Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
What an impression the apostles made as they stood before this inquisition of the religious leaders of their day! Oh, for such boldness in declaring our Savior that it may be said of those that hear us that “they marveled [and] they recognized them, that they were with Jesus.” (v. 13) Isn’t that the desire of the children of God? Not that men might recognize us, but that they might know Christ and the effect He has had upon us! These apostles were lightly esteemed in the eyes of men. They were untaught and uneducated (v. 13), but the Lord uses such “earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (2 Cor 4:7)
This confession by Peter and John was before the Sadducees, the religious party of the high priest and those who were involved in the administration of the temple. They were a group that held great power and who doctrinally differed from the Pharisees on certain issues, particularly regarding the doctrine of the resurrection. The Sadducees denied there was any resurrection, and so, even though a great miracle of healing had been performed through Peter, they were grieved that he “preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” (Ac 4:2) Many would have been intimidated by these religious giants, but not these former fishermen that were now filled with the Holy Spirit! They knew well that the idea of a resurrection offended the Sadducees, and yet they boldly declared, “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.” (v. 10)
What an awful thought–there is no resurrection! This false doctrine had made it into the Corinthian church, but the Apostle Paul rebuked them sharply for it. Just listen as he entertains the thought for a moment in 1 Cor 15:16-19: “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” We are a pitiful bunch if this life is all there is! “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:57) Many will celebrate the resurrection of our Lord this week, but it must not stop here. We must walk in the “power of His resurrection” at all times! Christ, who IS the resurrection (Jn 11:25), comforts His children with these words: “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.” (Jn 14:19)
I’m not sure if the resurrection is as unpopular today as it was to the Sadducees then, but there is certainly still much about the gospel that offends our present culture. Our main text deals with such a topic–a topic for which I believe the church will increasingly come under fire if we faithfully confess it. The disciples clearly declared that there was no “salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” The relativistic viewpoint of our day says truth is subjective–you have your version, and I have mine. The problem is that Jesus Christ was very close-minded on that point. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” There are not many ways to get to the same God. As popular as that notion is today, it simply cannot be found in the inspired word of God. May we possess the same boldness that the disciples did in their day to proclaim the simple truth that Christ taught us: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (Jn 3:36) Perishing souls need the truth! May we never give them a false hope.