“No one comes to the Father except through Me.” … Jesus Christ, John 14:6
Today, we’re going to learn a little bit of Latin. But don’t worry … there will not be a test at the end … only a hope that you will understand a little better the theology of Solus Christus …
IN CHRIST ALONE
In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my All in All – Here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone! – who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied;
For every sin on Him was laid – Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again.
And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine – bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death – this is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home – here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
SCRIPTURE READINGS: John 3:16, John 14:6-11, Acts 4:12
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 14:6-11 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really know Me, you know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.’ Philip said, ‘LORD, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you I do not speak by My own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, Who is doing His work. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.”
Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven [than Jesus Christ] given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Parenthetic insert mine.
Now the lesson: In Latin (as in other languages such as Hebrew), endings are tagged onto the root word to give it context. Many languages genderize their words into masculine, feminine and neuter. Latin is one of them. So, using the word ‘solo’ to modify a masculine subject, in Latin, one would use the ‘us’ ending, ergo ‘solus.’ If modifying a feminine word, solo would become ‘sola.’ Plural, ‘soli.’ In Latin even names are given the masculine ‘us’ or feminine ‘a,’ hence Christus.
(A sidebar here: Go to the end of the Book of Romans, and you will see a list of names the Apostle Paul is greeting. Note: “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” All emphasis mine.)
At the Reformation, Protestants, led by theologians such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, were leading Christians to stand up to the church of Rome in protest against what had become rampant hypocrisy, bad theology, corruption and abuse. From our place in history, we know that their efforts transformed Christianity and eventually led to the emergence of the Protestant denominations which exist today … that is Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, United, and, to a certain extent, Anglican and Episcopalian. The latter two, after breaking from the Catholic Church, were still fairly influenced by the liturgy of their parent church. Over the years, though, these also became known as Protestant churches.
Notice what was missing in that list? Baptists are not now nor have ever been considered Protestants. Never having been part of the Catholic Church, they had nothing to protest. The various sects that became the Anabaptists and Baptists held to the Biblical teachings of the original Churches at Jerusalem, Rome, Ephesus, Corinth, and so on. When the Reformation was emerging, and until the Protestant churches sorted out the original theology, Anabaptists were persecuted not only by the Roman Church but by the newly formed Protestants as well. This is really interesting because ultimately the Protestants identified five Solas or Solae which are also the bases for Baptist tenets of faith. These are:
- Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone … The Bible alone is the highest authority as being the God-breathed Word of the Almighty Creator.
- Soli Deo Gloria – To the Glory of God Alone – We live for the glory of God alone.
- Sola Fide – Faith Alone – We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
- Sola Gratia – Grace Alone – We are saved by the Grace of God alone.
- Solus Christus – In Christ Alone – Jesus Christ alone is our LORD, Saviour and King.
Sola Scriptura: We find the authority for Sola Scriptura in 2 Timothy 3:15-17 in which Apostle Paul writes, “… from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God’s Holy Word is trustworthy and true and our authority for faith and practise. The Bible gives us everything we need to understand how the Grace of God leads us to Salvation in Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria: Glory belongs to God alone and is the central motivation for salvation. This is how we know that works alone will not lead to salvation. Helping to improve the lives of others is a wonderful by-product of our faith, but Almighty God is not a means to an end. He is the means, and the end … the Way, the Truth and the Life. All glory is to be given to the Creator of All That Is. 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” As Christians, the chief purpose of our faith and our human life is to glorify God, forever.
Sola Fide and Sola Gratia: We group these two together because they are inseparable. Our faith and God’s mercy are inextricably entwined. We are saved solely through faith in Jesus Christ because of God’s Grace and Jesus’ Sacrifice on the Cross, alone. We are not saved by anything we do or are, except for the power we have to choose to believe in Him.
False teachers like to point to a couple of Scripture passages to say that works alone get us to heaven. These are: Matthew 25:31-46, the “Sheep and Goats” lesson; and James 2:18-26, ending with “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds [works] is dead.”
