Christ Alone (Solus Christus)

Why ‘Christ alone’ if Christ is never alone?

(Continued from Introduction to the Five Solas)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6 (ESV)

In the beginning, John tells us, the Word was with God and the Word was God, He was with God in the beginning. Jesus is the Word. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If the Trinity is one of our chief doctrines in Christianity, why do we also say, “Christ Alone?”

“Five Solas,” as it turns out, is a bit of misnomer. While each “sola” points to a particular doctrine, the doctrines work together. Each “sola” is a short hand label to summarize a doctrine. It’s not that we only need Christ and not faith, grace, and Scripture. Solus Christus, Christ Alone, is short for “Christ alone is our savior.”

Definition of “Christ Alone”

“Christ alone”, or in the Latin Solus Christus, is a principal promoted during the Reformation by Martin Luther, John Calvin and others. The purpose of the slogan is to note the centrality and sufficiency of Jesus Christ in our salvation from sin, death and hell. It is not meant to diminish the role of grace, faith, and Scripture, in the Christian life, but to remind us they come only from Jesus.


Martin Luther emphasized “Christ Alone” because he believed the Roman Catholic Church was teaching alternate ways to be saved. One could call on the Pope, or Mary and the saints, and in Luther’s day, indulgences. Solus Christus was, and is, intended to remind us Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and humanity, and salvation comes only by grace through faith in Him according to the Scriptures.

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 ESV

Paul the Apostle wrote Christ’s death and resurrection are the key point to Christianity. Without the death and resurrection of Christ there is no salvation. We would still be dead in our sins with no hope of eternal life. It is the key stone of the Christian faith. Remove, or diminish, the key stone and the entire structure falls apart.

Solus Christus underscores our salvation by God’s grace, through faith, because if Jesus alone is our savior there is no need for good works, or any other mediator to receive salvation. The works of Christ are sufficient for our salvation.


The Roman Catholic Church objects to the Christ Alone doctrine because they teach Christ is never alone. While the Roman Catholic Church holds Jesus up as Lord and Savior, it teaches He is never alone with regard to our salvation because He speaks, or acts, through Mary, popes, priests, saints, and the traditions of the church.

I can’t help but get the feeling we’re talking past each other.

This is a quote from the Catholic Exchange on why Solus Christus, even when defined as “Christ Alone is our Salvation”, is a false teaching.

The argument is that we need Christ alone — no interference or assistance from the saints, priests, popes, or Mary. But the practical effect of this false teaching is that devotion to the saints and Mary and obedience to priests and popes is eliminated from the life of the Christian.

This is at odds with a fundamental reality of the gospels: Christ is always with other people. Rarely does someone meet with Christ alone. Indeed, one strains to think of when Christ is ever alone. Rather, from the very beginning Christ relates to the world through other persons, through a community.

Why Protestants Err in Claiming ‘Solus Christus’, by Stephen Beale

This statement is accurate with regard to Jesus’ ministry; he sent out his apostles to be His witness and spokesmen to the world. This doesn’t mean Jesus intended our salvation to come through anyone other than Himself. But the objection from the Roman Catholics does not stem from a desire to diminish Christ, even though that is the result, but rather to protect the institution and traditions of the Roman Catholic church. Roman Catholics believe their church is the one true church. Protecting it makes sense. But that’s a topic for another time.

What does this mean?

Is Christ alone?

He is not.

I and the Father are one.

John 10:30 ESV


And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3:16-17 ESV

Does Christ leave us alone?

He does not.

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:20b (ESV)

But Christ alone is the one who saves us by God’s grace through faith, and He is the only one who securely holds our salvation.





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