3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: verse by verse through Acts

This morning we’re going to be talking about magnifying or lifting up the name of Jesus. [2] But did you know that the name Jesus was actually a very common name in the ancient Jewish world?

Jesus was actually pronounced Yeshua by people back then and it’s actually a form of the name Joshua. (The name Joshua means “Jehovah is salvation” which is very appropriate for the Son of God.) We get the English version of His name by way of the Latin translation of the Greek manuscripts of the Scriptures. Clear as mud? Anyway, Jesus is basically the English version of His name that was Yeshua. But like I said, His name was actually a very common name in the ancient world.

[3] But today, the name of Jesus is the single most recognizable name in the whole world! Not that everyone has heard his name – but worldwide there isn’t another name that people recognize more than the name of Jesus. He truly has the name above all names!

But what makes a name great? Is it the way it souuuuunds? Is it the meaning of the name itself? Or is it the reputation behind the name that makes it great? Of course, the reputation of the person is what magnifies their name. Let’s do a little exercise. I’m going to say a first name and I want you to say their last name.

[Elvis ____, Tiger ____, Barak ____, Brittney ____, Mahatma ____, Jesus ____.]

The reputation of those people is what makes their names so well known. Jesus’ reputation, the awesome things He did, is what’s made His name the Name above all names! The miracles He performed, the things He taught, the love He showed, His sacrifice on the cross and His public resurrection created a reputation that magnified His Name to epic proportions. He made His name great by what He did.

But when He left this earth, he gave the responsibility of lifting up His name to His disciples. They, and we, are to continue to magnify the Name of Jesus. II Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us.” God wants to use us to continually magnify or make great the name of Jesus.

In Acts chapter nineteen we see how God used the early church to magnify the name of Jesus. Let’s look at how they did it and make sure that we are doing the same thing.

The first way we see the disciples magnifying the name of Jesus is through their practices.[4]The things they did and the way they lived magnified the name of Jesus.

Paul makes his way back to Ephesus and finds a group of people who were probably true believers in God, but who’s faith was in it’s infancy. So Paul helps then fully know Jesus.

[Read Acts 19:1-7.]

So Paul finds this group of guys who like Apollos had followed the teachings of John the Baptist who preached that Jesus was the Messiah that God had promised to send. These guys had also been baptized under John’s ministry to show their faith in the One to come. But they might not have even known about Jesus depending on when they were under John’s ministry.

So Paul tells them about Jesus and they all get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ! And of course when they were baptized Paul laid his hands on them and the Holy Spirit came into their hearts as evidenced by their ability to speak in tongues and prophesy.

Now this was a regular occurrence in the early church. People would come to believe in Jesus and would immediately show others their faith by getting baptized. They wanted everyone to know that Jesus was real and that He had saved them from their sins. So they lifted up His name by getting baptized for all to see.

As you know, baptism is an outward symbol of an inner spiritual reality – the reality that Jesus Christ has saved us from our sins and now lives within us.

When you get baptized you’re lowered into the water as an expression of your old life without God dying away. When you’re raised up out of the water, it expresses the cleansing power of the blood of Christ washing away your sins. And then you stand there with your new life in Jesus Christ. It’s a beautiful expression of what Jesus has done in your life. Baptism magnifies the name of Jesus.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:19-20 that we should baptize believers “until the end of the age.” He knows it’s one of our practices as Christians that will continue to magnify His name in this world. If you’re a believer in Jesus, but have never been baptized, you should. Let me know when you’re ready, and we’ll set it up. And let me tell you, Jesus will be so proud and happy that you’re magnifying His name in this way.

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