“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.” -Acts 4:11-12
Assurance of salvation may be the single greatest struggle people have confessed to me. It isn't surprising. As Christians, we are forgiven, justified, sanctified and will ultimately be glorified by the work of God alone. But in the messy middle space before glorification, we remain sinners. And sinners have a lot of reasons to doubt they are righteous.
In the fourth chapter of Acts, Peter gives an incredible law/gospel sermon. And as he is wrapping it up, he makes a strange and wonderful statement. It's a statement you know if you've spent much time in church. But you may have heard it wrong.
“There is no other name [Jesus] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Peter doesn’t say Jesus is the name in which people CAN or MAY be saved. But rather, in the name of Jesus people MUST be saved! Honestly, it doesn’t even sound right. It’s intentionally incorrect grammar in service of gloriously correct theology. Peter is speaking of the certainty of salvation in Christ.
In the name of Jesus salvation is not a possibility. It's not a maybe or a potentiality. It's an absolute certainty. It MUST happen! Christ has taken the sin of the world to Himself and gifted that world His righteousness. In this, God has trapped Himself in His promises and in the work of His Son. Not accidentally but intentionally. Those who cry out in the name of Jesus for salvation will be saved. All of them. God MUST save them. He has given Himself no other options. Jesus is the rejected rock of all salvation. Outside of Him, none will be saved. In His name, none will be lost.
What about when you feel faithless? Jesus remains faithful. (2 Tim 2:13)
What about when you sin? Jesus is your advocate. (1 John 2:1)
The good news Peter is preaching is that in Christ, God has given Himself no way out of saving you. Salvation isn’t a possibility outside of Jesus. And it isn’t a possibility inside of Him either. It’s an absolute certainty!