“The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’ (John 4:25-26)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6)
Many voices claim that it doesn’t really matter what religion you practice – that in the end, all spiritual roads lead to the same god. They claim that there are many paths to salvation, though each person may define for him or herself what salvation really means.
Lest I be misunderstood, I’m not saying we should be unkind to people who aren’t Christian. After all, it was Jesus who said, “love your enemies”. So, if we are to love even our enemies, certainly loving everyone on the planet is inherent in that command; an enemy would be the last person anyone would love. Therefore, the Word of God teaches that followers of Jesus Christ are to love everyone, making no distinctions between people for any reason; in fact, it is precisely our love that is supposed to draw others to Jesus.
What I will say, though, is that those who claim that all religions are the same and imply that they all fit with Christianity are mistaken. Further, it makes even less sense for a Christian to acknowledge all religions as being avenues to salvation.
Why are Christians called Christians? Because we follow Christ. He is the Teacher, and we are His disciples. As such, we should accept Jesus’ teachings as preeminent and authoritative. Let’s look at what the Teacher taught by studying some of His “I AM” statements, found in the gospel of John.
I am the door. During the grace period before the flood, people had only one avenue for salvation: believe God’s warning, as given through Noah, and act on that belief by physically getting on the ark. There was only one way to enter the ark, and that was through a single door; and once that door was shut, no one else was getting on that ship.
Jesus uses the door in the context of the parable of the sheep. As the Good Shepherd, He is the gatekeeper to the flock. Those who enter by the gate were safe inside, enjoying their Shepherd’s protection. Jesus said that He is the door to salvation. First, He said, “Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep…” He then expanded on the parable and gave us it’s interpretation: “I am the door; if anyone enters through me, he will be saved…” (John 10:7, 9).
I am the way. No one comes to the Father but by Him. There’s no salvation apart from God, and Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the only way to Him.
I am the truth. In Psalms 69:13, David says that God’s truth has the power to save. No wonder then that Jesus, whose name means “God saves,” said that He is the truth. He is that saving truth from above.
Jesus did not claim to be a truth, a way, a door. He used the definite article – He is the truth, the way, the door. There is only One. If you are truly His disciple, you acknowledge that He is the truth, and that His every word is more real than life itself.
There is only one God, and only one path to salvation and eternal life. That way is Jesus Christ.