There is something healthy about returning to one’s roots. When it comes to evangelical Christianity, its roots are found in the soil of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation.

Salvation Can only be Found in Christ

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  • Salvation Can only be Found in Christ

    by Martin Luther

    “…The devil does not intend to allow this testimony about Christ. He devotes all his energy to opposing it and will not desist until he has struck it down and suppressed it. In this respect, we humans are weak and stubbornly perverse and are more likely to become attached to saints than to Christ. Within the papacy they have preached about the service rendered by these beloved saints, that one ought to rely on their merit.

    And I, too, believed and preached thus. St. Ann was my idol, and St. Thomas my apostle. I patterned myself substantially after them. Others ran to St. James and strongly believed and firmly trusted that, if they conformed, they would received all they wished and hoped for. Prayers were said to St. Barbara and St. Christopher in order to avert an early and sudden death, and there was no uncertainty here. So completely is man by nature bent on renouncing this testimony of John the Baptist.

    For this reason it is necessary constantly to persevere and adhere to John’s testimony concerning Christ. For it requires toil and effort to continue with word and testimony, for a person at death to be able to say, I must die, but I have a Savior concerning whom John the Baptist testifies; on him and on no other creature, either in heaven or on earth, do I rely. However, that a person can die as cheerfully by believing in St. Barbara, in an indulgence, or in a pilgrimage to Rome, as in the man to whom alone John the Baptist points, is out of the question. Also, that a person can build as strongly on monkery or monastery life as on holy baptism is a forlorn hope.

    “What I am telling you is that it is easier for us humans to believe and trust in everything else than in the name of Christ, who alone is all in all, and more difficult for us for us to rely on him in whom and through whom we possess all things.”

    Quotes are excerpted from volume five of Luther's 7-volume set of sermons (page 79).

  • #2
    Hi William, concerning this thread's title, Salvation can only be Found in Christ, the Lord tells us:


    6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me". ~John 14

    Likewise, St. Peter had this to say:


    12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” ~Acts 4

    Luther mentions John the Baptist, but where does the Baptist give us similar testimony? John 1:29?

    *(or perhaps I am simply missing Luther's point :rolleyes:)

    Thanks!

    In Christ,
    David
    Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

    "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

    "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

    "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

    "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by St_Worm2 View Post
      Luther mentions John the Baptist, but where does the Baptist give us similar testimony? John 1:29?

      *(or perhaps I am simply missing Luther's point :rolleyes:)

      Thanks!

      In Christ,
      David
      Was the question rhetorical? When you roll your eyes like that at me I receive mixed signals :o

      In all seriousness, I think we both are on the same page here. The Scriptures you're using are pointing to the supremacy of Christ Alone. John the Baptist made himself into a signpost (not to be worshiped John 1:27), pointing people to the coming Judgment. As John 1:8 explains of John, “He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light.”

      A summary of John the Baptist is "a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins". Setting the stage and pointing to Christ, as the OT pages turn to the NT.
      • Matthew 3:6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

      People were coming to John repenting from sins, so Matthew was making plain that the purpose of John’s baptism was to provide an occasion for Jewish people to confess their sins and repent to God. That is the first thing. Second, John makes clear that his baptism of repentance is bringing into being a people of God for the coming Messiah, and not an identity of Jewishness, but with repentance. We see it in verse 9.
      • Matthew 3:9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham

      John the Baptist preached the Law even to Herod pointing to Christ:
      • In Luke 3:19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done,

      When John confronted Herod with this violation of God’s Law, along with other wicked things that he had done, he boldly proclaimed that the ruler was under the same Law of God as the common person. As you can see, the curtains are rolling back and onto the scene comes Christ - The Messiah, the stage is now set, and John says to him: Whoa. “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me to be baptized?” In other words: He makes it crystal clear that Jesus does not need this baptism. He does not need to repent. He does not need to confess any sins. So why are you (Christ) here? Remember, this man (John the Baptist) is unfit to even untie the strap from Jesus' sandals.

