The Nuclear Bomb of All Preaching!
Fourth Sunday of Easter Trinity Lutheran Church
26 April 2015 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
All the authoritative big wigs at the Jerusalem temple are “greatly disturbed.” They are a veritable Who’s Who of Temple Jerusalem VIPs. Troubled and extremely nervous they are. Why? Well, it’s because a couple of country, hick, Duck Dynasty-like fishermen have healed an unable-to-walk-from-birth-chap. Imagine that. How dare they! They have no license to do such a thing. They’re not part of the elite Jerusalem Temple clique. They have no Mediterranean highbrow education. So the low-life Smallville preachers are jailed, shackled, hauled into court and grilled over the coals: “Tell us! No spin! Cut to the chase!” command the Jerusalem privileged elites. “By what power or by what name did you heal this lame man?”
Listen to Pastor Peter’s clincher answer to the VIP’s question. He declares: “Glad you asked. This man stands before you healed by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified but who God raised from the dead. This same Jesus is:
The stone you builders rejected,
Which has become the capstone/cornerstone [Ps 118:22].
And then preacher Peter throws out what is probably one of the most controversial lines in any sermon ever preached in the history of the world. Check it out. “Salvation” Peter proclaims, “is found in no one else [but Jesus] for there is no other name [the name of Jesus] under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Talk about stirring up a hornet’s nest! This is the nuclear bomb of all preaching! Peter is either the stupidest preacher who ever lived or the wisest preacher you’ve ever heard. It’s the latter as you will soon hear.
Peter dared to preach it. That’s no surprise. He was always bold. Always ready to speak up. Forever the first to talk. Never shy. It’s in his DNA. But this time he’s brimming with a newfound confidence, overflowing with a profound certainty and conviction like never before. He’s not just blowing smoke. And he’s not going to back down – to anyone!
Salvation is found only in Jesus!
No other name given to men that saves you!
Why? Well, it’s because early on a Sunday morning in 33 A.D. Jesus of Nazareth physically and bodily rose from the dead! That’s the game changer! The salvation game changer. FOR YOU and FOR ALL! Because Jesus rose from the dead He is who He said He is: God in the flesh. God with us. God with us to be God FOR YOU HIS SINNERS WHO NEED SAVING. WHO NEED FORGIVENESS that only He can give through His divine blood shed on the altar of the cross.
Hauled in before the snobbish elites and power players of Jerusalem, Peter is not intimidated. He doesn’t tone his preaching down one bit! He doesn’t compromise the content of his sermon to appeal to his tyrannical politically correct audience. He doesn’t shape his message to massage the felt needs of Jerusalem’s religious A-list. He flat out preaches Jesus as the only Savior because He rose from the dead. No other way of getting saved than through the resurrected Jesus. It’s Jesus as Savior. No one else. Period. “No other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
So let’s get this straight once and for all. Salvationly straight once and for all. No other name but the name of Jesus can save you. No other name has the power to deliver you from sin, death and eternal damnation.
THERE IS ONLY ONE NAME that saves you from your sin.
THERE IS ONLY ONE NAME that can raise you from the grave.
THERE IS ONLY ONE NAME that can give you life and peace both now and eternally.
THAT’S THE NAME “JESUS”!
Only the name Jesus saves you from death and damnation.
Only the name Jesus brings eternal life and the new creation. In the name of Jesus the new age has dawned. The lame leap for joy, the dead are raised, sinners are forgiven.
Only the name JESUS holds the devil-crushing power of His death and resurrection.
Only in the name of Jesus are you cleansed from your sin in Holy Baptism.
Only in the name of Jesus is the good news of His Good Friday victory preached into your ears and hearts.
Only in His name is His Body and Blood once sacrificed on the cross food for your salvation in the Lord’s Supper.
Only in His name will you be raised from the grave just as He has been raised.
The name of Jesus is the guarantee of your salvation. In His name you have salvation. All this for your certainty of salvation. For your comfort and great joy.
Just in case you were napping, daydreaming, or struggling with a distraction the last few minutes, I will say it again. With apostolic substance and apostolic style. THERE IS NO OTHER NAME THAT SAVES under heaven except the name of Jesus. Only Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the only door for the sheep. He is the only gate to heaven. “No one comes to the Father except through me,” Jesus promises.
Jesus’ name is an exclusively inclusive name. Exclusive: only He died for all. Inclusive: He died for all. Jesus won salvation for all and only in Jesus is there salvation for anyone. After all, He kept the Law perfectly for you and only in Him is there perfection. In no other name is there forgiveness. In no other name is there life. In no other name is there salvation. Because only He died and rose from the dead never to die again.
It is your great joy to bear the name of Jesus as His baptized believers. To call upon His name in the day of trouble. To cling to His name through every suffering, trial and temptation that comes your way. The time is coming very quickly. You will suffer in some way, shape or form for bearing and confessing the name of Jesus. But know this: that those that call upon the name of the Lord – Jesus the Christ, the One from Nazareth WILL BE SAVED.
Only one name saves you – now and in the hour of your death. Proclaim His name. Cling to His name. Call upon His name. Trust His name. Because His name means: God saves!
In the Name of Jesus.