The Five Solae are the five essential doctrines that the Protestant Reformation was fighting for. Alongside things like the Priesthood of Every Believer and allowing a Bible to be read by anyone in their native tongue, these were the reasons that the Reformation started (A lot of those reasons, including these five doctrines, are the reasons it still continues). They were often considered the battle cries of the Reformation. They are:
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV)
Written to oppose the Catholic Church's teaching on Papal Infallibility, Catholic Tradition, Prima Scriptura, and the Apocrypha, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (Latin for "Scripture Alone") states that the Bible alone is sufficient for all doctrine. If a doctrine is to believed, it must be drawn from Scripture. Anything that contradicts the Bible is not to be considered true. Any extra-biblical sources of Doctrine, from Papal Bulls to Gnostic Texts to Sarah Young's Jesus Calling, are to be rejected. The Bible is complete and sufficient, so no modern prophecies are to be trusted.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV)
Sola Gratia (Latin for "Grace Alone") is the belief that we are saved only by God's Grace upon us. We are not and cannot be saved by our own works, which are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). The Catholic Doctrines of Penance, Purgatory, and Infused Righteousness are the reason that this Doctrine exists. All of them, in some way or another, teach a works based salvation, while the Bible so clearly teaches we are saved by God's Grace alone.
"...yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified." (Galatians 2:16, ESV)
This Doctrine is similarly opposed to Penance, Purgatory, and Infused Righteousness, but also slightly touches on Inclusivism. Sola Fide (Latin for "Faith Alone") is the doctrine that states that we are saved through Faith alone. Meaning, while we are saved by Grace Alone, that saving Grace is only Given through Faith, not works. If we needed to earn our salvation, not one of us would ever work enough to obtain it.
"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12, ESV)
Solus Christus (Latin for "Christ Alone") is the belief that salvation comes only from Christ and that human effort cannot attain Salvation (Thereby denying Penance, Purgatory, and Infused Righteousness), and that salvation is only found in Jesus Christ (Thereby denying Inclusivism).
Soli Deo Gloria
"Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies - in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." (1 Peter 4:11, ESV)
The final Sola is Soli Deo Gloria (Latin for "Glory to God Alone"). While the Catholics would give glory to Mary, the Pope, and those who were given the title of "Saint", the Reformers would say that Glory to God Alone. He is the only one who is worthy of worship, praise, and glorification. He alone is the author of our salvation; all things exist to glorify Him. This doctrine leaves no room for the veneration of saints that the Catholic Church does, nor does it leave any room for any pridefulness. Even the good works we do are from God, and they are to be used for His glory.
About the Author
Brandon C. Hines is a young writer from somewhere in northern Alabama who writes about Theology, Polemics, and Apologetics. His beliefs are best summarized by the 1689 London Baptist Confession.
You can search for various topics I have written about by going to Google and typing in a keyword, then typing site:Learningthepath.weebly.com after it.