Salvation by Faith Alone & Grace of God | Devotion #2: 1 John 5:5
Ryan Story | Student Pastor
We live in a world with numerous amounts of religions, cults, and philosophies that claim to be able to get people to Heaven, or at least what they claim Heaven to be. Several times a year, I will have a Fusion student ask me, “How do you know faith in Jesus is the only way get to Heaven?” At times, I like to switch up the roles and ask them, “How do you know that Jesus is not the only way to Heaven?” It is enjoyable to watch people come up with a response. However, I feel at these times we can almost take that question as a threat, but as time has passed, I have come to realize that question has more of a longing for comfort in the face of uncertainty. No one in this world likes to walk around with uncertainty especially when it comes to our eternal destination. There are many on both sides of what they have concluded about Jesus. On one side of the coin, the question of “how do you know faith in Jesus is the only way to Heaven” has created a joyful eagerness to see Jesus when our time is up on this Earth. Because of the reassurance and hope putting our faith in Jesus brings, we know the answer to that question. Sadly, on the other side of that coin, we have a large amount of the world that claims that Jesus followers are arrogant, delusional, weak-minded, or flat out wrong.
In 1 John 5:5, it says, “Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” The world does not want to accept Jesus. In more than just a conflicting ideological way, the world is trying to destroy all things of God. Jesus even says that “if the world hates you remember it first hated me.” With all the negativity that the world throws at Christ-followers, it is easy to forget this amazing verse. This is a simple verse to understand and a powerful verse to memorize and apply. How do we overcome the world? We overcome when we believe in Jesus and what Jesus did for us.
Now back to that amazing question I get asked. I like to respond to that question with “the reason I believe Jesus is the only way to Heaven is I follow the One who has already won.” After I get a look of confusion, I elaborate. The reason why Jesus is the only way for us to be saved can be simply put. The only one who can save us from death, Hell, and the grave is to follow the one who was victorious against death, Hell, and the grave. If you follow a person who loses, your outcome will be the same. If you follow someone who is victorious, then you will be victorious. Who is the most victorious person to ever live? If you said Jesus was the answer, then you are correct. The only way for us to be overcomers is simply stated in 1 John, “believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” All the theological rhetoric that you may or may not fully grasp becomes clear when we simply put our faith in Jesus.