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In Christ alone we have salvation; there is no other person, or means, or good works by which we can be saved

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Chris CookstonThe last column I wrote covered the first of the Five Solas, Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone). Today's focus is on the next sola, Christ Alone (Solus Christus). Unfortunately, Jesus Christ and His work on the cross is frequently set aside by many for a message and ministry that is cloaked in worldliness. Entertainment, therapy and individualism have replaced the truth. And so it should not be surprising that many teach that there are multiple ways to God, but the Bible tells us that there is only one.

The Bible sets forth absolute truth, and it teaches that in Christ alone we have salvation. There is no other person, or means, or good works by which we can be saved. Thus, by "Christ Alone" we mean that Jesus Christ is the only Savior, the only Sacrifice, and He is the only Mediator (Terry L. Johnson, The Case for Traditional Protestantism).

The Only Savior. Jesus Himself said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6). Jesus repeated the definite article three times showing that He alone is the only Savior of the world. And He strengthens this point by saying, "No one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6). Peter echoes Jesus in Acts 4:12: "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." Jesus is THE way to God. He is the only Savior and, it is only through Him that we have forgiveness of sins and are declared righteous before God.

The Only Sacrifice for Sin. Our heavenly Father is holy and just. He does not wink at sin nor can He ignore our sin. God has a righteous requirement for sin. "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). In the Old Testament God's righteous requirement was met through a priestly system where animals were continuously sacrificed to God as an atonement for sin. For God to be present with them, and for them to approach Him in worship, sacrifice was necessary. And so, when Jesus died in our place as the Lamb of God, He literally became our Sacrifice "once for all" (Hebrews 10:10). The Bible makes clear that He is the only sacrifice for our sin, "For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14). Jesus Himself teaches that he became our substitute as He gave His life as "a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). And to teach that His death was in our place and for our benefit, He said, "This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many" (Mark 14:24). Truly Jesus is the only substitute, the only sacrifice for sin.

The Only Mediator. How do I receive the promise of God's forgiveness for my sin? Do I go directly to God the Father? No. God is too pure, perfect, and holy. We cannot deal directly with Him without the Mediator. A mediator is one who intercedes on behalf of another person. Jesus functions as our Mediator. He is the One who stands before God on our behalf. It is through His death that we receive the blessings of God. "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5). "And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1b). "Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies, who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us" (Romans 8:33-34).

Jesus is the only Savior, the only Sacrifice for sin, and the only Mediator between God and man. This truth is an amazing relief since we know that our salvation is not obtained by our good deeds, personal righteousness, or genealogy, or membership, but it is in Jesus Christ alone.

Just as it is written, "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Titus 3:5-6).

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