"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12
This verse makes it clear that salvation is found in no one else but Jesus. Can you give the reason why that is the case? Try to form the answer on your own without reading further. After you have spent some time thinking through this question, use these talking points in sharing with others.
- What is salvation? Salvation is a word picture that expresses the idea of being rescued from a dangerous situation.
- What's the dangerous situation? All of us are sinners (Romans 6:23), and our sin has separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2).
- What makes that a dangerous situation? God hates sin and will judge it with His eternal wrath. Our sinful state places us under His judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
- So, I will be a good person. Certainly, God will not judge me if I am good, will He? The problem is that we are sinners and can never be good enough to be accepted by God (Isaiah 64:6). As sinners, our best attempts are still tainted by sin (Romans 3:12).
- Because we are sinners, God judges us. So how can He be called a loving God? God came in the form of Jesus. Jesus was fully-God and fully-man. As a sinless human, He took the full wrath of God for sin on the cross. Since we could not pay the penalty of our sins, Jesus did it for us (1 Peter 2:5-6). One writer says it this way, "It is the Lord who saves us from the wrath of the Lord."
- So, if I want to be "saved," what do I do? After you understand that you cannot save yourself, you must trust in Jesus as the One who took God's wrath for sin on your behalf (1 Peter 3:18). When you give Him your sin, He provides forgiveness and the free gift of salvation (Colossians 2:13-15).
OK, there's certainly much more to the conversation. Don't expect the person to fall to his knees. But that will get you started. We need to be prepared to explain the hope we have in Christ. One more thing--be as gracious with others as God has been with you. Share with respect and gentleness (1 Peter 3:15).
Father, give us opportunities to share in gentleness and respect with those who are now where we used to be in our spiritual journeys. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, 1992.