If you don't know Him, you should, and you can. Just read on.A Savior Worth Having is a collection of sermons that E.V. Hill delivered over the years that all center on our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ. In an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand way, E.V. Hill paints an amazing picture of our glorious Lord.
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About the Author
E.V. HILL (1933 - 2003), author of A Savior Worth Having and Victory in Jesus, pastored the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, and was a preacher and teacher for conventions, universities, seminaries, Bible conferences, local churches and city-wide revivals throughout the world. Several United States presidents sought his counsel. He was honored by Time magazine as one of the seven most outstanding preachers of the United States. Dr. Hill also served as a member of the board for directors of the Billy Graham Association, America for Jesus, and the Board of Reference of African Enterprise.
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A Savior Worth Having
By E. V. Hill
Moody PublishersCopyright © 2002 E. V. Hill
All rights reserved.
NO OTHER NAME
"And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power or by what name, have ye done this?"—Acts 4:7
"Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you well." —Acts 4:10
"Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." —Acts 4:12
What's in a name?
Of all the names on earth today, one name is more powerful than any other. Christians know it has the power to change lives, save lost souls, heal sick bodies, and secure eternity. It is the name of our beloved Savior, Jesus.
I was reared in a log cabin; Momma and I came up together. Papa passed on when I was eleven. Momma and I battled through. Then Momma passed on, and every so often when I am privileged to speak in one of the great venues of Christendom, I ask the Lord, "Lord, let Momma see me here!" (I realize theologically it's not quite possible—but I didn't go to seminary, so I can take this liberty.)
One of the great thrills of my life was preaching in Moscow several years ago—just a couple of blocks from Lenin's Tomb, in the heart of Moscow. I was speaking to about 6,000 preachers (I suspect old Lenin was turning over in his grave) about this wonderful Jesus. For now, even in Moscow, the name of Jesus can be publicly spoken. Who would have thought four or five or ten years ago that the name "Jesus" could be uttered freely on the streets of the former Soviet Union? Tragically, while in Russian public schools He can be read about and discussed freely, in our own public schools, it is forbidden to speak His name.
WHO NEEDS A SAVIOR?
Wherever you go, no matter what class—whether it's politicians, seminarians, professors, teachers, or even with people whose homes are breaking up—the heart's plea is, "I need a savior." Even the brightest minds need a savior.
One of the members of the Mount Zion church where I pastor, holds a double master's degree in Law and Finance. He left my church and went to another group that dealt with the mind, for he said he wanted to go to a place that fed his mind. He complained that the average preacher was too simple in his presentation, that he needed someone who would deal with his mind.
So I told him, "I'll be praying for you." Then I added, "Incidentally, you are not my attorney anymore." He replied, "Why? Are you prejudiced because I'm leaving your church?"
Then I said, "No, I just don't want an attorney who doesn't know the difference between stepping up and falling down."
Then one Sunday I was preaching my National Children's Day sermon. And I was speaking on Billy (my rabbit). Billy was a wonderful rabbit, and I was telling the children about Billy. At invitation time, here comes this double-master fellow down the aisle. He says, "Pastor, that's the greatest sermon I've ever heard you preach!" Even someone with a double master's degree needs a savior.
Some of the most obstinate and argumentative youth today are now saying, "I need a savior." The most critical minds are now agreeing that things are out of order, that things are topsy-turvey. Even the most brilliant minds, who seem to have so much confidence in their own ability, are now saying, "I need a savior." In fact, at one point or another everyone asks, "Who can save me?" They are beyond the point of handling life on their own, and they finally admit, "I need a savior."
A SAVIOR IS NOT ...
While people who do not believe in God (or so they say) may be coming to the conclusion that they need a savior, they're still searching. They acknowledge that somebody needs to rescue them, but they do not recognize the true rescuer.
