The Five Pillars of the Reformation
5.2.2021 – Week 2 – Solus Christus
Solus Christus – “In Christ Alone”
“We reaffirm that our salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father. We deny that the gospel is preached if Christ’s substitutionary work is not declared and faith in Christ and his work is not solicited.”
– The Cambridge Declaration, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
What it means:
- Accomplished – The work of Jesus Christ secured salvation for His people. “It is finished.”
- Mediatorial – Christ is the only mediator between God and man. He is the God-man. He alone can stand for us before a holy God. Hebrews 4:14-16
- Substitutionary Atonement – Our existential sin was placed forensically upon Christ at the cross. His existential righteousness is imputed to us forensically. i.e., the Great Exchange. Our guilt was removed by Christ’s work. 2 Cor. 5:21
- Justification – It is an act of God’s free grace, whereby He pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and received by faith alone. Romans 3:21-26
- Reconciliation – The result of Christ’s work on our behalf. Romans 5:9-11
What it does not mean:
- Christ’s work does not simply get us in, or give us a boost, and then leave us to keep God’s favor on our own. His righteousness is imputed to us, not infused in us (the Catholic view).
- Membership in a church, or circumcision, or baptism, or any other outward sign does not save us. Christ + nothing leads to salvation.
Application and Discussion Questions:
- Why else do you think this doctrine would have been crucial during the Reformation?
- What other things do people try to throw into the mix when it comes to Christian salvation today? What else do they say we need?
- Because of sin, we all tend to try and add something to the work of Christ. In what ways have you done this?
- It is a constant struggle to believe that our justification is final. Why is it so important to believe that our hope is secure in Christ alone?
“As evangelical faith becomes secularized, its interests have been blurred with those of the culture. The result is a loss of absolute values, permissive individualism, and a substitution of wholeness for holiness, recovery for repentance, intuition for truth, feeling for belief, chance for providence, and immediate gratification for enduring hope. Christ and his cross have moved from the center of our vision.” – The Cambridge Declaration