Audio Worship 6/16/2024, "Christ Alone" John 14.1-7

Princeton Presbyterian Church (EPC) Sermon # 1642

June 16, 2024

John 14.1-7           Click here for audio worship.

Dr. Ed Pettus


Christ Alone


Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going.” 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”


  • The Witness of Scripture


Last Sunday we looked at the doctrine of Scripture Alone, one of the five teachings that emerged from the Reformation in the sixteenth century. Today we will consider Christ Alone and at a later time we will include Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and Glory to God Alone. These are known as the five solas or the five alones. The authority of Scripture Alone leads us into the other four doctrines, because it is out of the study of Scripture alone that these principles arise. Today we consider Solus Christus – Christ Alone. Basically this means that salvation comes through Christ alone and Christ alone is the mediator between God and us. There is no other path to God, no other Savior, no other name. Jesus Christ is the only way to God and the only way to salvation.


Paul writes to the church at Corinth about the message he preached, a message he received and believed to be of first importance: Christ died, was buried, was raised, and He appeared. The message is Christ and Christ alone.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me (1 Corinthians 15.1-8).


Paul wrote to the Colossian church that he proclaimed Christ alone. Colossians 1:27-29, To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.


Also to the Corinthians his focus was narrowed to Christ alone: 1 Corinthians 2:2, And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.


The central message of the gospel is Christ and Christ alone. The message begins in the Old Testament, in places like Isaiah 53:5 “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed”.


Of course the New Testament is filled with the gospel message:

The Son of Man came…to give his life as a ransom for many…(Mark 10:45)

God so loved the world that he gave his Son…(John 3:16)

He was delivered over to death for our sins…(Romans 4:25)

God demonstrated his love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…(Romans 5:8)

Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God…(1 Peter 3:18).


There are so many more Scriptures that bring to light the message of Jesus Christ and the person of Jesus Christ. And the more one reads the more apparent the truth becomes that it is through Christ alone that we know salvation. It is through Christ alone that we are reconciled to God.

Believers may find this kind of teaching or preaching quite redundant, I mean, we know all this, don’t we? Well, we may have heard all the words, all the Scriptures involved in proclaiming Christ alone, but how much do these words impact our lives?


  • The Impact of Jesus Christ


Paul uses some wonderful phrases to talk about the impact of this message upon his life. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20) or the opposite observation of Paul: “But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14). Anyone can know all the words, know all the doctrines of Christianity, but not all allow those words and teachings to bring their life into step with the truth of the gospel. That is our goal in obedience to the Lordship of Christ. That is our struggle in the walk of faith. That is why we seek to know Scripture alone and Christ alone and Grace alone and so forth. We hope to grow into step with the truth of the gospel, the gospel message of Jesus Christ alone.

By faith in Christ alone, we come to a transformative reality. We come to understand and continue to grow into understanding who Christ is: our savior, master, and friend. He is the way and the truth and the life. In the Reformers terms Jesus Christ is prophet, priest, and king, or said another way, teacher, mediator, and master.


  • Jesus Christ – Prophet, Priest, King


Christ as Prophet: John Calvin spoke of Christ as one anointed by the Spirit. We read in Luke 4 Jesus reading from the Old Testament, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”


Calvin speaks of Jesus bringing perfection to prophecy, thus an end to all prophecies. In essence that Jesus fulfills the prophetic word and office. In that understanding Calvin writes, “outside of Christ there is nothing worth knowing…” (Institutes, Book II, ch. 15, p. 496). So Paul would speak, as we heard earlier, of knowing nothing among the church except Christ crucified, He alone is proclaimed.

Christ as prophet may also include Christ as our teacher. Prophets were not just fortune tellers, in fact they seldom ever told the future, but they taught people the word of God and the consequences of what obedience or disobedience to that word meant for their future. Christ’s perfect wisdom, contained in the gospel message of His life and person, give us all we need for life and salvation. Christ alone is the fulfillment of prophecy and law, and in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. So we read in Colossians 1:


13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:13-20


Christ as Priest: John Calvin writes: “as a pure and stainless Mediator He is by His holiness to reconcile us to God (Institutes, Book II, ch. 15, p. 501). We read in the book of Hebrews:


11But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. 15Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:11-15


And in 1 Timothy: 5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and [humans], the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 1 Timothy 2:5-7


One of the ideas the reformers sought to combat was that the priests of the Catholic Church were the mediators between the people and God. The Christ Alone doctrine that emerged from the reformed reading of Scripture changed that doctrine to understand that only Christ serves as the mediator. As mediator, Christ serves as the sacrifice for our sins. He is the priest who has given His own blood to wash away our sins, just as the priests once issued the blood of a lamb on the alter for the forgiveness of sin, now Christ has done this through His own blood. Christ priestly office means that He also intercedes for us. Christ prays for us! This is Christ’s priestly office.


Christ as King: The office of King is a spiritual kingship, for His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom. The gifts that He gives are spiritual gifts. The blessings of this office lie in His rule of our lives, inside and out. His kingship is unique in that He equips us with all we need to carry out His mission and ministry, as John writes… “from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (1:16). We read in 1 Corinthians that one day Christ will deliver His kingdom: “Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (15:24-25).


Christ alone – Prophet, Priest, King. Christ alone – the way, the truth, the life. Christ alone – this is our proclamation as His own people. We are not called to proclaim any other message. Our message is about exclusive salvation, exclusive to Jesus Christ alone. This is our gospel message, given to lead us and all who will listen, to salvation, to reconciliation, and into the kingdom of God. Our message is of Christ alone, for He alone is our hope and salvation.
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4.12 Amen.