Audio Worship "No Other Name" Acts 4.5-12

Princeton Presbyterian Church (EPC) Sermon # 1592

June 18, 2023

Acts 4.5-12            Click here for audio worship.

Dr. Ed Pettus


“No Other Name”


5On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10let it be known to all of you 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 is standing before you well. 11This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”


  • The Way of Salvation


The church has always been hounded by opposing arguments and questions and philosophies of the world. One of those is the question or argument of many ways to salvation or as some would phrase it, there are many ways to God. Classic traditional Christianity testifies that Christ is the only way to God, the only way to be saved, the only way to heaven. The world has great problems with that, especially these days when anyone is excluded in any way, shape, or form. Any claim made in the Bible that excludes anyone is rejected for the sake of inclusivity and tolerance and being “woke”, whatever is the current term for the wisdom of the world. Our testimony, by its claim, excludes all other testimonies whether Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Mormon, and so on. That exclusivity is offensive to the world and it bleeds over into every other claim the Bible makes about excluding anyone for any reason. So when the Bible claims that sinners who practice sin as a way of life will not inherit the kingdom of heaven, we, and the Bible, are rejected because we have excluded behaviors that, according to the world, should be tolerated, accepted, and promoted.

I imagine we have all seen that bumper sticker -COEXIST- that is spelled out with various religious symbols. I would also imagine that the message of that bumper sticker is first, for all of us to get along. Second, that there are many ways to God. If those are the messages then I suspect we will not “get along” with the owners of those cars or ever agree with their broken ideology that there are many ways to God.

There is another bumper sticker out there, rarely seen but still, and it spells out

-CONTRADICT-. It also has the letters represented by various other religions. The smaller print says, “They can’t all be true.” The last letter of CONTRADICT is the symbol of the cross. I imagine the message with that sticker is that our message of the cross is going to contradict with all the other religions and all the other claims of religions and claims of the world. We might be able to coexist in living peacefully, as the Bible calls us to do, but we will always be in conflict when it comes to the claim of Jesus as the way to salvation. There is salvation in no one else and no other name by which we must be saved.




  • God’s Domain


My main point today is that we are given a testimony of salvation that is completely articulated in Acts 4.12, there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. That is what we claim and believe and tell the world, and rightly so. I will give many more texts in line with Peter’s preaching. But the Bible is a strange book and God is a mysterious God. I want to point out two other passages that are Old Testament passages that indicate that God had other peoples He delivered. Israel was not the only group of people chosen for deliverance. Now, that might mean a lot of different things, I don’t really know. It could be that Israel was chosen specific for God’s purposes and God delivered other people for less specific reasons. Here are the two texts:


Amos 9.5-7 The Lord God of hosts, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who dwell in it mourn, and all of it rises like the Nile, and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt; 6who builds his upper chambers in the heavens and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—the Lord is his name. 7“Are you not like the Cushites to me, O people of Israel?” declares the Lord. “Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir?


One of the amazing observations is that this verse about delivering people groups other than Israel is even in the Bible! We might think that a book about the Jews and their particular understanding as THE chosen people, would not want to include a verse about others whom God brought up from oppressive situations.



Isaiah 19.23-25 23In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. 24In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”


What does all that mean? As my Old Testament professor used to say, “God has other fish to fry”. Some might claim these texts as evidence that God can and may work through other means for other people, but I think it is simply showing that God so loves the world that He will do amazing things to bring people to Himself, even giving His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins and raising Him from the dead that we might live.

God can deliver whomever God chooses. From His perspective, from His view, which is a view we have no real vision for in the sense that our thoughts are not His thoughts; from His position, God can do as God so chooses, but...we have no other way than Jesus and we have no other testimony than Jesus. I want to be clear on that. Jesus Christ is the Name and the only Way for He is the Life. In Christ, God has revealed the One through whom all people must come. There is no other way and there is no other testimony for us to give. All roads do not lead to God. All religions do not lead to God. Only one way. Only one Name. This leads to our last bullet point.





