Lord’s Library contributor Jared Helms offers a simple Sola Fide meaning in English for Christians with Bible verses and key Scripture. Check out Jared’s YouTube channel and two blogs: A Light in the Darkness and Blind Faith Examples.
The Five Solas include both direct and indirect support throughout Scripture. This is the very reason we hold these distinct doctrines as Protestants, they are thoroughly Biblical. So when asked to provide proof texts for the Five Solas of the Reformation, our first thought is to point to the whole of Scripture; and we maintain this is a valid response. However, there are a few clear passages to support Sola Fide below.
In this resource, we offer a Sola Fide meaning by citing the clearest and most direct Bible verses. Providing a Sola Fide meaning from the Scripture is fairly simple. It’s also important to note that some verses will appear in support of multiple Solas, but this does not indicate that we are lacking proof texts. Rather, it shows that the Solas are connected and that their connection is Bibiblical and not of human origin.
Note: To help draw out the connections and provide a basic Sola Fide meaning, we will use a classic formulation as our header below.
Sola Fide Meaning
Sola Fide Meaning: Through Faith Alone
Sola Fide represents that we receive grace by faith, apart from any works. We accept God’s unmerited favor (grace) trusting (in faith) that His offer is good. Good works are the result of faith and a sign of genuine faith. We do not have to go on pilgrimage in order to have faith, but in faith, we walk our pilgrimage towards Heaven. See Romans 1:17: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
Other religions and philosophies offer grace only after all one’s efforts have been exhausted. The Council of Trent in responding to the Reformation very clearly contradicts this doctrine of grace alone through faith alone:
Canon IX, sixth session of the Council of Trent: “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.”
This is not the same gospel as Paul taught the Galatians, Romans, or anyone else, nor is it taught by anyone in Scripture. It is not the true gospel.
Sola Fide Meaning: Bible Verses
John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Romans 1:16-17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
Romans 3:28: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
Romans 4:3-5: “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
Romans 5:1: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
Romans 11:6: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
Galatians 2:15-3:14: “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
2 Corinthians 5:2: “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:”
Acts 15:10-11: “Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”
Philippians 3:9: “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
As we have said, this is not an exhaustive list of Sola Fide meaning supporting Scriptures as that list would just have one entry for the Five Solas of the Reformation: Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21.” The Solas are not man-made ideas, but rather man’s summation of God’s good news to all of us. Any of us can be saved from the eternal death we deserve by grace through Jesus Christ alone. God’s own word tells us so. To God be all glory. Amen.
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