The Miracle of Salvation

By Suzanne

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.      (Acts 4:12 NLT)

How can it be that there is only one name under heaven by which we must be saved? What is it about the name of Jesus that, when we call upon His name, the Name of the Lord, we receive the miracle of salvation? Why is the name of Jesus different from every other name? The story begins in a garden...

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 NIV)

Adam and Eve were given only one rule in the paradise where they walked with God in the cool of the day. While of all of the trees in the garden they could freely eat, there was one fruit of which they were told by God not to partake, for if they did, they would surely die: the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The book of Genesis doesn't tell us how long the first couple were in Eden but on the sixth day of God's creation, we are told that He called all that He had made "very good," and that included the first man and the first woman. Adam and Eve were only good, until they met one who is only evil.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals which the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden?'" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die." "You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3:1-6 NIV)

What was it that caused Eve and then Adam to disobey God's only rule? Was it that the fruit of the forbidden tree was so luscious, that even to look upon it was to fall prey to an overwhelming desire to taste it? Was it that the smooth, supple voice of the serpent lulled the first woman into such a state of forgetfulness that she completely lost sight of who and where she was, and before she understood her peril, the fruit was in her hand and on her lips? Or was it that the lies that were told by the enemy of her soul were so persuasive, so enticing that the thought that God was withholding something to "good" from them that when they took it they would be "like gods" was just too much to resist? All or none of those things might be true, but we do know that, whatever the reason, when the first man and the first woman took the first bite of the last fruit that they should have considered tasting, their eyes were opened, and they were afraid, and it was too late. They had passed the point of no return. Sin had entered in to the mind and heart of man and woman.

"...Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman You put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Genesis 3:11b-13 NIV)

How devastating, how tragic this was! And how unnecessary, because the first chapter of Genesis, verses 26-27, tell us that, "God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them." and that He had given them dominion over the whole earth. The serpent had enticed Eve with a promise of something that already belonged to her, and to her husband, and that would have belonged to all of their children after them. They had originally been created in the image of God. But after the fall, once they had sold their birthright for a deceiver's promise, scripture begins another story...

When God created mankind, He made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And He named them "Mankind" when they were created. When Adam lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died. (Genesis 5:1-5 NIV)

Humankind were originally created by God, in His image. After the choice that they made to disobey God, all future generations were begotten, not in the perfect image of God as originally designed, but in the image of Adam, which carried forward throughout history the pattern of original sin. Humanity had embarked on a thousands-year-long journey of coming to terms with the knowledge of good and evil, and have been partaking of the fruit of that forbidden tree ever since. Every generation since Adam and Eve were exiled from Eden has been born into a fallen and broken world, held captive to the influence of sin.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 NIV)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)

God, Who created all things, is holy. In fact, it is His everlasting holiness that holds all things together (Colossians 1:16-20). Further, the apostle John tells us that God, Himself, is love (1 John 4:8b).

How does a holy God, Who cannot ignore sin, uphold the creative virtue of His holiness, while providing a way of escape from sin and its consequences to precious sons and daughters whom He loves?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17 KJV)

God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world not to condemn the world; but so that the world, through Him, might be saved. Not to give God a way to overlook sin and its consequences, but so that His Son would bear the suffering and pay the price for sin; that the world owed and could not pay.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:23)

It is as simple as this: In the beginning, God made a perfect world to provide for every need of the perfect couple that He originally created in His image. Sin crept in to that perfect world, and deceived the man and the woman, and defiled the image of God that was in them. Because of the influence and consequences of sin, it was necessary that the man and woman be exiled from their original estate.

But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NLT)

Because God is holy, sin must be dealt with. But because God is also love, He made a way of escape for His children from the consequences of their sin. That way of escape is through His Son, Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross in order to suffer the punishment and pay the price for all of our sin. All those who are willing to accept the atonement for sin that Jesus purchased with His sinless blood on the cross, are completely absolved from all of their sin; and thereby are reconciled to the Holiness of God, set free from the consequences of sin, and reborn from the realm of death into God's eternal kingdom and everlasting life.

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12 NLT)

How can it be that there is only one name by which we must be saved? What is it about the name of Jesus that, when we call upon His name, we receive the miracle of salvation? Why is the name of Jesus different from every other name?

Because Jesus, although He is the express image of God's person (Hebrews 1:3), and even though through Him and for Him all things were created (John 1:3), He is the only One Who stepped down from His throne in heaven to be born as the Son of Man to die on the cross for our sins, and as the Son of God to be resurrected from the tomb to conquer death itself, that we may have eternal life.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which shall be TO ALL PEOPLE. (Luke 2:10 KJV)

His is the only name by which we may be saved, but the salvation that He paid for is available for all who call upon His name and no one is excluded from coming to Him for the gift of salvation.

If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 KJV)

For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13 KJV)