One of the things many are pointing out is that we know what a savior is not. We know that it's not silver and gold, houses and lands. We know that it's not because people with silver and gold, houses and lands, too, are saying, "We need a savior." In fact, they're saying, "I need a savior, someone to rescue me. I have silver and gold, houses and lands, but I'm not secure. I'm trembling within. I fear the future. I now realize I cannot buy the future. I need somebody to walk with through the dark paths."
Now I want to discuss this matter of having the best savior. Since you have to have one, why not the best one? I'm not suggesting that there are plenty of saviors, I know that there is only one; that's Jesus. But being ignorant of God's righteousness, men have gone about to establish a smorgasbord of so-called saviors. And those have many followers.
But why not the best one? Why not test those who say they are the savior? Why not examine them, put them on trial, since it involves our happiness now, and our eternal life with God? Why not test him, her, or whomever you have put your faith in? It makes good sense; since you are going to pick one, why not the best?
The text in Acts 4 addresses this discussion. A great miracle has happened in the healing of a disabled man. Then the question comes up, "How did you do this? By what power did this happen? How is it that this man is healed and standing before us? In whose name was this miracle performed? Who did you call, what mayor, governor, or authority—whose name did you use?"
Then Peter rose up and said, "Now to be truthful with you, there is only one name that can perform a miracle such as this. That name is Jesus!" Someone with the kind of power that can heal a disabled man, that's the kind of Savior we all need.
QUALIFICATIONS OF A SAVIOR
If we want to pick the best savior, first of all, he ought to be old enough. I'm over sixty, and I have to have somebody who was here before I got here. I can't trust anyone who is in his forties or fifties.
I have to have someone who was available to Momma, and to Momma's momma. I have to have someone who was in control—someone who was a part of the beginning, in fact, who was the beginning. I can't trust these youngsters who, just because they look strange and act peculiar, suggest they can save me, help me, and get me over. I need a Savior older than this generation. One who was before the beginning. One by whom everything that was made was made and without whom nothing was made. One who was not a graduate of seminary, not a graduate of philosophy, not a follower of some teacher, not someone who came out of nowhere and did something mystic and strange and now asks me to follow him as a savior.
I need somebody who is acquainted with all the generations and with all of time. I need somebody who can deal with all the aspects of living and learning. I need somebody who knows how to deal with the brokenhearted. I need somebody who knows how to speak to me in the lonely hours. I need somebody to give me instruction when I need to be instructed. Someone who knows how to instruct, who's not guessing and who doesn't have to read a book himself, for He Himself is the book. That's who I need. I don't need somebody who takes my problems and rushes to the library for answers. I need somebody who is the library. I need somebody who can stand up and talk to my spirit as the author and finisher of my faith. That's what I need when I talk about a savior. I don't need anybody to go out and take a quick course in Greek and then come back and try to tell me how to get to heaven.
You're no different. You need somebody who already has prepared the road for you to take.
Next, I need a savior who will be everlasting. I don't want to get all tied up with someone, then the savior dies! It must be an awful thing to go to your savior's funeral. Elijah Mohammed boasted so much that he was the prophet sent from God. It must have been a sad day for his followers when thousands of young people in Chicago watched twelve young men pass his casket to the grave.
I don't want to get wrapped up in a man who beats me dying. I need somebody who can walk with me through the valley of the shadow of death myself. I need company in that time when I go through some place I've never been. I don't want somebody who will run out on me before I die.
A SAVIOR THROUGH LIFE'S TUNNELS
I was in Detroit and a friend of mine said, "Let's go over to Canada for dinner." He picked me up at the hotel. All of a sudden, he began to drive through the tunnel that leads from Detroit to Windsor, Canada. I suffer from claustrophobia, and I never shall forget. I yelled, "Stop! Stop!"
But the car was in the flow of traffic so he said, "I can't stop. What's the matter?"
I said, "I can't go through this tunnel. You'll have a dead man on your hands by the time you reach the other side."
He looked at me, and touched my hand, and said, "Hill, you'll be alright. See those folks in the other cars? They're alright."
