By Scripture alone
This phrase implies – correctly! – that scripture alone is the primary and absolute source for all doctrine and practice (faith and morals).
Probably the most well-known verse that sums it up is: ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Because scripture is God-breathed (i.e. divinely inspired), it has divine authority. Among other things, the Church has a significant teaching role but, like us as individuals, it too must submit to the divine authority and content of scripture.
It’s very important that we have knowledgeable pastors and teachers. It’s also helpful to have creeds, confessions of faith and certain traditions PROVIDED that they’re fully compatible with and based on scripture. It’s also our personal responsibility to ‘test all things’ (1 Thessalonians 5:21) in the light of scripture.
• Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)
The only method: Our salvation is solely by the sovereign grace of God and not dependent on any action or condition man provides.
• Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
The only means: Our justification before God is by faith in Christ alone and not by works.
• Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
The only mediator: Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and man; salvation is possible only by His death and resurrection.
• Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)
The only ambition: All glory and honour are due to God alone.