The Lord’s Salvation

Acts 4:12, Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.



            There are many Scriptures that prove salvation is by trusting, or believing in the name, power, or authority of Jesus Christ.  There is no salvation except through Jesus Christ.  We will not investigate every Scripture that reveals this patently obvious truth.  We will examine only those passages that speak about salvation being a result of believing in the name, power, or authority of God.

God Controls Everything

            God is in control and is directly overseeing the affairs of men and guiding people's lives.  This is especially evident in the book of Genesis, as God directed Noah, Abraham, and the other patriarchs.  Men constantly sin, but in spite of that, God is still dealing with people, working in their individual circumstances, and receiving glory through their lives.  When everything is said and done, each person can look back and say, "Look what God has done!"  We often don't see God's leadership when we are in a problem, or when we are going toward a problem, but after that problem is solved, we can look back and say, "I see now what God has done."

God is in Control of Salvation

John 1:12, "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." Salvation is absolutely a work of God; and, according to the Bible, there is a believing that men must do, "even to them that be­lieve on his name."  Remember the word "name" means authority, right, or power.  A person believes on the power, or authority of God to save them.  They are not trusting anything they are doing, but are looking unto God, who is the author and finisher of their faith, (Heb.  12:2).  It is not because we look to God before He looks to us that we are saved, it is because God first looks to us.  We re­ceive salvation because God gives us the power to believe.  We do not have this power within ourselves for we are dead in trespasses and sins, following Satan the prince and the power of the air, fulfill­ing the desires of the flesh just like every other lost person who ever lived on this earth.

Believing is a Work

            This might be an odd thought to some, so don't think I have gone off into heresy.  Continue reading and you will understand that believing is indeed a work, but it is not a work of the flesh.  It is a work of God in the heart of the believer.  In John 6:28, some followers of Jesus asked Him, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?"  In verse 29, Jesus replied, "...This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."  Jesus said believing is a work, and it is a work.  But it is not a work of the flesh.  There is absolutely nothing a person can do in his own strength to be saved. True believing is what a person must do to be saved.  It is a work of God in the heart of sinful man, allow­ing the sinner to believe to the salvation of his soul.

The "Mechanics" of Salvation

            The "mechanics" of salvation is illustrated in Mark 3:1-6, when Jesus healed the man with the withered hand.  Jesus called him forth in the midst of the Pharisees on the Sabbath day.  Obvi­ously, the man could not use a withered hand.  Jesus looked around him and said, "Is it lawful to do that which is good on the sabbath day?"  Nobody answered. Jesus looked around with anger being grieved because of their hardness.  He then turned to the man with the withered hand and said, "Stretch forth your hand."  Could the man stretch forth his hand?  Of course not, it was physi­cally impossible.  If it was physically impossible, just how did the man stretch forth his hand?  God energized the man's withered hand giving that hand the necessary strength to obey the command.  God given faith allowed the man to obey the command of God as God enabled him to stretch forth his hand, and it became whole as the other.  That is the way a lost person believes.  A lost person must first realize his inability to even move toward the Saviour for he is dead in trespasses and sins.  The lost see, by the "eye-opening" power of God, that they are lost and repent of their sinfulness before God and look unto Him, believing that He is their only hope.  John 1:12, "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.  Even to them that believe on His name."  So the lost believe to the saving of the soul, but the ability to believe comes from Christ.  That is why salvation is a gift, not of works lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:9).

            This principle is further illustrated in John 1:12,13, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the right or authority) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; (authority, rank, or everything heavenly and holy which the name Jesus Christ reveals) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."  Every person must believe, but they don't have the ability to believe.  This shows once again that salvation is a gift from God.

Calling on the Name of the Lord

            In Acts 2:21, Peter closed the introduction to his sermon on the Day of Pentecost by proclaiming, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."  Peter knew that people must call on the power and authority of Jesus Christ to be saved.  Peter later declared in Acts 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."  Later, Peter declared to Cornelius and his household, "...that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins," Acts 10:43.  It must be true, then, that lost people have a "believing work" to do.  The marvelous thing about lost people believing is that it can only be done when they realize their total inability to believe because of their inherent sinful nature.  It is at this point that the helpless sinner looks to God, who has provided a perfect sacrifice for sin in the person of His Son Jesus Christ.  The lost person calls on the name of the Lord, not because that happens to be the necessary "formula," but because he has absolutely no other place to turn, and he knows and believes God provides everything he needs for time and eternity.

