No Other Name
Lord Jesus, You have the words of eternal life (John 6:68). Speak them to me again today, I pray.
Read Acts 4:1-12
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“There is no other way to be reconciled to God than through Christ, for there is no other way of dealing with the guilt of our sin before a holy God” (Wayne Grudem). Tough words for our tolerant society!
A sports celebrity once said: “I believe in a bit of everything: God, the supernatural, ghosts, superstitions, UFOs. I like to keep my options open.” He’s typical of many. Choice, it seems, is what really matters. So the single most difficult issue for many Christians is this: how to sustain our commitment to the proclamation of Jesus Christ as the unique, exclusive, authoritative Savior of the world, and how to do this with sensitivity and courage.
Today’s passage addresses this head on, and the apostles refuse to duck the issue. First, notice the frequency with which different speakers refer to “the name” or “Jesus” (2,7,10,12,13,17,18). The starkest statement is in v. 12: “For there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” It is a declaration already found in the Gospels (John 6:68; 14:6), and it was this conviction that carried the apostles through wave after wave of hostility. The main motivation of the Sanhedrin is clear. This “name” was too successful; the movement was growing rapidly and they needed to stop it spreading further.
The lessons of the section are, first, that the Gospel was changing lives (8-10), and this is evidence which is always hard to refute, as we shall see tomorrow. Second, the apostles were empowered by the Spirit (8). Third, they had no doubt about the authority and power of their message; they proclaimed the name of Jesus, crucified and risen (10-12). How much we need this combination today! Our mission is founded on our conviction that Jesus is the Savior of the world, and we should never allow today’s pluralism to paralyze us, nor any opposition to deter us, for there truly is no other name.
Pray for renewed confidence in Jesus’ unique and exclusive claims on your life and on our world.
Loving Father, I pray for sensitivity and clarity as I share Christ with others. May I not shun the clear teaching of Scripture but share its tough words with love.
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