Lord’s Library contributor Jared Helms offers a simple Sola Gratia 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 Gratia below.
In this resource, we offer a Sola Gratia 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 Gratia Meaning
Sola Gratia Meaning: We are saved by Grace Alone
Sola Gratia means that we are saved by God’s unmerited favor apart from any works of our own in keeping with 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.”
We contribute nothing to salvation, it is received from God. Salvation is the work of God, and He has not needed our help. Furthermore, we have not in any way merited God’s grace. This whole notion is calculated to keep us humble before God and men.
Sola Gratia Meaning: Bible Verses
Ephesians 1:1-22: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,”
Ephesians 2:1-10: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Romans 3:20-24: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
Romans 5:20-21: “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
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.”
2 Timothy 1:9: “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”
Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
As we have said, this is not an exhaustive list of Sola Gratia 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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