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Is Jesus Christ the only way to salvation? So many other religions claim to be true.
Thank you for asking your question about Christ being the only way to salvation and other religion's claims that they are true.
The answer to this question is something that often confuses and even angers the wider world. Christians passionately hold onto to the truth that there is salvation in Jesus alone and no other, so why is this truth so important?
When we read our Bibles we discover straightforwardly that it speaks of there being only one way to God, through Jesus.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me". (John 14:6)
When Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life", "the" is a definite article. He is "the" way excluding all other ways and just in case that wasn’t clear enough he includes the negative affirmation of this same statement saying "No one comes to the Father except by me".
The apostles later mirrored this truth saying; "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
There can be no other saviour because there is no other solution to the problem of sin.
Christianity stands alone, absolutely separated from all other religions because the Gospel is not about what we can do but about what God has already done through Jesus.
The teaching of every other religion known to man boils down to this same concept: that you must save yourself by your own efforts. Those efforts come in many different forms but whether it be something as simple as meditation or heavy duty religious ritual, the result is always the same, that you must cleanse yourself. It's what is called 'works of righteousness'. If you do enough good you’ll out-weigh your bad making yourself acceptable to God. The Gospel reveals something radically opposed to this notion: it is the only story in all of human history where the hero dies for the villains.
Christ came to do for sinners what they can not do for themselves.
The bible is clear all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). It is because we have already sinned that we are unable to work our way back into the presence of God. It took only one sin for Adam and Eve to be removed for the presence of God in the Garden of Eden, so how many sins will it take for us to find ourselves in the same predicament?
The question is not as is so often asked "How can a loving God allow anyone to go to Hell?". The real question is "How can a Holy God allow any corrupted sinner to be where he is, where there is no sin and corruption?"
The only answer and hope for all people everywhere is in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.
Jesus did what no other person has ever done, he kept God's law in its entirety, he lived a perfect life and then walked willingly to the cross to be punished in the place sinners. We broke God's law and Christ takes our punishment.
He who had no sin took on himself every sin that would ever be committed past, present and future and bore in himself the just penalty for those transgressions, declaring with his final breath "It is finished!"(John 19:30).
Scripture speaks for itself,
But God shows his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
This is what Christians call the 'great exchange', that Jesus takes on him our sin and puts on us his sinless righteousness. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Martin Luther the great reformer wrote this prayer in response to those verses,
You are my righteousness,
I am your sin.
You took on you what was mine;
yet set on me what was yours.
You became what you were not,
that I might become what I was not
In terms of what validity other religions might have we need to ask the question "Do these religions have a correct understanding of who God is?"
These are our choices. Christianity stands alone in teaching that we can not save ourselves because we have already fallen eternally short of the glory of God with our sin (Romans 3:23). All others religions in whatever form they take teach that we must work our way back to God making ourselves acceptable to him (or them) by outweighing our bad by doing good.
What court is there on Earth that would acquit a guilty criminal on the basis that they were sorry? How many good deeds would a murder have to do for a judge to allow them to walk free without punishment? However sorry we are or however many good deeds we do in our guilt, for justice to be done a sentence must be paid. If that is how it is in human courts how much more must it be that way when we stand before the creator of the universe, our law giver and our judge who’s holiness and perfection words cannot even begin to describe?
This is why Jesus is and can be the only saviour. Every other religion says do; through Christ, God says done! God can have mercy on guilty sinners because Christ bore for us the punishment that our sin demands.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son" (John 3:16-18).
When a person turns from their sin and puts their faith in Christ alone as the hope of their salvation they will be saved (Romans 10:9). When we acknowledge in our hearts that Christ is who is he said he is this transaction takes place whereby we are washed clean of sin and clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
We would encourage you to pray about this and continue to seek God and his truth. God gave us the Bible for the sole purpose that we are able to know the one who has come down from heaven to save us and one very good place to start if you want to know more would be the gospel of John.
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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