The Only Way?
August 13, 2008 - Followers of Jesus Christ claim a belief that—today and for the past 2,000 years—has raised eyebrows and caused others to ask, “really?”
The belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to obtain salvation, the one way to find God, the single way to receive eternal life can confuse or concern people. It can seem limited or judgmental, and it leaves out the countless other beliefs that billions around the world ascribe to.
When exploring the Christian faith, many reach these same questions, and they choose to study what Christ claimed about Himself in scripture. Christ's disciples and friends, eyewitnesses of His life and ministry, wrote several books in the New Testament and recorded Christ's words.
The Bible can unlock some mysteries of faith for us, people living in a time when faith in a singular way to salvation seems narrow-minded.
Billy Graham says, “Ours is an age of philosophical uncertainty, and we no longer know what we believe.
"... When I was a student, I had to face Christ. Who was He? He had made the astounding claim, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.'
"I wrestled with the inescapable fact that either Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be, or He was the biggest liar, fraud, and charlatan in history. Which was it?
"Buddha said toward the end of his life, 'I am still searching for the truth.' But here was Jesus who appeared and said, 'I am the embodiment of all truth. All truth is centered in me.'"
Let's take a look at the New Testament and see how Jesus reveals His own identity and how the Bible explains who He is:
1 Timothy 2:5:
For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.
He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become Heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the Heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
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.”
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
[Jesus prayed:] "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those you have given Him.
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. ...
He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. ...
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. … No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made Him known.
The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him. … Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”
Read Billy Graham’s answer »