Almost 500 years ago there was a famous protest against the church at Rome. Today we call it the Protestant Reformation. These “protesters,” men such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin, were passionate about many things but they can be summed up in 5 statements. These 5 statements are called the 5 Solas (Sola is a latin word which means “alone”). Grace Fellowship Church continues to be very passionate about these 5 statements and they are the driving force behind our church and our ministry to Clanton.
1. Scripture Alone – We believe that Scripture alone is our ultimate authority. No man, no church, no council may claim authority outside of what the Bible says. The Bible is our only rule of faith and life. It teaches us about the story of redemption, about God’s love and about our responsibility for the poor and the marginalized.
2. Christ Alone – The sacrificial death of God the Son is what reconciles us to God the Father. It is only through His blood that we may be saved. Jesus is the second Adam, therefore fulfilling the promise that no other man in history could have fulfilled. He is our only hope, joy, healing, and peace. There is nothing that can take His place and above all other things this is what we desire to offer to our church and our community.
3. Grace Alone – We are saved by God’s grace alone and we believe that there is nothing in us nor is there anything generated by us that caused God to love us. We have no claim upon God and so when God saves some, He does so based solely on His grace. When this is realized and embraced, it produces a genuine love for God and a genuine and “gracious” love for others without distinction.
4. Faith Alone – We are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone. Our standing with God has nothing to do with our works but only through our faith in Him, which is a gift given to us. When put into theological shorthand the doctrine was expressed as “justification by faith alone,” the truth by which the church stands or falls, according to Martin Luther. Realizing this causes us to share the love of God with others, knowing that God is not interested in someone cleaning themselves up in order to make themselves right with Him. Instead God saves His beloved based, not on their outward appearance or behavior, but on a heart that believes.
5. To God Alone be the Glory – This is what the apostle Paul expressed in Romans 11:36 when he wrote, ‘to Him be the glory forever! Amen.’ These words follow naturally from the preceding words, “For from him and through him and to him are all things” (v. 36), since it is because all things really are from God, and to God, that we say, ‘to God alone be the glory.’