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Acts 4:11–12

“This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

We have thus far in our study of the book of Acts considered three of Peter’s sermons to the Jews. One thing that they have in common is that in each the Apostle emphasizes that his Jewish contemporaries, at least those Jews to whom he preached, sinned in crucifying Jesus (see Acts 2:23; 3:14–15; 4:10). Since he was a true preacher of the gospel, however, Peter did not leave them to wallow in their guilt without any hope. As we have seen in Peter’s Pentecost sermon and in his sermon in the temple courts after healing the lame beggar, the Apostle proclaimed the resurrection and faith in Christ as the solution to sin (2:32–40; 3:15–20). Even those who had had a direct hand in killing Jesus could be forgiven if they would rest in the Savior, turning from their sin. In today’s passage, we see that Peter followed exactly the same pattern of preaching the resurrection and pointing sinners to salvation through faith in Christ when he declared the gospel to the Jewish Sanhedrin.

Having stated that Jesus rose from the dead (4:10), Peter went on to make clear that God’s raising Jesus from the dead was a divine reversal of the Sanhedrin’s rejection. He quoted Psalm 118:22, following the example of our Lord in applying that text to Himself (see Luke 20:17–18). The Jewish leaders believed themselves to be doing God’s will in putting Jesus to death, but in the greatest reversal in history, the Lord made the One whom they had rejected the Lord of all (Phil. 2:5–11).

Consequently, there was only one way forward for the Sanhedrin: to seek salvation in the very person whom they had killed. In fact, as Peter said, salvation can be found in none other than Christ, for His is the only name under heaven whereby people can be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the exclusive way of salvation, and this teaching is perhaps one of the most controversial teachings of the Christian faith. The Romans persecuted the early Christians over it. They were fine with Christians’ believing that Jesus is a Savior; they just could not abide the believers’ refusal to acknowledge other saviors alongside Jesus and worship them. Today, many people outside the visible church and even some within its walls hate the notion that faith in Jesus is the only way to be saved. Yet we must stand firm on this truth, for our eternal destiny hangs on it. Matthew Henry comments, “We are undone if we do not take shelter in this name, and make it our refuge and strong tower; for we cannot be saved but by Jesus Christ, and, if we be not eternally saved, we are eternally undone.”

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

There is strong pressure in our generation to compromise on the exclusivity of Christ for salvation. We can be called ignorant or intolerant for affirming that we can be saved only by trusting in Jesus. Yet the truth is that only those who believe in Jesus will be saved, and there is nothing more loving than to declare that fact.

For further study
  • Isaiah 43:11
  • Hosea 13:4
  • Mark 16:15–16
  • John 14:6
The bible in a year
  • Leviticus 17
  • Matthew 27

Jesus’ Presence with the Apostles

They Had Been with Jesus

Keep Reading Augustine of Hippo

From the February 2024 Issue
Feb 2024 Issue