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St. Peter Lutheran Blog

October 2017

Sola Fide: Faith Alone

Our look at the Three Solas of the Lutheran Reformation continues with Sola Fide – latin for Faith Alone.

Can you think of a situation where you’ve had to rely on faith? We can have faith in many things – a teammate, a spouse, a higher power, even faith in humanity. Phrases like, ‘You have to believe in yourself” and, “I believe in you!” are commonplace in our society. In each of these situations, faith is confidence or trust in someone or something, but unfortunately it can often let us down. How is Lutheran faith different?

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Sola Gratia: Grace Alone

In honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this month, we'll look at the "Three Solas" that comprised the foundation of Luther's teachings. This week we'll look at Sola Gratia - Grace Alone.

“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!” Christians love to sing of the saving grace of God—and rightly so. John tells us about Jesus that, “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” (John 1:16). Many of the New Testament letters begin and end with the writers expressing their desire that the grace of Jesus would be with His people. The very last words of the Bible read: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Rev. 22:21).

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Why Do Lutherans Celebrate the Reformation?

October 31, 1517 - Reformation Day - was  remarkable day in history, and is still celebrated among Lutherans today. It is the day on which Martin Luther, a devout Catholic monk, posted the "95 Theses" - errors Luther found in church doctrine and practice that he wanted to bring to light, in hopes of returning the church toward the truth.

Luther’s belief that Scripture alone is the sole authority for doctrine enabled him to question the church. Scripture, he argued, said that Christ’s death fully satisfied the penalty of sin. The Bible states that a person is justified or “declared not guilty” of his sin by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone. At the time, Luther had no intention of leaving the church he hoped to reform, but his commitment to the Scriptures as the sole authority branded him as a heretic and led to the splintering of the Christian Church at that time. Now instead of there being one Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church which broke away from the Catholic church some centuries earlier, Lutheran and other "Protestant" churches would appear as well.

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