Sola Christus

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 25, 2020 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Today is Christmas Day, the day that Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Of course, there is no formal evidence that this day is the day, but the birth of Jesus is one of the core events that changed the world. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, one with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, came down to the earth, to live as a mere mortal man and for one primary purpose: to bear the sins of the world.

This is another central piece of the five “solas” of Christianity: “Christ Alone.” Again, this goes back to Martin Luther and what he saw with the Roman Catholic Church. They did not preach salvation by Christ alone, the one mediator between God and man. They preached salvation through Christ, but also through Mary, through the saints, through prayers/rites, and through the priests. Mary is held in an equally venerable position as Jesus Himself with her own Immaculate Conception, sinless perfection, and remaining a virgin, all of which Scripture vehemently denies and teaches the opposite. Jesus is the only Savior, the only one who could do it. Only one could open the scroll in heaven. John wept when he saw it could not be opened, but the Lamb who was slain showed up and He opened the scroll.

There is talk in numerous churches today about “unhitching” the Old Testament and only being concerned about the Resurrection. While Jesus’ death and Resurrection are indeed the central point and climax of this great epic of history, the reason He had to die is laid out in Genesis 1-3. The manner of which He would die is showcased throughout Israel’s history. The reason God waited around 4000 years from creation to the cross is to give snapshots throughout history of what Jesus would be like and what He would do, using physical images to showcase the spiritual side. Each of these snapshots, along with 300+ prophecies, make Jesus such a unique individual such that only one person could do it: someone who was God. It would be impossible for any man or group of men to intentionally plan someone’s birth and carry that person through the whole ordeal to “stage it.” God set it up that way on purpose.

Jesus is the only hope for salvation. God is a holy, pure, and righteous judge, and by His very nature and character, He must deal with sin as any good judge must issue a sentence for any crime against the state. The key difference is unlike our local, state, or national governments where there are different punishments for different crimes, the punishment for any sin against God is eternal damnation. And the key difference isn’t the level of crime. The key difference is the person or thing the crime is against. In “American Gospel: Christ Alone,” Sean Demaras put it this way. If you go outside and take a key and scratch a rock, there is no harm done. It’s a worthless rock. If you go to a junkyard and key a junked car, you’ll get fined for trespassing and minor vandalism. If you key someone’s new Toyota or Ford, that’s a higher level of vandalism. If you key a brand-new Mercedes Benz that’s still on the lot, the crime just became steeper. Why? Not because of the action. It’s the same crime in each case, but what changes is the value of that which the crime is committed against. And what could have greater value than the Lord of Glory? The reason a “finite” crime merits an infinite punishment is because the crime is against an infinite God. As a result, only the infinite God could pay that debt.

Jesus is the only one who could do it. There is a big push within Christian circles to promote a teaching called universalism. It’s very strong in the Progressive Christianity circles. Rob Bell and Brian McLaren are just two of the big names teaching it. William Paul Young (author of “The Shack”) teaches it. Joel Osteen teaches at least some notion of it. Younger preachers like Todd White and Stephen Furtick have sat under the tutelage of these people and in particular Richard Rohr who has a lot more in common with New Age mysticism than actual Biblical Christianity. They all have something in common: they refuse to teach that the only way to heaven, the only way to right that which is wrong, is through Jesus Christ. They will readily make an excuse for anyone who doesn’t believe this truth which Jesus Himself declared. And even if they do let this truth cross their lips, they deny the deity of Christ, reducing Him to a mere man who was “raised” to God-like status, all the while teaching that we sinful wicked humans can likewise reach God-like status. This is blasphemy. Jesus and ONLY Jesus can save mankind. (Check out “American Gospel: Christ Crucified” to see these claims on display.)

Jesus is not like anything we’ve ever seen. The Jews were expecting a military general who could chase out the Romans. Why would they? In part because every deliverer they had prior was a military leader who beat their physical oppressors. Instead, Jesus showed up as a humble man, born in a stable to a poor family. His father, Joseph, was out of the picture so we don’t know where Mary was living. We can only guess with Jesus brothers. And He did things totally different from anyone’s expectations. This is part of what it means to be “holy.” God is “other than.” He is not like us. He is not like anything we could comprehend other than what He has revealed to us. He does things differently than we do or would think, which is why the crucifixion of a Savior is a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. It doesn’t make sense to the natural mind. The only way it will make sense is by the supernatural illumination of the Holy Spirit, but once you have that illumination and you can see a lot more of the facts, it all makes logical sense. What this means is we must do things God’s way. He’s got the whole thing under control and knows all the facts. He does not defy logic and is a God of order, but man is not. We have to do things God’s way, or God will let the results of our way take its toll.

Only Jesus can offer salvation. Salvation is only accessible through Jesus. We cannot replace Jesus with anyone or anything and get the same result. Muhammad won’t save you. Buddha won’t save you. Science won’t save you. We cannot supplement Jesus with anything or anyone. Jesus doesn’t ask for Joseph Smith to give final approval for your salvation. He doesn’t give Mary or any saint or any priest permission or the ability to forgive sin. Only God Himself can forgive sin. Only God can heal the paralytic, cure the incurable disease with a touch, cast out a demon with a command, calm the wind and the waves with a word, or multiply food, let alone raise the dead. Jesus is the only one who can pull that off. He is the Savior. He is the only option we have that actually can work. And unlike any other savior or hero, Jesus never fails. There is not a single person who has completely and wholly trusted Jesus alone who ever regretted it.

Next week on New Year’s Day, I’ll kick off the new year with the conclusion to this series with “For the Glory of God Alone.”

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