Gospel: Great Gospel Texts – Acts 4:12

“Neither is there salvation in any other: For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

The greatest of all human needs is security, whether the immediate security of air, water, food, and shelter, or the more protracted security of wealth, fame or prestige. Behind it all, however, is the need for permanence – a permanence on this earth and a permanence for eternity.

All humans are insecure, constantly striving for a measure of certainty. For some it is the quest for “eternal youth.” For others who accept that a stay on this earth must eventually end, it is the pursuit of monuments to their existence – progeny, structures, or conquest. It is all part of that great struggle to make permanent what is fleeting. Even if man cannot survive physically on this planet, he strives to “make a mark” and be remembered.

It was never God’s intent that we should be insecure; this state of affairs came about because of sin. With sin came the indictment, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen 3:19).

God refers to the object of this constant quest for security as “salvation.” Simply put, salvation means deliverance, safety, or preservation. We use the word every day. Soldiers rescued from an impossible situation say, “Those helicopters were our salvation.”

Mountain climbers surviving a storm say, “That cave was our salvation.” Likewise, an accountant might say, “Our salvation was that our books were in order.” These examples present slightly different meanings, perhaps, but have the same idea.

Humans try for salvation in their own ways. Some seek permanence in fame or fortune. Others believe that they will exist forever as a collective part of the great cosmos and worship the environment (while simultaneously denying its Creator!). Again, there are those who believe death is the end and there is no eternity, hence their total pursuit of pleasure. The point they miss is that ALL humans put their faith for eternity in something. Ironically, the atheist puts his faith for eternity on the fact that there is no God. He cannot prove it, but he believes it and puts his trust in it.

Man’s efforts may bring an illusion of security, but not peace, contentment, or health. A great titan of industry, eyeing a husky steelworker’s huge fist around a crude sandwich, mused, “I wish I could eat that!” The security of wealth allowed him all the food he wanted, but not the health or appetite to enjoy it.

This is typical of the world, and it is all in vain, says the writer here, for there is no alternative to that which God has provided: “Neither is there salvation in any other.” God has provided a better way, a permanent way, a secure way. The greatest form of security is eternal security, for all else is but for a little while and then vanishes away, leaving little trace no matter how hard we try.

“Salvation” is the ultimate security. It is the provision of God for time and eternity. Salvation is deliverance from the penalty of sin and from the bondage of sin in this world. And there is only One who can provide such security, for there is only One whose Name has the power to save – all others must fail. The One who can keep us for eternity is the One who rose from His own grave. Death could not hold Him because He had no sin. The Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for sin and overcame death, both temporal and eternal, so spiritual and eternal deliverance is granted immediately to those who believe. “He that believeth HATH everlasting life.” One day He will take to be with Himself those who put their trust on Him alone. The body may pass through death, but it will be raised again – the only true security. “Neither is there salvation in any other” says the writer, “For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”