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To Proclaim Christ

2/11 – No Other Name (Acts 4:1-12)

 

Introduction — Here Luke gives more details about the lame man’s healing. Not everyone stands in amazement to this event. Some of the Jewish religious leaders are annoyed. They’re irked. They are greatly disturbed. Why? Peter and John are teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. These leaders put Peter and John and the man in jail overnight. But their imprisonment was not slowing the growth of the church. For as Luke states, “many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.” Luke then states that the next day the rulers and elders and scribes are gathered together in Jerusalem, along with men of high-priestly descent. They place Peter and John and the man in the center of the gathering and start asking questions like, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, replies, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. This One is the stone which was rejected by you, the buildersbut which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”  To proclaim Jesus’ resurrection is a humble honor. To proclaim salvation in no other name is a loving duty. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, directed these men to the name above all names. Peter proclaimed salvation in Jesus only. There is no other name given by which we must be saved. Do we believe that? Do we joyfully say that Jesus is alive? Do we exalt His name? Do we declare Jesus’ wonderful name?

 

We have conversations with people all the time. Sometimes they may express great displeasure over our faith in Jesus. They may even harass or try to harm us. What then? Will we speak the gospel? Will we rely upon God’s Spirit? Will we state there is salvation in no one besides Jesus? Will we exalt the name of Jesus?

 

By the grace of God, through the power of God, we affirm that Jesus is our life and strength and salvation!

 

RISEN FROM THE DEAD (1-7)

1 As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening.

 

Comment: Here Luke tells why opposition begins to rise against the church. The apostles boldly proclaim in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. After the healing of this man, Peter steps forward once again to speak the gospel. He tells of Jesus’ death and resurrection, a theme he continues to preach with clarity. Peter does not hold back. He’s honest. He’s direct. By the grace of God, through the power of God, he affirms that Jesus is the source of life. Peter gladly proclaims Jesus alive. Jesus is risen from the dead. And now, Peter and John have a night to think about what they might say the next day before the rulers and elders of the people. Question: Will they continue to proclaim Jesus? Will they step forward once again? Or will Peter shrink back into the background? Will he deny Jesus? Will he affirm his loyalty to Jesus? Will he speak by the power of God’s Spirit? When facing possible harm, will Peter put his life on the line for Jesus? Will he proclaim Jesus alive?

Application: Even if people harass us for our faith in Christ, let’s continue to proclaim Jesus. Let’s proclaim that in Jesus there is hope, that there is a resurrection from the dead. Let’s proclaim Jesus alive. Let’s proclaim His death and His resurrection. Let’s affirm that Jesus is our life.

 

POWER TO RESTORE (8-10)

Then Peterfilled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 

 

Comment: Here Luke describes the moment when the rulers and elders and scribes put Peter and John and the man now healed in the center of their meeting. These leaders inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Peter steps forward. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaks to them. He says, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom God raised form the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health.” Peter quickly gives credit to Christ. Peter answers the question by stating that by the name of Jesus the man stands restored. Jesus has the power to heal. Jesus has the power to restore. And notice, too, that Peter does not shrink back. He does not deny Christ. Peter, restored by Christ, affirms his loyalty to Christ. Peter gives testimony to Jesus’ power to heal and restore. Question: In our conversations, do we quickly affirm our loyalty to Jesus? Do we state how He restored us? Do we exalt Christ? Do we give glory to God in Christ? Do we speak by God’s Spirit? Do we speak of God’s power in Christ? Application: Let’s give glory to God in Christ. Let’s not shy away from talking about Jesus. Let’s prayerfully and thoughtfully affirm our loyalty to Jesus. Let’s direct people to see the power of God in Christ, the power to restore, the power to heal. Let’s speak as God directs us. Let’s affirm that Jesus is our strength.

 

SALVATION IN NO ONE ELSE (4, 11-12)

11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the buildersbut which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

 

Comment: Here Luke tells of Peter’s concluding answer to the leaders’ inquiry. Peter replies, in part, by quoting a passage from the Psalms (118:22). He states that Jesus is the stone rejected by the builders. Jesus is the chief corner stone. There is salvation in no one else. Peter makes a bold claim. Peter makes an exclusive claim. Peter asserts that Jesus is exactly who Jesus claimed to be. Jesus is the way. Jesus is the truth. Jesus is the life. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6). There is salvation in no one else. Why? There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. By the grace of God, through the power of God, Peter proclaims that Jesus is our life. Jesus is our strength. Jesus is our salvation. Indeed, there is salvation in no one else. Question: Do we readily affirm that Jesus is our rock? Do we proclaim salvation in Christ alone? Do we assert that Jesus is the only way? Do we believe Jesus is the only way?

