Solus Christus (Christ alone) was another doctrine that was emphasized during the Protestant Reformation. The Roman Catholic Church had many intermediaries between God and man. People prayed to the saints and Mary. Their salvation was mediated through the church by the priests and the sacraments. Martin Luther and others argued that salvation was through Jesus Christ alone and that he was the only mediator between God and man.
There is a great deal of scriptural justification for this argument. Salvation is indeed found only in Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (ESV) He also said in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” Acts 4:11-12 says, “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
The Bible also makes it clear that Jesus is the only mediator between us and God. We do not need to go through priest, saints and/or Mary to speak to God.1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:18 says, “For through him [Jesus] we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” Hebrews 9:15 and 12:24 both say that Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant. Under the old covenant, people did have to approach God through a system of priests and sacrifices. This was symbolized by the temple curtain which separated the Most Holy Place, which only the high priest could enter, from the rest of the temple. That curtain was torn in two when Jesus was crucified (Luke 23:45).
Jesus is the only way to God because he is God. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Verse 14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Because he is the Son of God, all who believe in him become children of God (verse 12). John 20:31 says, “These things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you may have life in his name.” Romans 5 says that we have peace, justification and life through Jesus Christ.
One of the things that people find offensive about Christianity is its exclusive claims. We do say that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and salvation. That means that salvation cannot be found in any other religion. Indeed, salvation is not found in Christianity as such, but in Jesus Christ. Eternal life comes through a relationship with a person, not through any religion. In Galatians, Paul pronounced a curse on anyone who would preach another gospel (Galatians 1:6-8).
It is in Jesus’ name that we have access to God. Because we are sinful creatures, we cannot approach God on our own. We must come through Jesus Christ. In John 14:14 Jesus said, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” In John 16:23 he says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.”
Question: Why do people pray “in your name,” instead of “in Jesus’ name”?