Wednesday, December 22, 2004

SOLUS CHRISTUS. Jesus said to his disciples, Thomas in particular, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He was speaking of the way to heaven and the Father.

On other occasions, he said it in different ways. He told Nicodemus anyone who believes in him would have eternal life. He told the Samaritan woman at Sychar whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst and that water will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life. He told Jews who were plotting to kill him that whoever hears and believes his word has eternal life and will not be condemned, but will cross over from death to life.

He told the crowds he would give them food that endures to eternal life and that he is the bread of life. He said everyone who looks to him and believes in him will have eternal life and Christ will raise him on the last day.

Peter understood the message. In his first sermon, he said salvation is found in no one else but Jesus. There is no other name under heaven given to us by which we must be saved.

John understood the message. He said those who receive Jesus, those who believe in his name, receive from Jesus the right to become children of God.

Paul understood the message. He said the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The writer of Hebrews understood. He said we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all.

James understood, though some have questioned. He said the Father chose to give us birth through the word of truth.

Jude understood it. He called Jesus our only sovereign and Lord, and ended his letter by saying “to the only God our savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore.”

There have always been those who cannot take Jesus at this word. Oh, they might believe he is the way to heaven, but surely something should be added. They usually add works of some sort, or ceremonies. The Jewish Christians wanted to add circumcision. Paul said no. Some want to add baptism, or membership in their church.

Some want to add good works. It is a shame that those who claim Peter as the founder of their religion do not understand the issue as Peter himself did. That made "Solus Christus" one of the cries of the Reformation. The Reformers wanted to return the church to Christ’s teaching: I am the way.

Some will accept Christ as the way, but want to include others. But Jesus said no one comes to the Father except through him. There is no other way. All roads may lead to Rome, but they do not all lead to eternal life.

Let’s cling to Jesus’ words today. He is the way. Let’s cling to the cry of the Reformation: Solus Christus.

Semper Reformata.

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