Paul writes that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. I want to note that the word ‘whoever’ also appears in another scripture we are familiar with. John 3:16 says, “whoever believes in Him [Christ, the only begotten Son of God] will not perish but have everlasting life.” Whoever is an all-inclusive word that means any person – man, woman, boy, or girl – any person. We are told that anybody – regardless of who they are – can call on the name of the Lord and be saved.
Now, I also want you to notice the power and the authority that is present in this scripture. Note the word ‘shall’. Shall or will is used when something is a definite — there is no doubt. The definite that is promised in this scripture is a “saving”. For this saving to be a definite (a guarantee), that means that the one doing the saving has some sort of power and authority to be able to live up to that promise. Paul tells us that the one fulfilling the promise and doing the saving is the one who’s name we call on – the Lord.
The Authority of Jesus’ Name
There must be some kind of power and authority in the name of the Lord. When I was little, I would always hear the older folks talking about the power that was in the name of Jesus. They had faith in the Lord’s power! They believed in what God could not only do for them but also what God could for others. So, they would encourage others to have faith in the name of Jesus. They would pray in the name of Jesus and, most importantly, they would act in the name of Jesus.
Calling on the name of the Lord does not seem to be a common thing nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some who are older than me that believe in the name of Jesus. There are a few who are of my generation that believe in the name of Jesus. Yet, few of us seem to encourage others in the name of Jesus. Few of us seem to pray in the name of Jesus or act in the name of Jesus. If we are failing to do these things, do we truly believe in the name of Jesus? Do we believe in that power?
Jesus and God’s connection
There are many people in our society that question that name of Jesus. Some wonder, if there really is any power in the name of Jesus. They will question His power and His authority. I feel like this thought is one we need to take a brief moment to look at: How power and authority was given to Jesus.
I referenced John 3:16 just a moment ago, so let’s start there with that scripture. In that scripture, we are told, again, that God gave to the world His only begotten Son. The Son being begotten of God means that the Son is of God – He came directly from Him. (Example: I am one of the begotten sons of my dad and mom.) Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.
We are told earlier in the same gospel, that the Word of God was with God in the beginning. Then we are also told that the Word is God and was made flesh (John 1:1, 14). The Word being made flesh tells us that Jesus was and is the Word of God. Jesus states in the book of Revelation that He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End (Rev. 22:13). I state all of this to make it plain and clear for you: Jesus is God manifested in the flesh.
Power and authority given to Jesus
Now, while in the world, Jesus told His apostles that He did not speak on His own authority but the Father’s authority (John 10:14). So at that time, power and authority still belonged to God the Father in heaven. Yet, when Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected from the grave, Jesus spoke differently about that power and authority.
Jesus said to His apostles (Matt. 28:18), “all authority (power) has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” The Father gave over the power and authority over everything to the Son! When Jesus ascended to heaven, he went to sit on the right hand of the power of God (Luke 22:69; Acts 7:56). I say all of this, again, to make this plain and clear: Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords – all power and authority belongs to Him!
When we call on His name, we are calling on the One in charge of it all. Jesus is the one who can get things done, not some other person, idol or god! Jesus told the apostles that whatever they ask in His name (pray for), He would do it (John 14:13). This, again, shows us the One who has the power and authority to act and to make things happen when we call on Him. That is why Paul is able to speak with definiteness in our key verse.
The Action of Calling on His Name
Do you know what it means to call on the name of the Lord? I do not mean for this to be a trick question, but there are always some who are new to the faith and are growing that must learn. And yet, there are still many people who believe calling on the name of the Lord is solely done in our worship and in our prayers. We can call on Him in our actions as well. Let’s take a further look at what it means to call on the name of the Lord so that we can truly understand the power in the name of Jesus.
In my key verse, what Paul writes is a reference to scripture found in the book of Joel. Joel prophesied that there would come a time that whoever called on the name of the Lord would be saved (Joel 2:32). His prophecy also stated that there would be deliverance in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. The deliverance is truly the standout point of both scriptures. This deliverance is salvation – deliverance from this world and from sin.
Salvation, when talked about in that sense, is a spiritual deliverance. Yet, we also know that God will deliver us from our trouble while we are in the world, physically. David proclaimed that the Lord hears the cries of the righteous and delivers them from their troubles (Ps. 34:4, 17-19). So, to call on the name of the Lord is a cry out for help. This, again, means you believe and trust that He can and will help deliver you from your troubles.
Remembering what faith is
Again, I ask, do you know what it means to call on the name of the Lord? Do you believe there is power in the name of Jesus? It is clear, and evident that some of us believe in the power that is in the name of Jesus. (I say this because of the fruit that I can see born from you.) Yet, I tell you that many of us go no further in His power than our worship and the prayers that we pray for ourselves. For many of us, our faith goes no further than the church doors and maybe in our homes!
I tell you that there is power in the name of Jesus and that power extends beyond the church doors; beyond our homes; and beyond just you and me. As I said in last week’s sermons, faith is more than our worship and our prayers! Faith also comes out of us in our deeds (our actions) and the fruit that we bear! There is power in the name of Jesus through the way in which you and I live – through our words and our actions.
Living in His name
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul wrote that whatever you do in word or deed, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus (Col. 3:17). Note that Paul uses the word ‘whatever’ which is another all-inclusive word. Paul is essentially saying that anything you could possibly think of doing – whether it is by speech or action – let it be done in Jesus’ name. Let’s also note that this was not merely a suggestion coming from Paul but a direction. (Paul does not say that ‘you should’ do those things in the name of Jesus, he simply says ‘do it’. This is a principle to live by.)
This got me to thinking: why would Paul give this sort of direction to believers? Sadly, I believe it is because many of us will go out and say or do things not in the name of Jesus but in the name of ourselves. Even Jesus, when He taught about doing charitable deeds, He spoke of those who did things to be glorified by men (Matt. 6:1-2).
This is some of our biggest problem: doing things to be glorified by men instead of glorified by God! Some of us live our lives in a manner that says we do not truly believe in the power that is in the name of Jesus because we do things so that we can be praised by men. You see, we as true worshipers should be serving so that God can be glorified through us!
A principle to live by
I believe that if we who say that we believe in Him, truly were living in the name of Jesus, there would be far less mess in our world today. Why do I say that? I say that because I know what Jesus can do in His power and authority! He can calm storms just by uttering the word cease. I also know that Jesus is able to heal the sick and cure disease! Let me tell you about the power of Jesus: the demons that were in the demon possessed man fled from the man simply in the presence of the man named Jesus!
How often is what comes out of your mouth, done in the name of Jesus? How often are the actions you take, done in the name of Jesus? Is everything you do, done in the name of Jesus? I honestly believe that’s a powerful question because it even gives me pause. There are many of us who proclaim Christ, who do and say things we would definitely be ashamed of if we knew it was done in Jesus’ name.
Let us do better. I want us to do as the old folks who may have been as studied up as we are, but knew His name and trusted in His power. Let us strive to live by the principle of doing everything in the name of Jesus. Let our speech be in His name and let our deeds be in His name. If we truly do live our lives in the name of Jesus, we could never go wrong. We will be able to watch the power of God reclaim mankind and, therefore, reclaim our world. I tell you, there is power in His name and His power is a power that can save all of us from trouble.