If you want to start a dispute, find two baseball fans and ask them who the best Major League Baseball pitcher of all time is. This question will almost certainly start a dispute because each person will have their own opinion of what “best” means. But if you ask those same fans which pitcher has the most strikeouts all-time, the answer without dispute is Nolan Ryan. The second question is not controversial because it deals with facts, not opinions. To say that Nolan Ryan recorded more strikeouts than any other pitcher makes no claims about his superiority over all other pitchers. Disagreements about opinions are often never settled, but it is okay for people to think differently in these cases.
Unfortunately, when it comes to faith, many people think that it is just a matter of opinion and that ultimately it does not matter what you believe, as long as you are genuine in your faith. As Christians, we do not say that Christianity is a better option than another religion, then give a list of reasons to compare against another religion. Instead, we believe that it is an irrefutable fact that Christianity is the only true religion and demonstrate it through what the Bible itself says.
There is plenty of historical and archaeological evidence that proves the truth of Christianity including secular historical evidence of Jesus’ life, writings of the opponents of Jesus who affirm what the Bible records as well as inscriptions in ancient Roman roads that confirm what is written in the Bible. But what does the Bible say? Does the Bible speak of itself as factual or only as one way to believe?
The Bible Makes Truth Claims
Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Paul mentions four specific ways that the Bible is profitable, or beneficial, which also make truth claims about the Bible.
When someone is teaching, it implies there is a standard for what is being taught. The teacher teaches the correct way to do math, program a computer or bake a loaf of bread. Reproof is a strong word and has the idea of correcting someone who misses something that is obviously right or wrong. Correction means addressing something that was done incorrectly, or wrong. This means that there is a clear-cut right way to do something. Finally, training in righteousness shows that there is such thing as righteousness, and there is a particular way to grow in righteousness.
We can see that the truth claims the Bible makes are beneficial for our lives. If one person is making choices for their life in line with biblical standards, and another person is making choices that are against the Bible, then the first person is doing things right and the second is doing them wrong. It goes against what the Bible teaches to say they are both doing what is right “for them” as though they can use their own standards.
This is summarized in Proverbs 14:12 which says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Man’s way is right only when it is God’s way.
The Bible Teaches That God Is God Alone
Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” This is the basis for the Jewish shema prayer, and the affirmation went against the prevailing religions of the day which had multiple regional gods. This is an echo of the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3).”
God is jealous and will not share His glory with any other (Isaiah 42:8). To believe in and worship God as He is revealed in the Bible is to affirm that He is the only God, not the only God “for me.”
The Bible Teaches There Is Only Way To Heaven
Those who do not believe in an exclusive faith will affirm that there might be a god of the universe, but that everyone can take their own road to get to him. They will say that Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and all the other religions are just different roads to take up the same mountain to find the same god at the top.
But perhaps the most exclusive claim of the Bible, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).” Jesus is telling us that the only God that exists is the God of the Bible. Any road you take to find Him other than Jesus will not take you to Him. In fact, the Bible teaches that if you think you are seeking God on your own, you are not seeking the God of the Bible as Paul says, “no one understands; no one seeks for God (Romans 3:11).”
As important and good as these truths are, simply agreeing to the truth is not enough. We must first be born again by the Holy Spirit to not only believe these truths, but also love these truths and acknowledge that were it not for the perfect life, death, and resurrection of Jesus on our behalf, we would be dead in sin. Let us praise “the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord,” who has revealed Himself to us for our salvation (Jude 25).