Jesus. He is the source of our salvation. You would think the message of scripture is so plain that there would be no debate here. Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) There is no other name under heaven through which mankind can be saved (Acts 4:12). By a”single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14) We need to be fully persuaded that Jesus, indeed, paid it all.
I do understand the confusion here. I have preached my share of sermons on man’s part and God’s part in our salvation, as if the two are equal. There is no equivalent to what Christ did. I have read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as if they are equal to the epistles. No more. As Jim Woodroof discovered, “The power to live out the teachings of the epistles is found in the gospels.” Scripture says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4)
Several years ago there was great debate over “the man or the plan.” Jesus was the “man” and “hear, believe, repent, confess Jesus, and be baptized” was the plan. People were persuaded to be baptized but many were not empowered to live for and depend on Christ after they were baptized. In a lot of cases the result was mean-spirited, argumentative and divisive people.
For the last several years I have been privileged to work with women with addictions. I have witnessed women that were broken and desperate accept Christ and receive healing. This kind of healing only comes from the heart through a genuine relationship with Christ. As Paul wrote, “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
Jesus promised, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.” (John 12:32)
If I had only one message to share it would be simply: Jesus. He is the well-spring from which all blessings flow!
Jim Woodell, Director