Summary: Preached on Reformation Sunday, this sermon covers the truth that Christ alone is sufficient.
October 27, 2002
On October 31, 1517 a thirty-three year-old monk climbed the steps of church in Wittenberg Germany and nailed a list of 95 theses to the church’s door. Out of that act emerged an historical movement that would be known as the Protestant reformation. That young monk did not create any new truths, but he rediscovered some biblical truths that had been lost by the church for a long time. That is the reason the last Sunday of October has been set aside as reformation Sunday.
For the last few years we have used this Sunday to look at some of the great truths which were rediscovered by Martin Luther. In past years we have examined sola fide - by faith alone. Martin rediscovered the truth that the only human response required for salvation was faith. We have examined sola gratia - by grace alone. Martin rediscovered that salvation was not based upon any human merit but was based only upon the grace of God which he bestows on those who do not in any way deserve it. Sola Scriptura - Scripture alone as the authority for life and practice.
This morning we want to look at a fourth important truth that Luther rediscovered: Sola Christus - Christ alone.
The controversy that precipitated the nailing of the thesis to the doors involved the sale of indulgences. This involved the payment of money to obtain forgiveness for one’s sins. On the authority of the pope, Johann Tetzel was travelling through Germany selling indulgences to finance the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
As soon as the gold in the casket rings
The rescued soul to heaven springs,
1. Additions men try to make
A. Christ plus the church.
B. Christ plus baptism.
C. Christ plus Mary or the saints.
D. Christ plus good works of any kind
2. The teaching of Scripture
- human sacrifices are insufficient to deal with sin
- Christ’s one sacrifice did the work forever
NIV Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
NIV John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men-- the testimony given in its proper time.
3. The implications of this teaching
A. When Christ died on the Cross, he completed the work of salvation. That’s why he cried out "It Is Finished" (John 19:30).
B. Saving faith is nothing less than total reliance on Christ alone, wholly apart from human works or human effort of any kind.
C. We may come directly to Christ without human mediators.
D. When Christ saves us, we are completely saved and eternally saved.
E. We must preach Christ and not self-improvement, because apart from Christ there is no hope of salvation.