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About-Him.Com Devotional 07-31-2010
The Name of Jesus
In Acts 3:12-26 we read the stirring account of Peter and John happening upon a lame man who was begging at the gate to the temple. we all recall the words of Peter:
Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
After the man was dramatically healed, Peter used the opportunity to preach (Acts 3:12-26) to the assembled crowd. Peter preached with a fiery zeal and let these people know that they had killed the Prince of Life, but God had raised Him from the dead. He emphasized that the man had not been healed because of Peter's power or holiness. He was healed by the Name of Jesus and faith in the Name of Jesus.
It is interesting to note that when the apostles preached the Name of Jesus, it was usually coupled to the resurrection. I believe that the Name and the resurrection are inseparable. The Name of Jesus denotes all that God has been, all that He is, and all that He will become.
The Sadducees who ruled the temple, but were more political than devote, got stirred up when they heard that Peter and John were preaching not only the resurrection of Jesus, but also the resurrection of all who believe in Jesus (Acts 4:1). They tried to put a stop to this excitement by casting Peter and John in jail. They were just a little bit too late. Five thousand men had become believers and confessed Christ.
The next day, Peter and John were called before the High Priest and a host of assembled dignitaries to be examined. The opening question was, "By what power or by what name have ye done this?" Peter began to preach again that the man was healed by the power of the Name of Jesus and that there was no hope of salvation outside of that Name (Acts 4:12).
Peter preached five different times in the book of Acts, and five different themes are mentioned:
At Pentecost - Acts 2:14-39
To the crowd when the lame man was healed - Acts 3:12-26
To the rulers after the lame man was healed - Acts 4:8-12
To the council after being imprisoned - Acts 5:29-32
To the household of Cornelius - Acts 10:36-48
The five themes are:
God anointed Jesus!
You killed Him!
God raised Him up!
He reigns in heaven!
He is coming again!
The church today would do well to stick to these basic themes and speak less of our so called sovereign rights to prestige and power. When we get a vision of the enthroned Christ, we will speak much more of Him and less of ourselves.
Peter preached under the anointing of the Holy Ghost. Even though their preaching had made the rulers angry, they grudgingly acknowledged that these unlearned men had been with Jesus. They threatened and commanded them to no longer speak in the Name of Jesus. Peter simply answered that they could only speak the things that they had seen and heard. They had walked with Jesus for three and one half years and had seen much. However it was after the resurrection that their understanding was opened. Remember the two men walking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:45), how that Jesus opened their understanding that they might understand the scriptures. He showed Himself to them in the law, the psalms and the prophets. Acts 1:3 speaks of Jesus speaking of things pertaining to the kingdom of God for forty days. No wonder Peter couldn't keep still. He had just had a very intensive spiritual seminar with the risen and glorified Christ.
After Peter and John were released, they reported all that had happened to the church body. They were fearful but they began to pray aloud in unison (Acts 4:24). They asked the Lord to note that the political establishment was arrayed against the Lord and His Christ. They asked the Lord to note their threatenings. They also specifically asked for boldness to preach God's Word, and that signs and wonders be done in the Name of the very One whom the political establishment had tried to wipe out.
God heard their prayer and gave a very dramatic answer. The very foundations of the building began to shake and those assembled were filled anew with the Holy Ghost. Once more they began to preach and witness with boldness.
How do we apply these two chapters. I believe that we must make every effort to discern the significance of the Name of the Lord. We must seek God for greater faith in His Name. We must join together seeking God for a revival, where signs and wonders are done as a result of the preaching of the Name. In About-Him
“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.” - A. W. Tozer
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