Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6, ESV
The point Jesus made to His disciples was that if they wanted to have their sins forgiven, if they wanted to escape the second death – eternal separation from God, they had to rely on Him. They couldn’t rely on anyone else, not themselves, their religious leaders, or even their religious practices. Jesus’ statement here is one of exclusivity. There is no other way except through Jesus. Jesus is saying that no other religions work. Any statement of exclusivity is going to be offensive to others. If we take the Bible as truth, we have to honor the exclusivity of this statement.
However, Solus Christus or Solo Christo, by Christ alone, isn’t just about the exclusivity of what we now call Christianity. It is also about the fact that Christ is the sole mediator between man and God the Father within Christianity. That “within” is key, because this was not always the understanding within Christianity.
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. – 1 Timothy 2:5-6, ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10, ESV
Pastors and ministry staff serve an important purpose. They are called to teach the Word. They help organize and run the ministries and the local bodies of Christ. They ensure that the discipleship process happens (though all of us should be participating vigorously in it). They provide leadership and direction. They do not, however, serve as an intermediary between us and God. Those who have passed on before don’t either. There is no where in Scripture that supports praying to dead saints. What the Bible says is we are to pray to God. Our prayers go straight to Him. Our confessions go straight to Him, too. There is a direct link by His choosing. That is why His Word tells us that the only intermediary to the Father is Christ alone.
We don’t need a special priesthood to do this for us. There aren’t the descendants of Aaron set apart for us. God, when He redeemed us and sent His Holy Spirit, marked as a royal priesthood. We are His people. We are called into direct relationship with Him. This isn’t without precedent. Enoch had no descendant of Aaron as he walked with God. Neither did Noah, nor Abraham, nor Isaac, nor did Jacob who became Israel.
This is the full meaning of Solo Christo. It is the understanding that once we are His, we deal directly with God through the Son, Jesus Christ. It’s bigger than salvation. It’s about daily living. There is no red tape to wade through because God wants a relationship with us. To make sure there’s no misunderstanding, let me state that there’s nothing wrong with sharing our issues and our concerns with other believers. We are told to bear one another’s burdens. But we should not believe that we must depend on another believer to speak on our behalf with respect to God. That’s not the process. That’s not the way He designed it.
If you want to get a better idea of what all this means, imaging trying to have a conversation with someone the world considers important. For instance, what protocols do most people have to follow to speak to the president or prime minister of a particular country? Are you and I able to pick up the phone and dial the President of the United States directly? No? Yet the Creator of the Universe, God Almighty, wants you and me to have a direct line to Him. That’s because He has designed our approach to Him to be by Christ alone, Solo Christo. Not only is salvation through Christ alone, but so is our daily relationship with God. Praise Him!