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Is the Exclusivity of Christ Unjust?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
September 22, 2021 12:01 am

Is the Exclusivity of Christ Unjust?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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September 22, 2021 12:01 am

Is it arrogant to claim that Jesus is the only way to salvation? Today, Alistair Begg shows why it is of utmost importance that Christians refuse to shy away from the truth of the exclusivity of Christ.

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How many times have you heard someone make an argument against Christianity by saying it's just not fair to say that Christ is the only way the argument is a pretty simple one from those who oppose as it goes. I really like this.

You say you are a Christian. While I thought that Christians were supposed to be humble. If you are humble you would not continue to suggest that Christianity has got it right and others have got it wrong. So how would you respond to that objection to Christianity. More more and it's important to be prepared to give a reason why we believe Jesus is the only way Alastair Bragg is our teacher today is pastor of Parkside church in Cleveland, Ohio, and a longtime friend of this ministry. Let's join him down as he addresses the audience at the 2010 locator ministries national conference.

We are called as believers to affirm what the Bible makes clear and in order to trace a line through the challenge of this particular talk. I want us to think in terms of its content and then secondly its context, and then thirdly what it means to make contact in our culture concerning first of all we read our Bibles and discover straightforwardly that it speaks of their being one way to God through Jesus. I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by me. There is little problem in contemporary America with the first half of that verse.

You could sell a lot of T-shirts to a lot of people, provided the second half of the verse does not appear on the T-shirt.

No one comes to the father but by me. There is only one way the Bible also affirms that there is only one mediator that is only one mediator between man and God, and that mediator says Paul to Timothy is the man Christ Jesus. And thirdly, in Peter's proclamation after the healing of the man at the gate beautiful. That is only one name in which salvation is to be found, and so if we're going to take seriously the instruction of the Bible.

If were going to live as believing Christian people, we accept the fact that Jesus name is above every name, and that all of history is moving towards a day when at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.

You know, just to hear myself say that I'm just a think about the context out of which we have coming today in terms of our contemporary journalistic world and the world of arts and science is to realize how profoundly revolutionary.

Such a notion is one way through Jesus. One mediator in Jesus and one name.

The name of Jesus know Peter when he makes that statement as we read it and ask for is responding to the inquiry of the religious establishment and he does so in a way that is direct. It is unequivocal and it is at the same time, unapologetic, he is not in his words, offering some kind of academic or abstract proposition is not suggesting that what he is affirming is up for debate. It is there, so that other opinions may be offered and his opinion may be altered on the strength of such offerings know this statement is direct.

It is unequivocal and it is unapologetic it was in his day, and it is in our own day politically incorrect, but it was not logically incorrect.

It may not have been bad which people wanted to hear. Certainly not the religious establishment. Certainly not the Roman authorities, but the statement made by Peter was a logical deduction from the facts as he found them in many ways this statement is the greatest fulfillment of the promise of Jesus to his apostles that when the spirit of God was poured out upon them, then they would be brought into truth in a way that they had never quite fathomed it before, and somewhere in this period of time. Post-resurrection and outpost pending cost is all of the pieces of the jigsaw fallen into place for Peter.

He is able to make this straightforward affirmation and the he along with his colleagues has come to that clear conviction concerning the life and the death and the resurrection of Jesus and the affirmation that there is no other Savior, then Jesus because there is no other person who is qualified to say that is actually what he is affirming and that is to affirm the content of Scripture. It is a reminder to us that the Christian claim starts from an entirely different place than any other claim by any other religious entity in our world today.

It is a reminder to us that the Christian claim also challenges the notions that begins simply with man's rationale and it is a reminder to us of the fact that what we are affirming when we make these claims is the affirmation of the fact that God himself has come and taken the initiative in reaching down to us, says Bruce Milne, and his most helpful book, know the truth. There is no road from man's intellectual and moral perception to a genuine knowledge of God. The only way to knowledge of God is for God to freely place himself within the range of our perception and renew our fallen understanding. Hence, if we are to know God and of any adequate basis for our Christian understanding and experience.

Revelation is in dispensable and it is our job that conviction and out of the reality of that expedience that Peter and the rest of the apostles make these straightforward affirmations that is then think of the context.

First of all, the context in which the gospel was proclaimed in the days of Scripture itself and then in terms of our own context.

Let's not be so na´ve as to think that when this message was proclaimed, it was somehow absorbable by the contemporary culture of Peter's day it was, as the Bible reminds us offensive to the Jews and it was absolute foolishness to the Gentile to the mind of the intellect, it was regarded as a ridiculous notion to the monarchist monotheistic mind of the Jew was regarded as something of a blasphemy and within a relatively short period of time Christians were under pressure to capitulate to the notion that Jesus was maybe something more than a man, but he was not quite God, or to succumbing to the idea that Jesus might be seen as perhaps just one of the greatest of the Angels and the writer to the Hebrews knocks that notion on the head fairly straightforwardly as he writes the prologue to that most Old Testament of New Testament books if they are early Christians had been prepared to have Jesus simply included in the Roman pantheon of the time they and they would have managed to avoid persecution, but they didn't and they couldn't. The common greetings of the Roman world which affirming the essential deity of Caesar as their leader and as sovereign men that as they walked in the thoroughfares with each other they would affirm on a daily basis that Caesar is Lord and as Christians they took the opportunity to say no that actually Jesus is Lord, there were beginning to understand that every knee would finally bow to Jesus and therefore there was a radical difference in the way in which they viewed the culture of their time. Thirdly, let's think in terms of contact.

