Summary: In today’s lesson we shall learn that there is only one way of salvation for all people.
During an exclusive golf outing for top business and entertainment executives on October 9, 2006 Tiger Woods was put on the spot by an evangelical guest of Nike.
That day, 30 people gathered at the Trump golf course in Los Angeles for the 2006 “Tee It Up with Tiger Woods” event, which included a private golf session and lunch with the living legend. During the lunch, there was a question-and-answer session with Tiger. Most people asked about their swings or golf questions.
However, one guest of Nike stood up and asked two questions: “Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? And if not, prayerfully, would you?”
A source present at the lunch said later: “You could have heard a pin drop. People were mortified. But Tiger was as unflappable as he is on the golf course.”
Tiger said, “My father was a Christian—of course Christianity was part of my life. But my mother is Asian, and Buddhism was also part of my childhood. So I practice both faiths respectfully.”
We live at a time in which people think that there are many ways to God. But, there is only one way. And that is what the Apostle Paul teaches in our text for today, which is Romans 3:29-30.
Let’s read Romans 3:29-30:
"29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one. He will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith." (Romans 3:29-30)
About ten days ago, on Wednesday, December 5, 2007, Jenna Bush, the daughter of President and Mrs. Bush, was a guest on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show Ellen to promote her new book. After discussing the book, Ellen provided a phone and urged Jenna Bush to call her father while they were taping the show.
Jenna was tentative but cooperative. She said, “They’re going to kill me. They may have wanted some warning.”
Jenna picked up the phone, and dialed a number. The first lady answered and the audience could hear Mrs. Bush on the speakerphone say, “I’m sitting here with Daddy.”
The President then got on the line and asked, “How’s my little girl?”
Then Ellen said to the President, “She’s scared she’s going to get in trouble because I just said, ‘Is it easy to just pick up the phone and call your dad anytime?’”
President Bush said he wasn’t mad at all, and then added, “I do want to say Merry Christmas to your audience, and I want to tell my little girl I love her.”
Jenna Bush made a phone call that none of us could complete because of her relationship to the President. His position makes him the most powerful man alive and one of the most inaccessible men in the world. Yet he’s available for his daughter and was even glad to hear from her.
Jesus made a similar correlation while talking with his disciples at the Last Supper. In order to have access to the Father we need to have a relationship with him through his Son, Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
People think that there are many ways to God, but Jesus insisted that there is only one way. And that way is through him.
The Apostle Paul teaches exactly the same truth in Romans 3:29-30, our text for today.
In today’s lesson we shall learn that there is only one way of salvation for all people.
I. The Question
First, let’s examine the question.
James Montgomery Boice, in his commentary on Romans (and from which much of today’s material is taken), wrote, “When the world seemed larger than it does today and the peoples of the world did not have much contact with one another, the fact that there were many religions hardly troubled anyone.”
In the last century I remember studying the different “world religions.” The major world religions were Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. These five were the classic “world religions.”
Modern classifications typically list major religious groups by the number of adherents, not by historical or theological importance. So the modern classification is as follows (with the worldwide percentage of adherents in parenthesis): Christians (33.06%), Muslims (20.28%), Hindus (13.33%), Non-religious (11.92%), Chinese Universists (6.27%), Buddhists (5.87%), Ethnoreligionists (3.97%), Atheists (2.35%), Neoreligionists (1.68%), Sikhs (0.39%), Jews (0.23%), Spiritists (0.20%), Baha’is (0.12%), Confucianists (0.10%), Jains (0.07%), Shintoists (0.04%), Taoists (0.04%), Zoroastrians (0.04%), and Other Religionists (0.02%).
With so many world religions today, the question that many people wrestle with is, “Which religion is right?”
Boice suggests that there are three ways of dealing with this question.
A. All Religions Are More or Less Equal