Call His Name Jesus
By David K. Bernard
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
The Name of Jesus
Before the Son of God was born, an angel gave Joseph the name by which He was to be called Jesus (Matthew 1:21). God chose this name to reveal Himself as Savior, for the name Jesus literally means Jehovah-Savior, Jehovah our Savior, or Jehovah is Salvation (W E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p. 274; Marvin Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, 1, 16). Christ fulfilled its meaning as no other man could, for He was God manifested in flesh who had come to redeem us. The prophetic message identified Jesus as Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
By incorporating the supreme Old Testament name Jehovah, the name Jesus encompasses everything the Old Testament revealed about God. In addition, it proclaims the essential truth that the Old Testament God Himself has become our Savior. For example, the Old Testament proclaimed God’s love, but only by the revelation of God in Christ do we realize the depths of God’s love: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
The name of Jesus is invested with all of God’s power and authority. Jesus is “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21). Jesus said, `All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18) and “I am come in my Father’s name” (John 5:43). Through His miracles, Jesus demonstrated power and authority over nature, disease and sickness, death, the devil, and sin-in short, over every force that conquers man.
The name of Jesus represents God’s very presence. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). In Jesus we have the fulness of the Spirit. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him” (Colossians 2:9-10).
To know the name of Jesus, then, is to know the supreme revelation of God in human history. For this reason, the apostles understood Christ’s command to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (that is, in the name of God) to be a reference to the supreme, singular name that reveals God in redemption-the name of Jesus. The Book of Acts records that water baptism was always performed in the name of Jesus Christ.
Consequently, the saints have the name of Jesus invoked over them and are called by His name (Acts 15:17; James 2:7). Not only is this name invoked upon them during the initial act of water baptism, but it remains with them to give power and authority that comes from the presence of Jesus Christ, who abides and actively works in their daily lives. Praying in the name of Jesus expresses faith in His divine character (love, compassion, and desire to help), power (ability to help), authority (right to help), and presence (immediate attention and availability to help).
But the name of Jesus is not a magical formula; prayer is effective only if we have faith in, and truly know, the One whom the name represents (Acts 3:16; 10:43). As the sons of Sceva learned, the devil flees from Jesus and from those who belong to Jesus, but not from those who merely profess Jesus verbally (Acts 19:13-17).
Our Response to the Revelation of the Name
What should our response be to the wonderful revelation of the name of Jesus, the revelation that focuses upon the Incarnation? First, we recognize that salvation and eternal life come through faith in the Name (John 20:3 1). After we repent of our sins, we receive remission of sins at water baptism in the name of Jesus (Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38); and the salvation process is complete when we receive the Holy Spirit through the name of Jesus (John 14:26; Acts 2:38).
Second, we can receive everything we need to live for God through the name of Jesus, including power over Satan, divine healing, and divine protection (Mark 16:17-18). We can pray boldly and confidently in Jesus’ name, thereby invoking
His character, power, authority, and presence. Jesus promised, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14).
Finally, we are to walk worthy of the name we bear. The Apostolic church rejoiced to be counted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus (Acts 5:40-42). We, too, are willing to endure persecution, opposition, and reproach for the Name. We are to live separated, godly lives and proclaim the whole gospel to the whole world.
In everything we say or do, we ask for the Lord’s blessing, participation, and assistance. In our speech and conduct, we acknowledge the Lordship and deity of Jesus, thereby glorifying the one God who chose to reveal Himself through the name of Jesus. `And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).
David K Bernard is the pastor of New Life United Pentecostal Church in Austin, Texas. This article was reprinted from the December 1986, Pentecostal Herald.
The Above Material Was Published By The Pentecostal Herald, December 2002, Pages 14-15. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.