A month ago we began a six-part series which explores an event 500 years ago that recaptured the heart of Christianity. Over the centuries, Christianity had drifted into all kinds of error and abuses. The way of salvation had become hard to find because of false teaching. So a brave Catholic monk named Martin Luther nailed to the door of a church a list of 95 abuses he wished to debate with church leaders, and that sparked a “reboot” of Christianity. Those who led this “reboot” stood up for five key truths:
 Scripture alone—“Sola Scriptura”—is our source of truth.
 The only solution for man’s self-centeredness is the sinless God-man, Jesus Christ. In the Reformer’s words, “Solus Christus”: Christ Alone.
[3 & 4] “Sola Gratia” and “Sola Fide” mean “only grace” and “only faith”. The Bible clearly teaches that we’re saved “by grace through faith alone”.
Jesus came to forgive us for our self-centeredness. But God himself is the most self-centered person in the universe (Isaiah 42:8 & Habakkuk 2:14)! God commands us to praise him (Psalm 150). Is God a megalomaniac? No—he qualifies as a genuine mega! He is great. God spoke the universe into existence and always knows where each atom is at every moment. This brings us our fifth & final sola:
 “Soli Deo Gloria”—“to the glory of God alone”. We were never designed to be self-centered; we were created to be God-centered. This is what it means to “glorify” God. God is the most self-centered person in the universe—and paradoxically—being around this self-centered God is the only pathway to real joy for those who are his children by grace, through faith (Isaiah 42:8; Habakkuk 2:14).
As a result of being born again, as a result of having God as our Father, we love him. Oh, we don’t love him perfectly yet—but we will. But before we’d repented and believed, we hated God and the idea of answering to him. But now that we love God we want him to get the recognition he deserves (John 17:24), and this brings us great joy (1 Peter 1:8; Revelation 19:7; Matthew 13:44).
So, how do we increase our joy in life? We make “soli Deo gloria” our goal (2 Corinthians 5:15 & 9). Our hearts are never neutral. We are either for God or we are for ourselves. We must choose. What’s exciting about this is that literally anything becomes an opportunity for us to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
- If you are not absolutely confident that you have received God’s free, gracious forgiveness, trust Christ to save you today. Salvation is “by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone”. If you would like to know God personally, contact us here (connect.tcc.org) Scroll down to the Ministry Information Request section and mark the first or second checkbox. We look forward to helping!
- Throughout this week, meditate on 2 Corinthians 5:15 & 9, asking yourself: (1) “In what common situation of my life would I be most embarrassed for Christ to be watching over my shoulder?” (2) “In this situation, who am I trying to please?”, then (3) Ask God to help you make it your goal to please him instead.
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, identify and write down one, concrete step of obedience, small or large but doable, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)