One Way

People love having their options. It’s not so much that we love choosing; we just have to have the ability to choose. Be it buying a house, car, tool, or whatever, there is nothing quite as satisfying as knowing that you have searched every possible avenue and have chosen the very best option. It seems as though it isn’t truly a choice if we do not have plenty of options.

Perhaps that is why some have such a problem when they come to a religion that is centered on the phrase, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) There are no options here. There is only an ultimatum: the way or no way; the truth or no truth; the life or no life. Jesus laid it all out. It’s either Him or nothing.

It is understandable then that the cross is for many “a stumblingstone and rock of offence” (Romans 9:33). There are no alternatives. There are no substitutions. There are no other options. This is a direct blow to humanist doctrine of individual autonomy. It is a shot to the heart of our pride. So, whether we are approaching the cross or leading someone to it, we need to keep a few things in mind.

First, we need to remember that we are not capable of rightly handling a multiplicity of options.

Humanity’s track record bears that out. God gave Adam and Eve the opportunity to eat of every tree in the garden except for one. Talk about options! Nevertheless, it was that one restriction placed on them that they decided to violate. Since then, there has been in every person a sin nature that thirsts for breaking rules. The most attractive things in the eyes of our flesh are the things that we are not allowed to have, and the things of which we are allowed to partake could not interest us less. The fact is, no matter how many options we might receive, we still have the inescapable propensity to go beyond our God-given boundaries. With that said, even if there were more than one way to God, who’s to say that we would take those and not still try to find our own way?

Also, we need to realize that there is only one way for us because there was only one way for God.

When confronted with the exclusivity of Christ, many people quickly put themselves in God’s shoes and wonder why He would not simply forgive the sinfulness of men. As one business manager would claim, “When one of my employees makes a mistake and ruins a deal or breaks a piece of equipment, I simply forgive. Why couldn’t God do the same?” The point that this manager misses, however, is that even though he has forgiven his employee, someone still has to pay the consequences of that employee’s mistake, and it will probably be the manager.

God can, has and will forgive, but that forgiveness came with a price. Forgiving without paying that price would have diluted the holiness of God and infringed upon His justness. The only One that was capable of paying that price was God Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. He took on the form of a servant, was made in the likeness of man, yet without sin. The payment for our sin was paid by Christ because Christ was the only one worthy of making the payment. He was made “to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Christ is the only way for us to be reconciled to God because Christ was the only way for God to reconcile us to Himself. Now God can forgive, but only by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Righteous.

Lastly, we need to understand that this is so hard for us to accept that the Holy Spirit’s working in our hearts is required.

It is hard for us to accept that there is only one way to God because that particular way requires our repentance. In order to accept Jesus as our Savior, we had to accept that we needed a Savior to begin with. We had to see that God is holy, and by comparison the very best that we have is filthy before Him. Depravity is the hardest thing for our pride-infested hearts to admit, but without that understanding we can never see our need of a Savior.

It is hard for us to accept that there is only one way to God because that particular way requires our justification, and justification is something that we are utterly incapable of doing for ourselves. Autonomy is the buzzword of the day. Everything we accomplish we do so for ourselves and by ourselves. However, the only way we can stand justified before God is by the imputed righteousness of Christ our Savior. The natural man strives to be self-sufficient and boasts in his sufficiency. Nevertheless, our sufficiency is of God and our salvation is “not of works lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

These things are so contrary to our sin nature. The convicting work of the Holy Spirit is a necessity. In John 16:7-11 Christ tells us how exactly this happens.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

God has provided a way of salvation for all who realize their need of that salvation and accept Christ as their Savior. May we do all we can to help people see that Christ being the only way to God should not be a stumblingstone or rock offence. Christ is the chief corner stone and the rock of our salvation. There is only one way, if for no other reason, then because no other way is needed.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

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