“No Other Name Under Heaven”

Pastor David Moore

Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NIV)  

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and  with all your soul and with all your strength.  

Theme: How and why did people start converting to Christianity? Why are Christians so narrowly focused?  

New Testament reading: Acts 4:8-14 

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is  

“‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’  

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”  

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.  

New Testament reading: Acts 4:31-37 

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.  

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they hadWith great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There was no needy person among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the  sales and put it at the apostle’s feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.  

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostle’s feet.  

Today we find ourselves in a time and place with many similar attitudes towards the message of Christianity, we’ll examine one reason why in today’s passage.  It is the claim of Christians that it is Jesus who mattersThere is no other name under heaven for salvationOddly enough, though, that exclusive claim leads to inclusive living. ~D. Moore  

Christianity says that there is just one God and He is superior to everything. ~D.Moore  

Why and how did people start converting? How did Christians grow? ~D. Moore  

These things made the Hebrews think we’re about lifestyle.  

It wasn’t arrogant to the claim Jesus was the only way. It was simply the implication of who Jesus was. Before Abraham was, I AM God. ~D. Moore  

John 8:58: “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

They saw Jesus rise, and died and rose again, which puts Christ on a different level from all other religions.  ~D. Moore  

The people believed Jesus and understood He was God because of what they had seen, what had happened.  It was the only thing that made sense. ~D. Moore  

The second idea is that the claim of Jesus to be the only way is just as exclusive as the claim of other religions relativism, Christianity, it claims to be exclusively true. ~D. Moore  

So then logically, in a world of religious relativism, where all truth claims about the gods are equally valid, the claim that only Jesus truly is God, and all other religions are not true is actually a claim for spiritual authority, that Jesus is right, and all other religions are false. ~D. Moore  

What I want you to hear, and understand, is that every truth statement about religion and spirituality is an attempt to become a spiritual authority. When we repent, Jesus claims that He is the only way to God, that is an attempt to be a spiritual authority on that matter, Jesus is right. ~D. Moore  

The core of Christianity is that one man, Jesus, was in fact God. ~D. Moore  

I know people derive their religious confidence from their willingness and ability to follow as many of Jesus’ commands as possible. But they cannot follow them all. And eventually that will lead to a crisis of confidence. What Peter and John knew was they were not perfect, but they also knew Jesus had died on the Cross for them, taken all their imperfections and given His righteousness before a just God.  Their confidence was not in themselves alone, but in Him. ~D. Moore  

This transformation of people from comparers to lovers; they no longer needed the approval of people in power, they were not jealous, not intimidated, but lived to love people into knowing God. ~D.  Moore  

The two ways we know the people became lovers:  

1) They spoke the Word of God boldly.  

2) They opened up their wallets and they were financially transformed.  

What Luke is subtly telling us is that giving money isn’t about greed, it is really about fear, fear of not having enough, a fear God will not show up. We don’t totally believe God loves us. ~D. Moore  

The most exclusive claim, that Jesus is God and is the only way to eternal life, leads us to the most inclusive community ever. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and we are all alike and saved by grace. ~D. Moore  

We Christians claim Jesus is God, and what He said is true. Others say all paths are equally valid and that is a truth claim. But the difference is going to be in the life lived. If we are true to the content of what Jesus taught, we will be transformed into inclusive people. ~D. Moore  

Jesus was rejected so all people can come to faith and experience it in Christianity. Jesus is the only Way, the Truth, and the LifeHe is God

Let the love of God transform you this week. 

God bless!