5 things every christian should know
There are a myriad of truths, endless revelations, and never ending wisdom to experience, live by, and behold in the Christian walk. There are, however, 5 key things that we believe every Christian should know, understand, and be able to explain to others.
As a result of the 1500’s reformation, Protestant Christians partnered with the Holy Spirit to condense our core Christian beliefs into 5 statements. These are referred to as “The 5 Solas” (“sola” meaning solo, alone, or only).
5 Things Every Christian Should Know
These 5 statements play a huge role in what makes our faith in Jesus unique to other belief systems. The 5 Solas are:
- Sola Scriptura: “Scripture Alone”
- Sola Fide: “Faith Alone”
- Sola Gratia: “Grace Alone”
- Solo Christo: “Christ Alone”
- Soli Deo gloria: “To the Glory of God Alone”
At YWAM Asheville, we believe that every human is able to hear the voice of God. This is a foundational teaching that students receive in a YWAM DTS. Since God speaks to us all in different ways, it is important that we have means to verify if it really is Him who is speaking to us. God will never contradict something He has already revealed to us in Scripture. Therefore, we use Scripture as a measuring stick to make sure that our lives, actions, and beliefs are in line with the truth. It is Scripture alone that we use as the road map in everyday life as a Christian, and Scripture alone that we use as a “true north” when navigating gray areas. Christianity is nothing more than an interesting idea if it is not rooted deeply in the narrative of Scripture.
Holding the Bible as holy, relevant, and authoritative does not mean that Christians can’t find truth or learn from other sources or life experiences. What “Sola Scriptura” conveys is the weight and reverence that we are to give only to Scripture. Because we believe it is the word of God, it is the ultimate authority for us; not culture, not preference, not emotion, not logic…We choose, by faith, to allow Scripture the final word in all matters.
“The Bible is alive, it speaks to me. Is has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.”
God often demonstrates His lavish generosity towards humanity in the form of relationship. Much like a loving parent, God promises to take care of our every need, temporal and eternal, if we would simply trust Him to be our provider. (Matthew 6:25-34)
Our God is not asking for good work, sacrifices, or rituals in in exchange for His favor. He extends favor to those who have faith in Him, in His accomplished work on the cross, in His character, and in His ways.
“Sola fide emphasizes salvation as a free gift. The Roman Catholic Church of the time emphasized the use of indulgences (donating money) to buy status with God. Good works, including baptism, were seen as required for salvation. Sola fide stated that salvation is a free gift to all who accept it by faith (John 3:16). Salvation is not based on human effort or good deeds (Ephesians 2:9).”
The word “faith” is used in society for many different things. But unlike the majority of these meanings, Sola Fide points to the deep convictions Christians cling to in every season of life. Faith that He is God and faith that He is enough.
It is by faith alone that we are made right with God (Gal 3:11). It is by faith alone that the Christian receives the gift of grace.
Christianity is often mistakenly viewed as a set of rules to live by in order to get to heaven. This is a very damaging perception of our faith because it distorts the true message of the Gospel! What makes Jesus beautiful? Grace. What makes Jesus different? Grace. What makes Jesus worth it? Grace.
The reality that no human throughout all of time could ever perform their way into heaven is not a surprise to God. He never expected us to behave or be “good enough”. Giving HIMSELF in our place was always the plan. Grace was always the plan.
2 Timothy 1:9 “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” [emphasis added]
We are invited into a BETTER way of living on this side of eternity as a result of grace, not as a means to obtain it.
Ephesians 2: 8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
True Christianity has no place for a list of rules that make you feel better than other people. That is the exact religious and toxic mindset that Jesus came to demolish. The banner over Biblical Christianity is “We are all broken and there’s nothing we can do about it…and because God loves us, He made a way for broken people to be made whole.”
It is grace alone that gives us the freedom we all ache for. It is grace alone that warrants our next breath. And it is grace alone that should dictate how we treat ourselves and others.
This may seem simple enough at first glance, but the concept of exclusive Lordship can be pretty offensive. The majority of other belief systems refuse to attribute deity and divinity to a singular being. Still others refuse to accept that humans are not capable of achieving divinity. Solo Christo communicates that there is no God but Yahweh and no means by which to come to Him but through Christ. We do not rely upon a priest, shaman, or spiritual guide to enter the heavenlies. We are free to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16) because we know Christ in us is more than enough to give us full access to God. It is Christ’s SUFFICIENCY, in every way, that is so astounding.
Prior to the Cross, God’s people relied on prophets, kings, judges, or priests to access God. But when the veil in the temple of Jerusalem tore from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51), God made clear that Jesus’s sacrifice alone had made a way for all humanity to enter the holy of holies, once and for all.
To the Glory of God Alone:
“Soli Deo gloria emphasizes the glory of God as the goal of life. Rather than striving to please church leaders, keep a list of rules, or guard our own interests, our goal is to glorify the Lord. The idea of soli Deo gloria is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Not only does this concept challenge religious ladder climbing, it pushes back against the world’s way of self promotion and it’s obsession with autonomy. When a believer surrenders their life to Christ, they surrender their rights as well.
One of the things that I love most about being a Christian is the daily death and resurrection I get to experience that brings indescribable peace. Because I have chosen to die with Christ, I have chosen to rise with Him as well. So the life I now live no longer belongs to me, but to God. I have the immense pleasure of bypassing the things of life that cause so many to navel gaze and trip over their own feet, because I am not living my own life any more. It’s not about me! What freedom! I’m given the honor of choosing, instead, what glorifies God most in each situation. And what glorifies God ALWAYS, without fail, edifies me. This is not a permission slip to be passive, quite the opposite. This is a war cry within the heart of every believer to be zealous about the things that bring God glory!
The 5 Solas are a treasure. They have come to us today because of the tireless and sacrificial work of the church over many centuries. I am grateful for a heritage of reformers that refuse to let anything get in the way of the Gospel, and denounce any force that would try to pollute it. You can learn more about the 5 Solas here. (The linked article is the source for the external sources included above.)
In a YWAM Discipleship Training School, we dive deep into each one of these truths in different ways. In a DTS lecture phase, students are given biblically grounded teaching on the sufficiency of Christ’s work, His worthiness to be Lord alone in our hearts, and the tools to live a life that glorifies Him. Then, in the outreach phase, students have the opportunity to practice demonstrating the transformational power of the Gospel. If you (or someone you know) are ready to take your relationship with God to the next level, apply for the next DTS at YWAM Asheville. The only YWAM DTS requirements are the completion of highschool and a heart ready to say “yes”! Apply today in just 3 minutes for free!