In our previous post, we introduced you to the five solas of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), Solus Christus (Christ alone), Sola fide (faith alone), Sola gratia (grace alone), and Soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone).

We also shared the concise summary of the Gospel these solas create: “Christians are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed by Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone.”

Now, let’s delve into the meaning of solus Christus. It’s essential to understand that each of these solas is built upon the foundation of sola Scriptura. Scripture alone provides us with the framework and information to comprehend who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for us.

It is also crucial to reemphasize that grasping the significance of the five solas isn’t just for theologians or historians; it holds relevance for us today. As we explore, solus Christus in this in this post we hope you can see the great relevance these eternal truths have for us in the here and now.

What Is Solus Christus?

Solus Christus is simple: it is the teaching that we are saved by Christ alone. No other man, no institution, no good work can make us right with God—only the blood of Jesus can do that. Jesus is our only High Priest (Hebrews 4:4) who sacrificed Himself so that we could live. He is the only mediator that can connect us to God (1 Timothy 2:5). Buddha can’t bring you to God, Mohammad can’t bring you to God, the Virgin Mary can’t bring you to God, and you can’t go to God on your own. Only Christ can save (Galatians 3:13)—solus Christus.

This also means that we cannot depend on anything good that we do to save us. The Apostle Paul tells us in Titus that Jesus saved us through the washing of the Holy Spirit and nothing that we did (Titus 3:5). He gave us a new type of righteousness, a righteousness given to us through faith in Jesus Christ and not our own merit (Romans 3:22).

Remember, at the time of the Reformation this was groundbreaking as the Roman Catholic Church had been teaching that salvation could be earned through good works and even through buying passes of righteousness called indulgences from the church itself. Imagine salvation being purchased with money!

Instead, the Reformers went to scripture to prove that Jesus is our only hope, emphasizing that selling the grace of God on the street in the form of indulgences was evil. After all, as Jesus declared in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” This steadfast commitment to the exclusive role of Jesus as the path to salvation formed the cornerstone of the Reformed theological stance and remains a guiding principle for us believers today.

The Five Solas: Solus Christus Today

Okay, so the Roman Catholic Church made a mistake back in the day but does solus Christus matter today?

Yes, because regardless of the era we inhabit, be it the age of the Reformers or our contemporary period, the temptation exists to rely on something other than Christ for our salvation, our identity, and our happiness.

As John Calvin insightfully noted, this inclination is deeply ingrained in human nature. Calvin claimed that the human heart was a factory of idols. We will find anything to replace Christ. This is why it’s so important to constantly remind ourselves that it is only Christ that can help us from our selfish sickness.

The significance of solus Christus extends beyond historical contexts; it serves as a timeless reminder to guard against the perpetual allure of idolatry and to uphold the exclusive preeminence of Christ in matters of salvation.

Why Does It Matter for You?

If we mix in our own efforts or look to the idols of our own making for salvation, e risk promoting what Luther termed a “theology of glory” rather than a “theology of the cross.” This shift not only distorts the authentic narrative of salvation but also diminishes the rightful glory due to Christ as our formidable Savior. Luther’s distinction encourages us to carefully assess our beliefs and practices, ensuring they align with the true essence of the cross, salvation from our sins through the blood of Jesus.

Instead of looking inside ourselves for wholeness and instead of looking to the outside world for help we should turn our eyes onto Jesus Christ for everything we need. Solus Christus is a call not to rely on yourself. Not to rely on the world. But to rely on Christ.

Cling to Him and breathe easy knowing that by His power alone are you made right with God.