Written by Rev. Nicholas Davelaar
Published in the Courier of Russellville, Arkansas on April 24, 2015
Jesus Christ is uniquely qualified to be our rescuer, our mediator. As we noted last time, we are all by nature sinners, in rebellion against the God of heaven and earth, and Jesus Christ alone can deliver us from God’s wrath and return us to his favor.
Indeed, the apostle Peter declared that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
That noted, are all people saved by Christ?
One of the Protestant Reformers asked that very question centuries ago. Having summarized the Bible’s teaching about Jesus being our uniquely qualified rescuer, he then asked, “Are all men then saved by Christ as they perished in Adam?”
What does the Bible say?
We might think first of the famous words of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” According to this verse, those who believe in Jesus Christ do not perish, but have eternal life.
Earlier in the same book of the Bible we likewise hear these words about Jesus Christ: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). We rebels are reconciled to God only through faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, we receive the right to become children of God only by believing in him.
Thus the same Protestant Reformer, after asking if all people are saved by Christ, went on to state, “No. Only those are saved who by true faith are grafted into Christ and accept all his blessings.”
What then, we might ask, is this faith we must have to be saved?
The same author went on to summarize the teaching of the Bible in this way: “True faith is not only a certain knowledge whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in His Word; but also a hearty trust, which the Holy Spirit works in me by the Gospel, that not only to others, but to me also, forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness and salvation are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits.”
Read that again. It’s thick, but good.
True faith is not mere knowledge or conviction of the truth of God’s Word. After all, James 2:19 tells us that even the demons believe certain truths about God.
True faith goes beyond that, heartily receiving and resting in Jesus Christ as our only rescuer, our only mediator.
Do you have faith in Jesus Christ? Are you receiving and resting in him alone today? You may! Indeed, God by his Word calls you and me to do precisely that today.
Think about that.
For further study, read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.