By grace alone

Ephesians 2 8-9Not only is October 30, the eve before “All Hollow’s Eve,” better known as “Halloween,” but today is also the day before Reformation Day. In actuality, on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” to the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany, igniting the Protestant Reformation.

The following comments are taken from an article discussing the Reformation Day and its significance in more detail:

The Verse of the Day for October 30, 2015 comes from Ephesians 2:8-9 rendered in the Amplified Bible:

For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].

This passage relates to one of the five phrases that summarized the movement. Using the word Sola the Latin word for “alone,” these basic theological beliefs stood boldly in opposition to the prevailing teaching of the Roman Catholic Church at the time.

  • Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”) teaches that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative Word of God, the only source for Christian doctrine, and is accessible to all and that the Bible requires no interpretation outside of itself.
  • Sola fide (“by faith alone”) teaches that justification, the act of “being declared right by God”, and assumed to mean exactly “salvation”), is received by faith only, without any mixture of or need for good works, though in classical Protestant theology, saving faith is always evidenced by good works.
  • Sola gratia (“by grace alone”) teaches that salvation comes by God’s grace or “unmerited favor” only. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”) teaches that Christ is the only mediator between God and man, and that there is salvation through no other.
  • Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”) Teaches that all glory is to be due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.

With Scripture alone as the sure foundation, Luther and the Reformers associated with the movement, affirmed that justification is by grace alone, received through faith alone because of Christ alone — for the glory of God alone. Today Christians around the world give thanks to God for Martin Luther’s bold proclamation which occurred 498 years ago, as God’s design for Church continues to unfold.

The Verse of the Day relates to one of these distinctive phrases connected to the grace of God. Apropos of that grace connection, the Maranatha Praise Band offer “By Grace Alone”

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