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Sola Fide....Latin for "faith alone," it was one of Luther's main beliefs and opposing Catholic teachings.  He believed the Catholic church misled people when they said whoever purchased indulgences would be free of their sins or at least reduce the time of sinners spent in purgatory.  Luther did not believe that acts of charity or good works earned God's salvation.  Salvation cannot be earned.  Salvation comes only from having faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Sola Scriptura....Latin for "scripture alone," was also on the Luther's main beliefs; the Scriptures are the only authority concerning the business of faith for Christian believers.  He denied the pope's authority to teach the word of God through is own interpretations that were contray to Bible Scripture, including teaching believers to pray directly to Mary and the saints.  Luther accused the pope and the Catholic church of distorting Biblical truths and corrupting Christian teaching, and he came to believe that the Bible, interpreted by Individual believers, was the only true authority of faith for Christians.  He believed that faithful Christians must consider the Bible Scriptures as the authentic word of God.  Guided by the Holy Spirit, they can then interpret its meanings for themselves.

Sola Gratia....Latin for "grace alone," is a belief that Luther shared with the Catholic church, with this exception:  the Catholic church endorsed that although salvation is made possible by grace, faith and works of people are means to sustain grace.  The church was endorsing a mixture of both reliance upon the grace of God, and confidence in the merits of a believer's own works performed with love.

For the Lutheran tradition, the doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone through Christ alone is the principle upon which all other teachings rest.

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