            Some people quote Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" as a formula for salva­tion.  They fail to understand verse 14, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed..."  The truth of the matter is that a person can not call on Christ until he has believed!  To understand this very important truth, continue reading Romans 10:13-15.  These verses give us a certain procedure God has outlined so the lost will be able to call on his name.  First, God must send a preacher to preach to the lost person.  That preacher must then preach the gospel truth to the lost person.  (I must state that the preacher is not necessarily an ordained minister of the gospel, but can be anybody God chooses to carry the gospel message to the lost.)  That lost person must then hear the gospel before he can believe.  He must believe before he can call upon the name of the Lord.  This is what this passage is teaching.  When this passage is clearly understood, there can be no doubt that salvation comes to a lost person through the power of God, not through any fleshly work on the part of that person.  It is very obvious from this passage, be­fore a person can believe, he must hear.  Before a person can hear, God must send someone to declare the truth to him.

            Ananias told Paul in Acts 22:16, "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away they sins, calling on the name of the Lord."  Ananias believed Paul was already saved because he called him "brother Saul" in Acts 9:17.  Ananias wouldn't have baptized Paul if he hadn't been saved because he was following the example of John the Baptist who refused to baptize those who didn't have fruits meet for repentance (Matt. 3:8).  Acts 22:16 is not stating that Paul was saved after Ananias spoke to him, or at the time he was baptized.  He was saved on the road to Damascus when Jesus spoke to him.  It is very clear that Paul wasn't saved because he trusted in something he had done.  In Philippians 3:4-8, Paul declares that everything he had in the flesh was counted but dung.  In Acts 9:11, Jesus told Ananias that Paul was praying.  Isn't praying the same thing as calling on the name of the Lord?  Sure it is.  Paul was saved on the road to Damascus, then lead to Damascus, where he fasted and prayed, waiting on further directions from God.

            The miracles of Christ were intended to reveal to fallen hu­manity that Jesus was able to do the impossible.  John 2:23, "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did."  These people did more than believe in Jesus, they "believed in his name."  They believed in more than just a man called Jesus, they believed in the power and authority of Jesus, the son of the living God.

            When a person is saved, he can say of himself, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:11, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."  The Corinthians were not justified (made legally pure) by their power, but by the name (power and authority) of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  Their sins "...are forgiven you for his name's sake" (I John 2:12).

Believing, but Lost

            John 3:18 says, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."  This verse states that people are lost who do not believe in the name of the only begotten son of God.  Why?  Somebody would say, "They don't believe in Jesus."  That is wrong.  I want to show you that there are people who believe in Jesus, but fail to believe in His power, and authority; therefore they remain lost.  They are lost because they don't believe in the name, power or authority of Jesus, the only be­gotten son of God.  Many people believe in Jesus, and know He is the son of God, but will die and go to hell.  James 2:19 states that the devils believe in one God.  They even believe Jesus is the Son of God, for the demons asked him in Matt. 8:29, "Jesus, thou son of God, art thou come to torment us before the time?"  The demons know who God is, and they know who Jesus is, but they don't be­lieve in His power.  The Devil is constantly fighting God, and he is going to spend eternity in the lake of fire. 

            John 8:12-59 is the complete record of some people who be­lieved in Jesus without being saved.  Verse 30 records, "As he spake these words, many believed on him."  These people really did be­lieve in Jesus, but they were not saved because they didn't believe they were lost!  Contrast the believers in John 2:23 who were truly saved, because the power of Jesus revealed by the miracles, caused them to believe in his name (power and authority), not just to be­lieve in him (his person).  In the last days (II Tim. 3:5) men will have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.  Do you see what the Bible is teaching us?  There will be people who say they believe in Jesus Christ, but in reality, they only have a form of religion because they don't believe in the power or authority of God.  Everybody that says "Lord, Lord..." is not going to heaven!

            Matt. 24:5 says, "For many shall come in my name saying I am Christ and shall deceive many."  The devils know who Jesus is and there are many people today who know who Jesus is, but that doesn't mean they are saved.  Every person must know who Jesus is before he is saved, but knowledge doesn't save.  For example, I was raised in a Baptist church, and taught the gospel from my youth.  I knew all about how to be saved, but I was lost.  I didn't believe in the power of God, but I did believe in Jesus Christ, and had a knowledge, or "head belief" in the death, burial, and resur­rection of Christ.  But that knowledge didn't save me.  When I was saved, I was saved by the power of God.  If you are saved, you are saved by the power of Jesus Christ, not by some kind of "head knowledge" of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, just as the people in the Bible were saved.  Salvation doesn't come by education, but by divine inspiration!

