Thursday, June 13, 2013

Christ Alone

Theological Thursdays

"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12, NKJV)

Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. This is a Latin phrase that literally means, "outside the church there is no salvation." This statement is commonly attributed to Cyprian in the third century. This statement is connected to another dogmatic position of Cyprian, "You cannot have God for your Father unless you have the church for your Mother. His position which overtook much of Christendom was that   the church was like an ark. Anyone outside of the ark could not be saved.

The theology of this phrase is directed towards those who do not accept the discipline, hierarchy, and sacraments of the Roman Catholic church. Therefore the phrase was applied to any who were considered to be "schismatics."

Among those who affirmed this position was Augustine. In 1442 Pope Boniface VIII upheld this position based on the Council of Florence. It was applied during the Reformation period to any and all who separated from the Church at Rome.

It is interesting that as Universalists are elected as Pope that some wiggle room has been introduced to extra ecclesiam nulla salus. After Vatican II some attempts have been made to suggest the possibility of salvation outside of the Roman Catholic church by Catholic theologians.

The sad truth is that there is no salvation in Roman Catholic doctrine. Sadly, the Roman position on justification and atonement places salvation out of reach.

The scripture is clear. Jesus Christ and Christ alone is the means by which atonement is made for men. God declares men to be just by faith in the atoning work of Christ. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus is to be soundly rejected.


Anonymous said...

Hi missed you yesterday.

Well written and very thoughtful reading.


Gregg Metcalf said...

Yvonne - I now, I just didn't have anything to say or maybe I am running out of things to say. Thanks for missing me! And thanks, it is a tough subject but needed to be noted.

Anonymous said...

I do get comfort from reading your daily posts. I've never know you lost for words.
Take care.

Steve Finnell said...


Jesus Christ is the only way to gain salvation, the only way to heaven, the only way to the Father. Do all Christians believe that? All who claim to be Christians do not believe that.

A 2007 Pew research forum on Religion found that 57% of the evangelical Christians, who were polled, believed that many religions can lead to eternal life.

Those who claim the Bible as God's word do not always use it as their guide for what they believe.


Acts 4:10-12 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

If 57% of all so-called evangelical Christians believe that there are many ways to heaven, it is not difficult to understand why so many of them reject the words of Jesus when He said "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved..(Mark 16:16). If you do not believe Jesus is the only way to heaven, then, it makes it very easy to deny that water baptism is essential for salvation.

Did you ever notice how, well know, so-called Christian preachers will not say that Jesus is the only way to heaven? Billy Graham and Joel Osteen come to mind. They also claim water baptism is not essential for salvation. Is there a connection?


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