Friday, 14 January 2022
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
Peter has clearly identified Jesus with the Messianic hope through his citing of Scripture. The council would understand this perfectly. But now, He more precisely identifies Jesus in a particular role that was impossible to come from any other source than God, saying, “Nor is there salvation in any other.”
A definite article precedes “salvation” in the Greek – “Nor is there the salvation in any other.” This then refers to the messianic hope of deliverance from sin and restoration with God that was lost at the fall of man. In the Old Testament, the use of an article before “salvation” is found only three times. The first is found in 1 Samuel 14 which is referring to salvation of the nation in battle. The other two times are in the psalms where David obtains “the salvation” from the Lord in battle, and in Isaiah 12 –
“And in that day you will say:
‘O Lord, I will praise You;
Though You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.
2 Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song;
He also has become my salvation.’
3 Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of [the] salvation.” Isaiah 12:1-3
The words of Isaiah are messianic in nature, and they reflect a sense of “the salvation” being accessible solely from the Lord God. It is a hope that the Messiah would come to provide this, and Peter confirms that this was to be found in Jesus and in Him alone. As he said, it is not found in any other. He then continues on by saying, “for there is no other name.”
The Greek translated here as “other” signifies another, something different, a second, and so on. It is a word of exclusivity. The salvation is found in Christ Jesus, and it is not to be found in any other source. This unmistakably indicates that “the salvation,” of which the leaders of Israel would be perfectly aware of the meaning, was a direct threat to their direct positions within the community. The reason for this is that it then means at least two immediate things, with innumerable new thoughts issuing from them:
- No person could be saved through obedience to the Law of Moses, of whom they were the stewards. This is because “Moses” is another name.
- If “the salvation” is found in Jesus, then the law must now be annulled in Him.
One of the thoughts that would be a direct explanation for this is that the Mosaic law included the Levitical system of priestly sacrifices. But they never brought about complete cleansing from sin. If they did, a single sacrifice would have been offered and that would have been the end of it. But the sacrifices were repeated continuously – as needed, daily, monthly, and year after year as directed by the law.
But if “the salvation” came through Jesus, then His death was a one-time and for-all-time sacrifice for sin. As it occurred apart from the Mosaic Law, it means that the law must have first been fulfilled in Him and then it was set aside in order to establish the New Covenant.
In other words, as the Law of Moses anticipated the coming of Messiah, and as the Messiah had come, then the New Covenant anticipated in the law itself (Jeremiah 31:31) must be found in Him alone, apart from the Law of Moses. All of this is more fully explained in the book of Hebrews, but the truth of what is stated there would have been understood by the leaders in some aspect, even as Peter spoke out his words to them.
With this noted, Peter adds in more words of exclusivity concerning the name of Jesus, saying, “under heaven.”
The words qualify and further explain “no other name.” There is not any other person born into the stream of human existence by which “the salvation” can be obtained. Peter then adds a synonymous thought to ensure this is more perfectly understood with the words, “given among men.”
This excludes anyone born to Adam. Apart from Jesus, no prophet, no priest, no king, no instructor of the law, no other religious leader (such as Buddha or Muhammed) and so on, is to be found in the stream of humanity “by which we must be saved.”
The Greek uses the word “in.” It is in the name of Jesus, and in none other, that it is necessary to find salvation. One is either in Christ Jesus and he is saved, or he is not in Christ Jesus, and he will not be saved. Everything about what Peter says is clear, unambiguous, and perfectly exclusive to the name of Jesus.
A somewhat paraphrased but marvelous translation of this verse is given in the Weymouth New Testament –
“And in no other is the great salvation to be found; for, in fact, there is no second name under Heaven that has been given among men through which we are to be saved.”
Life application: This verse teaches us what Jesus has already said in John 14:6. There is one way, and one way alone, to be reconciled to God the Father. Apart from Him, the condemnation that rests upon all men (John 3:18) remains upon them. One must move from Adam to Christ in order to be saved. If you are not grounded in, and willing to proclaim, this fundamental truth, then you need to adjust your thinking. God has spoken, and as Paul says, “let God be true but every man a liar.”
We can lie to ourselves and to others, but we cannot lie to God, nor will God ever speak that which is untrue. Ground yourself in Christ and proclaim His name alone for the salvation which has been presented to all men.
Lord God, Your word proclaims that Jesus Christ alone can reconcile us to You. It is an unpopular word in today’s world, but it is... Your word. I will stand upon it to the end. Jesus Christ alone! Amen and amen.