The name of the Lord
We’ve been talking about power and authority and the fact that Jesus didn’t only come to display this power and authority but to deposit it into our lives.
What an amazing thought.
He came so that all His children through all the ages could have all that He had.
Acts 1:8 You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses.
The power is given for a reason, to be witnesses. What is a witness?
It’s someone who gives an account of what they saw, they give testimony.
The way we give testimony is not only through what we say but through the lives we live.
Your life and my life needs to be a testimony.
When people look at us they should say,
- Is that what a Christian looks like?.... I like that.
- Is that what a Christian marriage looks like?
- Is that how a Christian does business.
I think one of the most powerful testimonies we can have is for people to see our lives, to see that there’s something different about us.
God gives you and me the power to live a life that’s different, a life that draws people to God.
This evening I want to continue with that theme, but I want to focus on the power and authority that we have in Jesus name.
I’m sure you’ve heard when some people pray they’ll end their prayer saying, in Jesus name.
Why do they do that?
Firstly because the bible tells us to do it.I’m going to show you in a moment.
Secondly because there’s power in the name of Jesus.
That doesn’t mean that you can tack the name of Jesus onto any old prayer and it suddenly becomes a magical prayer orpowerful prayer.
You’ve got to understand what you’re doing and believe in power of His name.
There’s a story in Acts 19 of a leading priest named Sceva.
He had seven sons, and his sons had been watching the Apostle Paul doing miracles and driving out demons using the name of Jesus.
They were so impressed with this that they decided to try it as well.
Acts 19:15But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, ‘I know Jesus and I know Paul, but who are you?’ Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.
He humiliates them and then sends them streaking down the road.
You know why?
Because they didn’t understand the power and authority of the name.
The reason I’m sharing this with us this morning is so that wecan understand, because when understanding comes faith comes and that’s when you believe.
Mark 16:17These signs will follow those who believe……
No believing ……no signs, no miracles, it’s as simple as that.
Here’s what I want you to take home today – there is power and authority in the name of Jesus…… for those who believe.
Proverbs 18:10The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
What does that mean? It means God’s power is available to the righteous.
God’s people call on God’s name.
What about the unsaved? They can call 911, they can call Mr. Delivery….
But you and I, wecall on the name of the Lordbecause we believe there’s power in His name!!
Psalm 20:7Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
There are many stories of people who were in some kind of danger or crisis who called upon the name of Jesus and suddenly they experienced a miracle.
Romans 10:13Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Do you know that word ‘saved’ means to deliver or to protect?
There’s a physical protection as well as spiritual protection.
My point is, God wants to protect His children but we’ve got tocall on His name.
Jesus said in John 16:23-24 I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.
Mark 16:17-18And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons …….. they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
Demons will flee in His name
Sick people will be healed in His name.
There is power and authority in the name of Jesus.
Do you now understand why God says, I don’t want you to use my name loosely of casually or in vain.
In Exodus 20 we find the Ten Commandments,the third commandment says;
Exodus 20:7You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain…..
Exodus 20:7You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God……
God is so serious about this commandment that there’s a warning that follows straight after the commandment.
Exodus 20:7You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
i.o.w There will be consequences.
All through scripture the importance of the name is emphasised.
The bible has a lot to say about His name.
Psalm 8:1 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 34:3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord , and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
I can give you many more examples from scripture, even the Lord’s Prayer starts with, Hallowed be thy name. Matt 6:9
Hallowed means, holy is your name, to be praised, to be exalted.
So, when we misuse His name we’re doing exactly the opposite of treating it as holy or praising or exalting His name.
How do we misuse His name?
- The unsaved often use it as a swearword or a curse word.
- The saved often don’t represent Him well.
Colossians 3:17Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. NIV
What does that mean? ……….do it all to represent Him well.
How do I know that? Let’s see what the NLT says;
Colossians 3:17Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus. NLT
You and I have a responsibility to represent Him well.
In a way the third commandment is saying;
- You shall not take on the name ‘Christian’ and contradict it with your life
- You shall not make a mockery of my name by the way you treat people at work or the language you use or the places you go to.
That name is so precious and so powerful and so holy that we never ever want to treat it as normal or ordinaryor be casual about it.
