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In No One Else

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.

—Acts 4:12


Let us make sure that we rightly understand what the Apostle means. He says of Christ, ‘Neither is there salvation in any other’. Now, what does this mean? On our clearly seeing this very much depends.

He means that no one can be saved from sin,—its guilt, its power, and its consequences,—excepting by Jesus Christ.

He means that no one can have peace with God the Father, obtain pardon in this world, and escape wrath to come in the next,—excepting through the atonement and mediation of Jesus Christ.

In Christ alone God’s rich provision of salvation for sinners is treasured up: by Christ alone God’s abundant mercies come down from heaven to earth. Christ’s blood alone can cleanse us; Christ’s righteousness alone can clothe us; Christ’s merit alone can give us a title to heaven. Jews and Gentiles, learned and unlearned, kings and poor men, all alike must either be saved by the Lord Jesus, or lost forever.

And the Apostle adds emphatically, ‘There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ There is no other person commissioned, sealed, and appointed by God the Father to be the Saviour of sinners excepting Christ. The keys of Life and Death are committed to His hand, and all who would be saved must go to Him.

There was but one place of safety in the day when the flood came upon the earth: that place was Noah’s ark. All other places and devices,—mountains, towers, trees, rafts, boats,—all were alike useless. So also there is but one hiding-place for the sinner who would escape the storm of God’s anger; he must venture his soul on Christ.

There was but one man to whom the Egyptians could go in the time of famine, when they wanted food. They must go to Joseph: it was a waste of time to go to anyone else. So also there is but One to whom hungering souls must go, if they would not perish forever: they must go to Christ.

There was but one word that could save the lives of the Ephraimites in the day when the Gileadites contended with them, and took the fords of Jordan (Judg 12): they must say ‘Shibboleth’, or die. Just so there is but one name that will avail us when we stand at the gate of heaven: we must name the name of Jesus as our only hope, or be cast away everlastingly.

Such is the doctrine of the text. ‘No salvation but by Jesus Christ;—in Him plenty of salvation,—salvation to the uttermost, salvation for the very chief of sinners;—out of Him no salvation at all.’ It is in perfect harmony with our Lord s own words in St. John’s Gospel,—‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’ (John 14:6). It is the same thing that Paul tells the Corinthians,—‘Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ’ (1 Cor. 3:11). And it is the same that St. John tells us in his first Epistle, ‘God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life’ (1 John 5:12). All these texts come to one and the same point, no salvation but by Jesus Christ.

Let us make sure that we understand this before we pass on. Men are apt to think, ‘This is all old news;—these are ancient things: who knoweth not such truths as these? Of course we believe there is no salvation but by Christ.’ But I ask my readers to mark well what I say. Make sure that you understand this doctrine, or else by and by you will stumble, and be offended at the statements I have yet to make in this paper.

We are to venture the whole salvation of our souls on Christ, and on Christ only. We are to cast loose completely and entirely from all other hopes and trusts. We are not to rest partly on Christ,—partly on doing all we can,—partly on keeping our church,—partly on receiving the sacrament. In the matter of our justification Christ is to be all. This is the doctrine of the text.

Heaven is before us, and Christ the only door into it; hell beneath us, and Christ alone able to deliver from it; the devil behind us, and Christ the only refuge from his wrath and accusations; the law against us, and Christ alone able to redeem us; sin weighing us down, and Christ alone able to put it away. This is the doctrine of the text.

—J. C. Ryle, Knots Untied (Banner of Truth, 2016), 30–32.

Posted 2017·05·31 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Acts · J C Ryle · Knots Untied · Solus Christus

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