On this, the day we celebrate The Savior’s birth, I thought I might try to answer one of the most often cited objections to the Judeo/Christian faith: that there is only one way to God. I do not claim that I can ‘prove’ any of what follows, nor am I trying to imply that we can reason our way to accept any of it. We are saved by faith and faith alone, and only faith can affirm the Truth of what I am about to say. However, that having been said, there are rational reasons for why there should be only one way to come into God’s presence, and why that One Way is Jesus, Christ. If you will give me a few moments of your time, I might be able to help you see things from a different perspective and — if the Holy Spirit wills it — it may even help you see the Truth.
First, we must get past any pretense of being offended at the suggestion that there is only one way to God. The notion that there is more than one way is man-made, and nothing man-made should offend us when it comes to the subject of eternity. In truth, we should not be offended by the idea that there is only one way to God; we should be amazed and profoundly grateful that there is any way at all.
Now, I must confess that what comes next is not of my own doing. It is found in the oldest book of the Bible…the book of Job. Although it is not the first book in the Bible, Job is the oldest, and it holds the key to understanding the entire Bible — especially Genesis. When we read Genesis, we must understand that Moses was well aware of Job, and that the people Moses was writing for also knew the book of Job. Once we read these two books together, and in the proper order, it starts to resolve a lot of things that skeptics think of as ‘problems’ for believers. But reading Job will do much, much more. You see, Job was a philosopher, and he understood the application of reason. So it is that, by reasoning, Job is the first one in the Bible to encounter Christ and to understand that He is the only way we can come into God’s presence. Job’s reasoning Goes something like this but it is important to understand that Job started out by saying all of this must first be revealed by God, through His Holy Spirit — otherwise, we will not recognize the Truth when we see it:
Look around you. Everything you see had a beginning. The universe had a beginning. Reason demands that everything that has a beginning must have a cause. Therefore, the universe had to have a cause. That cause is God.
The universe may appear to be chaotic, but it is not. The universe runs according to Natural Laws. Laws require a law giver. Again, this demands a Creator, but it also allows us to deduce that one aspect of God’s nature is lawfulness.
Where there are no laws, there is chaos. But where there are laws, there must be judgment. If there is no judgment, then there is no law. The one cannot exist without the other. Therefore, God must be the ultimate judge, and if He is the ultimate judge, then He must be the perfect judge.
Inherent in the idea of law is punishment. There must be a consequence for violating the law. In the case of God’s law, the punishment for violation — for sin — is eternity separated from God.
A perfect judge must enforce the law. If He does not, then He violates His own laws. But God is the perfect judge, so He cannot violate His own laws. But man cannot follow God’s laws: all men violate God’s laws, which means all men sin. And because God cannot allow lawlessness — He cannot be in the presence of sin — God must judge us.
Because all men sin, God will have to pass judgment on all men, and the sentence is eternity away from God. From this, we can deduce that all men are condemned to spend eternity separated from God.
However, inherent in the concept of justice are compassion and mercy. Compassion and mercy are the result of love — agape love. From this, we can deduce that God must also be the ultimate form of agape love.
If God is perfect love, then He will have mercy on us. He will provide a way for us to come into His presence. That mercy is called Grace, and that way to come into His presence is called redemption.
Redemption is an ancient legal principle. In ancient times, all debts had to be paid. If you could not pay your debt, someone else had to pay it for you. It was even possible for another person to offer themselves in your place in the case of a death sentence. Therefore, since man is imperfect and can never pay his debt or the debt of another person, this must mean that God will provide Someone who can pay our debt so He can then plead the case of man before the Judgment Seat of God. Job called this person our Redeemer and Mediator.
But no human can perfectly obey God’s laws. It is not possible. Nor can anyone but God plead with God before God’s Judgment Seat. Only God can obey His laws perfectly, and only God can plead with Himself over matter of the law. Therefore, God must somehow become human so that He can then live a perfect life (i.e. obey His own laws perfectly). Thus, Christ fulfilled the law, which made Him the perfect sacrifice whereby He could pay for our sins by offering Himself in our place. Welcome to the only way to God, and to the Trinity: God in Three Persons — Judge (Father), Redeemer (Son) and Holy Spirit.
You see, this is all a matter of law. There is only one God, and His law is perfect. The penalty for breaking His law — even in the least — is eternity separated from God’s presence. Furthermore, it is not God who condemns us. We condemn ourselves. All God does is make sure His law is applied perfectly, without fail. And do not imagine that eternity separated from God is nothing. Before you are banished from His presence, you will know what it is like to be in God’s presence. You will see and feel His glory. Therefore, you will know how high the price you will have to pay truly is — and you will know it for eternity.
However, God is love and mercy, and He has provided one and only one Redeemer. There is no need for more than one Redeemer. If there was, that would mean God is not perfect; and if He were not perfect, then He would not be the perfect Judge; and if He were not the perfect Judge, then His law would not be perfect; and if His law is not perfect, he is not God; and if He is not God, this universe does not exist — and neither do you. God is perfect, therefore, He only needs to provide One Redeemer. That Redeemer is His only begotten Son, Jesus, Christ.
It was necessary that Jesus be fully God, because only God can perfectly fulfill His own law. At the same time, it was necessary that God become man, so that He could know every temptation man encounters and still fulfill the law. This is the only way Christ could be the perfect sacrifice: Heaven’s perfect Lamb. It is only through this sacrifice that Christ can pay our debt, but even then, He cannot pay our debt unless we accept and trust Him. It is by accepting Christ, and placing your trust in Him that He takes your place — that He pays your sentence for all your sins. Christ promised you that, if you accept Him and ask Him to enter into your life as your Lord and Savior, and place your faith and trust in Him, He will save you from your sins. He will extend His righteousness to cover you. It is that simple.
However, if you reject Him, then there is no other way by which you can be redeemed. God does not provide multiple ways of paying your debt for breaking His law. Christ is the only way, and no one comes unto the Father but by Him. So, please, if you do not already know Christ, I implore you, pray and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. God promises that if we earnestly and sincerely seek Him, we will find Him. I know this to be true. I also know that, if you sincerely seek Christ and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior, He can and will change your life. But the choice is up to you. He stands at the door and knocks; YOU must open it and invite Him in. So, what will it be? Will you allow Christ into your life and trust in Him to represent you before God, or will you keep your door bolted and rely on your on ability to plead your case before the perfect Judge of the Universe?
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