Sacred Winds Ensemble and Ministries

Christian outreach through the arts, music, and education.

Sola Christus: One Path to God

by Josh Haywood

The Reformation brought about a renewed commitment to the Word of God as the source of faith and practice for all the saints. Through that renewed commitment sprang the principles of the five solas. The fourth of these, solus Christus, is the heart of the gospel, that Christ, God in the Flesh, has come to save us. It is Christ alone that rescues us from sin and restores us to relationship with God. He and no other. Let us consider four aspects of solus Christus recovered by the Reformation and crucial for the church today.

1. Christ Alone Is Our Savior

Let us start with the truth that Christ is our only Savior. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” From the mouth of our Savior himself, we are told that there is no way to know God except through the person of Jesus Christ. He has come to restore his people to right relationship with God, and he alone is capable of doing it.

Jesus makes it clear that he is the only one capable of redeeming us, and we know this to be true because he lived a perfect life, and he fulfilled all the promises of the Old Testament that pointed toward a future redeemer. For us to ignore Jesus’ claims about the exclusivity of the gospel is to deny him altogether.

2. Christ Alone Is Our Mediator

Christ is not only our Savior, but he also stands before God representing us and testifying for us. We read in 1 Timothy 2:5, For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

The Reformers, especially Martin Luther, railed against the priesthood of the Catholic Church and its abuse of power. In his ninety-five theses, Luther made it clear that the withholding of grace by the pope was an abuse of power. After all, how could one who was to represent the selfless love of Christ dispense grace only in return for money to build palaces in Rome?

We read in Hebrews 10:19-22a, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” There is no longer a need for any earthly priests, for Christ has come and provided a way for men to come into the household of God by being the priest and the sacrifice that atoned for sin. We can in confidence approach God who provided richly for us through Christ who is now the perfect and only mediator between God and man.

3. Christ Alone Is Our Shepherd

In Ezekiel 34, we see that God condemns the leaders of Israel. Instead of shepherding the people, they preyed as wolves upon them. Likewise, the papacy had taken advantage of many by using the sacraments of the church to control the people and to fill the coffers of Rome, but the Reformers sought to expose this by making clear from Scripture that God had promised a better shepherd. Ezekiel 34:11 reads, “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.”

Jesus pronounces in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”  Jesus came to die for us, but he as our good shepherd will never take advantage of us. He died for us, and he will guide us into all truth (John 17). Too many today have been deceived by false shepherds, those who would use the hope of the gospel to build their own kingdoms. We must look to Christ as our only shepherd and look forward to his kingdom that is coming.

4. Christ Alone Is Our King

Christ alone is the one who has accomplished our salvation. He has been promised a new kingdom, and he has invited us to come and join him. We are called fellow heirs to his kingdom, and we can boldly come before God as his sons and daughters. The glorious truth of solus Christus is powerfully freeing because we know that our hope lies in Christ and his work and not our own. But it is also the greatest assurance we could ever hope for because by Christ alone are we saved and by Christ alone do we enter into a new kingdom not of this earth.

Josh Haywood is Senior Pastor at Harlan Baptist Church in Harlan, KY.

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