Acts 4.7-12

Ours is a faith that makes some pretty exclusive claims. We see Peter here in Acts 4.7-12 making such a claim.

When questioned by the intimidating group of people surrounding him (vv.1-6) Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answers their question of “By what power or by what name did you [heal this man]?” Defending the fact that they are on trial for, essentially, doing a good deed…to a crippled man, Peter says that

“…by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands before you healthy. 

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, that has become the cornerstoneAnd there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.””

(Acts 4.10-12, NET)

Peter says, simply, that it was by the power and name of Jesus, crucified and raised, that this man stands before you healthy. Quoting from Psalm 118 Peter again lays responsibility for Jesus’ crucifixion at the feet of the religious leaders and then makes an exclusive claim:

“…there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.””

(Acts 4.12, NET)

Peter is not claiming that Jesus is one of many. Peter is not saying that all roads lead to heaven and in Jesus we’ve found a really good route. Peter is not saying that sins can be forgiven if you work really hard but if you don’t, don’t worry because Jesus will take take care of it. Peter is making an exclusive claim similar to that made by Jesus Himself in John 14.6:

““I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

(NET)

This truth is so simple yet so often rejected: if we are going to be made right with God, if we are going to have sins forgiven, if we are going to live life after death, it is all only possible through Jesus.

We trust God to deal fairly and compassionately and graciously with those who have never heard of Jesus, the infant who dies, for example. However, for those who hear and outright reject, for those who hear and take no action, for those the truth of Scripture is clear:

“…there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.””

(Acts 4.12, NET)

Rather than view this as exclusive and exclusionary, we should view this as exclusive and clear: God loves you and has given you the clearest possible proof in the one-step process for salvation. Rather than a long list of to-dos and boxes to tick, God has placed before you only one thing: the choice to believe in Jesus. He came, died, and rose to allow those who put their faith in Him as Lord and Saviour to have their sins forgiven and to live life eternal (John 3.16). Ours is a faith that makes some pretty exclusive claims, and we are so glad it does.

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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