But I said, "Stop the car. I'll get out and walk to the other side."
But he said, "You can't do that; you'll get hurt with all that traffic." To which I replied, it would be better to get hurt than to die. But he just kept on going and said, "Hold my hand, just hold on."
Now there'll come a time when I'll face another tunnel that I've never been through before. I'll need a savior who can say, "Hold my hand, we're almost through." I know someday someone will carry my casket, but my soul will be led by a hand that's everlasting and will walk me through the valley of the shadow of death. Someone whose hand will be steady and who will say, "Hill, you'll be alright."
Before you pick a savior, before you decide in whom you'll put your faith, you need to check out his track record. Who else has he saved? Who else's life has he changed? Who else's tears has he wiped away? Has he picked up the heavyhearted or walked through the stormy seas with anyone else? Who else can testify that this Jesus of Nazareth, whom God raised from the dead, has the name by which a man has been made whole? Who else gave sight to the blind? Who else told Lazarus to come forth? Who else has turned around at His name, drug addicts, pimps, prostitutes, and alcoholics? Who has rescued men from crime? It's not good enough that He is everlasting, but you need Him to have a track record of successfully saving others.
Jesus saves! Aha. He has a track record. He addresses the most difficult tasks head-on. He changes water into wine. He walks on water, and seas behave at His command. Who else can just speak a word, and at His word a child be made whole? Who else dies on a rugged cross and the sun ceases to shine? Who else is put in a grave and arrives in hell to preach to the spirits, then arrives back in the grave only to walk out on Sunday morning with all power in His hands? That was two thousand years ago, but who else still lives, still saves, still mends wounded and broken hearts, still turns people's lives around?
There are tens of thousands of witnesses down through the ages who can testify to the healing, converting, life-changing power of this Savior. By Him these miracles have been wrought. By His name this man so long ago was healed. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. I join Peter in telling you without a doubt, "There is no other name!"
I've had the privilege of meeting with six presidents of the United States. But these are just men; they come and they go. But this Jesus I offer to you is the Savior in whom you can put your complete trust.
I believe this little verse written by C. Austin Miles (1868–1946) and sung as the sacred hymn "In the Garden" explains the relationship I have with my Savior:
I come to the garden alone
while the dew is still on the roses.
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own.
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.
I don't own the best house in Los Angeles. I don't have the finest car in Los Angeles. I don't have a mint of money. I don't even have the largest church in Los Angeles. But I do have the best Savior.
You who are reading this book, right now, if you haven't done so already, you need to pick the best, the one about whom others testify. Rich or poor, white or black, there's one thing we can all have ... the same Savior. As I said before, now I repeat, there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved. His name is Jesus.CHAPTER 2
IN THE NAME OF JESUS
"Then Peter said, 'Silver and gold have I none; but, such as I have, give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.'" —Acts 3:6
I buy all my suits on Jewish row in Chicago. I buy the best suits that way. On Jewish row I pay $100 to buy the same suits they sell at Neiman Marcus for $400. I have people admiring these suits all the time. Once I bought a suit worth $650, but it had a small moth hole on the lapel, so I paid $100 for it. Every Sunday I covered that hole with a carnation. You have to be on the ball to survive in the big city.
I don't have a problem with that. If you're going to buy clothing, you try to buy a suit or dress that is worth having. If you're going to spend money on buying a car, you try to buy one that is worth having.
Even when it comes to choosing a wife, you want to choose one worth having. In fact, I've chosen two. Baby, my first wife, is in Glory, and the other one is in Los Angeles. That's far enough apart so they don't fight, they don't argue. As a matter of fact, the one I have now admires the other one very much. She knew her and admired her. Now, when I have rainy seasons about Baby (and I still do from time to time), my wife is a classy lady; she just walks out of the room and lets me have my quiet time alone.
