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THE REFORMATION PERIOD, 1500–1648
The Reformation was built on the foundation of the centrality of the Bible.
The Five solae are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English. The five solae articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice.
Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")
It means "only scripture" and it excludes church tradition and church interpretation as elements to define doctrine. Sola scriptura is the teaching that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative word of God, is the only source for Christian doctrine, and is accessible to all. "Scripture interprets scripture" is a governing principle of many Protestant denominations.
Sola fide ("by faith alone")
It means "only faith" and it excludes the good works as necessary for salvation. Sola fide is the teaching that justification(interpreted in Protestant theology as "being declared just by God") is received by faith only, without any mixture of or need for good works,
The Sola fide doctrine is sometimes called the material cause or principle of the Reformation because it was the central doctrinal issue for Martin Luther and the other reformers. Luther called it the "doctrine by which the church stands or falls.
Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
It means "only grace" and it excludes the merit done by a person to achieve salvation. Sola gratia is the teaching thatsalvation comes by divine grace or "unmerited favor" only, not as something merited by the sinner. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God for Jesus' sake.
Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone")
It means "only Christ". Solus Christus is the teaching that Christ is the only mediator between God and man, and that there is salvation through no other (hence, the phrase solo Christo, meaning that salvation is "by Christ alone").
Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone")
It means "only glory to God" and it excludes veneration or cult given to the Virgin Mary or to saints. Soli Deo gloria is the teaching 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.