      Christ gives one sentence in an answer, and it should be emphasized. He says, “Let it now be so, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (verse 15). It is fitting. That is why he is doing it. It is fitting. Well, what is fitting? Fulfilling all righteousness is fitting. Evidently Christ saw his life as the fulfillment of all righteousness. And the fact that participating in a baptism of repentance even though he had no sins to repent of is part of that shows that the righteousness he wanted to fulfill was the righteousness required not of himself, but of every sinful man.

      Jesus had read Isaiah 53. Indeed, Isaiah 53 was his life mission. And here is what he read in verse 11:
      • Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

      God's people now need to be counted righteous, because they weren’t righteous. They would need to have a righteousness not their own (Solus Christus), as Paul said in Philippians 3:8. And that righteousness included the fulfillment of all righteousness in life, the life of Jesus Christ. All the righteousness that would be required of men before the court of God Christ Alone performed.

      I believe the writings of Martin Luther were pointing to Solus Christus.

      Further thoughts:
      • Revelation 19:10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

      Look at the impulse to worship the messenger!

      Matthew Henry writes on Revelation 19:10:

      The apostle offered honour to the angel. The angel refused it. He directed the apostle to the true and only object of religious worship; to worship God, and him alone. This plainly condemns the practice of those who worship the elements of bread and wine, and saints, and angels; and of those who do not believe that Christ is truly and by nature God, yet pay him a sort of worship. They stand convicted of idolatry by a messenger from heaven. These are the true sayings of God; of Him who is to be worshipped, as one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
      Luther confessed, "And I, too, believed and preached thus. St. Ann was my idol, and St. Thomas my apostle. I patterned myself substantially after them." I can't help but think of an allusion to the Reformer's rallying cry of Christ Alone some 400 years ago.

      God bless,
      William
      Comment>

      • #4
        Hi William, the rolled eyes were aimed at me and my ability to miss the simplest points sometimes. IOW, I wondered if I had missed the point that Luther was really trying to make in the sermon excerpt you posited for us. That's all :)

        Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

        "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

        "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

        "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

        "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by St_Worm2 View Post
          Hi William, the rolled eyes were aimed at me and my ability to miss the simplest points sometimes. IOW, I wondered if I had missed the point that Luther was really trying to make in the sermon excerpt you posited for us. That's all :)
          Did you catch it?

          Originally posted by William View Post
          So completely is man by nature bent on renouncing this testimony of John the Baptist.
          John the Baptist came with only one purpose, to tell us to repent and seek Christ ... So why are we ignoring John the Baptist and chasing after all these other things (saints and works and indulgences).
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by atpollard View Post
            John the Baptist came with only one purpose, to tell us to repent and seek Christ ... So why are we ignoring John the Baptist and chasing after all these other things (saints and works and indulgences).
            Hi Arthur, I think that's why we had a Reformation to begin with, wasn't it ;) And I agree, ecclesia semper reformanda est (Augustine/Barth), is a conviction and duty that remains of utmost importance to the church, ESPECIALLY when you consider what's happened within the church in the last decade or so :eek:

            Yours and His,
            David
            Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

            "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

            "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

            "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

            "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by St_Worm2 View Post
              semper reformanda
              Gives me goose bumps!


              Click image for larger version  Name:	semper-reformanda1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	158.0 KB ID:	24422
              Comment>

              • #8
                :)
                Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                Comment>

                • #9
                  There can be NO QUESTION, NO DEBATE! Salvation can be found ONLY IN CHRIST JESUS. As for those who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus, we don't know what happens. Does God, in his infinite Mercy, have a way of saving them? That answer is above my paygrade. Bur I can say this. The Bible tells me to go and make Disciples of ALL Nations, and to baptise all people in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. We must preach the Gospel to all while we are yet alive. If you want my OWN OPINION, I think that if you have never heard the Gospel, you are still responsible for finding it, and will still stand with the Reprobate in the end. Others may disagree, and that is their right, but that is where I am at with it, and that is why it is so urgent that we get out there as much as possible and preach the Word to those who have not heard it!
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by William View Post
                    by Martin Luther

                    “…The devil does not intend to allow this testimony about Christ. He devotes all his energy to opposing it and will not desist until he has struck it down and suppressed it. In this respect, we humans are weak and stubbornly perverse and are more likely to become attached to saints than to Christ. Within the papacy they have preached about the service rendered by these beloved saints, that one ought to rely on their merit.

