Scripture is clear, there are just two paths to salvation, and one will FAIL each and every time it is attempted. The two paths are to be saved by the law which FAILS and the other is to be saved by Jesus Christ by the power of the Gospel. The path by the law being failed, will show you that the path through Jesus Christ is the only real viable path.
Some will see the headline to this article, and say “NO! There is just one path”. I agree there is just one VIABLE path but there is actually two paths of which we read of in Scripture. God shows us that if we could be saved by being perfect to the law, that path would be viable, but since we are sinners, it will never be a path that one can be saved. Thus a Savior is absolutely necessary and that path through Him is the only real viable path to salvation.
Jesus denotes these two paths as the “wide road to destruction” and the “narrow way leading to life”. (ref Matthew 7). He teaches us that many are on that wide road which will be those attempting to save themselves by the law, few will be on the narrow way who will place their faith alone in Him.
Every world religion, Roman Catholicism comes to mind, puts their follower’s FAILED path on the wide road to destruction because they are attempting to be saved by the law. To be saved by the law, one can never break any of God’s laws in their entire lifetime. You must be absolutely perfect. We see this with Adam and Eve, as they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden based on merely a simple disobedience.
For some reason, world religions seem to think that God changed. That somehow His holiness is no longer a standard He commands. By this teaching they portray Jesus was some sort of weak and feeble Shepherd, and would need to bypass or eliminate Matthew 23 and the whole passion and crucifixion of Jesus for example from the New Testament. They basically see God as two Gods. The Old Testament commandment keeping God who was mean and stern, and a New Testament God who looks the other way when it comes to sin.
They really want to believe that God would not let Adam and Eve skate and slide from their sin, but somehow He would with them to do so, they see the “good college try” as how God now is supposedly operating. They want to believe Jesus died in vain or for some other reason than to redeem sinners from their sins, because it was not really necessary.
In Mark 10, Matthew 19, and Luke 18, we see this play out. A rich young ruler asked Jesus what he could do to be saved. Knowing the mind and intent of this man, Jesus told him of the one path he was clinging to, and that was to be saved by the law. The young ruler replied that he was basically perfect from birth, a lie. So Jesus exposed him, He then commanded the ruler to go and sell all his possessions and follow Him. The ruler immediately fell away, showing everyone that he was a liar, because if he had been perfect, the command Jesus gave him would have been easy to obey. That attempt to be saved by the law failed in a split second!
I have had blind Roman Catholics and a priest actually try to say “see, one can be saved by the law”, by that account of the young ruler. They can’t see that the ruler lied, but let’s say he didn’t? Well the ruler sinned by disobeying Jesus right then and there and all that supposed perfect commandment keeping was dead in the water. Put it this way, if anyone could be saved by the law, then Jesus would NEVER had to leave His eternal throne and die on a lonely Cross. So why then the law?
The law was put forth by God to show us, to demonstrate to us, that we absolutely NEED a Savior, Jesus Christ. Each time a self righteous person such as that ruler or the Pharisees would try to tell Jesus they were “keeping the law”, Jesus would raise the bar. This would show everyone that they were not keeping the law, which must be perfect. One little slip up, and you are deemed a law breaker just like Adam and Eve.
And once you REALIZE you are a law breaker, there is just ONE path left to salvation, it is going to be by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. The rich young rulers so to speak, self righteous to the core, absolutely hate that notion. That the path now is solely by faith alone in Jesus Christ. So they attempt to believe in both paths, law keeping and also a side faith in Jesus. The attempt is to add their law keeping to Jesus Christ’s righteousness, AGAIN, eliminating that salvation path through Jesus.
There are just TWO paths, which one are you on? Are you trying to save yourself by law keeping of which you already FAILED miserably? Or have you placed your faith alone in Jesus Christ’s perfection by which His righteousness has been imputed/credited to you. And that third path of a blend between the both does NOT exist because any addition to Jesus Christ eliminates the need for Him just as law keeping, just as the rich ruler tried.