Making Use of the Name of Jesus
Intro: The Book of Acts reveals an intermediate, developing Theology in many areas. Luke was a reporter, not an eye-witness, so his account of the early days of the Church are empirical in nature. Each new event seems to add layers to the awareness of the Apostles and others of the powerful presence of Christ thru His Spirit. In Acts 3-5, we can see the obvious awareness in the growing confidence the Apostles have Name of Jesus as power for healing, salvation, and ministry. The disciples are even on a learning curve to pray “in Jesus name.”
Apply: As we see the growing faith and awareness of the Apostles, we can be challenged to grow along with them in our confidence in the name of Jesus, his presence and power within us.
- Examples of the Growing faith and understanding of the Apostles
Pre -Pentecostal awareness is limited- They are not yet super heroes, but typical Jewish young men who have been with Jesus 3 years.
- They have seen his miracles and heard his teaching
- Three of them have seen Jesus “transfigured” on the Mountain with Moses and Elijah.
- Peter has confessed Jesus as the Son of God (Matt 16:16)
- In recent days they have heard Jesus teach them about praying in his name and of the coming of the Holy Spirit (John 14:13,14; Mark 16:17,18)
- They have witnessed Jesus’ death and resurrection.
1.Yet- they are still products of their culture, with limited understanding of the implications of what the Cross and resurrection means to them. (See Acts 1:6,7)
Explain: They are still thinking like Jews-living in the 0ld Paradigm! Why- this is pre-Pentecostal, the Holy Spirit has not yet come upon them.
2.Post-Resurrection shows dynamic changes in the Apostles- Acts 1:8
Explain: During His resurrection appearances Christ has been instructing his men about how to change the world-“to the ends of the earth” Note: the “my witnesses” means they will witness to the Cross and resurrection power of His Name!
1). Today’s church has neglected the Resurrection truth that was central to the Apostles! In consequence she is also powerless!
2). The “lo I am with you always”- has come at Pentecost- Jesus is here more powerful than ever!
Peter’s Sermon in Acts 2 is full of “new paradigm” truth
3.Notice they are still “temple Jews.” Acts 2:46
Explain: it will take some years for them to realize that they (the church) are the temple. The Holy Spirit lives in them, but they do not as yet feel like a “temple.” Jesus presence in them will be a growing truth and faith to be believed.
4.There is an Apostolic awareness of making use of Jesus name Acts 3-4
Explain: Peter and John’s use of the name of Jesus in healing the 40-year cripple is transitional.
Acts 3:16 “through faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.”
Note: There is no ‘magic” in using the Name of Jesus. It is faith in what the Name represents- the power of the Cross!
5. The resurrection has changed “Crucifixion” to the “Cross”- from victim to victor
Explain; three times Peter is arrested By the Jews and three times he continues to preach and heal in Jesus name. He is bold, confident that greater is He who is in me than he who is in them. How do you defeat men who have no fear of death?
Peter’s repeated message is- “This same Jesus you Crucified, God has raised from the dead and commands you to repent and believe”
6.Transition from belief in Jesus the Christ (Jewish Messiah) to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Explain; Jesus is lord over the Sanhedrin, over prison chains, guards, and lord over sickness and death.
- Take Aways for us
1.Are you a secessionist or a triumphalist?
You must decide if all this Miracle talk is only for then or is it still available for us today.
2.The politically correct climate of our day is the same as their day- an antichrist spirit.
Will we pray for more boldness & faith to proclaim Jesus’ name? “We too must obey God rather than men!” Acts 5:29
3. They repeatedly said “we are witnesses of these things” Even so- we too must be witnesses! Acts 1:8
We too must make use of the Name and make His name known.
4. What “crippling thing” is holding you back. Tell it to walk in Jesus Name Acts 3:6
5. He has promised to give his Holy Spirit to those who obey him- be his witness. Acts 5:32
6. Ask him to increase your faith to trust him in all things!