“propitiatory sacrifice,” and Mastrantonis describes it as the
means by which the forgiveness of sins is obtained:
This ceremony of the Holy Eucharist is both His sacrifice for the
salvation of man and a sacred mysterion. The Holy Eucharist
is the seal of the proclamation of the communion with God. It
is the only Sacrament offered by the Church in which the elements of bread and wine not only carry the Grace of God, as
a mysterion, but are “changed” into and “are” the very Body
and the very Blood of Christ, being a propitiatory sacrifice. . . .
This awesome sacrifice has been entrusted to the Church to
be re-enacted and given to the faithful for the nourishment of
their faith and the forgiveness of their sins in remembrance
of the Lord.
The teachings of Orthodox theology stand in contrast to the
Biblical declarations that salvation is in Christ alone.
We look back at the Reformation and thank God for the
Reformers’ emphasis on solus Christus.
It is alarming to learn of prominent evangelical defections
from the principle of solus Christus in the modern evangelical
world. Numbers of evangelicals have gone back to Catholic or
For example, a well-known evangelical seminary has experienced defections. Within 10 years, over 24 faculty members,
students, and alumni of Southern Evangelical Seminary in
Charlotte, North Carolina, have entered full communion with
the Catholic Church.
As another example, Ed Stetzer reported that Hank
Hanegraff, known as the “Bible Answer Man,” and his wife
joined the Orthodox Church on Apr. 9, 2017. Stetzer said,
“For a man who has built a valuable ministry on clear answers,
this has sparked some questions within the evangelical
Those who join the liturgical churches must of necessity
embrace the doctrine that the church mediates salvation. They
deny to some degree the Biblical teaching that salvation is in
Christ alone. The two instances cited here reflect a wider trend.
Fundamentalist and Baptist pastors must resolve to faithfully preach the gospel message of “repentance toward God
and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” That is part of “the
whole counsel of God” (Acts 20: 21, 27).
Christ commanded us to be witnesses of Him (Acts 1: 8).
We must consistently give this message of salvation by faith in
Christ alone to unsaved people.
Fred Moritz (DMin, Bob Jones University) is professor of systematic
theology at Maranatha Baptist University.
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