God has granted us a great range of powerful weapons. Another is the name of Jesus.
“‘Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ … Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call’” (Acts 2:36–39).
“They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: ‘By what power or what name did you do this?’ …. ‘Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.’ …. They called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name Jesus” (Acts 4:7, 10, 18).
“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:29–30).
“So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord” (Acts 9:28).
It is strange to me that the name of Jesus Christ is used much more by unbelievers than by believers. Unbelievers use His name mockingly, irreverently, and thoughtlessly. They use it in vain. Believers do not want to use Christ’s name in vain. Instead, they do not use it at all. However, it is absolutely necessary to use Christ’s name in our presentation of the gospel.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Without His name no one can be saved.
Many years ago, I came aboard an aircraft carrier in the East China Sea by high-wire from another carrier. I arrived at noon, just in time for the meal in the wardroom. I did not know anyone on the ship. I started to take a chair at one of the tables, next to a lieutenant. He looked at me and said, “That seat’s saved.” So I took the next chair.
Soon an ensign came in, sat in the saved seat, and immediately started talking to me. He was griping about the communication officer, a lieutenant commander, who was his boss. He told me about all of his faults and how poor an officer he was.
I asked the ensign about his own relationships with the enlisted men. I asked him in detail. After he had answered my questions, I said to him, “You are going to be the same kind of lieutenant commander your boss is.”
“I guess you’re right,” he said. “What’s the solution?”
I replied, “Do you really want to know?”
He said that he did.
I answered, “Jesus Christ.” He knew I was not swearing.
“Would you tell me about him? I have always wanted to know about Jesus. My parents are both atheists. They would not let me go to Sunday school.”
I told him about Jesus. He received Christ a few weeks later.
“‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,’ he said. ‘Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood’” (Acts 5:28).
“His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name Jesus, and let them go” (Acts 5:40).
“All those who heard him were astonished and asked, ‘Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?’” (Acts 9:21).
There has always been opposition to the use of the Lord’s name. The name and identity of Jesus Christ are foremost in the gospel.
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (Jn. 20:31).
*Excerpted from Weapons & Tactics. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore.