Summary: We should use the name of Jesus often and boldly, both in our prayers, and in our praise.
Acts 4:8-12 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 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. 11 He is "’the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
Names can sometimes open doors of opportunity for you. If you were trying to get somewhere in the computer field, and you happened to have worked with Bill Gates on a project or two, you can imagine the opportunities you’d have in the business field just by saying, “I used to work with Bill Gates. We worked on Windows 95 together.” If you were in the political arena and were trying to get an appointment to a particular post, and you just happened to know Governor Carlson really well, you might be able to get somewhere by dropping his name. It’s often been said that it’s know WHAT you know but WHO you know that really counts.
Maybe you don’t know anyone important in high places that can open doors of opportunity for you in the workplace or in the political arena. But there is one name you can use. It’s the name of Jesus. If you know no one else in the whole world, but you know Jesus, you have one name that can get you all kinds of favors in the highest place of all. So don’t be afraid to ...
Use The Name Jesus!
I. Use it when you step before God
The story we have before us today is really a follow up to the story which we had last Sunday. Peter and John had gone into the temple to worship. At the gate of the temple, they met a man who was crippled and begging for alms. Peter answered him by saying, “We don’t have any money, but what we have we will give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Immediately the man jumped to his feet. That whole afternoon people saw him “walking and jumping, and praising God.”
Of course, this is just what the leaders of the Jews needed! Another miracle! And in Jesus’ name! The temple police arrested the disciples that night and kept them in jail overnight. The next morning they brought them up before the Sanhedrin. The last thing the Jewish leaders wanted was some man running around the temple who had been crippled up his whole life claiming that Jesus’ disciples had healed him. So they demanded an explanation from them. “By what power or what name did you do this?” they demanded of Peter.
Under pressure, Peter had denied Jesus once. In fact three times. He would never do that again! Listen carefully to his answer. “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 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.” The man was healed by using a name - Jesus’ name. Please understand that this does not mean that Jesus’ name is like a magical formula that you can use to get anything you wish. It’s not like some magician’s chanting - “abra-ka-dabra” - or something like that. To do something in Jesus’ name means that you do it in the faith of what that name stands for.
Let me give you a couple of examples. Sometime during your life, if it has not happened already, you or someone you love is going to become very sick, or be in very serious trouble. The Bible says that whatever you ask God in Jesus’ name, he will give it to you. God will hear and answer your prayer. But what does it mean to ask something in Jesus’ name? It means that you believe in everything that Jesus did for you. It means you believe that God cares for you because by faith in Jesus, you are his child. It means you are confident that God must make everything work out for your good, because he has forgiven all your sins and will not punish you for them or count them against you. It means that you know that it is God’s will to bring you safely home to heaven, for it was for heaven that Jesus died to save you.