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Exclusively Worthy

12 March 2012 by Matt Gumm

Q. 60. Can they who have never heard the gospel, and so know not Jesus Christ, nor believe in him, be saved by their living according to the light of nature?
They who, having never heard the gospel, know not Jesus Christ, and believe not in him, cannot be saved, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, or the laws of that religion which they profess; neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ alone, who is the Savior only of his body the church.

And 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, ESV)

One of the consequences of universal salvation is the negative effect it has on the role of Jesus Christ as humanity's redeemer.

If you've been reading along with us, you'll remember the section we just finished that spent a great deal of time spelling out the various roles that Jesus has. Each of these roles, like the facets of a diamond, bring out out a little bit more of the beauty of the Messiah.

But consider what "other paths to God" do to this picture.

For example, is it right to characterize Christ's sacrifice as being "once for all time" if it was not the ultimate sacrifice? God's response to Jesus' sacrifice—exalting him above the angels—seems way off base if it only did some of what was necessary.

Also, what about those who "diligently frame their lives," according to either the light of nature or the laws of the religion they profess? If their diligence or sincerity are sufficient to bring them into God's presence, it would seem they should be due some special honor, because they didn't need the mediator's work on their behalf.

The Bible's answer on these matters is clear: God's plan has always been that human beings would not boast in themselves, but in Him. Exclusivity in salvation allows Jesus to be proclaimed the Worthy Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.