The Only Way?
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under
heaven by which we must be saved (v.12).
Meryl Streep played a nun in the movie Doubt,
so, of course, she was asked her opinion on
religion. She answered that the teachings of
various religions “form a kind of fence that divides us
from each other,” and that as a mother “I deeply resent
the idea that if you’re not a member of a church, temple,
ashram, synagogue or—what else is there?—that you
are somehow denying your children the meaning of life.
I feel I’m a deeply moral person. But often religion is a
club, out of which people are excluded.”
Streep’s comments resonate with our generation. Our
culture’s highest value is inclusion—we want everyone to
feel as if they belong. While this is a noble aim, it can
become silly when every child receives a trophy just for
participating, and it can become dangerous when we
think that every religion leads to God.
Jesus is the only way to life, because He alone can
heal our sin disease. This was Peter’s point in Acts 4 as
he addressed the religious leaders. As the crippled man
“was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ,” so
there is “no other name under heaven by which we must
be saved” (Acts 4:10,12).
Peter’s insistence that Jesus is the only way strikes
people in one of two ways. If they believe that people
are basically good, they will think it is unloving to insist
that everyone must believe in Jesus. But if they agree
with Scripture that we are all sinners (Romans 3:10-12), they will understand that
everyone needs a Savior.
Any path will not do. For we who are crippled by sin can’t take a single step
toward righteousness without God’s help. We need a healer, and there’s only
one candidate for that job. His name is Jesus.
It’s popular to think that a loving God wouldn’t require sinners to believe
in Jesus. How might this view be disrespectful of Jesus and what He did
for us? Who is Jesus to you?