Aside from being a full-time medical student, I also serve our local church as a worship leader and head of publications in print and online. This year, Christendom will be celebrating the 500th year of the Reformation, which was led by Martin Luther, giving way to reforms in the whole Christian church. Every week, I post some reflections on the events of the Reformation, writing about some points on it. This is our post for this Sunday:
To say that the Reformation ideas have only gained prominence in Luther’s time during the Middle Ages is not correct. During the prominence of the state church during their time, underground churches and numerous communities that held fast to the truth of God’s Word flourished. There have been many martyrs in the faith, including the numerous Waldensians, the Lollards led by John Wycliffe, the Hussites led by Jan Hus, and William Tyndale, whose theology centered on God’s Word, proclaiming that salvation is only through Christ alone.
The fifth sola, Solus Christus, or ‘through Christ alone,’ give emphasis to the Christian fact that Jesus Christ Himself plays a central role in the salvation of men. During the time of the Reformers, it was possible to seal one’s fate which could guarantee a soul to skip the torments of purgatory and directly enter heaven for a price. This is in line with the tradition that priests are intercessors between men and God and that they, if only given enough powers, can mandate a person’s salvation or doom.
But Hebrews 4:15 explicitly says that there is no other High Priest, but Jesus, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.”
Christianity itself bears the name of Jesus Christ because He alone is the reason why we are in this faith. Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole,'” which means He is our Redeemer. 1 Timothy 2:5 says that “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” which means He is our only mediator.
Acts 4:12 proclaims, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” It is only through Christ alone. Solus Christus.
This sola summarizes what the other four say and is central to why the Reformation happened. Man, as instructed by sola scriptura (scripture alone), can only be saved through sola fide (by faith alone) and sola gratia (by grace alone), giving soli Deo gloria (all glory to God alone), all because of solus Christus (through Christ alone).
We continue to preach this truth, and as the 500th anniversary of the Reformation draws near, we are compelled to hold fast to the faith and ask for God to continue what He has begun in us.
Martin Luther said, “I must listen to the Gospel. It tells me not what I must do, but what Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has done for me.”
Colossians 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”