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The Blue Letter Bible

Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Acts 4:12

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Intro. Peter and John were going into the temple at the hour of prayer when a beggar sought alms from them. Peter said, "I don't have any silver or gold, but what I have, I will give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." The man who was over 40 years old and had never walked in his life was immediately healed and he began to walk and jump up and down. A great crowd of people gathered and Peter, never a one to miss an opportunity, began to preach to them about Jesus Christ affirming that he had risen from the dead. Peter and John, along with the lame man now walking were arrested and placed in prison over night and in the morning were brought before the religious council of Jerusalem for arraignment and the prosecuting attorney asked, "By what power or by what name have you done this?" This was a question that required Peter to incriminate himself in answering it. In Deuteronomy 13 the law stated that if a prophet or dreamer gives a sign or wonder and it comes to pass, if he encourages you to go after another god, that prophet was to be put to death. Peter with great boldness, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered, "Be it known unto you and to all Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him does this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone that you builders rejected, but He has become the chief cornerstone, neither is there salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."
A. Jesus made this exclusive claim.
1. "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father but by Me.
2. Paul wrote, "There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus.
3. This claim angers many people.
a. We hear so many people voicing their anger against those who believe that their religion is the only true religion and are thus seeking to convert others to their religion.
b. Everyone has a right to believe what they want.
c. They refer to it as narrow bigotry.
d. Jesus said, "Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to eternal life and few there be that find it."
e. He said that He was the door to the sheepfold, and if a man sought to come in any other way, he was a thief and a robber.
B. Peter is just echoing what Jesus had said. "Neither is there salvation in any other."
1. That means that you cannot be saved by being good.
2. You cannot be saved by keeping the law.
a. Paul said that if righteousness could come by the law then Christ died in vain.
b. He also said, "By the works of the law, shall no flesh be justified."
3. You cannot be saved by being religious.
4. You cannot be saved by being sincere.
5. You cannot buy your salvation.
"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean of Jesus' name."
C. I believe that the Cross of Jesus Christ is the greatest evidence that there is only one way by which a man can be saved. Maybe that is why the cross is an offense to so many people.
1. The night Jesus was arrested to be crucified, He had gone to the garden of Gethsemane with His disciples and there He prayed, "Father if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me."
a. If what is possible? The redemption of mankind.
b. What cup? He had told the disciples at dinner that night that the cup was God's new covenant in His blood which was to be shed for the remission of sins.
2. The fact that He went to the cross indicates that there was no other way for the redemption of man, no other way to be saved from the punishment for sin which was death.
a. God said that the life of the flesh is in the blood and that He had given it to them upon the altar for the atonement of the soul, for it is the blood that made atonement for the soul.
b. In the book of Hebrews we read for without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sin.
c. Peter said,
1PE 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;
1PE 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
3. It would be interesting to know on what basis are you trusting that God will accept you.
a. How will you plead your case before God?
b. What will you offer to God as an atonement for all your sin?
c. Look at Billy Graham, when he stands before God do you think that he will say, "Look at all the work that I did for the kingdom of God. I preached the gospel to more people than any other person in history." NO, he will not try to plead his case before God, but will allow Jesus to plead his case.
A. You cannot be saved by the name of Buddha.
B. You cannot be saved by the name of Mohammed.
C. The power of the name of Jesus had just been proved in the healing of the lame man. He was over 40, had never been able to walk, yet through the power of the name of Jesus he was now standing whole beside the two disciples.
D. Paul said concerning Jesus,
Phl 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Phl 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Phl 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Phl 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Phl 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Phl 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;
Phl 2:11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
E. The name Jesus is a Greek translation of the Hebrew name Yahoshua, which in Hebrew means, Jehovah is salvation.
1. When the angel sought to assure Joseph concerning Mary's pregnancy, he said, "That which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit, and she shall bring forth a son and shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins."
2. His name implies His mission.
3. The angels announced to the shepherds, "For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.
4. In the next chapter we will see Peter standing again before this same council being arrested once again. This time he will declare to them concerning Jesus,
Act 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Act 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
F. Peter said, "Whereby we must be saved." That brings it down to the big question, are you trusting in Jesus Christ for your salvation?
1. It is interesting how that in the death of a loved one, we do not want to think that they have ceased existing, we desire to believe in life after death is some form or other.
2. We somehow want to think of them as being in heaven, we do not want to think of them as lost. Even people who were very wicked, they will sometimes say of them, "Well, they had a good heart." Good intentions do not save, neither a good heart, not even good works."
3. Only Jesus Christ can save you from your sin. "Who for the joy that was set before endured the cross, despising the shame." What joy? The joy of saying to you as He did to so many, "Your sins are forgiven you."
G. God has made only one way for salvation, and there are no short-cuts. Jesus is that way whereby you must be saved.
Sermon Notes for Acts 4:8 ← Prior Section
Sermon Notes for Acts 4:16 Next Section →
Sermon Notes for John 1:1 ← Prior Book
Sermon Notes for Romans 1:16 Next Book →
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