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Friday, May 14, 2010

Are There Many Roads to God? Part 2

The teachings of Jesus that He is the only way to salvation and therefore God are affirmed in the writings of the Apostles, as you can see from the following statements —

In the first Gospel sermon ever preached, Peter made a bold assertion: "Therefore, let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him [Jesus] both Lord and Christ [Messiah] — this Jesus whom you crucified." Peter then commanded his audience to "repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins" (Acts 2:36-38).

Not long after this, Peter was arrested and hauled before the Sanhedrin Council — the very group of Jewish leaders who had condemned Jesus to death. In his statement to them, he said: "Let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead...there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:10-12).

The Apostle Paul affirmed Peter's point in a letter he wrote to Timothy: "God our Savior desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus who gave Himself as a ransom for all..." (1 Timothy 2:3-6).

In like manner, the Apostle John confirmed that Jesus is the only hope of salvation when he wrote: "Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ [Messiah]? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also" (1 John 2:22-23). John repeated this principle when he added: "...God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life" (1 John 5:11-12).

Again, the conclusions that can be drawn from these statements are self-evident:
  1. Jesus was the Messiah — the Savior — promised by God.
  2. There is salvation in no other person except Jesus.
  3. Those who reject Jesus are guilty of rejecting the Father.
Confirmation of these conclusions can be found in a sermon delivered by John the Baptist in which he proclaimed: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36). John's statement makes it clear that God must deal with sin for He is a just God (Psalm 37:28 and Isaiah 61:8). He deals with sin in one of two ways, either grace or wrath. Whether or not a person is under grace or wrath depends upon whether he or she has put their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Those who have done so, have the promise of eternal life. Those who refuse to do so will experience God's wrath.

In Part 3 of this series answering the question, "Are there many roads to God?", we'll look at God's desire pertaining to salvation in relation to the nature of man.

Read Part 1 HERE

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