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Unfortunately, Christ's work on the cross is often shirked by pastors and churches for a message that is cloaked in worldliness

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Chris CookstonOne of the five solas of the Reformation is Solus Christus. The Bible sets forth that salvation from our sins can be found only in Jesus Christ. There is no other person or means 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).

Unfortunately, Jesus Christ and His work on the cross is often shirked by pastors and churches for a message that is cloaked in worldliness. Entertainment, therapy and individualism have replaced the truth. Sadly, many teach that there are many ways to God, but the Bible tells us that there is only one.

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 exclusive 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, 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 it. 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 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). 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). He became our substitute as He gave His life "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 our only substitute and our 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 us. This truth is an amazing relief since it emphasizes that salvation is not obtained by our good deeds, personal righteousness, genealogy, or membership to a church. Salvation is Solus Christus, that is, in Jesus Christ alone. All to the glory of God alone!

Chris Cookston is the pastor at Prineville Community Church. He can be reached at 541-447-6315.

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