The glorious Protestant Reformation was built on 5 foundational principles. These are collectively known as The 5 Solas. Below is each of the terms in Latin with an English translation, followed by a brief description.
Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”). This means that the Bible alone is the ultimate authority. Although it can be beneficial to study things churches have historically taught, the Bible rises above even the greatest of human teachers and tells us what to believe and how to live.
Sola Fide (“faith alone”). This means that we are saved simply by faith in Christ. While ordinances like the baptism and the Lord’s Supper are important, they do not confer salvation.
Sola Gratia (“grace alone”). This means that we are saved purely through God’s grace and not by our merits or achievements. God gets 100% of the credit!
Solus Christus (“Christ alone”). This means that Jesus alone is our Lord and Savior. In the end, we all answer to him and we all are saved by him.
Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”). We live for God’s glory, not our own. In every decision and every course of action, God’s glory is our ultimate and primary concern. Whatever else we do, we want to make much of him!
All of these 5 Solas were embraced by the magisterial Protestant Reformers. They have been codified in Reformed confessions such as the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.