                    And I, too, believed and preached thus. St. Ann was my idol, and St. Thomas my apostle. I patterned myself substantially after them. Others ran to St. James and strongly believed and firmly trusted that, if they conformed, they would received all they wished and hoped for. Prayers were said to St. Barbara and St. Christopher in order to avert an early and sudden death, and there was no uncertainty here. So completely is man by nature bent on renouncing this testimony of John the Baptist.

                    For this reason it is necessary constantly to persevere and adhere to John’s testimony concerning Christ. For it requires toil and effort to continue with word and testimony, for a person at death to be able to say, I must die, but I have a Savior concerning whom John the Baptist testifies; on him and on no other creature, either in heaven or on earth, do I rely. However, that a person can die as cheerfully by believing in St. Barbara, in an indulgence, or in a pilgrimage to Rome, as in the man to whom alone John the Baptist points, is out of the question. Also, that a person can build as strongly on monkery or monastery life as on holy baptism is a forlorn hope.

                    “What I am telling you is that it is easier for us humans to believe and trust in everything else than in the name of Christ, who alone is all in all, and more difficult for us for us to rely on him in whom and through whom we possess all things.”

                    Quotes are excerpted from volume five of Luther's 7-volume set of sermons (page 79).

                    I think there are many other objects of Faith to chose from other than Christ. Even in the church world today. I think even Faith in Gods Word (the Bible) can be a substitute for having a saving Faith relationship with Christ.
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      Originally posted by faither View Post


                      I think there are many other objects of Faith to chose from other than Christ. Even in the church world today. I think even Faith in Gods Word (the Bible) can be a substitute for having a saving Faith relationship with Christ.
                      John 5:39-40 comes to mind:
                      • You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

                      Saving faith is quite different than "faith". Our faith is meaningless if it is put in the wrong object. It is when we act upon our faith, when we place our trust in Christ (the object of faith) that we are Justified.

                      If I recall right, Scott used an analogy once about a chair. When we approach our computer chair for example we sit down in the chair trusting that it will support our weight. Over time we become more comfortable with the chair, having confidence in it about whether our weight will be supported. In such a way, everyone has faith. I didn't come up to the chair and test it, but there was a degree of faith when I shifted my weight into it, and day to day never even think about "testing" it but rather from confidence I lean on the chair immediately and know that I will be supported. The object of faith in this case is a chair, even unbelievers demonstrate that kinda faith, but the object of faith is meaningless in the context of eternal salvation. I can have all the head knowledge from Scripture, and demonstrate faith in that knowledge, but if I never act upon the faith in trusting Christ Jesus, then the faith saves no one.

                      God bless,
                      William

                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by William View Post

                        John 5:39-40 comes to mind:
                        • You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

                        Saving faith is quite different than "faith". Our faith is meaningless if it is put in the wrong object. It is when we act upon our faith, when we place our trust in Christ (the object of faith) that we are Justified.

                        If I recall right, Scott used an analogy once about a chair. When we approach our computer chair for example we sit down in the chair trusting that it will support our weight. Over time we become more comfortable with the chair, having confidence in it about whether our weight will be supported. In such a way, everyone has faith. I didn't come up to the chair and test it, but there was a degree of faith when I shifted my weight into it, and day to day never even think about "testing" it but rather from confidence I lean on the chair immediately and know that I will be supported. The object of faith in this case is a chair, even unbelievers demonstrate that kinda faith, but the object of faith is meaningless in the context of eternal salvation. I can have all the head knowledge from Scripture, and demonstrate faith in that knowledge, but if I never act upon the faith in trusting Christ Jesus, then the faith saves no one.

                        God bless,
                        William

                        Do you know how long i've been looking for others who would just accept what you posted to me. About 30 years. I can count them on one hand.

                        I've started a thread on the reformed theology forum. I would be honored if you would allow me to share my understandings with you , and any others who have the desire.
                        Comment>
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