“let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead–by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12)
Have you ever heard a Christian say that there is only one way to heaven or that there is only one way of salvation? I hope so.
We say this not because we made it up. We didn’t invent it; though there are countless inventions of the sort in the world.
We don’t say it because it makes us feel special. It is not said out of a desire to control others through the guise of religion. No. We say there is only one way of salvation because God’s word says it. There is salvation in no one else, in no other name, but Jesus.
In this age of tolerance, surely, the idea of “no other name” must be rejected and even hated. Christians! So intolerant. But are we? And is it actually us that you rail against? Your condemnation bothers us not, for we are only repeating what we read and what rescued us from the pit of hell and what gave us abundant life. (John 10:10)
The intolerance you accuse us of does not exist in us nor come from us. Really. We would never dare to set the way to eternal life by our finite minds. That would be preposterous! The intolerance, or more accurately, the decree comes from elsewhere. The decree came from heaven. It originated with God. It comes from Him, this truth of “no other name”. He is the one who has the power and the right to set it and to determine the fate of all who deny it. But that He decreed it is grace for you and me and all sinners. Do not despise the words “no other name” Love them! For there IS a Name!! In it is great mercy. (Matthew 1:21)
But maybe you push this objection forward: What of those who have never heard the name or who are sincere in the faith they put elsewhere for salvation? Why ask of them? Ask about yourself. But it’s not fair! Fair? Is it wise to project our human sense of justice unto the Creator of the Universe? It is far better to take Him at His word: no other name.
Though you bring concern for others, maybe you have no worry for yourself. You are sure there is more than one way. At the very least, there’s your way: your ceremonies and religion and works of goodness. Do you not see that in there is the hope that your name saves? But your name is nothing. Can a sinner save himself in his own name or justify himself before God? God help him. His good works cannot save. (Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 2:16) His name is nothing in respect to salvation. There is no power there to save and certainly no perfection. Can he in his own name really be good, really? Can he keep the law? No. (Romans 3:23, James 2:10)
One man cannot save himself by his works, but what of a group of people gathered in a system of salvation? The truth is that God’s word never names the name of a group of people, a church, a congregation, or any institution as the way of salvation. It only names one name, Jesus.
But why is this Name the way of salvation and different from all others that say they are the way? It is because it is from God not man. It is not an invention of mankind or worse, demons. It is God’s invention. His will. His plan. To His glory. Other ways start within man and attempt to move up to heaven or paradise or somewhere. Salvation in Christ originated in heaven and came down to us. God incarnate. A fitting thought for this Christmas season.
But maybe this Name can’t save you? Maybe you are too great a sinner? My dear heart, you’ve got it backwards. You are still looking at yourself. The question is not about the depth or breadth or extension of your sin. The measure is not in the sinner; it is in the Savior! Who is the one whose name we are talking about? Look at Him. Who is He? Only the one who died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, the only one able to be the perfect sacrifice, the only one worthy to take the book and break its seals. (Luke 24:46-47, Hebrews 10:12, Revelation 5:9) Holy. Sinless. Perfect. Creator. Upholder of all things. God the Son! (John 6:69, 1 Peter 2:22, Hebrews 9:14, Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:3, John 1:1, John 8:58, Titus 2:13) Salvation is in His name, this Jesus, not another Jesus. (2 Corinthians 11:4), or in any other name, because of all He is and has done. Do not despise “no other name”. Cry out to the Name who saves! Jesus!
“For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:2-3a)
“They said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’”
“But what does it say? ‘THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART’–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” (Romans 10:8-9)
“but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:24-25)
“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.” (Acts 4:12)
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