Anytime someone has a talk that has three words beginning with the same letter.

One of them will be a bit of a.and and and we've we've we've come to my dog contact is not so good but I did desperately want another C and awareness of the content of the message which I'm going to assume an awareness of the context in which we are called to declare the message does not automatically mean that anyone of us is going to be particularly effective at doing so. In other words, we have to make contact. There are three factors I think that need to be addressed in making contact, not the X factor but the a factor the T factor and the R factor a being the arrogance factor. The arrogance factor in a context where there is no truth but only truths no principles but only preferences we face the challenge of being regarded as arrogance for proclaiming Jesus and the argument is a pretty simple one from those who oppose as it goes around really like this. You say you are a Christian. While I thought that Christians were supposed to be humble. If you are humble you would not continue to suggest that Christianity has got it right and others have got it wrong.

This again you see is representative of the notion that somehow or another were all together and that eventually when you go up the mountainside. You arrive at the same place that when everyone examines the elephant and the man the man from Hindustan that they all get their own piece of the puzzle, but eventually it all works but you see that's actually not true because the God who produced the Bible could not possibly be the God of reduced the Koran or the Buddhist scriptures or the Hindu scriptures because the portraits of God Jesus the afterlife offered in those sacred books are so contradictory that unless God is actually contradicting himself. It is just not possible for that to be the case. This arrogance question needs to be addressed from two sides is the first site what Chesterton refers to as the dislocation of humility. He said he writes and he says we reach this stage in this a while ago where we have humility in the wrong place, a man he says was meant to be doubtful about himself, but only doubting about the truth. This is been exactly reversed. We are now on the road to producing a race of men to mentally immodest to believe the multiplication table. We need to understand the truth is not a matter of pride or humility is a matter of fact is not about pride or humility is a matter of fact, Peter Cottrell says his lamb says that Jesus wasn't crucified.

We say he was only one of us can be right. Judaism says that Jesus was not the Messiah. We say he was only one of us can be right. Hinduism says that God is often been incarnate.

We say only once, and we can both be right, but having said that, here's the second element in the arrogance fact, I was sneaking suspicion that some of our affirmations are justifiably charged as arrogant, not the truth itself, but the way that truth is conveyed the toll the flavor can so easily be arrogant. Is it possible that some of us as Christians are guilty of ridiculing other religions ridiculing the adherents of other religions snide in our comments harsh in our judgments disgraceful in our interpersonal relationships negative in addressing the-ism because actually we have no real contact with anyone who comes from that background, afraid of any form of dialogue because we probably are unsure of what we believe it is only in the light of the evil of idolatry and the finality of Christ, that we are able to establish contact on the basis of authenticity and humility and integrity, and sensitivity. T the tolerance factor. One of the reasons for our silence is because we're afraid of being thought narrow or intolerant and so what we need is a dictionary, we need to rescue tolerance from the mistaken notion that tolerance means accepting every viewpoint is equally true and valid as the new definition of tolerance but that's not tolerance in the Oxford English dictionary. True tolerance involves treating with integrity and humility.

Someone whose opinions I believe to be untrue and invalid tolerance is treating with integrity and humility.

Somebody with whom I actually disagree we hold entirely opposing views on something and tolerance says this isn't going to be a basis for me no longer be able to talk with you or live beside you are travel with you on the train into work and sometimes it is helpful to think outside the Christian box and to put the argument in this way to our friends and neighbors. For example, a tolerant Buddhist is not one who accepts as true.

They Hindu belief in an eternal soul because that would require a Hindu that would require Buddhist. I'm sorry to deny Buddhist doctrine of no soul. The Buddha says there's no soul. Hinduism says there is an eternal soul therefore is not tolerance that has the bullets rolling over and say no I except that in you, the tolerant Buddhist would be one move while rejecting the particular Hindustan beliefs treats Hindus with kindness and with respect therefore to be a tolerant Christian doesn't mean accepting contrary views is valid but treating with grace and kindness. Those with whom you disagree and then finally are the relevance factor. The arrogance factor tolerance factor. The relevance factor. The uniqueness of Jesus is inescapable. Christianity is superior or it is totally irrelevant because Christianity makes affirmations that no other religion makes, not least of all the five that begins with God's disclosure a revelation of himself. So, for example, in the incarnation, the eternal son becomes flesh and dwelt among us.

That is something vastly different from the idea of reincarnation, the atonement of Christ on the cross takes the sinners place bears are penalty suffers. What we deserve dies our death. There is nothing like this in his lamb or Hinduism. Nothing like this offered by Ramakrishna and in the resurrection. There is no comparable claim made or one being made could ever be sustained on behalf of any of the great religious leaders of the world and there is a single page of the New Testament that would have been written apart from the resurrection of Jesus. In fact, Jesus had not risen from the dead, we probably would never have heard of no the relevance of our proclamation is found in the fact that although our world says our culture says that are just little stories to be enjoyed by little groups of people. Everybody's little story for everybody's little group is equally valid. There is no overarching story told big panoramic perspective that can be thought to explain our existence. The Bible says hang on a minute. The entire story is the story of our alienation and the wonder of God's reconciliation. A man alienated from his wife parents from their children. Employers from their employees. Governments from their people man alienated from himself psychologically disengage loss. Is it unjust, is it unfair to say you know there is someone who has come to deal with your alienation. Do you know that there is someone who is calm and has himself taken all of your alienation in him. Do you know that the story that we have for you is not the story of a God on a deck chair somewhere but it is the story of a guard on a cross.

No wonder that this message is of such interest to the delegates of northern India to the despise to those who are left out to those who are last and least in the caste system of India. They have no interest in the smog Jesus of North America who makes you proud and happy and put you in places where everything is perfect. What possible relevance does that have for them. But if you go and tell them that this Jesus was despised and rejected of men.

He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and people hid their faces from their all ears. How is this person.

This is of tremendous relevance and best loved ones is the message we proclaim either in Christ God, the creator and the Redeemer came right into human life or the Gospels are a record of ally, church history proves that whenever the church has lost confidence in the truth, and the relevance and the power of the gospel.

It has lost its adage in urging men and women on Christ's behalf to be reconciled to God. The Archbishop of Canterbury some years ago, was in a dialogue with Jane Fonda, the Archbishop of Canterbury said to her, Jesus is the son of God, you know, to which Fonda replied, maybe he is for you, but is not for me, to which the Archbishop replied. Well, he either is or he isn't loved ones. He either is or he is and since there are some children here. I'm going to give a children's conclusion from the silver chair by CS Lewis so he can sit back and improve your tray tables up and bring you bring your seats into a full and upright and locked position. Jill runs into Aslan early in the silver chair Aslan sister if you're thirsty, you may drink. They were the first worksheet Harrison scrubbed and spoken to her on the edge of the cliff for a second.

She stared here and there, wondering who it spoken, then the voice said again. If you're thirsty, and drink. And of course you remember what scrubbed said about animals talking in that other world and realize that it was the lion speaking anyway. She'd seen his lips move.

This time, and the voice was not like a man's. It was deeper, wilder and stronger a sort of heavy golden voice did not make it any less frightened than she'd been before.

It made her frightened and rather different way, are you not thirsty said the lion.

I'm dying of thirst, said Jill then drinks at the lion man I could. I would you mind going away will I do, said Jill.

The lion answered this only by a lucrative very low growl and as Jill gazed at his motionless boat, she realized that she might as well avast the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic, will you promise not to do anything to me. If I do come said Jill. I made no promise of the lion.

Jill was so thirsty now that without noticing it to, step nearer. Do you eat girls. She said I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities, and Brown said the lion didn't see this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were soaring nor as if it were angry. It just said it ideal in common drinks at Jill, then you will die of thirst at the lion hold dear said Jill coming another step nearer.

I suppose I must go and look for another screen. There is no other street said the lion. There is no other street. There is no other stream Alastair Berger's mentor teacher to the euro and Renewing Your Mind. We shared a message from a ligand or ministries national conference that zeroed in on some of the tough questions Christians face.

Alastair's message on the exclusivity of Christ entered one of the more emotionally provocative challenges raised by skeptics.

I hope you found his answers to be helpful is our nation and our world seems to run as fast as it can away from a biblical worldview. We need to be equipped to answer these objections are resource offer today is a great place to start. Instructor RC Sproul's book, everyone's a theologian. This is no dry academic work. RC makes complex subjects easy to understand as he surveys the basic truths of the Christian faith along the way. He reminds us of what God is like and what he's done for his people. When you give a donation of Italy about a ligand or ministries. We will send you this 357 page book. You can reach us by phone at 800-435-4343 or you can give your gift online@renewingyourmind.org and we are grateful for your generosity. Many of the trusted teachers were hearing from this week on Renewing Your Mind, including almost your bag are featured regularly on left that's her 24 hour Internet radio station you'll hear messages that will encourage you in your walk with Christ and you can be confident that the content on roof that will be biblically sound. You can begin listing right know when you go to roughneck.FM or when you download the free roof net up and listen on the go next program will feature a message from Dr. Derek Thomason who answer the question.

If God is good. How could he command holy war. I hope you'll join us Thursday for Renewing Your Mind

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