Application: Let’s marvel at God’s work of grace in our midst. Let’s think often about God’s work through Christ. Let’s consider God’s word. Let’s hold to His promises. Let’s pray God’s word. Let’s speak truth from God’s word. Let’s declare salvation in Christ alone. Let’s cherish the name of Jesus. Let’s speak His beautiful name. Let’s declare the power of His name. Let’s tell the hope in His name. Let’s proclaim the glory of His name. Let’s rehearse the gospel message. Let’s prepare to stand firm for the gospel. Let’s declare Jesus’ wonderful name in this city.

Word Study for Acts 4:1-12

1 speaking (laleo—talk; tell; proclaim; explain; speak forth; preach)[1]

2 disturbed (diaponeomai—irked; troubled; greatly annoyed; worn out)

2 proclaiming (katangello—proclaim throughout; report; tell with conviction; advocate; declare)

2 resurrection (anastasis—rising up; standing up; resurrection from death; raised to life again)

4 many (polys—many; much; great; even more; greater numbers; plentiful; large sums)

4 number (arithmos—total; exact number; sum; group)

5 gathered together (synago—collect; keep in a place; come together; assemble; convene)

7 inquire (pynthanomai—learn about; question; ask; demand; ascertain)

7 power (dynamis—strength; might; ability; mighty deed; ruler; miraculous power)

7 name (onoma—person; reputation; authority; category)

8 filled (pimplemi—completely; fill full; fill completely; make happen; discharge)

9 benefit done (euergesia—good deed; kindness; bounty; doing of good)

9 made well (sozo—save; keep; rescue; heal; deliver; restore; preserve)

10 Jesus (Iesous—Joshua; Jesus)

10 Christ (Christos—anointed one; Messiah; God’s special choice)

11 rejected (exoutheneo—despise; disdain; scorn; treat with contempt; no account; ridicule)

11 chief (kephale—head; superior; preeminent)

11 corner (gonia—angle; a joiners square; corner, of an area of construction)

12 salvation (soteria—deliverance; preservation; safety; security; guarantee for safe keeping)

12 no (oude—and not; not even; never)

12 has been given (didomi—grant; appointed; bestow)

 

Application Acts 4:1-12

Let’s be aware of moments to speak up for Christ.

Let’s be bold for Christ.

Let’s be fully dependent upon the Holy Spirit.

Let’s not be ashamed of Christ.

Let’s proclaim Christ clearly.

Let’s be aware of the folks we’re talking with.

Let’s affirm that there is salvation in no other name than Jesus, the Messiah.

 

Gospel Connections for Acts 4:1-12

Jesus is alive. To proclaim His resurrection is a humble honor, though the truth of His resurrection disturbs some people greatly. But it really happened. Jesus was crucified, but God raised Him from the dead. Rejected by His own people, Jesus became the chief cornerstone. There is salvation in no one else. There is healing in His name. There is rescue in His name. There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

 

Thoughts and Quotes for Acts 4:1-12

Salvation is the free gift of God, by Jesus Christ, and the work of it is supernatural. It is done by the Lord Himself, and He has power to do it, however weak, no, however dead in sin, the sinner may be! ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

 

Only the gospel can truly save you. The gospel doesn't make good people good; it makes dead people alive. That's the difference between the gospel of Jesus Christ and every other world religion. All the others exhort their followers to save themselves by being good, by conforming their lives to whatever their worshiped deity is. But the gospel is God's acceptance of us based on what Christ has done, not on what we can do. ~ Tullian Tchividjian, Surprised By Grace

 

Jesus doesn't adjust to us, and He doesn't submit to our whims. We adjust to Jesus and submit to Him. Jesus is King, not an accessory. ~ Justin Buzzard, The Big Story

 

If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead. ~ Timothy J. Keller, The Reason for God

 

Luke assures his readers immediately that the opposition of men did not hinder the Word of God. The Sadducees could arrest the apostles, but not the gospel. ~ John R.W. Stott, The Message of Acts

 

Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future. ~ Steve Jobs

 

Commentary of Acts 4:1-12

Peter’s Response (4:8–12)

4:8 The question as to the “name” behind their preaching was a question of accreditation and authorization, but Peter could not let this one get by. The lame man was healed by the name of Jesus. If the Sanhedrin wanted to know about that name, he would tell them all about it. Instead of the expected defense, Peter gave them a sermon. In fulfillment of Jesus’ promise (Luke 12:11f.), he was given a special endowment of the Holy Spirit to bear his witness with boldness.

