13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This verse is a quotation from Joel 2:32 applied to the Lord Jesus. Christ’s exaltation by His resurrection demonstrates His Lordship over salvation; He makes it available to all. It is only through Him that people can be saved. This is scriptural proof of God’s universal mercy.
“whoever calls [entreats]
For the fourth time the word “whoever” occurs in verses 11 to 13 (Greek—“all”). Salvation is available to all.
The “calls” here is a petition of need; it is a humbling of oneself before the LORD. We are inadequate to measure up to the standards of salvation. Calling here is a synonym for believing all that God promised to us. We trust His character to deliver on His promises.
Acts 2:21, And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’
on the name of the Lord
The “name of the LORD” is His identity; it is the LORD Himself. Jesus is Creator and sovereign (Acts 17:31; He 1:2). All of God’s riches for us are bound up in His “name,” in everything that He represents. We can rest our present situation and our eternal future on that name.
Prov 18:10, The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.
Ac 3:16, And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
To call on the name of the Lord is to believe all that the name of the Lord stands for; to call on His name is to know the Lord in His qualities as Savior God, Lord of all, in order to approach Him through His grace.
shall [logical progression] be saved.”
The term “saved” here reminds us of our eternal future condition with the Lord. The Greek indicates that salvation is something that we receive (passive voice), not some action on our part. Believers are the subject of God’s action of salvation. Salvation always depends on who and what Jesus is and did.
God grants the possibility of salvation to everyone.
If the water in the well is dirty, we do not paint the pump. There are people who consider themselves better than others. It comes as a great shock to people who consider themselves superior to others that God provides something greater than self-righteousness. God’s righteousness means that all of us are filthy sinners. It is His mercy in grace that saves the unclean soul.
God’s grace is always motivated by love. He cannot bypass His righteousness and justice. God’s righteousness cannot fellowship with the fallible righteousness of man. It is impossible for God to love except through the cross when it comes to mankind. God has a problem with any person who bypasses the cross. He cannot extend His righteousness or justice to him. The only place where a person can meet the love of God is at the cross.
Some people feel that they are not worthy of God. That is in fact true in the sense of their ability to measure up to God’s standards, but it is not true in terms of God’s willingness to accept them by granting the riches of His salvation.
God is easily accessible to anyone with positive volition toward Him. He is open to all men at all times. This is a universal truth. There is no excuse for rejecting Him.