NO OTHER NAME
ACTS 4:12 PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH 04 AUGUST 2021
Throughout our lives, we search for many different ways to find salvation. If this salvation is so important to us, we must ask, what is salvation, and why do we want it or need it?
The common dictionary definition of salvation is this: preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss. The theological definition of salvation is this: deliverance from sin and its consequences, believed by Christians to be brought about by faith in Christ.
We attempt to find it in people whom we believe to be outstanding authorities or scholars in the field of religion. We look to them for guidance in the difficult areas of life. They are recipients of our respect because of their great reasoning. We feel a certain amount of security in them.
However, these often lead us to a false sense of salvation. They give us a feeling that “nothing can touch me now, because I have it made by placing my trust in this respected authority.”
Well, when we have doubts or questions about such important aspects of our lives as is our salvation, it is always best to seek out the true Authority on the subject of salvation. We need to examine the truth found in Acts 4:12, which says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Before we go further, let’s look at what was happening in the verses before verse 12. The name referred to in verse 12, of course, is the One about whom Peter had just spoken about I verse 10: “then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.” This statement is about the healing of the crippled beggar (see in Acts 3). The scoffers were asking in whose name the crippled beggar was healed. Who had the power to do that they wanted to know? Peter says it was by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that the man was healed. And now he says that salvation – or the healing from the spiritual disease of sin – is found in no one else, except in the name of Jesus Christ.
That fact remains today. The power of Jesus Christ is equally as strong today as it was then. Whatever or whomever we seek salvation in; it cannot stand up or measure up compared to the salvation that only Jesus Christ offers.
Looking for salvation in all the wrong places leaves us without fulfillment and meaning in our lives. Only temporary happiness results from salvation from any other source. Oh, for a while, life feels grand; everything seems to be turning around to our advantage. And then, the thing or the person in which we thought we found salvation fails! What then? Our faith is shattered! We are lost! We are hopeless! We are back where we started from. We have to come back to the One who really can supply salvation to us. He is the One who can deliver us from sin and sickness. The One who can truly preserve us for eternity. And, that One, of course, is Jesus Christ.
We can find comfort in His salvation because His salvation brings us none of these disappointments. That is not to say, of course, that troubles will never again come our way. But His salvation never changes. He will be there with us to bring us through those trials. Any other source of salvation would cut and run when we are troubled because there is no substance in any other form of salvation. Hebrews 13:8 says, “He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Let us ask ourselves, “Why is Jesus Christ qualified to grant us salvation? Why is he able to deliver us from sin sickness, and able to preserve us to the end? How is it that we might be like Him in these ways?
First, He is victorious over temptation and trial. Again in Hebrews, in 4:15 we see this: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” There is no sin in Him. There never has been. He was accused of sin, but none was found in Him. His qualification comes because of His purity.
When trials and temptations come our way, He is there. He has endured and can help us. He stands ready with salvation when our heart is repentant; when joy returns to us. He desires that for us. No jealousy in Him would cause Him to want to keep all salvation to
His message, of course, was one of love. He met the lives of the people. He saw their needs with loving understanding. He practiced a kind of love that He expects, and wants, His followers to have.
Forgiveness is another area in which He spent much time teaching. The woman caught in adultery is one good example. He had every right to condemn her, but His attitude was one of forgiveness. He was willing to forgive is she was willing not to continue sinning.
His example also shines through in the area of unselfishness. He came to give His all. He put everything He had and everything He was on the line for others. He lived a life of service. His unselfish attitude extended even to the cross and His physical death. To save us, He had to identify with us. We had to see Him living what He was saying. He demonstrated with His life the truth of His Words.
He was not only victorious over temptation and trials, and practiced what He preached, but He showed who He really was and why He really came when He conquered death. The Gospel is summed up in this as Paul recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.
He died. He was buried. He was raised. He was seen. You might say: Others died as well as we see in Scripture. And they were raised. So what is the difference? The difference is very important. These others died again! Jesus was unique. He never died again. He lives even to this day. Dwight L. Moody once said that “Jesus spoiled every funeral He ever attended.”
Jesus is as much alive and powerful today that He was when He walked the earth. He is serving as our Mediator between us and the Father. He still pardons. He still forgives. He still shows mercy. The prophet Micah says (7:18): Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.”
Now, He is qualified to bring us salvation. He can deliver us from sin and sickness. He can preserve us from the awful punishment we so surely deserve.
So, what about us? What is our part in all of this? Can we be any of these things which qualify Jesus as Savior? Can we be victorious over temptation and trial? Can we practice what we preach? Can we conquer death? The answer to all these questions, of course, is yes we can. We can overcome temptation by communicating with the One who can overcome it. We practice what we preach by knowing fully the One in whom we believe and place our trust. We conquer death by living in Him, knowing that our physical death only brings us closer to real life, that is, life in Jesus Christ eternally.
We have to strongly desire to be saved; to experience that salvation which Jesus Christ waits, even now, to bestow upon us. In World War II a sinking Nazi ship was approached by a British rescue ship. The Nazi sailors spit at their would-be rescuers and refused to be saved. Sinners certainly have that option, but what a sad waste it would be. Even God will not impose life on an unwilling sinner. You cannot force life into something determined to die.
Mankind must respond to this loving outreach of God for His grace to be effective in redemption. We have the opportunity to serve Christ. He can flow through us so that He can be shown through us.
Gary’s Wednesday Word 04 August 2021