Summary: Learn the right way to use the name of Jesus in this message on the power of His name.
What’s In A Name?
How To Use the Name of Jesus
In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Romeo delivers a monologue outside of Juliet’s window in which he’s obviously battling within himself the controversy between the house of Capulet and the house of Montague exclaims, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” And certainly a rose, if it were called a tulip or a poopyflower, would still have the same sweet smell, but while Romeo dreamt about a world where name’s had no meaning, Juliet’s family name carried with it a hatred for Romeo’s family. And in the names of their respective families was a feud that would ultimately lead to their deaths. So, should we take names lightly. Perhaps, it doesn’t matter when dealing with your name or mine, but the name of Jesus is a different issue altogether.
Tonight’s message is called “What’s in a Name? How to Use the Name of Jesus” and we’ll discover the power and possibilities of using His name the right way.
II. The Un-Way
Exodus 20:7 7"Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
Many of us have heard the Ten Commandments in the King James Version where it says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Well, what does that mean?
The phrase “in vain” has two meanings: (1) without success or result or (2) in an irreverent or blasphemous manner.
There’s a story in the book of Acts about some people who used the name of Jesus in vain, that is without success or result. Let’s check it out.
Acts 19:11-17 NLT 11God gave Paul the power to do unusual miracles, 12so that even when handkerchiefs or cloths that had touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and any evil spirits within them came out.
13A team of Jews who were traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus. The incantation they used was this: "I command you by Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!" 14Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. 15But when they tried it on a man possessed by an evil spirit, the spirit replied, "I know Jesus, and I know Paul. But who are you?" 16And he leaped on them and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and badly injured.
17The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored.
So this team of Jews tried to use the name of Jesus on an evil spirit, and it backfired. They were Jews, but vagabond Jews, that were of the Jewish nation and religion, but went about from town to town to get money by conjuring. They strolled about to tell people their fortunes, and pretended by spells and charms to cure diseases, and bring people to themselves that were melancholy or distracted. So they came upon this man who was possessed by an evil spirit and they said, I command you by Jesus whom Paul preaches; not, "whom we believe in, or depend upon, or have any authority from,’’ but whom Paul preaches; as if they had said, "Let’s try what this Jesus name will do.’’ The evil spirit gave them a sharp reply (v. 15): "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Or in other words, “I know that Jesus has conquered principalities and powers, and that Paul has authority in his name to cast out devils; but what power do you have to command us in his name, or who gave you any such power? What have you to do to declare the power of Jesus, or to take his covenant and commands into your mouths, seeing you hate his instructions?’’
So these priests were using the name of Jesus in vain and it got them beat up.
So, that’s one way not to use the name of Jesus – someone who doesn’t believe in Him, depend upon Him, or have any authority from Him trying to use it. That, in essence, is witchcraft. So, it’d be like a wiccan trying to put a hex on you in the name of Jesus…it would be without success and it would probably get them in big trouble.
Another un-way is in an irreverent or blasphemous manner, which we all should know. Most of the movies you watch demonstrates this case in point. The character gets upset and makes a derogatory remark and says “Jesus” or “Jesus Christ!” or “Jesus H. Christ.” That’s irreverent and blasphemous. If you catch yourself doing that same thing, beware. You know when you’re being irreverent. You stump your toe and yell, “Jesus.” You get scared and “Jesus” slips out, that’s irreverent, don’t do it. It’s the un-way. If you’ve let it slip before, go ahead and make the correction and say, “I’m not doing it anymore.”