“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” Acts 4:12
Standing before the Sanhedrin (the highest Jewish council of that time), Peter boldly declares one timeless truth that all of us; Christians or non-Christians, religious or non-religious, learnt or unlearnt, must come to terms with. You either take it or drop it. You either believe and be saved or reject it and face the justice of God as far as the human condition—sin is concerned. The truth that Peter declared is very simple, “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Act 4.12).
Peter made this proclamation on an occasion when they were dragged before the Sanhedrin for having healed a man who was lame from birth. They were being tried for having used the name of Jesus for healing a lame man. In their defense, Peter wasn’t afraid to say that the lame man was healed in the name of Jesus. He boldly tells the council; “If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God has raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed” (Acts 4:9-10).
Regardless of what you know or don’t know about this man—Jesus of Nazareth, I ought to reiterate Peter’s pronouncement that if you are seeking for salvation, seek it nowhere and in no one other than in Jesus the Christ. “The substance of every apostolic announcement. The experience of every pardoned sinner. The strength of every courageous confession. The foundation of all missionary preaching of the Church (J. P. Lange) is that there is no other name given by which all of mankind must be saved, for salvation is only in the name of Jesus. What does the name Jesus mean?
The meaning of the name Jesus (Yehoshua or Yeshua)
The name of Jesus is as sacred as the person of Jesus. It is a God ordained name for a divine accomplishment—salvation of mankind. It is a saving name given to him by God. At his birth, the Lord God himself commanded Joseph to name the child Jesus. Appearing to Joseph in a dream, God told him; “[Mary] will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). In brief, the Hebrew name for Jesus is either Yehoshua or simply Yeshua. “Linguistically, the name Yehoshua/Yeshua/Jesus conveys the idea that God (YHVH) delivers or saves (his people), eventually through his servant messiah.”
According to John Wesley; “To be called, only means, according to the Hebrew manner of speaking, that the person spoken of shall really and effectually be what he is called, and actually fulfil that title.” This is exactly the testimony to Joseph in the dream, that the son whom his wife Mary will bear is a Saviour who must be given a name that exactly describes his title. So, the name Jesus is not just a matter of letters, it is not just a matter of identity, but it is about the bearer’s office and ministry of salvation. To invoke the name of Jesus is to call him to action.
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Knowing this very well, Jesus himself instructed his disciples and all those who believe to drive out demons and heal the sick in his name. He tells them; “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; … they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well” (Mark 16:17-18). And again, Luke records of this name that; “repentance and the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations” (Luke 24:47). The apostles understood the saving power in the name of Jesus very well and highly esteemed the name of Jesus. They healed in the name of Jesus. They preached the name Jesus. They called men to repentance in the name of Jesus. They performed several miracles in the name of Jesus. And they believed and preached that salvation is only in his name.
John Newton could not write less of this name Jesus in his hymn; How sweet the name of Jesus sounds. He has exactly sung the power in the name of Jesus that doesn’t only heal the physical body but also the soul. The name that drives out fears and calms the storms of life. The first two verses of John Newton’s hymn read;
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds, In a believer’s ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, And drives away our fear.
It makes the wounded spirit whole, And calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, And to the weary, rest.
Because Jesus’ name saves, heals, and in it is the forgiveness of sins, it is important that;
All mankind must believe in the name of Jesus to be saved
Jesus offers a universal salvation for all mankind. This is because all humanity has been corrupted by sin. Paul alluding to Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3 and Ecclesiastes 7:20 clearly notes that; “There is no one who is righteous, not even one, there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” He continues to write that “There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:10-12; 23-24).
- Sin is a universal problem, no one can be exempt from it
Yes, all have sinned; white or black or colored; regardless of race, culture and language, all human condition is the same “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because sin is a universal problem,
- God’s salvation through Christ is equally universal
Jesus’ offer of salvation for all mankind has been noted well by John the evangelist; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3.16). Here it has been well stated that, God’s love is for the entire world; Americans, Latinos, Europeans, Asians, Africans and whatever people you may belong to. Salvation in Christ is an offer for all the world. However, the it is portrayed here that;
- Salvation through Christ is an offer that one must first take to be saved
The phrase whoever believes in him in John 3:16 must be underlined and taken seriously. It is clear that Jesus’ death on the cross is for all mankind but only those who believe shall be saved. That God’s offer of salvation is not compulsive but optional, you may choose or reject. In his Commentary, Matthew Henry is right in quoting Dr. Hammond that “By him, and him only, by receiving and embracing his doctrine, salvation must now be hoped for by all. For there is no other religion in the world, no, not that delivered by Moses, by which salvation can be had for those that do not now come into this, at the preaching of it.’’
Since “salvation is found in no one else,” to be saved, all mankind must “Repent and be baptised,… in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of [ones] sins” (Acts 2:38).
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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the New International Version (NIV).
Rev. Julius Izza Tabi is a pastor in the Anglican Church of Uganda, Ma’di & West Nile Diocese. Julius served as an assistant Chaplain and lecturer at the Arua Campus of the Uganda Christin University. He is currently a candidate of Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at Det Teologiske Menighetsfakultet alias the Norwegian School of Theology, in Oslo, Norway. For pastoral assistance you can email him or check how you can reach him here and you can also help to support this site by donating here.