Perhaps you are familiar with the parable of the blind men and the elephant. Six inquisitive blind men went to learn about the elephant. They were allowed to touch it and feel it, and they each came to different conclusions. The first bumped into his side and said an elephant is like a wall; the second felt his tusk and decided an elephant was like a spear; the third concluded an elephant was like a snake when he felt its trunk; the fourth felt the elephant's leg and said it was more like a tree; the fifth argued that it was more like a fan for he felt the pachyderm's ear; and finally, the sixth touched the tail and declared that an elephant was like a rope.
Often times this parable is used to argue that all the world's religions have only one piece of the real truth. With a sort of false humility people claim that religious truth is beyond our comprehension, so no one can make a claim to true truth about God. What is the problem with this argument? It backfires because it is hypocritical. The story is told from the vantage point of someone who has the privilege of seeing the truth, which he or she claims no one can do!
Certainly one the claims of Christianity that most offends the world is that salvation is found in no one else but Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone. Solo Christo, Christ alone, is the fourth of the five solas we are looking into during this 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Consider the texts below and the precious lessons to be learned about Christ alone!
1. Have you ever encountered resistance to your faith in Christ over the issue of the exclusivity of Christ? That is, that there is no salvation apart from Jesus?
2. Let's begin with what Jesus taught. Look up the verses below in the Gospel of John and jot down what you learn from Him:
* John 3:16-18
* John 5:39
* John 6:45
* John 6:53
* John 8:24
* John 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 11; 11:25; 14:6
* Can you think of any other texts in the Gospel of John?
* What did you learn about solo Christo?
3. Think about Mark's account of the Transfiguration in Mark 9:2-8, particularly verse 8. What do you think it means for Moses and Elijah to disappear and "they no longer saw anyone around them, but Jesus only"?
* Also, think about Galatians 3:1-9 and Colossians 2:16-23.
4. Read the account of Paul on the Areopagus in Athens in Acts 17:16-34.
* What were Athens and the people of Athens like?
* What did Paul do before he was taken to the Areopagus?
* What are the salient points of Paul's argument when he addressed the men of Athens in verses 22-31?
* What do you conclude from this speech about salvation and Jesus?
5. Here are a couple more important texts:
* Acts 4:12
* I Timothy 2:5
* I John 5:12
6. How would you define and defend the Reformation principle of solo Christo?
7. Have you personally experienced salvation in "Christ alone"? If so, how?
8. What do people in the world trust in for salvation and how might that be a danger to you and me?
9. What do you think we as Christians are tempted to add to our faith in Jesus in order to feel assured of our salvation?
10. How can we guard our hearts from wandering from solo Christo, faith in Christ alone for our salvation?
God be with you!