Monday, 6 December 2010

Jesus. The Only Saviour of the world

They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” John 4:42

Here is a universal absolute truth claim for Christ’s scandalous distinctiveness.  Jesus Christ is the saviour of the world and that is for everybody and it is not restricted to the me and us of today’s post-modernist but Jesus is the saviour of the whole world regardless of religion, philosophy, tribe or race.  Absolute truth is what Francis Schaeffer used to call ‘true Truth’. It is true for everyone irrespective of whether they believe it or not. This is the Truth in a pluralistic society where the idea of an absolute truth is bitterly frowned upon. but if Christians are to be faithful to their Lord, then we would have to agree with the Samaritans, that Jesus is the saviour of the world.  But Jesus the saviour of the world from what?

There are many texts in scripture that elucidates that the world is corrupt and is in need of saving but staying in the Johannine text, I draw your attention to the passage which is repulsive to those who reject the idea of absolute truth. Jesus clearly states in John 14:6, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’. No one comes to the Father except through me’. Here is a universal declaration of absolute monopoly, that Jesus is the only way/hados/path  to the Father, also implying that this is the only way that Men can know God and be delivered from their sins and have reconciliation with God. Jesus is the truth; any system which claims to know God but does not have Jesus at the centre is a lie because Jesus is truth and He has come to save the world from error, bringing them from death to life for Jesus is the life.

The three fold claim of Jesus being the way the truth and life can be seen in view of him as being the saviour of the world, as reconciler (the way), revealer (the truth) and redeemer (the life)*. Jesus is the universal reconciler, the universal revealer and the universal redeemer and therefore Jesus is the absolute saviour. Jesus is the Incarnate Word, sent by His Father to redeem mankind and creation, he is not relative but universal. God has chosen one way to reconcile this alienated world and that His through His Son, the Incarnate Word. God has chosen to reveal His truth through Jesus Christ, He is the ultimate revealer of who God is. Because Jesus is the universal reconciler achieved through his death on the cross, and the universal revealer of who God is, He is also the universal redeemer of all men. If any one is to be redeemed and to have eternal life, it is to be found in the person of Jesus Christ. For there is no other name in heaven or on earth where men can be saved.  This is the exclusive claim of Christ and as we live in a more pluralistic society, this view may become harder to hold but despite the torrent of modern culture, Christians are called to believe that Jesus is the only Saviour of the world.

The benefits of holding to the biblical view that Jesus is the Saviour of the world means that we have one unifying message to proclaim to mankind. Although it is exclusive it is also inclusive in the sense that anyone is welcomed to partake in its blessings despite background or creed. For all men are sinners and all men only have one Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is this truth that has won the world over and influenced the western society in many good ways. Also because of the unchanging nature of Christ we can be sure that He will remain as Loving and has just as He is found in scripture.

K.Oni

* Gabriel Fackre 'Claiming Jesus as Savior in a Religiously Plural World'. Journal for Christian Theological Research 8 (2003) 1–17

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