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¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥ The idea that Salvation depends essentially on GOD, and that man can do no more than call on Him runs through the early chapters of Acts. "Whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD" said Peter, quoting from the Prophet Joel, "shall be saved" [Acts2:21]. Notice the reference to 'the name' of the LORD. Such references abound. It was 'the name' that healed the lame man at the Gate Beautiful [Acts3:1-16; 4:10]. The disciples preached 'in the name of JESUS' [Acts8:12; 9:27, 29]. By contrast, those who sought to hinder their work forbade them to speak 'in this name' [Acts4:17; 5:28, 40]. When the first prohibition was reported among the brethren they 'lifted up their voice to GOD with one accord' [Acts4:24], and they included in their prayer a petition 'that signs and wonders may be done through the name of thy
HOLY servant JESUS' [v:30]. It is a teaching of the Prophets that 'through His name every one that believeth on His name shall recieve remission of sins' [Acts10:43]. The name expressed the person. The name summed up the whole man. To 'call upon the name' thus means a good deal more than simply to utter the sounds which make up the name! It means to invoke all that the name stands for, to trust the personality expressed in the name. There was no merely magical efficacy in the sounds which Peter pronounced when he commanded the cripple to walk in JESUS' name: the cripple would have known no benefit had he not responded in Faith to what Peter said' once this response was made, the power of the risen LORD filled his body with health and strength. Similar scriptures which speak of Salvation through 'the name of JESUS' mean
nothing other than Salvation through the bearer of the name. We are told that it is by the name of JESUS CHRIST and by His name only that men are saved. 'and in none other than Salvation: for neither is there any other name under Heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved' [Acts4:12]. Luke is sure that what GOD has done in CHRIST is unique. He is not speaking of one among many ways to Salvation. He is speaking of the only way. When believers were added to the infant church it was the LORD who added them [Acts2:47]. To the casual Jerusalemite it might appear that the people had decided to join the new community. They would take it as a purely human activity. But that is not the way it seemed to Luke! The divine initiative is important to him. The decisive part in Salvation is all GOD'S. In keeping
with this, the Gospel is spoken of as, 'the Gospel of the Grace of GOD' [Acts20:24]. Of itself 'the Gospel' conveys the thought of 'the Good News of what GOD has done in CHRIST', and when 'of Grace' is added there is a further emphasis of the priority of the divine. The same emphasis is seen when the work of preaching is called 'speaking boldly in the LORD' [Acts14:3]. The important thing is that it is GOD who enables and directs them. And the thought of GOD'S Grace recurs. When men did speak boldly in the LORD He 'bare witness unto the word of His Grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands' [Acts14:3]. That is to say, the power of GOD is active in the Gospel. The word of His Grace, is far-reaching in its effects, and goes beyond the initial work of Salvation. When Paul was taking his farewell
of the Ephesians, he said, "And now I commend you to GOD, and to the word of His Grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you the inheritance among all them that are sanctified" [Acts20:32]. GOD not only begins a work of Salvation in men in calling them out of darkness into His most marvellous light, but He also carries on that work of Salvation. Day by day the believer is indebted to GOD for 'the word of Grace.' Sometimes the Grace in question is linked with JESUS, as when we read, "we believe that we shall be saved through the Grace of the LORD JESUS' [Acts15:11]. This, of course, does not bring out the implications of the other scriptures. It links the 'Grace' with the saving mission of JESUS CHRIST, and reminds us of what He did to bring us to Salvation. It takes a miracle in a man's soul for him even to want to
turn away from sin. And the teaching of the Acts is that God does work
that miracle of
SALVATION ¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥

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