Christian Activism - Is it Biblical? By Dave Hunt Increasing numbers of Christians are engaging…
Salvation In No Other Name
By Jonathan C. Brentner
What do people need the most? The answer remains the same as it’s always been: A clear understanding of the Gospel. By this I mean that people need Jesus, not the one that so many today create in their mind but but the One revealed on the pages of Scripture.
The Apostle Peter said this in Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
Jesus said this in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Our belief in the exclusivity of Christ as the only way to eternal life comes from the words of the Savior Himself.
In Acts 4:12, Peter simply affirmed what he heard the Savior say the night before His crucifixion; there is no other way, “no other name.” He alone is the door to everlasting life; all other paths lead to eternal destruction.
The most famous verse in all of Scripture affirms this truth, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
In the verses preceding John 3:16 Jesus not only points to belief in Himself as the way of salvation, but also the cross as the means, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
Jesus died in our place upon the cross; He paid the debt for our sins. That’s why there’s no other name but Jesus; no one else paid the debt for our sins. Christ alone took our place on the cross.
The Apostle John wrote these words, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
Belief in Jesus is essential.
What About Good Works?
Do good works have any part in our salvation? Absolutely not!
No one can earn their salvation because the standard is far too high. In Matthew 5:48, Jesus gave us the necessary standard of salvation, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
The righteousness necessary to save ourselves is just as attainable as someone jumping in the Pacific Ocean at Laguna Beach, California and swimming nonstop to Hawaii. We start out our journey in life “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) and it goes downhill from there. Apart from God’s intervention, we would never experience new life in Christ.
Paul, in Ephesians 2:4-9, gives us the essence of the Gospel:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
It’s God who makes us alive in Christ. We inherit eternal life solely on the basis of grace and receive it through faith. We add nothing to Jesus’ work on the cross. He took our sins upon himself so that “we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus Paid It All
Paul David Tripp begins his July 3 devotional in New Mercies with these words, “Jesus paid it all! There are no bills due for your sin! You are now free to simply trust and obey.”
Because his words so clearly portray the heart of the Gospel, I quote them in their entirety below.
“Stop trying to earn something from God. Stop trying to gain more of his acceptance. Stop trying to earn his favor. Stop trying to win his allegiance. Stop trying to do something that would pay for his blessing. Stop trying to morally buy your way out of his anger. Stop trying to reach a level where you will know lasting peace with him. Just stop trying. Just stop.
“So many Christians load onto their shoulders a burden that they do not have to bear. They get up every morning and pick up the heavy load of trying somehow, some way to achieve something with God. They work hard to exercise what they do not have in hopes they can achieve what is impossible. It simply cannot work. So where does it lead? It leads either to the scary pride of self-righteousness—a culture of moralistic self-backslappers, who have no problem judging those who have not achieved the level of righteousness they think they have—or to fear and discouragement—a culture of people who don’t run to God with their sin because they’re afraid of him.
“Paul wipes out this distorted, debilitating “buy your way into grace” culture with a striking economy of words: “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law” (Gal. 3:11). It is a statement that requires no preamble and no amendment. No on is ever accepted by God because he or she has kept the law. No one. That’s it; no compromises and no deals are needed. They are not needed because, first, it is impossible to buy your way into God’s favor because sin makes you a lawbreaker and, second, you bills were fully and completely paid in the single payment of the cross of Jesus Christ. Christ did not make the first payment on your moral mortgage; he paid your entire moral mortgage in on single payment so that you could live in relationship to God debt-free forever. God’s law is not your payment plan because there is no payment plan when the demands of a mortgage have been satisfied once and forever in one single payment.
“So stop trying to measure up to get whatever from God. Stop hiding from him when you mess up. Stop comparing yourself to other people, wondering if God loves you less because you’re not as “good” as them. Stop naming the good things you do as righteousness that not only gets you closer to God, but also proves to other that you are. Just stop asking the law to do what only grace can achieve, and start resting in the fact that you don’t have any moral bills due because Jesus paid them all on the cross. And when you sin, don’t pretend you didn’t, don’t panic, and don’t hide. Run to Jesus and receive mercy in your time of need, the kind of mercy he paid for you to have.”
Jesus paid it all; we add nothing whatsoever to the cross. Our salvation is truly finished.
Now is The Time to Believe
If you have not called upon the Lord in faith for the forgiveness of your sins, please do so today. The time is exceedingly short. Jesus assures us all through the New Testament that belief in Him, and in Him alone, leads to eternal life. I love the words of 1 John 5:11-12 in this regard:
And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
If you are reading this after Jesus has come for His Church, please know that there is still time to turn to Him, but please know you must not delay.
There is no other name. No one else paid the great debt for sins, only Jesus. You will not find life in any other name; your goodness is of no account. Jesus alone saves and we abide in Him only because of His grace, mercy, steadfast love, and His keeping power that keeps us secure in this life and will do so through all eternity.
Now is the time to believe!
If you are already in Christ, please know that your security is totally based on God’s grace. We do not add works to our salvation. Our hope rests 100% on Jesus’s love for us. We all have a past even after we put our faith in the Savior, but the truth of the Gospel is that we are not guilty anymore. We owe nothing because Jesus paid all our debt on the cross.
Don’t let anyone tell you it’s possible for you to walk away from your salvation or lose your eternal inheritance in any way. That’s a denial of grace, the addition of works to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross on our behalf, and a perversion of the Gospel.
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