Question: How does one respond to the statement: "Churches don't save; Jesus saves"?

Table of Contents

Question: How does one respond to the statement: "Churches don't save; Jesus saves"?

Salvation comes only through Christ, but the Bible and all other Scripture states that the salvation He offers is mediated through His Church

How does one respond to the statement: "Churches don't save; Jesus saves", claiming that people either don't need to belong to a church to be saved or that there are many churches that will "save"

This approach is often taken by protestant Christians, probably because their claim to direct continuity with the early Christian church is tenuous, and they cannot easily claim to possess the priesthood or divine authority.

It is true that Christ saves. As He explicitly stated in the Gospel of John, no man can come to the Father except by Him. Notwithstanding, the Bible and all other Scripture states that the salvation He offers is mediated through His Church (e.g., 1 Timothy 3:2).

Further, do note Matthew 16, where Christ states He would create His Church. The term in Greek is ekklesia, which refers to an organized structure, [1] not a group of different denonominations who are part of "the Body of Christ," per the Evangelical Protestant perspective. [2] Christ's true Church is to be one body, one baptism, and one faith, as Scripture clearly shows (Ephesians 4:5).

So, in summary—Yes, Christ saves, but such salvation is mediated through His Church and the ordinances therein at his decision and command.


Notes

  1. See, for example, Raymond E. Brown and John P. Meier, Antioch and Rome: New Testament Cradles of Catholic Christianity (Paulist Press, 1983). ISBN 0809125323.
  2. For the Evangelical perspective, see Eric Svedsen, Evangelical Answers (Reformation Press, 1999). ISBN 0967084083.