Anyway, when I was picking my second wife, I wanted one worth having. If we're so careful about picking furniture, or cars, or even mates—which is as it should be—then, why not have a savior worth having? I don't want a savior who has eyes and can't see, who has hands and can't lift, who has feet and can't walk. I need a savior who does walk, who does talk, who can reach, who can lift. I have that Savior in Jesus Christ. Nothing else or nobody else is qualified to be my savior.
THAT SAVIOR'S NAME
Let us take a closer look at the third and fourth chapters of the book of Acts, which we discussed briefly last chapter. These Scriptures reveal that there was a lame man sitting at the temple gate begging alms. When Peter and John were going up to the temple to pray, they saw him. They felt compassion on him and called on Jesus' name to heal him. This caused a miraculous thing to happen: The lame man immediately received new strength in his legs and went leaping and shouting and praising God into the temple along with them.
This occasion caused quite a stir among the rulers and the leaders of Israel, because thousands of people began to discuss this miraculous happening. Of course that even affected the attendance at the synagogue. There were thousands accepting Christ as a result of this miracle.
This also caused a turmoil among the nation's leaders. They began debating about what they should do, how they should react. They realized they could not deny that a great miracle had happened, because the man was there for all to see and hear. They couldn't dispute this evidence; it was indisputable. Here was this man who used to be lame and used to lie begging alms at the temple gate. Now, all at once he was leaping for joy, praising God, and causing great havoc. The religious leadership was now inquiring by what power and in whose name this thing had happened.
Peter, the great spokesman, replied, "In the name of Jesus. This is done in the name of Jesus." More and more, we who are born again should give credit to the name of Jesus.
Often, when people are sick or down and out, when they are out of a job and don't have any money, so often they say, "The Lord is the one on whom I'm leaning and trusting." But as soon as things turn around, they say, "You know I've been smart all my life, I've known all my life how to work things out." But that's not true. You ought to give credit to whom credit is due.
That's what Peter and John did. They said, "It is the name of Jesus—this is done in the name of the Savior, Jesus. He is responsible for this miracle." That is why I say to you, it is so important that you pick a savior who is worth having.
DON'T USE THE NAME
These rulers went on to say, "We know that a great miracle has happened, but we can't have this happening here—all these five thousand men following Jesus Christ. We've got to do something." Somebody came up with a brilliant idea. They said, "Call those two people in. They know we are the rulers; they know that we are the elders of Israel, so call them in and let's threaten them real good." They said, "We'll tell them that they've performed a great miracle, and all that, but that isn't the kind of preaching we want in our town, and that's not the kind of results we want people all wrought up about."
"Our threat will let them understand that we don't want anything like that done in that name anymore. That name is disturbing the city. That name is causing things to happen that we can't duplicate. That name is causing men who've never walked before to walk. That name is upsetting the city." And that name continues to upset the city. It should upset the city, for He is the worthy one. This name, Jesus, it will upset things, it will turn things that are upside down to the upright position.
So they told the disciples, "You can preach, but not in the name of Jesus. Because we have seen evidence that that is an authentic name. We've had other men come in and do hocus pocus, throw sheets over people, and anoint them, but nothing happened." The devil doesn't object to those counterfeits. He says, come on in and do your act. Charge $10, get in a faith line, and I'll perform my trick. The devil doesn't mind that, but when he sees an authentic testimony, that's different. This man is standing here, no argument—he's standing here, walking and leaping, completely healed. He's an authentic testament.
Excerpted from A Savior Worth Having by E. V. Hill. Copyright © 2002 E. V. Hill. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
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Table of Contents
1. No Other Name2. In the Name of Jesus3. How to Pick a Savior4. When Was God at His Best?5. The Sunset of the Wicked6. A Heavenly Invitation7. I Don't Want to Go to Hell8. A Savior Who Offers Peace9. Good Gifts from a Good Savior10. A Savior Who Gives Us Privileges11. A Savior Who Leads lovingly12. A Testimony of Joy