Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
We can destroy ourselves and each other, but we cannot save ourselves or each other. There are some dangers and evils from which we can save both ourselves and our fellows, but from the worst we can neither save ourselves nor others. All that in this case we can do for ourselves is to look to a Saviour, and for others to direct them to a Redeemer. We are seldom satisfied with what we have. Eve desired the forbidden fruit; and the Jews desired a Saviour entirely different from Him to whom the prophets had given witness, and whom God had sent. To this fact Peter calls attention, and then adds, "Neither is there salvation in any other," etc. Note here —
1. Ignorance with respect to the highest subjects is compared to darkness; to be called out of darkness into marvellous light, is in part salvation.
2. Foolishness is ever attendant upon sinfulness. To receive wisdom from above, and to be made, concerning the highest ends and the best means, truly wise, is in part salvation.
3. The imagination is a faculty ever busy for good or evil. Unless connected with knowledge and wisdom, its fabrications are vain and wicked. To have all such imaginations cast down, is in part salvation..
4. The heart of man is a tree bearing corrupt fruit, and a fountain pouring forth bitter water. To have created within us a clean heart and a right spirit, is in part salvation.
5. The will of man was created to correspond to the will of God, as a wheel within a wheel, but it has fallen from its place and revolves out of its sphere. Like the rudder of a ship, the will was intended to keep men true to the glory of God while compassing the broad way of God's commandments. But the helm is in the hands of pirates, and the vessel's prow is to the rock, or the quicksand, or the iceberg. To be delivered from a rebellious and wayward will, and to be made ready to do the will of God as an obedient child, is in part salvation.
6. Conscience is a faculty which many suppose can never become corrupt. But a man may do evil when he acts conscientiously, for there are evil consciences. To have the conscience cleansed and healed by the precious blood of Christ, and rectified by the Holy Ghost, is in part salvation.
7. God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:27). As the painting or the statue to its subject, as the mirror to the spectator, so was the first man, in the beginning, to his God. But the mirror is broken, and the statue is defaced, and the painting is rent, and the child has fallen and is disfigured and maimed. To have the mirror replaced, the picture renovated, the child healed, and the Divine likeness restored, is in part salvation.
8. With a sinful nature we are born. To have our sinfulness crucified and its dominion destroyed, is in part salvation.
9. The position of man was, in his first estate, righteous and filial. But we have fallen from our position by sin, and are accounted guilty and ungodly. To be justified, is in part salvation.
10. There is an evil spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience. To be delivered from his presence and power, is in part salvation.
11. There is evil in all human institutions and arrangements. God's world is good, but man's has much evil. To be made to overcome the world, is in part salvation.
12. Death has crept over our human nature, spiritual death. To be morally and religiously quickened, is in part salvation.
13. Punishment hangs over our guilty heads like a thunder-cloud pregnant with storm, and the impending tempest murmurs in our present sorrows. The wages of sin is death, and all the evils to which flesh and soul are heir are as instalments of the wages of sin. To have the firmament of life cleared of these clouds by the forgiveness of sins, is in part salvation.
14. Such are the derangements of evil, that the forgiven and regenerated are exposed to affliction, and it is appointed that they too should die. To be sustained in the hour of tribulation, to go down into our grave and to rise again, shouting, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" is in part salvation.
15. Paradise was lost by Adam, but paradise is regained by Jesus Christ. To enter that garden as our own, and enjoy its innumerable delights, and to realise therein everlasting life, this is the consummation of salvation. This salvation God promised at the beginning, this God has provided, and this we offer you in the preaching of the gospel.
II. SALVATION IN A PERSON.
1. Deliverances are sometimes wrought by things. The shipwrecked one is saved by clinging to a floating spar, the tenant of a house on fire by the trap-door in the roof. And deliverances are effected by things employed by persons, as by a crew in a lifeboat, a fireman and the fire-escape, a physician and his medicines. There are, moreover, persons whose profession is some work of salvation, as the medical practitioner, the fireman, and the lifeboat crew.
