“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved!” – Acts 4:12
In Acts 4, Peter and John have been brought before the Sanhedrin because they had been “teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead” (Acts. 4:2). The Sanhedrin was, in essence, the high court of the Jews. In NT times it consisted of 71 members, including chief priests, elders and teachers of the law. The high priest was the presiding officer. When Jesus was arrested, he was brought before this group of religious leaders and condemned to death. With his death by crucifixion, these Jewish religious leaders thought they had rid themselves of the problem of Jesus. But, God was not finished. He raised up men like Peter and John to continue to present the truth.
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, began to preach the truth before this foreboding body of men. “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed (Acts 3:1-10), then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He (Jesus) is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:8-12)!”
With these words, Peter declared the greatest truth ever proclaimed. Jesus is the only one who can save sinners. And that is why He came into the world—to save sinners. However, before one can truly be saved, he or she must first recognize the sinful condition of his or her heart. One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of sin. Have you truly been convicted of your sin? Perhaps your chief sin is indifference! Perhaps your chief sin is self-reliance or independence from God! I believe these to be the chief sins of religious people. They live their lives independent of Jesus and trust in religion to save them.
Furthermore, religious people tend to fail to see their sin. Jeremiah 17:9 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Our hearts deceive us into thinking that mankind is basically good. But, according to the Scriptures, we are all sinners. The Good News is that Jesus came to save sinners.
Another one of my favorite worship songs is sung by Laura Story and is entitled, Who but Jesus? Here are the lyrics, and I invite you to listen as well. Ask the Lord to reveal your sin. Then, turn to him by faith and receive His incredible grace and mercy.
Who but Jesus, loves the sinner?
Who but Jesus, calls him friend?
Reaches out to touch the leper,
Bids the weary come to Him?
Who but Jesus, loves the lowly,
Those the world has cast outside?
And with such scandalous compassion
Makes a wretch his chosen bride?
Who but Jesus, dwells among us,
Called this broken world his home?
Took on flesh and pain and sorrow
Reaping what He did not sow?
With the lost He shared salvation,
With the thief He shared a cross,
All that we might share His riches,
Who but Christ would give it all?
Who but Jesus?
Who but Jesus?