  • Our Testimony: No Other Name


Our testimony is that there is no other Name. Having seen that God has saved others, let me add this as well. The Jews were the chosen people and yet Jesus opened the door for all other people to be delivered, meaning Gentiles. In Jesus Christ, and this is our testimony, in Jesus Christ God has made a way for all who believe in Him to be reconciled to God. There is no testimony in the Bible that God makes any way other than Jesus. Jesus makes that very clear.

No room for any other name. The Bible is clear on Jesus! This is the way God has established as the way to salvation. We do not have a choice to say that there are many ways to God. We do not have a biblical testimony that gives us permission to say anything other that what Jesus said, what Peter said, what Paul said, what the Bible affirms many many times. This is the testimony given us through the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.


Let’s start with our text for the day, Acts 4.12,

12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Peter is defending his actions of healing and preaching in Jesus’ name. He is speaking to the religious leaders who wanted to know by what power or what name theses things were done. Peter clarifies beyond a doubt it is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Jesus was somewhat a popular name. Christ is a title. Nazareth narrows it down even more. That the religious leaders had a role in having Jesus crucified leaves no question as to the identity of the One Peter is preaching and whose name he has healed a crippled man. Jesus Christ of Nazareth, salvation in no one else, no other name for salvation.


Paul writes in Romans 10.9-13...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

That last line, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”, is a quote from the prophet Joel 2.32. In verse 9 Paul reveals the name - Jesus. Of course Jesus has been his subject all through Romans! We can look back to Romans 6.23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. We might tend to focus on the wages of sin, but for today we focus on the gift of God in Christ. Eternal life only comes though Christ and in Christ. There is the Name again, Christ Jesus our Lord.


Let’s turn to John’s gospel:

John 3.16-18 16“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.


Salvation is known through the name of the only Son of God. John testifies throughout the gospel that Jesus is the Son and Jesus Himself lays claim to being the only way to God. John 14.6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


Now, I want you to know that I know some people even read and interpret this verse as limited to the audience for which it was intended. That is, they think that Jesus is the only way only for those to whom John wrote, for them that means what they call the Johannine community. Thus, they want to say that other communities have other ways to God. Sometimes I think interpreters just want to do all they can to appease the world and even twist God’s Word to do so.


One more text from the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2.5-7 5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.


One God, One Mediator and look at verse six in particular, “which is the testimony given at the proper time”. This is the time for the testimony of Jesus Christ. This is the time to proclaim the one way to God! God has set the time for the Way, the Truth, and the Life. When Jesus came to the earth and accomplished His mission on the cross and out of the tomb, the testimony was made as clear as it could. One Savior, one sacrifice, one way to the Father. This is our testimony to the world, to all religions, to all people. Jesus Christ is the one and only way to salvation. This is the Christian witness given us through the Bible. Jesus Christ is our testimony. We have no other choice for we are called as followers of Jesus to give the testimony that has been given to us. The good news is that Jesus is the Way. We are messengers to that good news. If we were to ever suggest otherwise we have diminished and compromised the biblical testimony and when that is done, we lose any integrity in the proclamation of salvation. If we were to alter the testimony given to us, we might as well quit giving testimony. But we will not compromise, we will not alter the text to say something it does not say. And that is all we are asked to do, simply give the testimony. We don’t save anyone, only God does that. We don’t regenerate hearts, only God. We only give testimony to what God has done and we do that through words and actions and presence. Sometimes we say the testimony (words), sometimes we show the testimony (actions), and sometimes we are the testimony simply by being there with someone (presence).

But in order to give any testimony, we have to live it as faithful followers of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. That is a great testimony – discipleship, worship, loving, giving, obedient, peacemakers, growing to maturity in Christ. Peter and John took no credit for healing or preaching because they trusted that it was only through Christ that anything they said or did could be said or done. We also depend on Jesus to guide us in giving testimony, faithfully and with integrity, giving testimony to the One in whose name is salvation. He alone. Jesus alone. Amen.