2. The salvation of which we have been speaking is not in the Divine purpose, or in the Divine fiat, or in anything, but in a living Saviour.
3. To be saved by a Saviour.
(1) This shows our weakness, and in our weakness we see our wretchedness. We are like one drowning, bound hand and foot. We are like one exposed to the flames, and paralysed in every limb. We are like one poisoned, upon whom the sleep of death is already creeping.
(2) This arrangement removes all cause of boasting from the saved.
(3) It places the redeemed under special obligations. They are indebted to their Saviour as to none other. Father, mother, husband, wife, have done nothing for us compared with Him who saves us.
(4) It renders the actual work of salvation a service of sympathy and love. Salvation comes not from a mere power or force, but it is connected with intelligence, affection, and volition, and is therefore not liable to failure.
(5) it creates a new relation and connection. By our existence we become the offspring of God. By our entrance into life we have parents of the flesh. And these and other connections are natural. We have Creator, mother, father, perhaps brothers, sisters, in the ordinary course of providence. But a Saviour is distinct from all other relations. Blessed is the man who, looking toward one mighty to save, can say "My Saviour." A man may be an orphan and friendless, but with a Saviour anything but desolate, while he who, in the midst of the largest and most loving circle, has no Redeemer is not only a forlorn, but a lost man.
III. SALVATION IN A PERSON WHOSE NAME IS MADE KNOWN.
1. Six thousand years ago the Saviour of men was simply called the seed of the woman. Then He was denominated the Shiloh, the Prophet, Wonderful, Root of Jesse, Righteous Branch, Jehovah our Righteousness. And the angel who announced the conception said, "Thou shalt call His name Jesus," etc.
2. Jesus is the name given among men as the name of the Saviour. To this Jesus give all the prophets witness as the Christ of God. This Jesus was proclaimed Saviour by the angel Gabriel, by another angel, and by a multitude of the heavenly host. This Jesus was introduced by one of the greatest prophets the earth has ever known. The works He wrought bare witness of Him. The heavens were thrice rent, and from the excellent glory a voice came, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Eclipse and earthquake saluted Him as the Saviour when He died; resurrection revived His renown, and ascension established it for ever, "That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow." It is an interesting fact that the name Jesus occurs nearly seven hundred times in the four Gospels, Christ alone some sixty times in the Gospels and in the Acts, Jesus Christ but five times in the Gospels, and Christ Jesus not once in those books. We may regard Jesus as therefore the name given among men.
3. Joshua, to which name Jesus corresponds, is composed of a portion of the name Jehovah, and of a word which signifies salvation. So that the etymon would signify the Lord's salvation, or Lord of salvation. This name was given to the Son of Man, to a Bethshemite in the time of Samuel, to a governor among the cities of Judah in the days of Josiah, and to a high priest in the days of Haggai. The name, though in use, was not common, and it was given the Son of Mary with a special signification.
4. But who is this Jesus? He is God manifest in flesh. He has all the attributes and properties of God, but while on earth He "made Himself of no reputation," etc. He has all the attributes and properties of humanity, but without sin. In Him is all that is requisite for complete redemption. God has given this name — in writing to be read, by preaching to be heard; given it Himself that it may never be forgotten, and that it may be above every name; given it among men, that men may read and hear it, learn and repeat it, incorporate it with their prayers and their songs, and that it may become as familiar in their mouths as any household word.
IV. Salvation limited to this person.
1. There have been other names under heaven given among men. The Pharisees gave the name of Abraham, and said, "We have Abraham for our father," and the name of Moses, saying, "We are Moses' disciples." The false prophet of the sixth century gave his own name. The Church of Rome gives the name of the Holy Catholic Church, the names of angels, saints and martyrs, and above all, the name of Mary. But Abraham was the ancestor of the Saviour, not the Saviour; Moses was a prophet of the Saviour, not the Saviour; Mahomet was self-deceived and a deceiver; the Church is composed of the saved, not of saviours; the angels minister to the heirs of salvation, they cannot save them; and Mary is indebted for her own salvation to her own son Jesus.
