Sola Gratia - Amazing Grace

October 22, 2023 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: 5 Solas of the Reformation

Topic: Christian Living, The Gospel Scripture: Luke 18:9–14

The concept of grace as found in the Bible is multifaceted, but it can be summed up in the definition “undeserved favour.” The Bible says that we are saved by grace. However, the line of difference in our understanding of grace and all other religions lies in a single word, that word is "alone". The Reformers realized that this point of difference was essential to a biblical understaning of grace, and that is where the "solas" come in. The word 'sola' is a latin word, which means 'alone'. Sola Gratia, means 'grace alone'. 

The Catholic church taught that we are saved by Grace, but the reformers insisted there was error in that statement. The Reformers maintained that the sinner is saved by the grace of God, His unmerited favour…. alone.

Salvation by grace alone means that, from first to last, it is undeserved. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Grace is not God doing 95 or even 99.9 percent, with us making up the difference. Grace is God doing 100 percent, and our humble acceptance of it, recognizing that we are unworthy and have nothing to contribute. No one can ever stand before God and say, "Look at me and at what I have done!" God is no one's debtor!

We are saved by the grace of God alone.

  1. Two Men (v. 10)
  2. Two Prayers (v. 11-13) 
  3. Two Results (v. 14)

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18, illustrates for us what grace looks like and how God's grace is freely shown toward the guilty tax collector, in spite of merit and in contrast to his demerit. The two prayers of the two men in this parable represent two contrasting views of how to approach God; one on the basis of supposed good works and the other on the basis of God's grace. 

Jesus shows us in this parable that good works or works righteousness do not gain a single person acceptance with God, no matter how religious that person is. The only way a person gains acceptance with God is by God’s mercy. Acceptance with God is gained by acknowledging sin and trusting in God’s provision of payment for that sin in the person and work of Jesus. God’s grace alone saves sinners.

Getting Started                          

  1. As children we often told exaggerated stories about our parents to impress others. Can you remember a story that started with these words; “My dad/mom has a bigger and better…...”?
  •  Read Luke 18:9-14
  1. What insight, principle, or observation from Sunday’s sermon did you find to be the most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling?

Digging Deeper

  1. Who did Jesus target this parable’s teaching towards (18:9)?


  1. In Luke 18:9, self-righteousness and contempt for others go hand in hand. How is this link demonstrated by Jesus’ parable in Luke 18:10-14?


  1. What was the rule Jesus used from which He judged these men (Luke 18:14)?

The Heart of the Matter

  1. Why does adding our good works to faith as necessary for salvation, a denial of Sola Gratia and the gospel itself? (see Romans 4:2, 11:6, Ephesians 2:8-10)


  1. In what areas of life do you ‘have confidence in yourself?’ Is this good or bad in light of Luke 18:9?


  1. Many people who have a religion or philosophy are self-righteous. They think their ways are better than others and so as a result ignore God and despise others. This is also true sometimes of those who profess to be a Christian. Do you know of any such people? How do you know you are not like this?



More in 5 Solas of the Reformation

October 29, 2023

Soli Deo Gloria - To Him be Glory Forever

October 15, 2023

Solus Christus- The All Sufficient Saviour

October 8, 2023

Sola Fide - The Gift of Faith