But, Sola Fide and Sola Gratia are substantiated in Ephesians 2:8: “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Deeds, or works, are not salvific in themselves, but, rather, are the fruit of our faith. Our faith produces in us a desire to be Christ-like, to do good wherever we possibly can.
One of the great gifts of God is the power to exercise our Free Will. When we confess our faith in Jesus Christ, God grants salvation because our sin is covered by the Blood of the Lamb. Our sin is not negated by the good things we do. Sin is not wiped clean by good works. Our good deeds are only outward signs of our Salvation in Christ Alone.
Solus Christus: God has given us the ultimate revelation of Himself by sending His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. In John 14, Jesus asks, “Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? How can you say ‘Show us the Father?’ Don’t you believe I am in the Father and that the Father is in Me!”
Colossians 1:15 tells us, “The Son is the image of the invisible God; the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
In Jesus we have God incarnate, reconciling sinful man to Himself through His own shed blood on the cross of Calvary. Before Jesus came to earth, humankind was alienated from God through the curse of the earth, the sin of Adam and Eve passed down to every generation, through the blood. When we believe in Christ Alone, we are able to be presented to the Father as unblemished, free from condemnation.
Apostle Paul writes that we have the hope of eternal life “if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.” That is the only thing we can actually do to help our Salvation – be steadfast in our faith to the end. Jesus, in His letter to the Church at Philadelphia said, “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of My God” (Revelation 3:11-12a).
When we were born into this sinful world, into our unholy nature, we were deserving of God’s wrath. God’s great love for us … His awesome Mercy … took us from our fallen state of being dead in our sin and made us alive. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
He did this even as we were still sinners. By His grace we come to faith, and in our faith, we proclaim the Salvation that is available through Christ Alone. Jesus said, in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Exclusionary? No! For this invitation is open to each and every soul on earth!
Our belief in Jesus Christ elevates us to be with Him in the heavenly place He is preparing for us, even right at this minute. This is love beyond compare. Love beyond anything human hearts or minds could ever conceive.
Jesus gave the disciples something of Himself to hold onto, until the day He comes back to earth in great power and glory on the clouds of heaven. In the act of Communion, we eat the bread and drink the cup to celebrate that Jesus lived, died, rose again and will return.
Acts 4 – Peter and John had been preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ risen and had healed a 40-year-old man who had been lame for years. We read, “The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.”
Let me pause here for a minute … did you get that? Just from hearing the message of Salvation from Peter and John, about FIVE THOUSAND people were saved that day! FIVE THOUSAND. Give glory to God in this place!
To continue Acts 4 – “The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the Law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: ‘By what power or what name did you do this?’
“Then Peter, filled with Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel. It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you crucified but Whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
No other name under heaven! In Christ Alone! Christus Solus.
LET’S PRAY …
Dear Heavenly Father:
All glory be to You, O King! We, your creatures, acknowledge that You are the God of the Universe, the Ruler over all that is, because You created it all. In our pride and willfulness, we sinned the great sin of disobedience, trying to elevate ourselves above our created status. Now, Father, we repent of our sin and beg Your forgiveness. In Your great love and mercy, and grace, You sent Jesus, Your own Son, to earth to atone for our sin, to cover us with His own righteous blood, that we might live forever. Now we give You thanks and praise for this greatest of sacrifices, in and through Yeshua Ha’Maschiach, our LORD and Saviour forever, we pray. Amen.
If anyone reading this devotional has not yet received Jesus as their Saviour, but God has touched your heart by His Holy Word, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or find a Bible-believing local church and ask the Pastor what you must do to be saved in Grace. In the meantime, please consider the ABCs of Salvation:
A – Admit
Admit what you have done wrong and ask forgiveness.
Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death.”
1 John 1:9 ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
B – Believe
Believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again as payment for your sins.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
C – Confess and Choose
Confess and choose to allow God to be in charge of your life.
Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Romans 10:9 “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
This article, based on God’s Holy Word, was written by the inspiration of God’s own Holy Spirit. All glory to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.