Sermon – December 11, 2016
Colossians 3:17 – What’s in a Name? (mp3)
The names that we give to children are not meant, typically, to be prophetic. We give names to our children because they are pretty or have some sentimental, familial, or traditional value. My kids are named this way. But God doesn’t work in the same way. When God names someone or something, he is not naming it for what it is, but rather, for what it will be. Today we look at the name “Jesus,” and seek to determine what it means to “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
1. “In Jesus’ name” does not mean we simply speak.
While John 14:12-14 is often used to imply that all we need to do is say the magic name of Christ, we know that this is not the case. But what does it mean, then, that we are to walk in his name? How do we determine what “the name” of Jesus is meant to mean?
2. God prophetically names.
The Genesis narrative is foundational to the gospel, in many ways. The naming of Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac is not done looking to what has happened in the past, but rather God’s naming in Genesis 17 creates the future. He is declaring what will be, not what has happened. We get the same sense in Matthew 1:22 when the angels declare the name of the new child – Jesus, who will save his people from their sins.
3. We both declare and demonstrate the name of Jesus
If the name “Jesus” means that the eternal son has come to save his people from their sins, then to walk in that names means to live out this reality. We are saved from our sins – and therefore we must live like it. We also must be those who use our words to proclaim the truth that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
Christian, you have been called in the name of Jesus, whose very name symbolizes his purpose fulfilled in you – he has come to save you from your sin! Let us live out and proclaim this reality with our lives and our voices!