The claims of Jesus are startling to say the least. The focus of his teaching is about relationship and relationship at its core is, I believe, the stumbling block for humanity.
To claim that you are in the Triune relationship with God and his Spirit is all about the ultimate community and in a world that exalts “individualism” this sets Jesus and the Christian grossly apart.
One author writes in her book, Girl meets God that to claim that you are the guarantor of eternal life is quite a claim yet it is the heart beat and core of the Gospel. Being autonomous is what the “enlightenment era” is all about but in the teaching of Jesus, the body of Christ that we call The Church, isn’t language that lends itself to autonomy.
The Christian message sets itself apart from other religions by its foundation which is “Jesus came to give life.” There is no figuring out, laboring, or merit system. Eternal life is given as a gift from God himself, the three in One, which includes the acceptance of Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit being in perfect relationship, all three persons in One God. This relationship is what Love is. God is love.
So here are some common “isms” that are prevalent that make Jesus’ claims even more cutting edge. Relativism is the claim that “all truth is rooted in opinion.”
Pluralism is based on the basis that different views and values and practices can be true therefore no “one” view is better than any other.
Jesus’ claims are NOT open to pluralism or relativism because Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father but by me. He also says that there is only one way to heaven and that is to acknowledge that He is the Son of God and is a living God.
“God does not, can not affirm us in our sin nor is he indifferent to our sin. He loves us despite our sin. Jesus establishes that it is “Love”, not tolerance as the standard by which we relate to God and to all people.” Dr. Hud McWilliams
Jesus died for our liberty. Liberty is a rigorous state but it should NOT be so. In a world where it seems people continue to be led by religiosity, politics, tradition, ritual, and vain repetition Jesus’ claims Liberty is what He came and died and rose again for!
Now the LORD is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17.