NO OTHER NAME
ACTS 4:1-12 PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH 29 OCTOBER 2023
You can see that the title of the sermon says No Other Name. Where we will be going with that title is the way to salvation.
Now, in my opinion, it is always important to know what words mean when we use them so that we use them in their proper manner.
So, today, the word is “salvation.” And, you may say, Gary, everybody here knows what salvation is. And you are most likely right. At least, I hope that is the case.
Let’s identify what the word “salvation” means. In the original language, the word is Soteria. It means deliverance, preservation, and salvation. It is deliverance from danger and apprehension. It means safety.
Salvation is God's spiritual and eternal deliverance to those who accept His conditions of repentance, faith, and baptism in the Lord Jesus Christ. And that deliverance is obtained only through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, the best place to find out more about this salvation is to go to the source – the Word of God.
But what so often happens? People look for salvation in other places. They often find their idea of salvation in other places – in material things.
We may think that we have a certain amount of security in and through those things.
However, these other things – these material things – will very often lead us to a false sense of security – into a false sense of salvation.
People look for many different ways to find salvation in the world today. We attempt to find it in other people. People look to notable scholars for guidance in the difficult areas of living. Some respect and admire their opinions and their philosophic reasoning. And so, they feel that they have found salvation in the wisdom of those people.
We sometimes look for salvation in material things. And often, that is where many find that salvation. Those material things produce a feeling that “nothing can touch me now because I have it made.” “I have all these things around me. I have need of nothing more.”
So, we must look at what God’s Word, the ultimate authority, says about where we can truly find salvation.
So, let’s go to Acts 4:1-12 to find out some answers to our questions and concerns about our salvation.
READ – Acts 4:1-12
4 As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
5 On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. 7 When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
First, we need to find out what was going on in the Word here in Acts 4. The priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees were listening to Peter’s preaching. And they did not like what he was preaching.
And what were they preaching that was so offensive to these groups? They were, of course, preaching Jesus and Him raised from the dead. The thing that really angered the priests and the Sadducees was that this message about Christ was being accepted by many of those in the crowd.
So, the temple guards hauled the apostles off to prison.
The next day, as we see in verse 5, the rulers, the scribes, and the elders had a meeting in Jerusalem. All the high priests were there. The offending preachers were brought before them. And the trial began. They questioned the preachers, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”
Peter, speaking with the power of the Holy Spirit within him. READ vss 8-12.
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
The name referred to, of course, is the One Peter has spoken of just before in verse 10. Verse 10 speaks volumes in setting the priests and Sadducees straight --- he says: “…by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead – by this name, this man (the lame beggar who was healed) stands here in front of you in good health.”
Peter minces no words in pointing out that they are murderers.
He also wastes no time telling these unbelievers where salvation comes from.
When Peter spoke of salvation coming from no one else other than the Name, he was, of course, speaking of Jesus.
The “religious” leaders were questioning Peter and John about the healing of the crippled beggar. They were asking “in whose name was it” that they had the power to do that.
Peter says it is by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that the man was healed.
And now he tells them that salvation (or healing from the spiritual disease of sin) is found in no one else, except in the name of Jesus Christ.
And, you know, that event took place centuries ago. But the wonderful news about that is that fact remains the same today.
The power of Jesus Christ is equally as strong today as it was then. Whatever, or whomever we seek salvation in cannot stand up or measure up when they are compared to the salvation power which Jesus Christ offers.
You probably remember a song that was popular several years ago which said, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” When that happens, life doesn’t quite turn out the way we might want it to.
And, looking for salvation in all the wrong places produces the same results. Salvation obtained from sources other than through the blood of Jesus Christ produces unhealthy, weak, short-lived results. Only temporary happiness exists. Life looks grand. Things may seem to be turning around for you.
And then --- the thing or the person we thought we had found salvation through ---fails! What then?
Our faith is shattered! We are lost! We are hopeless! We are back where we started from.
The only place we can go is to come to the One who really can and has provided salvation for us. Back to the One who can deliver us from sin and its sickness. The One who can truly preserve us for eternity --- that is Jesus Christ!
We can find comfort in His salvation because His salvation brings us none of these disappointments.
Hebrews 13:8 says: “He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” No one else can make that claim.
Let’s ask ourselves: “Why is Jesus Christ qualified to grant us salvation? Why is He able to deliver us from the sickness of sin, and is able to preserve us to the end?”
And, then, we should ask ourselves: how we might be like Him?
Here are some ways we can be like Him:
1. He is victorious over temptation and trials.
There is no sin in Him. He was accused of sin, but there was no basis for the charge. His qualification is in His purity.
We can be victorious over sin.
2. When trials and temptations come our way, we call on Him.
He is there – open 24 hours a day. He has endured what we endure – and much more so, He can help us in our trials and temptations. We can overcome trials and temptations.
He stands waiting for us to come to Him with a repentant heart.
3. Jesus practices what He preaches.
There are many great themes in Jesus’ preaching and teaching.
His message, of course, is one of love. He saw the needs of people with loving understanding.
He practiced a kind of love that He expects His followers to have.
He also taught much about forgiveness. The woman caught in adultery is a good example. Jesus had every right to condemn her. But instead, He was compassionate. He met many other sinners as well. His attitude was always one of forgiveness.
He was willing to forgive if she was willing to turn from the sin she was in and not return to it.
His example also shines through in the area of unselfishness.
He came to give His all – and to give Himself to all people.
He lived a life of service. His unselfish attitude extended to the cross and to His death on the cross.
To save us, He had to identify with us. We had to see Him living what He was teaching. In common language today we would say “If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk.” Jesus did that.
He demonstrated the truth of His words with His life.
We can also be like Jesus in that He has conquered death. You might say, “We can’t conquer death.” Right, we will all die, unless we are alive when Jesus comes back.
But, the way we can conquer death is that when He does come back and the resurrection takes place we will no longer be dead. We will have life – we will have conquered death, by the power of Jesus Christ – to live forever with Him.
There are three accounts given in the New Testament where Jesus raised persons from death. Jairus’ daughter, the son of the widow in Nain, and His friend, Lazarus.
Dwight L. Moody once said, “Jesus spoiled every funeral He ever went to.”
But what is the difference between His raising these three people and His own resurrection from death? The difference, of course, is that those three persons, at some time later, died again. Jesus died, was buried, the stone rolled away, and He walked out alive. And He is still alive today.
He is not just alive then; He is as much alive today as He was then.
He is still serving as the Mediator between us and our Father.
He still pardons; He still forgives; He still shows 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 much deserve.
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 overcome temptation by communicating with the One who is able to overcome and is able to help us to overcome temptation.
We practice what we preach by knowing fully the One in whom we believe and place our trust (and, by the way, we all preach every day by the life we live).
We conquer death by living in Him, knowing that physical death only brings us closer to real life. That is, living in Jesus Christ for eternity.
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 keep life in something or someone who is determined to die in their sin.
Mankind must respond to this loving outreach of God for His grace to be effective in redemption. Toscanini, was ready to play one of Beethoven’s symphonies before he played, he said this: “Gentlemen, I am nothing; you are nothing; Beethoven is everything.” His duty was to draw the attention to the composer, not to himself as conductor, nor his orchestra as the players.
So it is with us as we serve Christ – He is to flow through us and to show through us. He is everything to us and in us.