Listen to this story from Acts 3
Acts 3:2Peter and John went to the temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. 2 As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money. 4 Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ 5 The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. 6 But Peter said, ‘I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!’
7 Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened.
Then the man followed them into the Temple and the people were looking at the man thinking; I’ve seen you before?? You’re the guy that ….. are you the guy who’s been sitting at the Temple gate?
They were absolutely amazed to see him walking.
Peter is really smart, he grabs this opportunity, because by now there’s a crowd gathering around the man.
Peteraddresses them and says, why are you amazed, why are you so surprised? We didn’t heal this man, the same Jesus you handed over to Pilot to be crucifiedhealed him……..it’s the power of His name that did this.
16 Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed…
It’s not just the name…..and it’s not just faith….. it’s faith in the name of Jesus that produces miracles
When the religious leaders heard about this, they had Peter and John arrested and they started questioning them about the miracle.
Listen to how Peter responds to them Acts4:8-13Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man?Do you want to know how he was healed?
10 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ.
13The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures.
This will work for you even if you’re ordinary.
That’s what happens when God’s power and authority comes upon you, He gives ordinary people the ability to do extra-ordinary things.
15 So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves.16 ‘What should we do with these men?’ they asked each other. ‘We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. 17 But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.’ 18 So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
Notice they never said, let’s tell them to stop the miracles.
No, let’s tell them to stop using the name.
Why did they tell them to stop teaching in the name?
What happens when you teach something?
Understanding comes and then faith comes.
This is what’s happening here today, as I’m busy teaching understanding comes, and then faith comes………. and then miracles come.
In the book of Acts everything happened in the name;
- They gathered together in the name….
- They were baptised in the name….
- They drove out demons in the name….
- People were healed in the name…..everything happened in that name!!
Why? Because there’s power and authority in the name.
What’s happening in our society today?
O no, you can’t use that name, maybe rather refer to ‘God’ because all religions have a god, we don’t want to offend anyone.
People will talk about Godor the man upstairs, but they avoid using ‘the name’ because just like the religious leaders tried to silence Peter and John, the enemy is trying to silence Christians today because he knowswe havepower and authority in the name.
Philippians 2:9 God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that’s above every name……
If I had to ask you;
- What’s the name of your problem?You may say, sickness……….the bible says His name is above sickness.
- What’s the name of your problem?You say, lack and poverty ……the bible say His name is above lack and poverty.
His name is above sickness, it’s above lack and poverty, it’s above fear and depression, it’s above relationship problems………. It’s above every other name!!!
Philippians 2:10 At the name of Jesus every knee should bow….
When you start speaking the name of Jesus over that sickness it has to bow.
When you speak that name over lack and poverty, it has to bow.
When you speak that name over those relationship problems it has to bow because the bible tells us it has to bow.
There is power and authority in the name!!
One of the reasons Jesus tells us to use His name is because the devil hates that name.
Philippians 2:10 At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
Every demon and evil power on earth and under the earth has to submit to the name of Jesus, and when Christians start using that name things change;
- strongholds are broken,
- sicknesses are healed,
- the power of the enemy is pushed back ……
Can I hear someone say that name???? JESUS!!
Jesus gives us specific instructions regarding the use of His namehere in John chapter 14,15,16.
John 14, 15, 16 is wherewe find the conversation that Jesus had with His disciples during the last supper.
This is just before He’s going to be crucified, so you can imagine what Jesus had to share with them was very important.
These were some last minute instructions, some crucial advice.
John 14:13Whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.
John 15:16 You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give you.
John 16:23 Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give you.
24 Until now you’ve asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
There’s a reason Jesus tells us to do it this way, and if Jesus says this is how it works, then I say, OK, then that’s how I’m going to do it.
One thing I know…..
2000 years ago they triedto silence Peter and John and keep them from speaking the name ……. the enemy is still tryingto do that today he knowsthe power and authority we have in the name of Jesus and He also knows he’s in trouble when we use that name.
So guess what we’re going to do this morning?
We’re going to honour His name and then we’re going to sing His name and then we’re going to declare His name over our problems……because the bible says at the name of Jesus every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth.