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No Other Name





PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH      

ACTS  4:1-12            10 MARCH 2024

 

Read Text Acts 4:1-12


As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 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. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 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.”

Today, we want to talk a bit about the power of the Gospel. The power of the Gospel causes some unique reactions in people's lives – reactions in their thinking and behavior.


The Gospel itself is unique, so it shouldn't be surprising that it stirs people up. And it stirs people up in different ways. Some become stirred up enough to oppose it – sometimes even violently.


The Gospel stirs up others in a way that causes them to want to know more about it. They become curious. The attitude often is the "what's in it for me?" thinking.


People, in general, are always looking for something or someone that will make a positive difference in their lives. We look for something that will make life better and more fruitful or make us more prosperous and powerful.


This passage in Acts chapter 4 provides an abundance of proof of the power of the Gospel.


Up to this time, the Apostles had been working to spread the Gospel message – there hadn't been much opposition to their activity.


Likely, they were experiencing moments of hope and joy that the Gospel's message positively affected the people who heard it.


But then we come to Acts 4 and find some trouble brewing.


Their preaching – teaching the power of the Gospel – suddenly became a disturbance.


The temple police apprehended Peter and John. We might have expected that the ones opposing the preaching of the Gospel would be the Pharisees.


However, these were members of the Sadducees. The Pharisees We'll look at why that is important to note in a minute.


But first, we need to remind ourselves who the Sadducees were. These were those who opposed Jesus' teaching about the resurrection. The Sadducees opposed any teaching that the dead would be raised. Peter and John taught that the dead will be raised at Christ's return.


So, the issue of the Apostles preaching the resurrection is the gist of the Sadducees' opposition.


They were not about to allow these unlearned men to teach the blasphemy of a resurrection coming.


On the other hand, the Pharisees were also opposed to Jesus being preached as the Savior of the world.


The Pharisees hated Jesus because He had upset their traditions and practices. They were preaching the resurrection in the Name of Jesus. The Pharisees didn't like hearing the Name of Jesus as a Power.


Jesus had openly exposed their hypocrisy. Now, they were offended.


Peter and John spoke to the crowds at the temple in Jerusalem. Then, the priests and the captains of the temple couldn't stand to listen to the message they were preaching. They hauled them away to spend some time in jail.


Verse 4 is crucial. READ.

But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

What that shows us is that the Gospel is power. It has a power that draws people to it when they listen to its message.


The rulers brought Peter and John to trial. Who says the wheels of justice turn slowly? They certainly didn't turn slowly there.


Annas, the high priest, was there. Caiaphas, John, and Alexander were there. And verse 6 says, "All who were of high-priestly descent were there as well.


Everybody who was of any importance to accuse and try Jesus was brought in to witness this event.


We come to verse 7 and see that the rulers wasted no time in questioning Peter and John: "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?" (Healing of the lame beggar)


By asking this question, the accusers likely thought they would trap Peter and John. But what happened is: because they asked, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?"


This was a perfect point at which the Apostles could do what they do best --- preach the Gospel.


That, of course, was not what the accusers wanted to hear. I can imagine they thought Peter and John would fumble around trying to come up with an inadequate answer to their question.


But this allowed Peter and John to present the Gospel message to these so-called religious leaders.


If we understand nothing more than the truth in that one statement today, we have gained abundant hope for our future.


Then Peter becomes his own defense attorney. He is possibly the only defense attorney in history to be in the state Jesus says He is in.


Peter uses the advantage he has now in becoming his own attorney.


How does he do that?


Well, let's go back to verse 10 and find Peter begins speaking.


It is important to note that he says nothing to defend the actions of John and himself.


Verse 8-10: Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them:


"Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and 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."

Then, he made sure those listening knew who this Jesus was – verse 11.


"He is the stone, which was rejected by you, the builders, but became the Chief Cornerstone." This is actually a quote from Psalm 118:22-23.


David writes, "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."


The greatest, most important truth we can glean from Peter's message to the Jewish rulers and elders is what we read in verse 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.

The Gospel is the only thing in this world that can save sinful humanity's souls. - vs. 12..


So, that would seem to be the end of the story.


But it isn't.


When we read further in this 4th Chapter of Acts, we find the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey would say).


We can return to the birth of Jesus and the angel's instruction (verse 21). "She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."


He IS the Savior.


That was His Name at the beginning. When you accept that Name, you accept all it implies in the person involved.


Peter makes it clear – and it must be emphasized that when you come to Him, the purpose is to receive salvation.


There is no other name under Heaven that can save anyone.


The Law can't save you. Religion can't save you.


No kind of ceremony can save you.


Only the Gospel through Jesus Christ can save.


Jesus is that Person's Name who came down to save people from their sins.


Coming to Jesus in faith is the beginning of receiving salvation in Him and through Him alone.


Many religions have existed throughout the world's long history. We can examine each one and find nothing in its laws, teachings, or writings by mere men offering salvation.


They are full of dogmatism and religious laws, but dogmatism and religion cannot provide salvation. At best, they can only make a person feel good about themselves.


But they do not provide salvation or eternal life.


Follow one of the world's religions, and you will find yourself without hope beyond this life.


There is an eternity for those who follow those false gospels, those false religions. But their eternity is one of eternal burning in the fires of hell.


Budda can't save anyone – He's dead. Confucius can't save you. He's dead, too.


Call on any person, ideology, or religion you can think of. Consider who the leader or founder is of that religion. Ask the question: Is that person alive and living today in your life?


And when you make those comparisons and look at them with a clear vision, you will see and understand that Jesus is the only one who came to this earth, grew in stature as a man, and went to a cruel death on a cross – beaten and run through with a sword – and died – was buried – and returned to life after 3 days in the tomb.


So, no one else – no leader of any of the world's religions – no one ever did anything close to what our Lord Jesus Christ did so that we can be saved – not just to walk on this earth throughout our physical life - but also walk with Him in His home for an eternity.


In closing, let me ask a question. If someone you know has not accepted and followed the New Testament plan of salvation—that is, he or she has not become a Christian as laid out for us in the Book of Acts—that person asks, "What is the Gospel?"


What is your answer?


The short answer, of course, is that the Gospel is "Good News."


But we know it is much more than Good News.


We know that the Gospel is the only thing in this world capable and designed to save the souls of men and women.


  • The Gospel is God's achievement and the revelation of who He is.

  • The Gospel is God's method of providing life to a dead world.

  • The Gospel is God's power (dynamite) to provide salvation to all who will accept it.

  • And, finally, the Gospel is the fulfillment of Jesus' purpose on earth.

  • No power on earth can do what Jesus Christ has done for each of us.


Our reaction to that great truth can be evident in one of two ways:


  1. We will reject the sacrifice Jesus made on that cross to save us from sin.

  2. Or we will accept His sacrifice, knowing that He is our only hope in this life,

  3. Then we will obey His command to believe that He is the Son of God – the Savior of the people of this world from their sins; confess Him as Lord and be buried in the water of baptism for the forgiveness of our sins.

  4. Where are you today? If you have yet to obey in this way, why hold back?

  5. Take advantage of the best thing that will ever happen to you.


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