of his musical work was produced solely for the purpose of praising God and NOTHING else. This IS the reasonable service for those who are the sinners turned servants and saints of the most high God. These do all things for His glory and for kingdom of God.
September was the month we studied deeper with the phrase Sola Fide…by faith alone…sometimes called “the material cause or principle”, became the central doctrinal issue for many Christian reformers throughout the history in 16th century. Excluding the false teaching that good works is necessary for salvation, Sola Fide confirms that justification is received by faith ONLY without any need, deeds or acts of good works. Martin Luther, the great reformers, often called Sola Fide the “doctrine by which the church stands or falls.” May the church of this 20th century present age stand in the faith of Christ and Christ alone!
October brings us to the fourth out of five “sola’s! Sola Gratia. This Latin word means grace alone. This describes us as sinners and clearly identifies God as the salvation of sinners by His grace and His grace alone. A sinner is not accepted by God on account of the change that the believer has done by his own works instead, it is by God's grace, confirming that anyone is accepted into God’s loving arms without any regard for the merit of his works. Of course this person must believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved…
I know what it means but what does it mean?
Most of us have heard of the word grace and use it in a everyday format such as
saying a prayer before eating a meal, training children to have patience with
their siblings or even when we counsel a loved one in a situation when they are treated unfairly, yet through calming the emotions of our loved one, we encourage them to let the offender “off the hook” by giving them grace, overlooking the problem and remembering that we most often have acted in the same way sometime in our life.
The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary describes grace as unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification. A virtue coming from God and a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace.
The Greek transliteration for the word grace is charis, used 156 times in the New Testament. It comes from the root word of χαίρω which is used 74 times in the NT
These translations include definitions such as:
Grace= which means that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech. Good will, loving-kindness, favor =which means of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues. Thanks= (for benefits, services, favors), recompense, reward. What is due to grace= 1) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace 2) the token or proof of grace, benefit, bounty, a gift of grace.
G. W. Wright says it right
G.W Wright in writings pens this phrase…
“When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay for his time, that is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award—yet receives such a gift anyway—that is a good picture of God’s unmerited favor. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.”
Moving from Salvation to Sanctification
Once a person accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior they are saved from their sins and eternal damnation and instead welcomed into the kingdom of God. Which by the way all of heaven rejoices when one sinner becomes a saint and has a great big party! (Read Like chapter 15 ) This is salvation in Christ and him alone. Now that a person has repented from their sins, saved by the blood of Christ and welcomed into the kingdom of God, now what do they do now? We workout our own salvation through following the example of Christ, not via our own efforts, but only through the grace of God. Sola Gratia clarifies the difference between salvation in Christ, and the sanctification of Christ. Through the grace of God He spiritual grows us through the Holy Spirit, not through our own works preparing us for glorification, but through God and Him alone, so no one gets the glory but Him.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you each one!
Resource: Clip-Art Features for Church Newsletters, G.W. Knight, p. 53
©Copyright 2014 Simone Lake. All Rights Reserved.
© Copyright 2014 Deep Roots in Christ Ministries. All Rights Reserved
About the author:
Simone Lake is a Christ follower, bride of Pastor Dr. John Lake, Bible teacher and a passionate pray-er. Visit her: , www.simonelake.com, facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.