2009-05-08 - Aonio Paleario
Romans 10:13, "Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved."
Faith in Christ for forgiveness of sins is the core belief of the Christian faith. We all know we have done wrong and our conscience tells us that we will one day give an account to God for our sins. The Bible reveals that Jesus Christ offers forgiveness for sins because, being God incarnate, He died for the sins of those who trust Him. There are several ways of saying the above, but that is the basic message of the Christian faith. If you believe that, and are trusting in Christ for all your hope, you are a Christian and your sins are forgiven. If you do not believe the above then you still own all your own sins and unless you come to repentance for sin and faith in Christ you will stand before the Living God one day to account for the crimes you have committed against His perfect Law. The first cause, and only cause of salvation is Jesus Christ. There is salvation from sin in Christ and it is found in no other place. Salvation is not offered by a church or person, it is only found in Jesus Christ as revealed in the Word of God, the Bible.
Dr. Merle D'Aubigne speaks at the end of a Charles Haddon Spurgeon sermon (#450) and gives the following historical account that illustrates what we have said above. There was a man in the 16th century named Aonio Paleario. He lived in Italy and wrote a book called, "The Benefit of Christ's Death." The Roman Catholic Church ruled the religious life of Italy. A book that spoke of Christ alone as the way to salvation and not Christ and the Church as the means to salvation, as Rome taught, and teaches today, was not popular. The church burned the book. Aonio was brought before a judge by order of the Pope. The judge proposed to ask Aonio three questions. "What is the first cause of salvation, what is the second cause of salvation, what is the third cause of salvation?" It was thought that by asking these three questions Aonio would have to in some measure acknowledge the Roman Catholic Church. So they asked him, "What is the first cause of salvation?" He answered, "Christ." Then they asked him, "What is the second cause of salvation?" He answered, "Christ." They then asked him the third time, "What is the third cause of salvation?" He answered, "Christ." They thought he would have answered in succession, "Christ, The Word, The Church," but he answered Christ to each question. He was put to death.
Aonio paid for his faith with his life and countless others have also, but he was right. Ask a Christian a hundred times what the cause of salvation from our sins is, and every time the Christian who is consistent in his/her faith will say that "Salvation is found in Christ, and only in Christ." The Christian knows of no other kind or manner of being made right with God. It is not by our works. It is not by following a dynamic leader. It is not by joining the right church. Salvation from sin comes alone through Christ and He offers it freely to those who come to Him in faith. We know of no other way to be right with God than by Christ alone.
Soli Deo Gloria,