The One Saving Name
Acts 4:12
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

As one of the earliest preachings of the gospel, this sermon contains a striking illustration of the simplicity of the gospel message. From it we may learn what things were set forth as the primary and essential facts of Christianity, before the development of Christian doctrine. Theology is a science formulated by human genius; for it we are mainly indebted to Augustine and Anselm and Calvin. But it would be a sad thing indeed, for the thousands of" wayfaring men," if an adequate apprehension of a human theology were essential to personal religion. This sermon deals with facts, with the known historical facts of our Lord's life, death, and resurrection; and with the unknown facts, declared upon the apostolic authority, of Christ's office, commission, and authority, as risen and exalted. Upon these facts the sermon makes deductions and applications, as in our text.

I. SALVATION. Some have strangely suggested that by this word St. Peter only refers to bodily healing, and simply asserts that in Jesus Christ is the true miraculous power. But we cannot thus lose the deeper meanings and applications of truth. Sin is the great human ill, and salvation, to be any salvation at all to man, must deal with and compass it. For this sin that has wrought and is working in us we need "salvation," and it is but to mock us to say that Christ is not the Savior from sin. Show what a large, comprehensive word "salvation" is; compare it with healing, teaching, reforming, etc. It is the word which expresses the deepest need to which any soul can ever awake. At the very edge of death the aroused jailor cries, "What must I do to be saved? Plead as to whether there has yet been open vision to the discovery of this master-need. What, indeed, can it profit any one of us to gain the whole world, and have our soul unsaved?


1. A name stands for a person, and includes whatever rights may belong to him. Illustrate by the ambassador acting in the name of the queen; travelers finding safety in using the name of Englishmen; Moses coming forth in the Name of Jehovah. So the apostles went forth, spoke and wrought, in the Name of Christ. And salvation is by the Name, i.e. by the present rights and power of the living Savior, whom apostles introduced to men.

2. A name stands for a plea. As St. Paul used his name as a Roman citizen. The Name of Jesus is a sufficient plea to secure acquittal, for all due satisfactions have been wrought by Christ. The Name of Jesus becomes a sufficient plea to secure acceptance, for all required righteousness has been won by Christ; and we, by faith united to him and bearing his Name, come into his power and share his rights.

III. SALVATION ONLY BY ONE NAME. None other name" is designed to be exclusive. Then see what it excludes. Few, perhaps, will now actually substitute something for Christ, and deliberately say, "I will not be saved by Christ." But there was, in older times, a subtle substituting of fancied ideas about God's mercy; and there is now danger of our substituting knowledge and science. Many will try to put something along with Christ. Men try to join their own name with Christ's; or they put together the Virgin Mary and Christ; or the Church and Christ; or even, in subtle forms, the Bible and Christ; or feelings and Christ. All are wrong things if they are set in the first place with Christ; all may be good if kept in their proper second places. For soul-salvation there is only one Name; the essential thing is that we stand in living relations of faith and love with him whose "Name is above every name."

IV. SALVATION IN THE ONE NAME FOR ALL. Otherwise it could not be exclusive. If it is to be the only Name, then it must be the all-sufficient Name, or God would be deceiving us in permitting such broad and gracious invitations to be made to us. The real wants of men are common to all men. We all want health, love, knowledge, and truth; and it is equally true that we all want pardon of our transgressions, liberty from the slavery of self and sin, the life of righteousness, and the hope of the eternal glory. "Salvation" gathers up all these, and all these are found in and through Christ Jesus only.

CONCLUSION. The way of salvation keeps its simplicity. And "to you is the word of this salvation sent." There is one Name - only one Name; believe, and you shall be saved. Search the world over and the ages through, there is no other; and yet one day to this Name "every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess." - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

WEB: There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!"

The One Saving Name
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