by Johnathan Arnold

We hope and pray that you take time on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation (October 31, 2017) to pause, reflect, and be humbled by the mighty hand of God in history. But, even if the name Martin Luther never crosses your mind, there is one thing that every Christian should be thinking about: the timeless Word of God.
This is the perfect time to meditate on some of the most precious verses in all of holy writ. These texts are easily filtered through five categories we call the five solas: Scripture alone, faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. These Latin slogans are relevant and even exciting because they powerfully and concisely capture our holy faith. Most importantly, they are firmly rooted in Scripture and thus ultimately reliable.

The five solas remind us to be a Word-centered, gospel-centered, Christ centered, and God-centered people in an ever-changing religious scene. They help us to “keep the main things the main things.” Here are 13 Bible verses that affirm the five Reformation slogans and clarify the truths they represent.

First, read them in their context. For example, 1 Corinthians 10:31 says “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Why does Paul use eating and drinking as an example? How does it inform what it means to do everything Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God alone)?

Second, meditate on them. Think carefully and prayerfully about how they applied to the reformers’ historical circumstances. For example:

  • How meaningful was it for the reformers, coming out of the Catholic church, to know that Scripture was profitable for doctrine (2 Timothy 3:15-16)?
  • What are the implications of 1 Timothy 2:5, that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man, when the religious landscape was dominated by priests?
  • After a life of fear, uncertainty, and rigorous self-discipline, how life-changing was it for Luther to know that being justified by faith, he finally had peace with God and could stop trying to earn his salvation (Romans 5:1)?

Third, highlight them in your Bible. Again, these verses are some of the most foundational texts in the Holy Scriptures. They are a crash course in the Christian faith. Highlighting these verses will make them easier to find and draw your attention to their importance in the future.

Fourth, memorize them. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). If memorization scares you, don’t worry! It is mostly a matter of time, not ability. Commit yourself to learning one verse from each category. Read each selected memory verse 10 times, then say it 10 times without looking. Review each verse in the coming days.

Even if the name Martin Luther never crosses your mind this Reformation Day, there is one thing that every Christian should be thinking about: the timeless Word of God.

Scripture Alone

“The holy scriptures…are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:15-16, abbreviated). Read these verses in context.

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20-21). Read this verse in context.

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). ​​Read this verse in context.

Faith Alone

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) Read this verse in context.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Read this verse in context.

“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness…no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” (Galatians 3:6-11, abbreviated) Read these verses in context.

See also Romans 3:28Romans 9:31-32, Romans 10:9.

Grace Alone

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24) Read this verse in context.

“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.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Read these verses in context.

Christ Alone

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) Read this verse in context.

“Jesus Christ of Nazareth…is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12, abbreviated) Read this verse in context.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5). Read this verse in context.

See also Ephesians 1:3-7.

The Glory of God Alone

To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 1:25) Read this verse in context.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Read this verse in context.

See also Isaiah 43:7.

For more on the Five Solas, read