There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.Acts 4:12
Jesus *said to him,”I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.John 14:6
There is one God. There is also one mediator between God and humans – a human, Christ Jesus.He sacrificed himself for all people to free them from their sins. This message is valid for every era.1 Timothy 2:5-6
These are three very definitive statements (among others) which claim that there is only name given as the way of salvation, that Jesus is that One Way and that there is One mediator between God and mankind, that is Christ Jesus. When you look at those bold, exclusive statements it is very clear. Oh, it might not be palatable but it is clear nonetheless. I wish to mention only the Jehovah’s Witness claim that Jesus is a way not The Way. They build their argument on John 14:6 and “how that there is no definite article in that verse. I.e. Jesus is a way to God, an example of truth and one particular life style to follow, out of many. “But that is only in their copy of the Bible. It is not the case in the Greek text where the article is clearly present. It is a smoke screen. Why? To soften the blow of the idea that not all roads lead to God – only one. It is objectionable to many people that Christians would claim theirs is the only way. No, Christians don’t claim Jesus is the only way –God does!
We don’t live multiple times, going through successive phases of reincarnation until we get it right. The Bible is clear:
We die only once, and then we are judged.Hebrews 9:27
Reincarnation is not an option. Religions are examples of human belief systems of men and women working out their salvation, working their way toward God. If we can just try a little harder we will make it. I run across people most weeks who have the idea that Christian belief is that “we do our best and God will take care of the rest.” “God helps those who help themselves.” [That last saying always struck me as though it was an invitation to thieves to help themselves.] Many people think that they just need to be good and keep the 10 Commandments. The idea is that in the end if my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds then I will be ok. But what does God think about it?
Paul says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”Romans 3:23
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.Isaiah 64:6
That is the reality of human nature. Most are familiar with Paul’s description of his battle with his own desires in Romans Chapter 7. Do you still think you don’t need a Saviour and can get yourself to God by your own observance of the religious Law? Are you aware that the Law was given to expose the depravity of your sin? We all think we can get there, we just have to strive a little more to be good. The Bad News and the Good News is that you can’t. It’s like one of those good news / bad news jokes or your worst nightmare. That is why Paul starts the book of Romans with the bad news. Until we know the bad news, we humans are not prepared to accept the Good News. Once we are really made aware of our plight we come to realise we can’t do it on our own. That, my friend, is exactly what God is wanting to hear you say. Most of us want to control our own lives and steer our own car. God is waiting for the moment you let go and confess your need for your Creator to take over and let Him have the wheel. Is that clear enough for you? Not yet? Well, take note of the following.
Jesus came and told the disciples and the listening crowd that He had come to fulfil the Law. But what does that mean? There are all sorts of opinions. Let’s read the original statement together.
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.
So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’
But I say, if you are even angry with someone [without cause], you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.Matthew 5:17-22
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’
But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.Matthew 5:27-29
Still want to get yourself to heaven on the basis of keeping the Law? Don’t even bother trying. Jesus made it clear to achieve God’s righteous standard by Law keeping is impossible. But God has to make it possible for us human beings to be saved and made right with Him again.
Announcing the GOOD NEWS
“But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus.”Romans 3:21-26
Martin Luthur said, “It is well worth a Christian’s while not only to memorize this section word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily . . .”
Clipped From Gem 154
Remember these Scriptural quotes? “Our righteous before Him is as filthy rags”. (Isa 64:6) and “unless your righteousness greatly exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven!” (Mat 5:20) Note Paul says, “now a new righteousness of God is being made known”. This is not our righteousness (which is filthy); it is not your righteousness which needs to be better than that of the scribes and the Pharisees. This is God’s righteousness. What does that mean? The righteousness that God has; is clothed in? Or the righteousness that he gives? This is a different kind of righteousness than what has been around before.
Note too that this passage is filled with words that come from the same root. But often they are masked with a different meaning in the translation.
