The Solas of the Protestant Reformation
Sola Scriptura The Bible is the sole written divine revelation and our supreme guide and rule for faith and life (Matt. 4:4; 2 Tim. 3:16).
Sola Fide Salvation is by faith alone. By God's free grace, the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to us by faith and is the sole ground of our acceptance by God, by which our sins are pardoned (Rom. 5:1; Gal 2:16).
Solus Christus Jesus Christ is the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed (John 14:6; John 3:16).
Sola Gratia Our salvation rests solely on the work of God's grace for us (Rom. 2:4; Eph. 2:8-10).
Soli Deo Gloria Salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God. Therefore, to God alone belongs the glory (Isa. 42:8; Col. 3:17).
Covenant Theology & the Sacraments
Jesus Christ is the only Savior. He is the ultimate revelation of God's character because He is God Himself; and, thus, He perfectly fulfills the requirements of the Old Covenant, the Covenant of Works. To put it another way, God keeps His promises made to His people by means of Himself. The work of Christ Jesus satisfied the justice of God and ushered in the New Covenant, the covenant in which God's grace is poured out upon sinners who could not keep the Covenant of Works. God has saved His people unto Himself by the finished work of Jesus Christ. The New Covenant is based upon faith in the work of Christ rather than our own meritorious works (Jer. 31:31-34).
Sacraments are holy ordinances instituted by Christ Jesus, which function as signs and seals of the New Covenant, and, thus, they are given for the benefit of God's people. They signify spiritual realities while also confirming participation in what they represent. The Westminster Confession states that the sacraments exist "to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church and the rest of the world; and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to His Word" (27.1).
There are two sacraments in Scripture: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is a rite of initiation, which replaces circumcision (Col. 2:11-12), a sign of the Old Covenant with Israel, as the unique mark placed upon God's people and their children (Acts 2:39). Baptism is a sign and seal of the New Covenant given in Christ Jesus and also of entrance into the visible Church. The Lord's Supper, on the other hand, is a rite of fellowship. The Jewish Passover, as an Old Covenant meal, corresponds to the Lord's Supper, as is made clear in the Gospel accounts of its institution (Matt. 26; Mark 14; Luke 22). Bread and wine (or juice) represent the body and blood of Jesus. All who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ are welcome to participate in the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:26-30). By faith in Christ alone, believers show forth His death and receive spiritual nourishment as they partake of the elements (John 6:35, 53; 1 Cor. 11:26).