close
CMF on Facebook CMF on Twitter CMF on YouTube RSS Get in Touch with CMF
menu resources

Is Christ the Only Way to God?

Confident Christianity

From Confident Christianity - Is Christ the Only Way to God?

We now live in a 'global village', a multi-faith society where exclusive claims may offend. Many adherents of other faiths are prepared to recognize Jesus as a great teacher, prophet, leader and reformer - even perhaps as one way to God. Are we not then being arrogant, intolerant and narrowminded by suggesting he is the only way?

First we must admit that the world's religions do have some things in common - they all recognize a spiritual dimension and have broadly similar moral codes. But closer examination reveals a multiplicity of differences - for example compare the teaching of the world's six major faiths (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikkism) on the nature of God, life after death, creation, sin and salvation. They cannot all be right! Perhaps all contain aspects of the truth. Perhaps. But if one is true in an absolute sense, then it follows logically that none of the others can be also. It's one or none.

Christianity makes three distinct claims with which no other religion agrees:

  1. The deity of Christ ie Jesus is God (Jn 1:18)
  2. The authority of the Scriptures ie The Bible is the Word of God (2 Tim 3:16)
  3. Salvation by grace through faith (Eph 2:8)
Each of these claims is rooted in the teaching of Jesus and the apostles - a denial of any is a denial of Christianity.

That Jesus is the only way is asserted by Peter, Paul and indeed Jesus himself. (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim 2:5; Jn 14:6). Whoever does not believe in Christ stands condemned (Jn 3:18). Whoever acknowledges Christ will be acknowledged by him on the day of judgment (Mt 10:32; Lk 12:8) but whoever denies him will be denied (Mt 10:33, Mk 8:38; Lk 9:26; 12:9; 2 Tim 2:12). Anyone who is not for Christ is against him (Mt 12:30; Lk 11:23).

The exclusive claims of Christ are based on the teaching that he is himself God. This is directly stated in at least eight passages of the NT. (Jn 1:1-2; Jn 1:18; Jn 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom 9:5; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:8; 2 Pet 1:1) and strongly implied in others (Mt 1:23; Jn 17:3; 5; Col 2:2; 2 Thess 1:12; 1 Tim 1:17; Jas 1:1; 1 Jn 5:20).

Furthermore Jesus said and did things that in the Old Testament only God said and did.

  1. He called himself - 'I AM'
    (Ex 3:14 cf Jn 8:58; 6:35; 8:12,24; 11:25; 14:6; 18:5; Mk 14:62)

    bridegroom
    (Is 62:5; Jer 2:2; Ezk 16:8 cf; Mk 2:19f; Jn 3:29; Rev 19:7)

    shepherd
    (Ps 23:1; 80:1; Is 40:11; Ezk 34:15 cf; Jn 10:11-16)

    the first and the last
    (Is 44:6; 48:12 cf; Rev 2:8; 22:13)

    Others called him -Lord (Heb=YHWH, Gk=Kyrios)
    (Rom 10:9; 1 Cor 12:3; Phil 2:11; 1 Tim 6:15; 2 Cor 4:5)

  2. He accepted worship - (Mt 4:10 cf; Mt 2:2,8,11; 14:33; Mk 5:33; Jn 9:38; Mt 28:17; Lk 24:52)
  3. He created the world - (Gn 1:1; Ps 33:6,9; 148:5 f cf; Jn 1:1,3; Heb 1:2; Col 1:16;)
  4. He existed before his birth (Jn 17:5; Jn 1:1)
  5. He forgave sins - (Is 43:11,25; 45:21 cf; Mt 1:21; Mk 2:7-10; Lk 7:48; Acts 4:12; 5:31)
  6. He said he would judge the world - (Is 5:16 cf; Mt 25:31-46; Mk 8:38; Jn 5:22-30; 2 Thes 1:7-10)
We can tell from the reactions people had to him, that there was no doubt about what he was claiming. They either worshipped him (Mt 14:33; 28:17; Lk 24:52; Jn 9:38; 20:28) or accused him of blasphemy (Mt 26:65,66; Mk 2:7; 14:63,64; Lk 22:70,71; Jn 5:18; 8:5,8; 10:33; 19:7). He was killed because he claimed to be God.

