Acts 4:12 (Part 2)
The Perfect Spaghetti Sauce? The Perfect Saviour?
Dr. Glenn E. Schaeffer
This message is a continuation of the sermon from the July 24 blog posting.
Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
I think it is fair to say that the majority of Canadians approach “saviours” like they do spaghetti sauces. You pick the saviour who suits your flavour. There are a myriad of “brands” (religions) and even within these brands there are a variety of “flavours” (denominations) and if you don’t like the brands of the major “saviours” that are on the market you can “home brew” (like some people who brew their own beer) your own “saviour”!
But there is a problem with this attitude. It doesn’t jive with the teachings of the Bible! The prophet Jeremiah said, “The LORD is the true God, He is the living God and an everlasting King.” (Jeremiah 10:10) St. Peter stated unequivocally, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Jesus Himself said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
The Bible teaches there aren’t many gods there is only one true God. There aren’t many saviours, there is only one Saviour. There aren’t many ways to be saved from sin, death and the devil there is only one way to be saved. There aren’t many ways to experience absolute eternal joy, there is only one way to experience absolute eternal joy and that is through Jesus Christ!
But let me ask you these questions? Have you adopted (what I will call) the “Moscowitz spaghetti sauce” theology … that of picking the “saviour” that best satisfies your palate … flavour? And if you haven’t wholly embraced this way of thinking, have you been influenced by this way of thinking, so much so, that you find it difficult to discuss the message of saviours with others … even finding it difficult to tell someone that the “saviour” they trust is wrong … an idol.
Our life as Christians would be so much easier if the “Moscowitz spaghetti sauce” theology (see July 24 posting) was true! We wouldn’t need Bible translators or missionaries – whether at home or abroad. We wouldn’t require seminaries or Christian universities that train people for church work vocations. We wouldn’t require mission offerings or training sessions like “Equipping to Share.” We wouldn’t need church buildings (like this one) or even congregations because our purpose for existence would be obsolete. We might as well just join the Lion’s Club or Rotary Club to satisfy our need for socialization and community service. And Christians who are presently persecuted for their Christian faith could escape persecution by embracing the religion of their persecutors.
But, of course, the truth is that the “Moscowitz spaghetti sauce theology” when applied to saviours is completely unbiblical! “Salvation is found in no one else! There is no other name under heaven by which a person can be saved.”
Think of that name by which all are saved. We are speaking of none other than Jesus Christ. And think of who Jesus Christ is! “The only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.” WOW! I just said a whole lot of theology in a few sentences! What a God we have! He is truly beyond human comprehensive! That is who Jesus is!
Think of what Jesus Christ has done for us! “Who for us men (women and children) and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried and on the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures and ascended into heaven.” Alleluia! That’s the kind of Saviour we possess! That’s what he has done for you, for me, and the people of this community!
Think of what Jesus Christ freely gives to you, to me, and to all the lost and condemned people in this world! “He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.” This is what Jesus has done for us! Why? Simply because Jesus loves us!
In light of all this: Why would we want any other Saviour?! Why would anyone want any other Saviour?
My friends in Christ: do you need encouragement to be faithful in Bible study, worship, attendance at the Lord’s Table, then remember these words: “There is no other name under heaven by which you can be saved.”
Do you need incentive to invest your time in being equipped to share the Gospel? … Incentive to invest your talent in this congregation/community? … Incentive to invest your treasures so that your congregation/community might be blessed by our living Lord, then remember these words, “There is no other name under heaven by which the people of this congregation and community can be rescued from sin, death and the devil.”
Do you need reason to pray for God to raise up missionaries … maybe for you yourself to be a missionary (long-term/short-term) … to increase your offerings to the Lord’s work that we do together in this District, across our land, and in various regions of the world, then remember these words, “There is no other name in this world by which the people of the world can be saved!”
The “spaghetti sauce theology of a saviour”? Choose the flavour of your saviour? I don’t think so. Brew your own saviour? Why would we want to? No! When it comes to “saviours” there is only One! His name is Jesus … Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God … Victor and Conqueror over sin, death and the devil! When I think on his Name I am moved to proclaim, “Hallelujah! Amen.” Amen.