Verses 9–12 comprise a minisermon on “the name that brings salvation.” It begins with the reference to the name raised by the Sanhedrin and repeated by Peter (vv. 7, 10), which is linked to the word “saved” with regard to the healing of the man (v. 9). These two concepts are brought back together at the conclusion, with the reference to salvation in no other name (v. 12). The crux of the sermon is a play on the Greek word sōzō, which means both physical “salvation” in the sense of healing (v. 9) as well as the spiritual, eschatological sense of salvation (v. 12). The physical “salvation” of the lame man through the name of Jesus is thus a pointer to the far greater salvation that comes to all who call upon his name in faith.

4:9 In many ways Peter’s testimony before the Sanhedrin is a condensed form of his address in Solomon’s Colonnade. It began with a reference to the healing of the lame man (v. 9). The crowd in the temple wondered about the source of the lame man’s healing, and Peter pointed to the name of Jesus. The Sanhedrin wanted to know about the name, and Peter pointed them to the healing of the lame man. The two go together: wholeness, salvation, is in the name of Jesus; the name of Jesus brings wholeness. Peter’s words contain a bit of irony. The rulers were worried about the political dangers of the “name” the apostles were preaching. “This name is not destructive,” said Peter; “it brings good things; it brings wholeness” (author’s paraphrase). Peter underlined his point. “Be very sure of this,” he said, “you and everyone else in Israel.”

4:10–11 Peter was ready to preach to all, even the Sanhedrin. But like the crowd in the Colonnade, the judges in the Sanhedrin rejected the name that could bring them salvation. Peter repeated the familiar kerygmatic formula: “Whom you crucified, but whom God raised.” Indeed, it is by the very fact that God has exalted him that the power had come for healing the man. The themes are the same as before: the healing name of Jesus, which proves his resurrection and points to his salvation, the guilt of the Jews who rejected him. Also, as before, there is a proof from Scripture, this time from Ps 118:22. It establishes the guilt of the Sanhedrin. They were the “builders,” the leaders of the nation, who rejected the very rock on which God’s people are to be built.49 Very early Ps 118:22 came to be viewed by the Christians as pointing to Christ, the one rejected by his own people, whom God made the crowning stone of his people. This text also appears in Luke 20:17 as well as in 1 Pet 2:7 and in both passages is linked to other Old Testament texts that incorporate a “stone” motif. Many see this as evidence that the early Christian community made collections of Old Testament texts that were applied to Christ.

4:12 All Peter’s sermons to this point ended with an appeal, but there seems to be none here. The appeal, however, is present implicitly. If there is salvation in no other name (v. 12), then obviously one must make a commitment to that sole name that brings salvation. But the appeal is even stronger than that. Peter switched to the first person at the end of the verse, “by which we must be saved,” amounting to a direct appeal to the Sanhedrin. Peter had been bold indeed. He had come full circle. They asked for the name in whom his authority rested. He answered their question. It was the name, the power of Jesus. He directed the charges. The Council had rejected the one who bore this powerful name. The ultimate verdict rested with them. Would they continue to reject the one whom God had placed as the final stone for his people, the only name under heaven in which they would find their own salvation? The final verdict would rest in their own decision.[2]

 

4:5–7. Three groups formed the Sanhedrin, the supreme court and senate of the nation: rulers, elders, and scribes (teachers of the law). Annas was high priest from a.d. 6–15, and Caiaphas from 18–36. Annas had arranged for five sons and one son-in-law to become high priest after him. Obviously, he still functioned in something of a “godfather” role. Both Annas and Caiaphas took part in the crucifixion of Jesus, and we could probably conclude they were prepared to take such action again among Christ’s followers if they deemed it necessary. The names John and Alexander are not known to New Testament scholars, nor do they seem particularly important to Luke’s narrative except to emphasize the dominance of the family (perhaps both were related to Caiaphas).

Their opening question reminds us again of Peter’s emphasis in chapter 3 on the name of Jesus: By what power or what name did you do this? How often do we look for openings to witness for the Savior! How difficult it seems at times to find appropriate places in a conversation to raise the issue of the gospel. No problem here. The gathered religious leaders could not have asked a question which more easily led into precisely what Peter and John had been saying out in the temple courts.[3]



[1] Word studies from various sources on Logos Software, including, but not limited to Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains by James A. Swanson

[2] Polhill, J. B. (1992). Acts (Vol. 26, pp. 143–145). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

 

[3] Gangel, K. O. (1998). Acts (Vol. 5, pp. 58–59). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.