January 3, 2020 Morning Verse Of The Day

† 4:12 — “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

If God knew that Jesus really did not have to die, then He is an uncaring monster for sending Him to the cross. And if He thought Jesus had to die when He really didn’t, then He wouldn’t be God.[1]

12 A second early christological motif in Peter’s proclamation is that of “God’s Salvation.” In the longer Isaiah scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls, “God’s Salvation” and “Salvation” appear as Jewish designations for the expected Davidic Messiah (cf. 1QIsa 51:4–5, which uses the third person masculine suffix and pronoun in connection with the expression “my Salvation”). Likewise, “Salvation” is used as a messianic title in other Qumran texts (cf. CD 9:43, 54; 1QH 7.18–19; 4Q174 on 2 Sa 7:14 and in connection with Am 9:11), in various intertestamental writings (cf. Jub. 31:19; also T. Dan 5:10; T. Naph. 8:3; T. Gad 8:1; T. Jos. 19:11, though the provenance of the Greek version of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs is debated), and in the rabbinic materials (cf. b. Ber. 56b–57a).

Luke has already stressed this early christological motif in Zechariah’s hymn of praise (Lk 1:69, “a horn of salvation”), in Simeon’s prayer (Lk 2:30, “your salvation”), and in introducing the ministry of John the Baptist (Lk 3:6, “God’s salvation”). Now in addressing the Sanhedrin, to whom such a messianic designation was doubtless well known, Peter proclaims, “Salvation is found in no one else [i.e., than in “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead” (v. 10)], for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (v. 12). There was nothing of compromise or accommodation in Peter’s preaching. As this magnificent declaration shows, he was wholly committed to the uniqueness of Jesus as the only Savior. Peter and the other apostles never watered down the fact that apart from Jesus there is no salvation for anyone.[2]

12 And from the once rejected but now glorified Jesus, and from him alone, comes true saving health. The deliverance of the cripple from a bodily affliction might serve as a parable of deliverance from the guilt of sin and from judgment to come. If the rulers persisted in their repudiation of Jesus, which had already involved them in blood-guiltiness, no deliverance from its consequences could be hoped for from any other quarter or by the power of any other name. The name of Jesus, by which the cripple had been empowered to spring to his feet and walk, was the name with which Israel’s salvation (and, as was to appear later, the salvation of the world) was inextricably bound up. The course of duty and wisdom for the rulers was therefore clear; if they refused it and persisted in their present attitude, they would bring destruction on their nation as well as on themselves.

The founders of the great world-religions are not to be disparaged by followers of the Christian way. But of none of them can it be said that there is no saving health in anyone else; to one alone belongs the title: the Savior of the world.[3]

4:12 / The Christian use of Psalm 118:22 had been suggested by Jesus himself, who had quoted it in answer to much the same question as that put to the apostles on this occasion (v. 7; cf. Luke 20:1–18). In Jesus’ case, he had gone on to speak in terms of Isaiah 8:14f. and Daniel 2:35, of the stone as destroying those who rejected it. Here Peter points to the other side of that coin by presenting the stone as the source of salvation. It is worth noticing that in 1 Peter 2:6f. he mentions both sides (cf. also Rom. 9:33; Eph. 2:20) and the connecting link in his thought there, as perhaps here between verses 11 and 12, is Isaiah 28:16, which appears to have been interpreted of the Messiah in the Aramaic versions of the Old Testament, or targums. Peter was thinking now, not simply of the miracle of the lame man, but of what that miracle signified—generally, the whole salvation of humanity, to which “the name” was as essential as it had been in this particular case of healing (see note on 2:38 for “the name”). In Jewish thought the Messiah was never essential to the kingdom, which could be spoken of as coming either with or without him. But the Christians had learned that their Messiah was indispensable. One preposition is used twice in this verse (Gk. en, translated variously “through” and “by” but most characteristically meaning “in”). It gives the sense that Christ is both the agent and, as it were, the location of our salvation; he brought it about and only in him can we find it (cf. John 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:5f.). The use of the word “must” (see disc. on 1:16), together with the statement that God has given this name, reminds us that this is his appointed way of salvation. There is no other way. For the Christian message as the announcement of salvation (see 13:26, 47; 16:17).[4]

12. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

We make these observations:

  • Salvation proclaimed. “Salvation is found in no one else.” This text is among the well-known and cherished passages in Acts. Peter challenges his immediate audience but at the same time speaks to all people who seek salvation. He addresses learned and influential men in the Sanhedrin whose work consisted of showing the people of Israel the way of salvation. They did so by telling the Jews to perform works that would earn them salvation. But Peter preaches that salvation can be obtained in no way other than through the name of Jesus Christ. The salvation he preaches comprises both physical and spiritual healing.19 They see the evidence of physical healing in the man who used to be a cripple. But they must understand that spiritual well-being includes forgiveness of sin and a restored relationship with God. No one in Peter’s audience is able to point to any person who grants salvation, because everyone needs salvation himself. Hence, they should realize that they can have peace with God only through Jesus Christ.
  • Name given. “There is no other name under heaven given among men.” The name Jesus reveals the task of the Savior, because the name means “he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). That is, he heals people physically from the effect of sin, but more than that, he removes sin itself so that people can stand before the judgment seat of God as if they had never sinned at all. Jesus makes them spiritually whole by restoring them in true relation to God the Father. Jesus says, “No one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). No person but Jesus has the ability to provide remission of sin. “Through his name everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins” (10:43).

Peter resorts not to an overstatement but rather to a descriptive idiom when he says that there is no other name under heaven than the name Jesus. Nowhere in the entire world is man able to find another name (i.e., person) that offers the salvation Jesus provides. Religions other than Christianity fail because they stress salvation by works and not by grace. The name Jesus has been given to men by God himself to show that salvation has its origin in God.

  • Believers saved. “[No other name] by which we must be saved.” The Greek text is specific. It does not say that we can be saved, for this would indicate that man has inherent ability to achieve salvation. Nor does it say that we may be saved, for then the clause would convey uncertainty. The text is definite. It says: “by which we must be saved.” The word must reveals a divine necessity which God has established, according to his plan and decree, to save us through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, this word signifies that man is under moral obligation to respond to the call to believe in Jesus Christ and thus gain salvation. He has no recourse to salvation other than through the Son of God.[5]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ac 4:12). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[2] Longenecker, R. N. (2007). Acts. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, pp. 774–775). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Book of the Acts (pp. 93–94). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Williams, D. J. (2011). Acts (pp. 82–83). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 17, pp. 155–156). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

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