Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Imperative of our calling from Acts 4:12

 Acts 4:12 - 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.

I absolutely love that verse.  It becomes even more beautiful when you open it up to its broader context and read the first 3 chapters of the book of Acts.  As you see Peter's boldness before the one group whom we would have expected to have intimidated him.  He proclaims to the Sanhedrin there that it is Jesus who is the truth and the life and the way.  In Him and Him alone is salvation.

With verse 12 (among others) Peter slams the door to the universalist thought that all paths lead to God.  There is no other Name under heaven by which anyone is ever saved.  Only through Christ!  And Christ is defined as the Stone that the builders rejected, that God has made Him the cornerstone.

In other words, God has built His true church upon the Cornerstone of Jesus Christ.  The Biblical Christ is the only Christ in whom lies salvation.  We do not get to define who Christ is to us, He is who He is and who He is is revealed in Scripture.

However, because this is such an amazing Scripture that declares the Sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ unto salvation... I think we may overlook the imperative that is contained there as well.  There is an imperative in verse 12 as well.  Jesus isn’t just the Name by which we can be saved… He isn’t just the Name by which we should be saved… He is FAR more than that…

No, Jesus is the Name by which we MUST be saved.  People MUST be saved and that salvation only comes through Jesus Christ!  Solus Christus!  Through Christ alone!

We need, desperately, to see the urgency and imperative nature of the need for salvation that Peter makes clear in our text.

People must be saved.  It is the basic need of all mankind that they be reconciled to the God whom they've sinned against.  It is as necessary as oxygen is to the lungs, but sadly many many are dying every day without even so much as having heard of the Jesus who has died to save filthy rotten wretched sinful people.  No one is too sinful to be saved by the blood of Christ.  We are called to go and preach the Gospel.  God has ordained that through the foolishness of preaching (1 Corinthians 1:18) He makes His Word known to the lost and dying world, dead in their trespasses.

Let us see the necessity of salvation and be diligent to preach the Gospel in boldness no matter what persecution may come.  Further, let us seek to make persecution a means by which our trust in Christ grows stronger and the message of the Gospel is spread to every corner of the world.

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