2. But not only have other names been put forward, but things have been presented as saviours. Thus, sacraments are given among men as means of salvation, and men-made creeds, and membership with particular churches, and good works. But these are given among men by men, and not by God.
3. It would be interesting to inquire into the causes of other names and things being put forward. Perhaps the chief cause is pride. We shrink from the practical acknowledgment of entire and absolute dependence upon the grace of God for our redemption; we despise the simplicity of faith, or we are not prepared to follow after holiness. But, however, this may be, "neither is there salvation in any other."
4. There is much mystery surrounding this name, the mystery of the holy incarnation, of the union of the Divine and human natures, of oneness with the Father, co-existing with subjection to the Father, of the temptation and agony, and of the "Eloi, Eloi," of the grave, and resurrection and ascension; but we cannot afford to neglect the name Jesus because of the mystery which surrounds it, because "neither is there salvation in any other."
5. There are differences of opinion concerning Him who bears this. name Jesus. Some deny His Deity, others His true humanity. Some refuse to recognise Him as victim and priest, and do Him homage only as a teacher; others leave Him in the sepulchre among all the mighty dead. The unbelieving Jew still accounts Him an impostor, the believing Gentile crowns Him Lord of all. But amidst this diversity of opinion we may not say, "I suspend my judgment." We must on this subject make up our minds. Nor can we hold error without fearful peril, for "neither is there salvation in any other."
6. Many who say they are saved by Christ show no signs of redemption. As we look at them we say, "Saved from what?" If they be saved, what must they have been before? There are men who boast that they are saved, who are such children of the devil, that many have said, "If this be salvation, may Heaven keep it far from me!" But what then? Although many who say they are saved exhibit no signs of salvation — yea, more, although but few be saved — yea, more, if as yet not one soul has been saved, my text abides true, "Neither is there salvation in any other."
7. Many men think their own cases too singular to be saved by Christ Jesus. One man is sceptical, and his doubtings are, in his judgment, of the most extraordinary character. There have been sceptics many, but none like himself. A second was once an atheist or a deist, and in the denial of religious truth proceeded farther than he can conceive it possible for an infidel to go. A third has been a blasphemer. A fourth has been a licentious profligate. A fifth has been more cruel than a beast of prey. A sixth once wore the form of godliness while destitute of the power. A seventh once heard the Word with joy, but endured only for a while; tribulation arose and he was offended. The eighth has been a bitter persecutor. Now, each of these say, Jesus may save others, but He cannot save me. But whatever eminence a man may have in that which is sinful, if he be saved at all, he must be saved by the Redeemer of the least of sinners. There is one sun to rule our day, one moon to rule our night, one atmosphere round our globe in which to breathe and move, and not another. "Neither is there salvation in any other."Conclusion:
1. And are there any persons here who believe not on Jesus? If there be, who can they be? Surely not the children of believing parents? Not those who are now, or who have been, in our Christian schools? Not the possessors of a New Testament? Not those who regularly or even occasionally hear the gospel? Not such as know this name Jesus? Or is it so, that the unbelievers here consist of these very classes? Not believe! Why do you not believe? This name, by faith in this name, saves. The ignorant by faith come to this Jesus as a teacher; the unwise by faith come to this Jesus as wisdom's fountain; the foolish builders by faith come to earth's Creator; the impure by faith come to this Jesus, as to a fountain opened for sin and all uncleanness; the conscience-wounded creature comes by faith to this physician of souls, that He may make him whole; the fallen come by faith to this Jesus, mighty to save, that He may lift them up; and if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you will be saved.
2. My brothers, believe. Do I hear you say, "Go thy way for this time"? For this time! Why for this time? Ah, I know why — that you may drink more freely of this world's pleasures.
3. Believers in this name, do your utmost to make it known. When you see it, does it not sparkle beneath your eye as the gem of gems? When you hear it, does it not sound as heaven's sweetest music in your ear? and in your heart of hearts, do you not feel it to be the power of God to your salvation? Then do your best to sustain the men by whom, and to uphold the places in which, this name of names is preached.
Parallel VersesKJV: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.