δικαιωθῇς “right” (3:4) ἀδικία “unrighteousness”, δικαιοσύνην, “righteousness”, ἄδικος “unrighteous” (3:5) οὐκ ἔστι δίκαιος “none is righteous” (3:10) δικαιωθήσεται “will be justified” (3:20) δικαιοσύνη “righteousness” (3:21) δικαιοσύνη “righteousness” (3:22) δικαιούμενοι “justified” (3:24) δικαιοσύνης “righteousness”(3:25), δίκαιον “just”, δικαιοῦντα “justifier” (3:26)
Note how many times Paul uses the word Righteousness and it derivatives. Do you think this word and its derivatives are important to Paul’s theme? You’d better believe it.
Notice the spread of the meanings from this word. It runs from unrighteousness (made by putting α in front of δικος or δίκαιος) then from “right” > “to be right” > “to be righteous” > “to have righteousness” > “to be just” > “justify” or “to make righteous”.
This word as Paul uses it, doesn’t mean just to be right or be righteous. The concept here fits with his notion of man’s standing with God. No one is in right relationship with God. We are not right before God. Not one of us. We all fall short. We cannot stand in the “heavy” presence of God as we are. We would be fried. So man runs from God’s presence. The word righteousness speaks of how man can be right with God; in right relationship and right standing with his Maker. To be put in the right, to be made right or in right relationship with God. How does it happen when all mankind is separated from God and has no chance of being in His presence because of sin? Remember our righteousness is like filthy rags. What a dilemma.
Now a righteousness from God is being made known that is based on believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). This is for all who believe. For there is no distinction. No distinction between Jew or Greek or any other category of humankind. All can partake on the same basis. This is the good news of the Gospel. Wow!
Clipped from Gem 157
If a judge is just then he always makes judgments on the basis of truth and honesty. There is no question as to his integrity because he is JUST. If a judge is faced with a judgment on an unjust person and that person is a personal friend and the judge takes pity on him and declares him innocent, he is no longer a just judge. Therein lies the huge challenge in this verse and a huge challenge for God. If He is a JUST judge, He cannot declare an UNJUST person to be JUST. In the instant He does that, He is no longer a JUST judge, nor a JUST God.
How does God justify UNJUST mankind and still remain JUST when He does it? Therein lies the dilemma. If I appear before His throne in judgment and He says, “Ian you are sinful and fall short of My standards. You deserve to die an eternal death and be separated from Me forever. But I will overlook it all and let you go free. I feel particularly charitable today. Go free Ian.” He is no longer a JUST judge because He has not upheld the law; the very thing He is required to do.
Instead God says, “Ian you deserve death. You deserve to be punished for your wrong doing. You are guilty and you must pay.” But when it comes to the time to pay, He steps down from His judgment seat and says, “I will pay the price for Ian”. In Christ the law has been kept and the price has been paid. God did it all.
Wow, that is mercy. That is GRACE. God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense – yet people go to any lengths to provide their own . . . by reason of pride!!
This is how sinners can be called saints. It all depends on who is calling them saints. Saint is not a term given by men to men but a term that God gives to sinners who are covered by the blood of Christ. Because if you are covered by the blood of Christ, when God looks at you He does not see your unrighteousness but Christ’s righteousness. Now that is huge and hugely comforting. Let that soak into your spirit. It will change you life; how you view yourself and how you view others.
Do you see now why Christianity can make such an exclusive claim and why there is salvation in no other name? A look at the two Gems before this one will give you a fuller picture:
- Bible Gem 1422 – Why Jesus is the Only Name Under Heaven (Acts 4:12)
- Bible Gem 1423 – No other name – An introduction to Allos and Heteros (Acts 4:12)
The Gospel does two things: It comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.Anon
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.Anon
It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.Mark Twain
The 10 Commandments (the Law) is like a mirror. It tells you how dirty you are but it can’t wash you clean!!Anon
Doubt wonders, “Have I done enough to go to heaven?” Grace answers, “No, you haven’t. But Jesus has on your behalf.”Max Lucado
“I know you have no righteousness of your own…here, have mine.”God
Your salvation wasn’t a joint effort. You didn’t contribute a penny because you were spiritually bankrupt.Bob Gass