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Catechism Class: LD11B Q30 One Way!

05/08/2021

Catechism Class: LD11B Q30 One Way!

Text.  John 14:6

What the catechist wants us to understand here is the uniqueness of God’s only Son, and the exclusive claim that he makes, that there is no other way to heaven, except through him.  John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Acts 4:12,  In the writing and peaching of the early apostles, Christ is the only way by which we can be saved.  

This probably doesn’t suit the mindset of too many modern men and women.  In this postmodern age, where absolute truth has been abandoned in favour of ‘your truth and my truth – all truths equally valid’ the exclusive claims of Christ and his followers, the Christians, are repellent. But there’s no grey areas, – it’s black and white.  Luke 11:23  You are either WITH Jesus, or you are against him, and there will be no-one in his presence in eternity, who has been against him in this life.  To be WITH him, is to own HIM alone, as LORD of your life, and Lord of all.  How does that affect you and me?  Our catechist will help us…

1. What We Seek in Christ.

Let’s see firstly that there are two areas in which we need Christ alone.  

  • Our salvation. Salvation is only through Christ, we know that. But do we know that in Christ we have EVERYTHING we need for our salvation. 2 Peter 1:3  That’s such an amazing verse!  But not only do we seek and find complete salvation in Christ, but we also seek:-
  • Our Security.   Jesus is enough to save us and to KEEP us.   If you are truly saved, trusting Christ alone, – then He will keep you! Listen to just a handful of biblical promises to this effect:-  Romans 8:32  John 10:28,   John 6:39. John 10:29  John 17:2. 

So, here are the two great areas of our Christian life, in which we need to apply the exclusivity of Christ.  Only Christ can save us and keep us, and no one else BUT Christ can save us and keep us!  But what could go wrong?

2. The Mistakes We May Make.

Our instructor in the Catechism warns us of three danger areas that we could fall into, in both seeking salvation, and seeking security and spiritual well-being:-

  • Trusting in Christ AND the Saints.   Zacharius Ursinus, the main author of the Catechism, was writing in the context of his own day.  Many of his contemporaries were converted Roman Catholics, in their unconverted days, would have held to a superstitious form of belief in the work of ‘saints’ in salvation and security. You can see how superstition can arise, when you read the words of the Catholic Catechism in 956 The intercession of the saints. “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. . . . They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus. . . . So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.”  Many simple Catholics believe that the saints have a treasury of merit, earned by their own exemplary lives, and that some of that merit could be applied to their own lives, – all they have to do is to honour that ‘saint’ (in quotation marks!) And seek his help for temporal and eternal benefits.  
  • Trusting in Christ AND myself.  The second specific area in which we may attempt to supplement Christ’s saving and keeping work is much more challenging for us.  Our instructor wants us that we must never add to what Christ has done, any merit or labour of our own.  This is a common error among Protestants, for it is the root of arminianism and semi-Pelagianism – the erroneous belief that fallen creatures, although sinful, have enough righteousness within them to make them morally competent enough to contribute toward their salvation by taking hold of the offer of the grace of God through an act of their unregenerate natural will.  The belief that in your own free-will you can decide for Christ.  Of course it’s impossible, for there is none righteous, no not one, there is NO-ONE who seeks after God. Quoting the psalmist,  Romans 3:10-11.  Liberal ‘Christians’ too will look to themselves to contribute something to their salvation and safety.  Looking to Christ as only a good example of a perfect life and selfless sacrifice for others, they will try to please God with their works, their supposed innate goodness, their piety.  Anything added to the atoning work of Christ, the perfect ad only sacrifice is worse than pointless, it defeats its own purpose and leads people away from Christ, into a Christless eternity.
  • Trusting in Christ AND anything else!  Again we remember that Christ is sufficient for everything we need, to save us and keep us.  It is all his work, his doing, and we need no-one or nothing else but Him.  Here’s just a couple of possibilities:-
    • Other people.  Every time we consider that a mere man or woman has contributed something to our salvation or security,, even a godly man or woman, – whether a godly parent, a Christian influencer, a pastor, preacher or evangelist, we may just fall into the trap of trusting for our salvation and security in Christ and another.’ 1 Corinthians 1:11-13  
    • The LAW. The law cannot save.  Galatians 3:13   Only Jesus can save.

Finally let’s see 

3. WHY we must take heed of this lesson.

The catechist sums up the importance of this when he says, “Though they boast of him in words, they in fact deny the only Saviour Jesus. For one of two things must be true: either Jesus is not a complete Saviour, or those who by true faith accept this Saviour must find in him all that is necessary for their salvation.  There may be people who profess to be Christians, but whose trust is not in the Saviour alone  Anyone who adds anyone or anything to Christ is LOST!  Either Jesus is the complete and perfect Saviour from sin, who alone can save me and keep me, or he is no Saviour at all.  

© BobMcEvoy September 2021

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