The third of the five solas we have been looking at is Sola Gratia, this means by grace alone. A foundational belief that our salvation comes as the divine gift of grace or “unmerited favor.” This goes hand in hand with the belief that salvation is by faith alone.
Biblical support for the doctrine of Sola Gratia can be found in several passages. Paul says; “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Paul emphasizes that salvation is a gift of God’s grace, given freely to those who have faith in Christ, [by faith alone] and not something that can be earned through works. In Romans 11; we read, “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” (Romans 11:6) This passage also underscores that salvation cannot be a result of both grace and works – it must be one or the other.
Paul, the NT champion of grace, writes to Titus and says; “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7) Hear again; he emphasizes that our salvation is a result of God’s mercy and grace, not because of anything good or righteous that we have done. Let’s not forget Romans 3:24; which states, “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
While Sola Gratia teaches that salvation is a gift of God’s grace, it does not negate the importance of faith. The reformers believed that faith is necessary to receive salvation, as it demonstrates a person’s belief [faith] and their reliance [trust] on God for salvation.