Sermon Outline 4 Jun 2017 – The Only Way To God Is Jesus Christ Alone
a. Meaning: Christ Alone
b. Prior to the reformation, and still today, the Roman Catholic Church taught that we are saved, not only on the basis of the work of Christ, but Christ and others. They taught people to depend on the meritorious works of others, on their own good works, on the intercession of the saints, on the money (indulgences) they would give to the church, on the repeated sacrifices of Christ in the Mass, and much more.
c. The reformers, beginning with Luther, brought Christians to see that Christ has done everything we need for Salvation. He has paid the full price for our sins in his death. There is no more need for sacrifice to pay for sins, and there is nothing that can be added to the work of Christ to help us win favor with God. God forgives men and women, loves them, receives them as his friends, and takes them to heaven only because of what Christ has done on the cross for sinners.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
The issues about the relationship between other religions and Jesus Christ is one of the most controversial questions of today. Many believe that there are many ways to God, and what matters is being faithful to your own religion. So is Jesus Christ the only way to God?
Christ Alone in Reformation Theology
500 years ago, while Europe believed in Jesus Christ, the big question was whether Jesus Christ alone was the only mediator between human beings and God, or whether Jesus + the Virgin Mary were 2 mediators. Further, there was the question of whether Jesus was the only High Priest, or whether Jesus+ Roman Catholic Priests (& especially the Pope) were Priests with Jesus. The Reformation believed that Jesus Christ was the only mediator & the only Priest. So, all Christians could have a direct relationship with God in Christ, you didn’t need any human go-betweens.
Christ Alone as the Only Way in Scripture
Key passages are John 14:1-6; Acts 4:1-12.
- Christ’s “I am” statements echo the God of the Bible’s statements about him being the only God & Saviour in Isa 44:6-8; 45:18-25
- So, when Christ says “I am” he means that he shares in the identity of the true God himself
- Jesus says he is The Way to God (not a way), he is The Truth of God (not a truth), and The Life of God (not a divine life)
- Notice the negative “no one comes to the Father except by me.”
- In Acts, Peter challenges the Jewish leaders, who believed in the God of the Bible, to believe God has himself appointed Jesus as only person with the power and authority in all creation by which human beings must be saved
- This Jesus was rejected by the Jewish leaders (as foretold by Ps 118:22) who has become the new & true temple
Living by Christ Alone Today
- Christ is the only Way
- Other religions are not a way to God
- Christians should witness
- Christians should maintain the uniqueness & exclusiveness of Christ
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion:
“This will become still clearer if we reflect that the work to be performed by the Mediator was of no common description: being to restore us to the divine favor, so as to make us, instead of sons of men, sons of God. Who could do this unless the Son of God should also become the Son of man, and so receive what is ours as to transfer to us what is his, making that which is his by nature to become ours by grace?”
“We have a sure inheritance in the heavenly kingdom, because the only Son of God, to whom it entirely belonged, has adopted us as his brethren; and if brethren, then partners with him in the inheritance (Romans 8:17). Moreover, it was especially necessary for this cause also that he who was to be our Redeemer should be truly God and man. It was his to swallow up death: who but Life could do so? It was his to conquer sin: who could do so save Righteousness itself? It was his to put to flight the powers of the air and the world: who could do so but the mighty power superior to both? But who possesses life and righteousness, and the dominion and government of heaven, but God alone?”
1. Why is Christ the only Way?
2. Why might non-Christians object if we say Christ is the only way?
3. How can we best witnesses?