Is Jesus the Only Way to God?
BY ALEX FLANAGAN
To say that there are a multitude of different worldviews in our modern society is certainly a given. A quick glance at the world around us is all that is needed to confirm it. Indeed, differing ideas and opinions seem to be almost as plentiful as there are people. Amidst all these, Evangelical Christians make the very exclusive claim that Jesus is the only way to God. Is this true? If so, why? And what makes the Jesus of the Bible so unique?
Before we can answer these important questions, we must ask ourselves much more fundamental questions. Who is God, what is truth, and how many possible ways are there to God? First, God is the self-existent, transcendent, all powerful, morally perfect, Creator of all things. God must be “maximally great” by definition; otherwise, He is not God, but some inferior being. Second, truth is that which corresponds to reality. Truth is, by definition, exclusive. In other words, a claim is either true or not, but it cannot be both. (Some may wonder why truth needs explaining, but I have found that it is often poorly understood in today’s culture.) Third, although there are many different religions, there are primarily two categories of possible ways to God. Either we must work our way to God, or we cannot work our way to God. Most religions would fall into the first category; I only know of one religion that falls into the second category. You can probably guess which one.
God must be “maximally great” by definition; otherwise, He is not God, but some inferior being.
Now that we have defined God, truth, and possible ways to God, we have already made great progress towards answering our initial questions. Either we can, in some way, earn God’s favor, or God’s favor cannot be earned and must be freely given. As it turns out, God’s favor cannot be earned, because we have already chosen to rebel against Him. Thus, we have willingly alienated ourselves from Him. Isaiah 53:6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
But that might be difficult to swallow. You might say, “Sure, I’m not perfect, but I’m certainly no Hitler. Really, I’m a pretty good person.” Allow me to explain. The problem has to do with whom we like to compare ourselves. God is perfect in every way. He will not judge us according to some arbitrary standard of our own; He will judge us according to His standard. And His standard is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke 10:27). That is a pretty tall standard, and it shows us very clearly that we are not good. In fact, we are proud, rebellious sinners who hate God and love ourselves above all others. Our own conscience bears witness against us. We have forfeited God’s favor and stand condemned before Him. We are desperately in need of His mercy, forgiveness, and grace, but He cannot let sin go unpunished. His justice forbids it. Sin must be paid for. Thankfully, this is where the bad news ends.
God saw man’s desperate plight, and in His great mercy, sent His Son Jesus Christ from Heaven to Earth so that we might be saved. He lived the perfect life we could never live; He took the punishment for our sins by suffering and dying on the cross; He rose again from the dead the third day that we might be eternally reunited with God. All who believe in Him are forgiven and pass from death unto life. God gives them a new heart with new desires, and He sends the Holy Spirit to indwell them, commune with them, and empower them to live out the Christian life. This beautiful message is what Christianity calls “the gospel.” In the original language, it means “good news.” I hope you can see why.
So why are Christians so dogmatic about the claim that Jesus is the ONLY way to God? Because we are sinners, and Jesus is God’s ONLY provision for us to be saved from our sin. There is none like Jesus; He stands alone.
Jesus is God’s ONLY provision for us to be saved from our sin. There is none like Jesus; He stands alone.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Want to know more? We want to hear from you! Contact Us