            Let's go back to John 8:12-59 and examine these Scriptures for a fuller explanation of why these people were not saved.  John 8:21, "...When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am he..."  The term "lifted up" may not mean much to us, but in the days of Christ, it meant crucifixion.  The people Jesus was speaking to understood that He was talking about the time when He would be crucified.  John 8:30, "As he spake these words, many believed on him."  Notice that they be­lieved on him.  They didn't believe on His name, or His power, or His authority.  We might assume these people were saved when they believed on Christ, but read on.  In verse 31, Jesus spoke to those people who believed in Him, not to another group of people, as some commentaries' state.  This point is so important, I quote verse 31, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed."  In verse 33 the same group of people who believed in Jesus in verse 30 claim they were never lost, or in bondage to any man.  In verse 37, Christ accused those same people of going about to kill Him because His words had no place in them.  In verse 39, Christ says they are not doing the works of Abraham, whom they claim as their spiritual father.  In verse 44, Jesus explains that Satan is their father.  In verse 48, the "believers" claim Jesus has a devil!  In verse 53, they don't understand the eternity-past of Jesus, and in verse 59, they take up stones to cast at Him in an attempt to stone Him to death.  Does this sound like a true be­liever?  Or does it sound like a person that has a superficial belief?  The point is this: Were those people that believed on Him really saved?  John 8:44 says, "Ye are of your father the devil..."  They are the children of Satan, they are lost.

            What does John 8:30, "...many believed on him," mean?  It means the same thing many people mean when they believe on Jesus.  They have a "head belief" that Jesus was a good man or a good prophet, or a good teacher or his lessons are good to live by.  It's possible to have a "head belief" or "mental assent" that Jesus is the Son of God without believing in His power or authority to save.  They say, "We have made our commitment to God and we're going to do our best."  They forget the Bible says "our righteousnesses are as filthy rags," (Isaiah 64:6).  God doesn't want fleshly works, He wants spiritual works, and the only spiritual work is to believe on Him whom the Father hath sent (John 6:28,29).

The "Steps" of Believing

            John 20:30,31 states, "Any many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."  Notice the steps that bring salvation as stated in these verses. 

            The first step is "these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God."  This is a "head belief" that makes a person aware of God's goodness in sending Jesus Christ to provide a way of salvation.

            The second step is "and that believing, ye might have life through his name."  Many people say, "I believe in Jesus, so I must be saved."  Not necessarily.  Salvation is believing that Jesus has the power to wash away my sins.  Sins are something we can't see.  We can't touch them, or feel them, we just know sin is in us.  We are helpless to do anything about our sinfulness, but we have learned from the preaching of the gospel that Jesus can forgive and cleanse us of sin.  When we step out by faith, believing in Him as our personal savior, He forgives us of our sins, and accepts us on His righteousness.

            Rom. 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."  Everybody who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved, but notice he calls on the name of the Lord.  He is calling on one who has power, because he doesn't have any power.  As long as a person thinks he has the power to deliver himself from his sinfulness, he won't call on God.  A lost person must come to the place to know he has nothing at all to give to God.  He must see he is completely blackened with sin, with no light at all, full of sinfulness, within and without, from top to bottom, from side to side, a total sinner, without any help or hope at all.  Then, and only then will he say, "Lord, only you have the power to cleanse me."

            Before a person will call on the name of the Lord, he must believe that He is able to give him victory over sin.  Before he believes, he must hear, and before he hears, somebody must be sent (Romans 10:13-15).  The messenger reveals his standing before God, how desperately wicked and sinful he is in the sight of God.  Then he turns to the one who can save him, confessing that he cannot save himself.  He confesses with Peter, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."


            The word "name" means authority, and "power" means that explosiveness of God's power.  To be saved, a person must believe on the authority, or explosive power of God through Jesus Christ.  It's a life changing salvation.  Good people who have a "head belief" with­out a "heart belief" just float along, not really believing God has any power.  They just don't ever really trust Him.