With the Pope’s coming to America this last week, I decided that I would write a short five part series on the Five Solas of the Reformation. These five points are stated below:
- Sola Gratia – By Grace Alone
- Sola Fide – By Faith Alone
- Solus Christus – In Christ Alone
- Sola Scriptura – By Scripture Alone
- Soli Deo Gloria – To the Glory of God Alone
This third post is on Solus Christus, or salvation in Christ alone. The Roman Catholic church still teaches today that you must be in Christ, and the church, and Mary, and the Saints, to be saved. There is no salvation apart from the church or Mary or the saints. However the Reformers protested and declared that only in Christ alone would anyone find salvation. The Scripture supports the teaching of the reformation with three primary verses:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
— John 14:6 (NASB)
Jesus is claiming here that there is no salvation apart from him. Salvation is found exclusively in Jesus Christ alone. It echoes the statements in Acts where Peter cries that there is no other name under heaven by which men must be saved. Salvation is not found in the church, or the Pope, or Mary. It is found only in Jesus Christ alone.
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, the testimony given at the proper time.
— 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NASB)
This passage couldn’t be any clearer. The church cannot forgive sin. Mary cannot forgive sin. The Saints cannot forgive sin. They don’t mediate or intercede for anyone. Only Jesus Christ can forgive sin because only he has offered an atonement. He alone mediates for his elect people for whom he gave his life as a ransom on his cross. Mary has never heard a single prayer since she left this earth. Only Jesus Christ intercedes for us.
Therefore he is able to save forever those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
— Hebrews 7:25 (NASB)
This is very similar to another verse found in Romans 8:33-34 (NASB):
Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justified; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
I couldn’t state this any clearer. Jesus Christ—and He alone—intercedes on behalf of His elect people for whom He died. Mary doesn’t intercede for them. The saints don’t intercede for them. The pope and the church cannot intercede for them. Only Jesus can intercede for them because only he has offered an atonement for sin.
This is the great problem with the Roman Catholic system. It is taught that when asking for sin, you should not go to God or Jesus because they can be tough, so instead the sinner should go to Mary, who will then take the sins to Jesus and the Father.
However, that flies right in the face of the fact that God is a Savior, who forgives thousands upon thousands, removing our transgressions as far as the east is from the west. He is a gracious Father and Jesus is a gracious Savior who forgives all who turn to him in repentance and faith. And with that I leave you this great hymn of the exclusive salvation found in Jesus 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.