Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Salvation is the total restoration of man from his fallen estate; and yet it is something more, for God's salvation fixes our standing more secure than it was before we fell. It first heals our wounds, removes our diseases, takes away our curse, puts our feet upon the rock Christ Jesus, and baying thus done, at last it lifts our heads to be crowned with the King of heaven. Some people, when they use the word "salvation," understand nothing more by it than deliverance from hell and admittance into heaven. Now, that is not salvation: those two things are the effects of salvation. We are redeemed from hell, and enter heaven because we have been saved. Observe here —
I. A NEGATIVE FACT. "Neither is there salvation in any other."
1. Did you ever notice the intolerance of God's religion? In olden times the heathen respected the gods of their neighbours: but Jehovah put this as one of His first commandments, "Thou shelf have none other gods besides Me." The Christian religion is just as intolerant. The Brahmin may admit that there is salvation in fifty religions besides his own; but we admit no such thing. There is no true salvation out of Jesus.
2. What is the reason of this intolerance?
(1) Because there is the truth with the Jew and the Christian. A thousand errors may live in peace with one another, but truth is the hammer that breaks them in pieces. A hundred lying religions may sleep peaceably in one bed, but wherever the Christian religion goes as the truth, it is like a fire-brand. Truth cannot afford to be yoked with error- it gives to error its due, declaring that it hath no salvation.
(2) Because we have here the sanction of God. It would be improper in any man who had invented a creed of his own to state that all others must be damned who do not believe it; but since this religion is revealed from heaven, God, who is the author of all truth, hath a right to append to this truth the dreadful condition. We are not really intolerant, for we are but echoing the words of Him that speaketh from heaven, that there is no salvation out of Him.
3. Now persons say, "Do you imagine, then, that none are saved apart from Christ? "I reply, I don't imagine it, but I have it here in my text. "Well, but how is it concerning the death of infants? Are they saved? and if so, how?" I answer, Saved they are beyond a doubt; but not apart from the death of Christ. Another says, "But how about the heathen?" Holy Scripture saith but very little concerning them; but there are texts which lead us to believe that there are some who, led by God's Spirit, are seeking after Him; and it may be that the God of infinite mercy is pleased to make to them revelations, so that they may be made partakers of the blood of Jesus Christ, without having such an open vision as we have received. But this much is certain: no heathen, however moral — whether in the days of their old philosophy, or in the present time of their barbarism — ever did or ever could enter the kingdom of heaven apart from the name of Jesus Christ.
4. But it is a great deal better not to talk upon speculative matters, but to come home personally to ourselves. And let me now ask you this question, have you ever proved by experience the truth of this great negative fact? Once I thought there was salvation in good works, and I laboured hard to preserve a character for integrity and uprightness; but when the Spirit of God came into my heart, "sin revived and I died"; wherein I thought I had been holy I found myself to be unholy. After that I thought, surely salvation might be obtained, partly by reformation, and partly by trusting in Christ; so I laboured hard again. But after fagging on for many a weary day, like a poor blind horse toiling round the mill, I found I had got no farther, for "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them." Perhaps I have in my presence some who are trying to gain salvation by ceremonies. You have been baptized; you take the Lord's Supper; you attend church; and if you knew any other ceremonies you would attend to them. As well might you labour to build your house with water, as to build salvation with such poor things as these. These are good enough for you when you are saved, but if you seek salvation in them, they shall be to your soul as wells without water, clouds without rain, and withered trees, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.
II. A POSITIVE FACT, viz., that there is salvation in Jesus Christ. Thou hast long been trying to find the road to heaven, and thou hast missed it. Guilt, like a heavy burden, is on thy back, and thou darest not yet cry for pardon. Satan whispers, "It is all over with thee; there is no mercy for such as thou art: Christ is able to save many, but not thee." Poor soul! Come to the Cross of Christ, and thou shalt there see something which shall remove thine unbelief.
1. Come now with thy defilement, and look at Christ's purity; and as thou lookest at that purity, like the lily, and thou seest the crimson of His blood overflowing it, let this whisper be heard in thine ear — He is able to save thee, sinner, inasmuch as though He was "tempted in all points like as we are," yet He was "without sin"; therefore the merit of His blood must be great. Oh, may God help thee to believe on Him!
2. But this is not the grand thing which should recommend Him to thee. Remember, He who died upon the Cross was no less than the everlasting Son of God. If He were a mere man, a Socinian's or an Arian's Christ, I would not bid thee trust Him; but since He is none other than God Himself incarnate in human flesh, I beseech thee cast thyself upon Him: "He is able, He is willing, doubt no more." "He is able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by Him."
3. Recollect again, as a further consolation for your faith, that God the Father has accepted the sacrifice of Christ. It is the Father's anger that you have the most cause to dread. Now, Jesus was punished in the stead of every sinner who hath repented, and God the Father hath accepted Christ in the stead of sinners. Ought not this to lead you to accept Him? If the Judge -has accepted the sacrifice, sure you may accept it too; and if He be satisfied, sure you may be content also. If the creditor has written a full and free discharge, you, the poor debtor, may rejoice and believe that that discharge is satisfactory to you, because it is satisfactory to God. But do you ask me how I know that God has accepted Christ's atonement? I remind you that Christ rose again from the dead.
4. Another argument is this — many have been saved who were as vile as thou art, and therefore there is salvation. The chief of sinners was saved years ago; that was the Apostle Paul: but even if thou should exceed him, still that word" uttermost" goes a little beyond you. I could turn to you myself, and tell you that surely there must be salvation in Christ for you, since I have found salvation in Christ for myself. Often have I said, I will never doubt the salvation of any one, so long as I can but know that Christ has accepted me.
5. To quicken thy diligence, however, I will conclude by noting that if you do not find salvation in Christ, remember you will never find it elsewhere. What a dreadful thing it will be for you if you should lose the salvation provided by Christ! For "how shall you escape if you neglect so great salvation?"
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
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.