Given the NT's unequivocal claim of Jesus Christ's divinity we cannot say that he was merely a great moral teacher, since a great moral teacher would not lie about his own identity. There are only four options open to us in considering a man who claims to be God: either he is a liar, a lunatic, a legend or the Lord.

Someone who deliberately lied about his identity would be a demonic deceiver and trickster. Someone who falsely believed himself to be God and told others so would be a deluded lunatic. The third option is that he never existed, or that his followers misinterpreted and distorted what he said, in other words that the story is a legend. Or finally we could conclude that he was who he claimed to be - the Lord.

As Christians, we must assert on his own authority that Jesus is both God the Son and the only way to God.

Ref. 'Know the Truth' - Bruce Milne (IVP) Ch. 14

Bible References

Christianity makes three distinct claims with which no other religion agrees:
  1. The Deity of Christ ie Jesus is God

    Jn 1v18
    No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

  2. The Authority of the Scriptures ie The Bible is the Word of God
    2 Tim 3v16
    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
  3. Salvation by Grace through Faith
    Eph 2v8
    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Each of these claims is rooted in the teachings of Jesus and the apostles - a denial of any is a denial of Christianity.

That Jesus is the only way is asserted by Peter, Paul and indeed Jesus himself.

Acts 4v12
'Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.'

1 Tim 2v5
For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Jn 14v6
Jesus answered: 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.'

Whoever does not believe in Christ stands condemned.

Jn 3v18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

Whoever acknowledges Christ will be acknowledged by him on the day of judgement.

Mt 10v32
'Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.'

Lk 12v8
'I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.

Whoever denies him will be denied.

Mt 10v33
But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

Mk 8v38
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels.

Lk 9v26
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

12v9
But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.

2 Tim 2v12
if we endure we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us.

Anyone who is not for Christ is against him.

Mt 12v30
'He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.'

Lk 11v23
'He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.'

The exclusive claims of Christ are based on the teaching that he is himself God. This is directly stated in at least eight passages of the NT

Jn 1v1-2
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Jn 1v18
No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side has made him known.

Jn 20v28
Thomas said to him, 'My Lord and my God!'

Acts 20v28
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Rom 9v5
Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, for ever praised. Amen.

Tit 2v13
while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Heb 1v8
But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the sceptre of your kingdom.'

2 Pet 1v1
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours.

and strongly implied in others.

Mt 1v23
'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' - which means, 'God with us'.

Jn 17v3,5
'Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.'

Col 2v2
My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.

2 Thes 1v12
We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Tim 1v17
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Jas 1v1
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Jn 5v20
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true - even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.



More from Confident Christianity: Confident Christianity

  • About Confident Christianity
  • Pre-Evangelism
  • Sovereignty of God
  • What is the Gospel?
  • A Gospel Outline
  • Example of Using the Gospel Outline
  • The Place of Dialogue in Evangelism
  • The Nature of Dialogue
  • How to Handle the Basic Question - Why do YOU Believe in God?
  • Relativism -A Central Heresy of our Culture
  • Why Suffering?
  • What Happens to those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel?
  • How can Miracles be Possible?
  • Won't a Good, Moral Life get Me to Heaven?
  • Is Christ the Only Way to God?
  • Isn't the Bible full of errors?
  • Isn't Christian experience only psychological?
  • The Resurrection
  • Avoiding the Circular Argument
  • What Makes a Good Gospel Outline?
  • The Engel Scale
  • What is Successful Evangelism?
  • Dialogue Supper Parties
  • Recommended Reading
  • How to Get Involved (this particularly relates to medical students)
  • Christian Medical Fellowship:
    uniting & equipping Christian doctors & nurses
    Facebook
    Twitter
    YouTube
    Instgram
    Contact Phone020 7234 9660
    Contact Address6 Marshalsea Road, London SE1 1HL
    © 2019 Christian Medical Fellowship. A company limited by guarantee.
    Registered in England no. 6949436. Registered Charity no. 1131658.
    Design: S2 Design & Advertising Ltd   
    Technical: ctrlcube