My purpose is to help people to understand Jesus as we can get to know him in the New Testament. The last thing I want to do is present something and have people take issue with my presentation and never go to the Bible to find out for themselves. If you disagree with what the Word teaches, then your issue is with God, not with me. I don't have the authority or power to change a human heart. If you choose to reject the Bible as being authoritative to life or have concluded that the Bible is in error, inconsistent, or just irrelevant for current times, then it really doesn't matter what I say because you have already made up your mind and have no intention of growing to be more like Christ anyway, since the Bible is where you would get to know Him. I am concerned over your spiritual growth and the eternal state of your soul, as I am my own.
It concerns me that so many are deceived as they are creating their own god(s) instead of seeking to know the one true God. Jesus said it would be that way (Matthew 7:13-14). I heard someone say not long ago that the churches are filled with "baptized unbelievers." That thought has stuck with me because I am finding it to be more and more prevalent. These are people who have supposedly accepted Christ at some point and claim to be Christian, yet defend anti-Christian ways and beliefs. Something to think and pray about.
In this post I want to deal with the topic of Jesus being the only source or author of salvation, the one and only way to God and eternal life. Some call this the exclusivity of Christianity, a sore spot for those advocating an inclusive system of belief. I won't discuss all the major world religions here, but I have done formal studying of Islam ( college level independent study with an archaeologist who supervises a "dig" in Jordan and knows Islam fairly well) along with studies in the Old and New Testaments, which covered Judaism and Christianity, including the various sects of each. I say that not to set myself up as an authority on world religions (I have only scratched the surface), but I have spent enough time looking at them to know that each of the 3 major religions mentioned above is exclusive and ,in their purest forms, excludes the others. Judaism, however, is the first part of the story of God's pursuit of man which is completed in Christ (The Book of Hebrews or Stephen's speech in Acts 7 can give you a good background for the connection).
That being said, Christians are often attacked as being narrow because they are limiting salvation to only those who follow Christ. I know that is not popular and won't get a high-five from your non-Christian friends, but that is what the Bible teaches and it reveals Jesus saying the same thing, in a variety of ways. This doctrine was supported by Jesus' disciples and continued on in the church as it grew in numbers and influence. Yes, there was rejection of it and continues to be in the current age as those opposed to it call it foolish, intolerant, hatred, just to name a few of the labels attached to it. The cross is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18) Without the cross there is no salvation. When other ways are treated as equal ways to redemption, you spit on the cross and say it was meaningless and unnecessary and those who understand the cross know that daily clinging to the cross is what provides hope and assurance of eternal life and victory over the things of the world. And there is only ONE cross and ONE savior.
Below you will find a list of verses for meditation:
John 10: 1-18
1 Corinthianns 3:10-23
1 John 5:1-12
If you want to dig really deep in full-book studies, I recommend reading the Gospel of John, Hebrews, and Romans. Be prepared to be challenged in your soul.
If you want to add to your reference library, I recommend Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem and New Testament Theology by Donald Guthrie.Happy Reading