Comparing Sola Fide and Sola Gratia
Sola Fide, or the salvation by faith alone, has become the basis for the Protestant faith. When Luther split from the Catholic Church in 1517, his new doctrine was based on five key principles: 1) grace and sovereignty of God, 2) faith, 3) scripture as the word of faith, 4) the church as the fellowship of saints and the priesthood of all believers, and 5) the fallibility of man and his institutions. As important as all five of these tenants are, the first two, and especially the belief in faith truly separate Protestantism from other branches of Christianity. This is how Protestantism separates from Catholicism, in the fact that Catholics believe in good works to obtain God's grace and that Protestants believe only in Sola Fide.
In 1517 Luther started the whole Protestant reformation by producing his Ninety-Five Theses. In these theses, Luther went on to denounce the act of Sola Gratia, claiming that selling of indulgencies to the Catholic Church was not a valid nor a moral way to gain salvation. Up until that time it was common practice for "religious" men to prove their holiness by giving good works to the church. A good work was an act done for the purpose of removing sin, for example donating money to the church, or the confessing of a sin. Luther claimed that The Creator disregarded good works, and that Christians needed to come up with a new form of achieving salvation. His suggestion was Sola Scriptura coupled with Sola Fide. The principle of Luther's proposal claims the Canonical Scriptures, especially the New Testament to be the only infallible source and rule of faith. Luther also felt that the teachers of the scripture were subordinate to the Bible and its lessons. In ...
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...ce in the Protestant faith, instead everything revolves around a sovereign God that expects and only tolerates total faith. Because it is in the scripture it is so. The truth lies in the scriptures, and the word of God is truth. And it is this acceptance of the scriptures that allows you into God's good graces; only the word of God can garner a Protestant a space in heaven.
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Fortress Press, 1960
2.) Phillip Schaff, The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia
Of Religious Knowledge, Funk and Wagnalls Co., 1908
3.) Robert Zaehner, The Concise Encyclopedia of Living Faiths,
Hawthorn Books, 1959
4.) Emmanuel Twesigye, The Global Human Problem,
Peter Lang Publishing, 1998
5.) Roger H. Crook, An Introduction to Christian Ethics,
Prentice-Hall inc., 1999