Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Neither is there salvation in any other, etc. The contrast between the position of Christ's heralds thee and now. They pointed to one miracle just wrought; we point to the whole succession of wonders along the line of Christian history. Already the Name of Jesus is "above every name."
(1) A proclamation;
(2) a warning;
(3) an invitation.
I. A PROCLAMATION. "None other name."
1. The proclamation of witnesses. They knew the person, they saw the power, they were subjects of the grace. The Name was a history, testified by those who published it. Others could take knowledge that they had been with Jesus. So Christians still can speak of the Name as in their own hearts and lives "above every name."
2. The proclamation of inspired teachers. The name misunderstood among Jews, because salvation itself nothing to them, not spiritually regarded. The Name of the "Messiah" represented the promise of atonement, spiritual deliverance. The apostles themselves taught of God, otherwise would never have known the secrets of the Name. They proclaimed salvation necessary to all, denouncing the self-righteousness of the Jews.
3. The proclamation of sincere philanthropists. "Under heaven given among men." The standard set up at Jerusalem, but it meant conquest of the whole world. No name will bear this test but Christ's. Other names, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, have but a limited range, of sympathy - divide the world, not unite it. The history of man is a progressive preparation of the race to acknowledge a Name which shall be adapted for universal recognition and homage. A missionary spirit the test of a true Church.
II. A WARNING. There are other names among men. Recall the chief dangers of our present time. The builders at the temple of human progress are setting at naught the corner-stone. An emasculated Christianity, robbed of its deepest adaptation to the wants of men; a mere bundle of moral principles and examples. The pride of the human intellect set on the throne; in rationalistic criticism; the dry bones of the Bible offered instead of the living reality; in socialistic theories put in place, of spiritual change, which alone can produce the fruits of righteousness; in sophistical arguments against the leading doctrines of the gospel; and pretended philanthropy, which means nothing but trifling with the awful realities of sin, and undue exaltation of the material above the spiritual interests of men. Other names in the Church. The priest hiding the Savior; the ritual shutting out the truth; sectarianism dishonoring Christ; names of leaders and teachers made into temptations to spiritual pride, and mere hero-worship substituted for simple-minded obedience to Christ's commandments. Yet the Name above every name in fact, and must be seen to be so. The Name of the coming Judge, who, though he find not faith on the earth, will still destroy all that exalteth itself against him, "that God may be all in all."
III. AN INVITATION.
1. To acceptance of a free gift. "Given amongst men." Contrast between Christ's method of helping men and that of the world's teachers.
2. To separation from a lost cause. The names of the world represent the old things which are passing away. Come out and be separate. Name the Name of Christ in order to realize salvation. Half-hearted religion no joy.
3. To anticipation of a final victory. As the Name we honor represents a life which went up from the lowliest places on earth to the highest in heaven, so those who are called after the Name rise to the throne to reign with Christ. Will you sell such a birthright for vain delight? Will you forfeit such a prospect for lack of faith? - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.