Perhaps the most controversial, most hated, and most essential truth of Christianity is where salvation is found- Solus Christus, it is found in Christ alone. This doctrine flies in the face of humanism that says we don’t need a savior, it horrifically contradicts evolutionary or supremacist thinking that says some are just born better than others and it blasphemes man made religions that preach salvation is a result of hard work.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
My last blog dealt with the foundation of what we, as Christians, must agree on- Sola Scriptura. We established that the Bible is our only sufficient and infallible source of truth. When we unify on the source of truth the rest falls into place. Last time we addressed that the Bible gives us full knowledge of salvation, where is it then that salvation is found? Solus Christus, in Christ alone.
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
“Salvation” is an interesting and loaded topic, why do we need to be saved? What do we need to be saved from? These are fundamental questions every Christian should be able to answer. The reality is that we are prone to think we’re good, but we think that because we compare ourselves to other fallen sinners rather than God’s standard of good.
“Since nothing appears within us or around us that is not tainted with very great impurity, so long as we keep our mind within the confines of human pollution, anything which is in some small degree less defiled delights us as if it were most pure just as an eye, to which nothing but black had been previously presented, deems an object of a whitish, or even of a brownish hue, to be perfectly white.” – John Calvin.
Since Adam, we are born sinners and our proclivity is towards sin rather than God- the Westminster Confession of Faith defines sin as “Any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.” Culturally, we tend to think of sin on a personal level rather than on a divine level- meaning we (even unbelievers) have an easy time understanding that murder is sin because it hurts someone. What we fail to see however is that God is holy, and all sin is primarily against Him. God created us to bear his image to all of creation so when we murder we are effectively saying “God murders”, when we commit adultery we are saying “God is unfaithful” and so on. Every act of sin is a lie about God and rebellion and treason against the ruler of the universe. That ruler is just, and every crime we commit against him is justly punishable by death and God’s holy wrath.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
We deserve hell for our sins. God’s justice demands sin be paid for. Do we need to be saved from sin? Yes. Do we need to be saved from Satan? Yes. Do we need to be saved from ourselves? Yes. But most truly and most ultimately what we need to be saved from is the just wrath of God. Fortunately for a sinner like me, this is where the bad news ends.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
In his goodness and grace, Jesus, the second person of the trinity, put on human flesh, lived a sinless life and absorbed the full wrath of God on behalf of those who believe. Martin Luther called this “the great exchange”- when we believe in Christ, his sinless life is credited to us and in exchange, our sin is placed or expiated onto him.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21
Our sin was expiated onto Jesus, and then propitiated by Jesus- meaning God’s wrath towards the believer was satisfied or emptied out onto Jesus so that no more wrath remains for we who are in Christ, our sin debt has been paid in full.
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:17
This is the essence of the Gospel and this is why Jesus is the only savior- our options are justice or grace. Either we pay the debt our sins incur or Jesus pays our debt, either we face the wrath of God we have earned or Jesus settles that wrath on our behalf. Buddha didn’t face the wrath of God on your behalf, Muhammad didn’t pay for your sins, Oprah didn’t die for you, only Jesus did. Repent, turn from your sins, and put your faith in the finished work of Christ alone.
On this we must agree, we who are saved are saved by Christ alone. Solus Christus.