Cross Points 7/3

Solus Christus (Christ Alone)

“This is the testimony; that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (I John 5:11-12).

Both sides of the Catholic-Protestant debate agree on one thing: sinners (you, me) could not approach a holy and righteous God without a mediator.  The difference lays in the path.  The Catholics placed the priest in this position, who administered the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church.  Their system has a name, which is sacerdotalism.  You might not recognize the name, but probably are familiar with other words that have the same root, such as sacred and sacrament.  They all have the idea of making something holy.  For Catholics the priest distributes the grace of the sacraments.

Protestants object to this system.  Why?  Because they believe it removes Christ from his rightful place as our sole mediator.  Paul in his first letter to Timothy stated, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all” (I Timothy 2:5-6).  Protestants believe that we have direct access to God through Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God and advocates for us with the Father.  “If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (I John 2:1).

A non-Christian must initially recognize Jesus for who he is, believe in him, respond to him with repentance and submitting to baptism, and then live a life of faith with God’s Word as the guide and the church as the support system.  Then, as a Christ-follower, as we occasionally and continually commit sin (hopefully not often, hopefully we improve, but we all will make mistakes), we are forgiven by Christ continually as we stay attached to him in faith.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).

The rub with many people is when we say Christ is the only way to God, the only way to heaven.  “How can that be true?” they will ask.   People want options, they want their own favorite path to work.   But in every other area of life, we realize that only one path leads to a single truth.  You cannot make a cake with sand instead of sugar just because you sincerely believe you can.  You teach your kids that 2 plus 2 equals 4, not any other number, only 4.  Water consists of H2O, not CO2 or any other chemical combination.  Why do we think it will be different with religion?  God has one way, one formula, one prescription, that saves: Jesus Christ!  It is the only way.  “But what about? …” and the search for an exception continues.  I don’t know all the answers, but I cling to the Bible’s message, because it is the authoritative document from God that guides us.  And I know that Jesus’ sacrifice satisfies the justice of God (punishment for sin) and the love of God (providing salvation by grace through faith in Christ, undeserved, but reserved for those who follow).  Nothing else does that.

You can talk about scripture, about grace & faith, but bottom line they must all be attached to Jesus the Messiah for them to provide what we need.  Scripture points to him, grace and faith provide the path.

Cross Point: Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).  We should rejoice!  And then spread this good news to family and friends.