Salvation Is In Christ Alone
Key-verse: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (ACTS 4:12).
Salvation is the theme of this great key-verse; but what is meant by the term "salvation"? When anyone is saved does it simply mean that he is saved from Hell and is ready to be admitted into Heaven? Yes---but it means very much more. God's salvation is wonderfully comprehensive. We are lost, broken and beaten down by sin and under condemnation but He seeks and finds us and restores us into fellowship with Himself, and then He empowers us to live a holy life. When we are saved we are given back all that was lost through the entrance of sin into the world. God's salvation covers man's need---past, present and future. It is an immediate and an eternal salvation. It is the salvation of the soul, but also of the whole human personality which is brought under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Let us unfold this great statement of the gospel, and notice to begin with that:
(1) Salvation is something that is absolutely necessary.
The last three words in the key-verse declare this, for they tell us that "we must be saved". Peter did not say, "we may be saved", or "we can be saved"; what he did say was, "we must be saved". Here, then, is an absolute necessity, something that is imperative-"we must be saved"-look up John 3:14-15 and then compare John 3:7. Why must Jesus die? Because mankind must be saved. But why must we be saved? There are three reasons:
(i) We must be saved because we are not saved already.
By nature we are lost, just as the sheep, the silver and the son were lost in the parable of Luke 15; and we are not only lost, we are perishing-as John 3:16 tells us. We must be saved, therefore, because we are not saved already.
(ii) We must be saved because we cannot save ourselves.
What can we do to blot out our past sins? What can we do to save ourselves from the present onslaught of sin and Satan? What can we do to guarantee our salvation for eternity? We can do absolutely nothing. If we are to be saved, this salvation must come from someone outside ourselves.
(iii) We must be saved because God has provided salvation for us.
But why has God provided salvation if we do not need it? Why the amazing miracle of Bethlehem and the ignominious death of Calvary if we could be saved in some other way? The fact that God has, at such infinite cost, promised salvation for us all is a sure proof that we all need to be saved.
Salvation is absolutely necessary. It is imperative-"we must be saved". But notice also that our verse tells us a further very important truth about salvation, namely that:
(2) Salvation is absolutely necessary here and now.
Peter is very careful to say that this salvation is given "under Heaven"-not in Heaven. It is given this side of Heaven, and this means that we must receive this salvation in this life. There is no such thing as missing salvation in this life and then receiving it in the next life. Salvation must be experienced here and now, and that is why there is such a strong emphasis all the way through the Scriptures on the importance of being saved today-look up and compare Proverbs 27:1; Luke 19:5; II Corinthians 6:2 and Hebrews 3:7. The Bible does not promise a second chance of salvation beyond the grave, although many false prophets hold out such promise. The "gospel of the second chance" does three things: first, it makes God a liar; second, it slanders the Cross, and third, it provides a back door out of Hell. God is infinitely merciful and desires the salvation of all men, but these are His terms: salvation is absolutely necessary, but it must be received here and now, in this life. This leads us to a third truth contained in our text:
(3) There is only one way of salvation.
This is the burden of Peter's message-"Neither is there salvation in any other ... " This should read quite literally, "Neither is the salvation .. "-notice the definite article here, and compare the words of Jesus in John 10:9 and John 14:6, and the inspired words of the Apostle Paul recorded in 1 Timothy 2:5. There is "none other name ... " by which we must be saved, and the name referred to is the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as Peter tells us in Acts 4:10---"Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead ... neither is there salvation in any other ... "! No-one will ever be saved except by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, because He is the only Savior. There is no other savior-look up Isaiah 43:11---Jesus is the only Savior of the world, and the world's only Savior. Notice also that here we have the truth emphasized that salvation is in a Person. It is not in religion, in church membership or in rites, ceremonies and forms, but it is in the Person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is through faith in His name-look up Acts 3:16. Next we learn that:
(4) Salvation is offered to all.
This wondrous salvation, which is in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, has been "given among men"-that is, it has been made available to all men, everywhere. Thank God, there is no racial barrier, for people of all races are invited to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ-look up Romans 10:13; there is no social barrier, for all kinds of people, the elite of society and the ordinary everyday folk are invited to put their trust in the Savior-compare Acts 4:13 and Romans 2:11; there is no financial barrier---for it does not matter how rich or how poor we are, we all have to come the same way-look up Isaiah 55:1-2; there is no moral barrier-we may be (comparatively speaking) good people, or we may be very immoral-look up 1 Timothy 1:15; and there is no age barrier-the young may come as well as the old-look up and compare John 3:4 and Acts 4:22. There is one more truth embodied in our verse. It is that:
(5) Salvation is absolutely free.
It is "given among men"-compare John 3:16 and John 10:27-28. You cannot pay for a gift. All you can do is to receive it or reject it. You cannot buy salvation by keeping religious observances, because-lookup Titus 3:5. You cannot buy salvation with money, because-look up 1 Peter 1:18-19. You cannot buy salvation by trying to live a good life, because---look up Ephesians 2: 8-10. You cannot buy salvation with anything, for it has been once and for all purchased and thus provided by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this great salvation is available for all who will receive it by faith. All we have to do is to come with empty hands and receive the wondrous provision that God had made for us to be
saved for all eternity.
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
Nothing in my hand I bring;
Simply to Thy Cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace:
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die!"