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My First Tattoo: Solus Christus

When people see my tattoo, they ask, “What is that?” And I say, “It’s one of the Five Solas of church history.” And then they say, “What’s that?”

We’ve forgotten the Five Solae! In fact, I think we’ve gotten away from church history. We’ve forgotten where things started and we don’t remember who we were originally supposed to be. God created the church. It was designed to be the mystery of God.

solus christusI’ve done several studies of church history. I haven’t done an in-depth study, but I think I get the gist of it. The Five Solae, which summarize the basic beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, have always stood out to me. There’s Sola Gratia, by grace alone, Sola Fide, through faith alone, Soli Deo Gloria, for God’s glory alone, and Sola Scriptura, according to scripture alone. And then there’s Solus Christus, in Christ alone.

“Solus” means “solely,” or “alone,” so the Five Solae say something about our own individual journeys. My journey is different than the journey of the person next to me.  My journey is different than your journey. When you look at the Five Solae, you think, all right, what is my journey? Maybe it’s Sola Gratia, or maybe it’s Sola Scriptura. Only you and God know.

I would love to have tattoos of all Five Solae, but I don’t necessarily want to put a tattoo on every part of my body! So the one I chose had to personally mean something. It had to signify the journey that God has made for me. And the Sola that jumps out and attacks me the most is Solus Christus. It sums up everything. Do I believe that Christ is the only way to God? Yes. I believe Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man sees the Father except through Him.

When I do something, I do it with the understanding that I do it in Christ. When someone asks me, “What drives you to be who you are,” the answer is Christ. He’s the reason I do the things I do. I try to view things the way that He wants me to view things. I didn’t hang with the guy every day like his disciples got to do, but I have the Spirit inside of me, which now puts Christ in me. Solus Christus. It’s in Christ that I do the things I do.

I know I will stand before the throne of God one day and He will say, “Jeremy, sometimes you were wrong.” But I’m willing to accept that. It’s not like we get to go through life depending on an audible voice from God on every single topic. We read in Luke that Peter, John, and James went up on the mountain with Jesus to pray, and a cloud came down and out of the cloud God spoke and said, “This is My beloved Son. Hear him!” We don’t all get that opportunity. But because of who I am in Christ, I ask for wisdom, and in Christ, I do what seems right. I try to. I do things in the hope that I get it, that I understand how Christ would do it.

That’s what Solus Christus means to me, and it’s why it was my first tattoo.

See you Thursday.

4 thoughts on “My First Tattoo: Solus Christus

  1. Awesome! I have loved that tatoo since the beginning and to read your reasoning makes it even more special… Yes, Christ IS our hope and our answer.

  2. The Five solae are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers’ basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means “alone” or “only” in English. The five solae articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice. All five implicitly rejected or countered the teachings of the then-dominant Catholic Church, which the Reformers claimed had usurped divine attributes or qualities for the Church and its hierarchy, especially its head, the Pope .

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