The five solae refer to 5 Latin phrases that summarize the Protestant Reformation. They are:
- Sola scriptura (by Scripture alone)
- Sola fide (by faith alone)
- Sola gratia (by grace alone)
- Solus Christus (through Christ alone)
- Soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone)
Sola scriptura is the foundation of the others and was covered in a previous blog. Together they describe the way to salvation.
Three of the solae are found in Ephesians 2:8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (NIV).
That's it. There are no rituals; no rules to follow; no symbolic acts.
Many Baptist churches have traditions surrounding the salvation event. These include the invitation where people are invited at the end of the service to come forward and make a public profession of faith. Sometimes they are prompted with instructions to bow their heads and close their eyes. Many times the preacher will pray a model “sinners prayer” that people can repeat. These activities are not essential to salvation. All that is needed is grace (God's) and faith (in Jesus Christ).
Baptism follows a profession of faith in Christ. This is not needed for salvation. The thief on the cross made it to heaven without baptism (Luke 23:39-43). Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change.
Certainly a person who is “born again” exhibits different behavior after salvation. The Bible tells us, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Changed behavior is evidence of salvation, not a prerequisite.