Summary: God saves us by His grace alone, that grace is activated by faith alone, and that faith is directed toward the Person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
In Christ Alone
1. Great time in VA.,
2. A couple of days in DC at art museums…image of God and the sinful human nature. You also can see how lost people are, trying to figure out life w/out God’s Word as inspired revelation. Searching blindly.
3. Older artists were often religious, but often did not understand salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Christ alone is today’s theme.
Main idea: God saves us by His grace alone, that grace is activated by faith alone, and that faith is directed toward the Person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
I. Jesus is the EXCLUSIVE Way to God (Acts 4:12).
Peter is preaching to the Jewish crowd when he preaches Acts 4:12: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
A. Jesus was very BLUNT: He is the way to God, not one of the ways (John 14:6).
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
1. To the 21st century American ear, such a statement sounds arrogant and egotistical. Who does Jesus think He is?
2. Ray Pritchard writes: “If the old Trinity was Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the new trinity is tolerance, diversity, and pluralism.”
3. If men invented the words of Jesus or Peter, they would be intolerant. But when the Lord Himself says it, it is true. Sometimes truth is narrow.
4. I was 25. When the doctor told me my mother had stage IV ovarian cancer and had maybe a couple of years left, I almost fainted.
5. I hated hearing what I heard, but the doctor had to say what he understood to be true, as narrow as it was. What is IS. Freedom: We don’t have to like it.
B. He is the one MEDIATOR between us and God (I Timothy 2:5).
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…”
1. The Reformers came from a tradition where there were many mediators between God and man. Mary was the greatest, but so were saints. Some might even argue that Mary is worshipped more than Jesus.
2. The Reformers all recognized that only God should be worshipped, but the worship of Mary was so ingrained, not all the Reformers got it right.
3. Some of those who were part of the Reformation had a hard time giving up Mary, and really could not make a full break. Perpetual virginity.
4. But they did agree that Mary is not some sort of co-savior, but that salvation comes from Jesus alone, and only God is be worshipped (Father/Son/Spirit).
II. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ Is the Sole OBJECT of Saving Faith.
Contemporary Christian music is top-heavy with 7-11 songs — seven words sung 11 times. Some seem to me to be shallow, exaggerate emotions, and confuse our relationship with God with romantic love.
But not always. Some of the deepest, most meaningful songs are being written today. Few are deeper than songs by Getty/Townsend., like “In Christ Alone.”
(Read Lyrics from hymn 506 and have everyone turn there).
A. His Person: He is God the Son INCARNATE (John 1:1,14).
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Reformers completely agreed that the doctrine of the Trinity was an accurate summary of the Bible’s teaching about God, and they completely agreed with the view that Jesus is both fully God and fully a sinless Man.
B. His work is called the GOSPEL of the grace of God (I Corinthians 15:1-4).
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
“3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…”
1. Christ DIED for our sins (atonement).
2. He was BURIED.
3. He ROSE again on the third day.
C Jesus Christ COMPLETELY Saves Us, He Doesn’t Merely Help Us to Be Saved.
1. According to the Christian History Institute, the Pre-Reformer, John Wycliffe, “…declared the right of every Christian to know the Bible, and that the Bible emphasized the need of every Christian to see the importance of Christ alone as the sufficient way of salvation, without the aid of pilgrimages, works and the Mass.”