The meaning of the title to this post, and subsequent posts, is that salvation comes through and by Jesus Christ and no one else. In our modern world, you will often get at least two responses to such a statement.
How can you say I need to be saved? Saved from what?
Most people will admit that sometimes they might need help in emergencies, like in a flood or fire, but people tend to deny that they need to be ‘saved’ in any ultimate sense. Many simply say that when you are dead, you’re dead and that’s it. No final judgment, no worries.
The thought that they might have done anything bad enough to need saving is offensive, and even if they’d admit to having done great wrong, they tend to assume that, somehow, they can manage the consequences themselves.
Why is it only Jesus who saves? What about all the other religious figures; why only Jesus?
These are the sorts of questiona I hope to answer.
These modern responses to the proposition that Salvation comes through and by Jesus Christ alone are nothing new. They have always been the standard reactions to this proposition. You only need to read the Bible to hear the same sorts of things said by people long ago.
Such thoughts are evidence that we are not thinking about things the Bible way. For human beings the situation is not difficult-but-manageable. The situation is desperate. Our plight is not something we can manage, because the case is closed as far as our actions are concerned.
This is the real difference between the message of Jesus Christ and other religions. Other religions tell people what they must do to fix their situation. The message of Jesus is what He and He alone has done that really does save sinners.
First, then, does the bible teach Christ alone? I’ll suggest that the following few passages support a ‘yes’ answer.
- You will call his name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
- “Father … remove this cup from me, but not my will, but yours.” Mark 14:35-36 (Jesus implies by his acceptance of the role as saviour that no one else can do the job, and that it was the particular job – dying on a cross – that needed to be done. Compare Mark 8:27-33)
- I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10
- I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except by me. John 14
- There is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy. 2:5
- As sin came by one man and death by sin, so the gift of righteousness will reign in life though one, Jesus Christ. Romans. 5:17
- You were once without Christ, without hope in the world. Ephesians 2:12
But I think Acts 4:1-14 really makes the ‘Christ alone’ position clear. Please see the next post.