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“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (I Corinthians 1:13 NIV)
In the never-ending battle over which religion or denomination is the most important, this question should actually end all discussion. Who died for you that you might have life and that more abundantly?
As great as some of the founders of various denominations may have been–none of them were appointed to die as atonement for man’s sins, but Jesus.
None of the separatists–those who pulled away from the original “doctrine that Jesus promoted” have been able to say, “through their death, mankind is saved” for all eternity.
If we look carefully at each of the “religious dogmas” we find error and confusion and reason to debate.
Peter could not have been the “rock” upon which Catholic doctrine (regarding non-marriage for priests) was established since he was married (Matthew 8:14). The doctrine was established out of need to control and an inability to comprehend what Paul was saying.
Martin Luther did not die for mankind’s sins.
Buddha did not die for mankind’s sins.
Mohammad did not die for mankind’s sins.
John Wesley did not die for mankind’s sins.
This list could go on and on, but the point here is–to make people aware that we must pay attention to who we reverence and why. God has always used “people” to accomplish His will, but that doesn’t mean we should give “the people” the place of honor that does not belong to them.
Though greatness is determined by those who affix the title–none of them–died that we might have life.
And this was the warning Paul was giving–though we have respect for those who do great things, we cannot give them the place of honor that only belongs to Jesus Christ. When we attempt to put “mere men” upon pedestals, chaos and confusion reign since those men (or women) are just as imperfect as the rest of us.
So, rather than argue and debate which religion is greater or which leader is the most revered, let’s focus on the One, True founder of our faith (if we say we are followers of Christ) and give Him the honor and reverence that is due Him and no one else. How can we say we believe in God and not believe that He came down from heaven in the person of Jesus Christ, clothed in flesh, like a mere man in order to save us from ourselves, with the ultimate sacrifice of His life on the cross?
He is the reason for this season–His birth, death, burial, and resurrection–all made possible by His love for us. Who else could make this claim?