by Scott Johnson
Solo Christo means "Christ Alone". In his Son Jesus Christ, God has given his people all things necessary for salvation, life, and faith. Christ alone is the one mediator, or go-between, between sinful man and a holy God. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). The Reformers stressed this crucial biblical teaching in the face of Roman Catholic doctrine that encouraged Christians to seek other mediators among the saints and in the priesthood. Though God does use means of grace to save and sustain us (namely, the Word, sacrament, and prayer), our reconciliation with God, our salvation from sin and death, our having forgiveness of sins, and our strength for faithful Christian living are founded solely upon the person and work of Jesus Christ. In him, we have been given every spiritual blessing; in him we lack absolutely nothing (Eph. 1:3, Col. 2:9, 10).
Though the Reformers had prevalent Roman Catholic errors specifically in mind when they taught Solo Christo, the truth that salvation is based exclusively on Christ’s finished work must be stressed today, as well. Not only is Catholic teaching alive and well, but many people today, even professing Christians, would see in their own basic decency (or good deeds) the basis, at least in part, for their acceptance by God. However, Solo Christo means that what is impossible for man to do - to save himself, or even help save himself - God has done for us in his Son (Mark 10:27). Just as there is no other mediator between God and man, so there is no other way to come to God except through this one mediator: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).