The name Jesus Christ is not just any name as many see it. It is the Name in which the power of the God of heaven and earth lives. By it all things are possible. Many make it their custom to regard it as an obstruction and insult to their life. Nevertheless, the Name itself is able to change lives, times and circumstances. The moment a person takes it into his or her life, it begins its wondrous work in them. Belief in it is the key and yet, belief to the point of walking according to it produces the needed results. Even Christians often times fail to use it for their own good. Then, their prowess in the Word or stature in the church becomes naught. The basis to a Christian is the name Jesus Christ. For by it he or she survives to live to eternity. Claiming it allows God to avail all things He has arranged. So, Peter boldly said, “Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead– by this name this man stands here before you in good health” (Acts 4:10).
When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, God made His power available to all those who claim Him. He who claims Him or calls on Him receives from God. The fact that God raised Him from the dead is itself a statement to the kind of power He possesses. But He kept it in the name Jesus Christ, since Christ is the one whom He raised from the dead. The power of God is unassailable. Even if one dies for the Name, he or she is victorious, since they are guaranteed the resurrection of the righteous. So, what must the name Jesus Christ mean to us? That though Christ is not in the flesh, it breaks our fetters and fears when walked according to it. It brings salvation as well as good health and full happiness. When Peter healed the man who has been lame from birth for more than forty years, it was not by his power and name, or was it? He healed him by the only Name, Jesus Christ. The apostles knew the power in the Name. For God made it all-powerful. And they had the appropriate faith to claim it. In doing so, they fulfilled two things – abided in the Word of Christ to give God utmost glory and established the need to believe or the advantage of believing in the name Jesus Christ.
One thing is certain. Had God not sacrificed Christ on the cross and raised Him from the dead, we or anyone else would not have the means to benefit from using the Name. We, as God’s children, should always realize that when God called us to Himself, He desired to work positively for us. This is a principle He laid to Himself. Or else, His desire to have as many sons as possible through Christ can never be fulfilled. It is when we fail to realize the full potency in His principle or did not fully believe it that we fail to fully reap from Him. If Peter and John had any less faith than needed for that moment, what would have happened? Would an instance like the healing of a lame man exist for us to perceive the name Jesus Christ? They did not fail in their belief. So, we have the record of the power that is in the Name. And it has been made possible for us to use that Name according to the will of God to reap from God. This is true, since Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, and it requires that our faith in the Name is just as true as it was in Peter and John. Such faith invokes God while we claim the name Jesus. Then, whether it is for our sake or for the sake of others, He will act. For help is in the Name. And Paul having understood the power in it said, “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died” (2 Cor. 5:14).
Jesus died for all. In this context Paul refers to all who believed in the Name, which then means that they too died, i.e. to sin. If this is true of us, in the claiming of the Name we shall find help. The upshot of it is that the love of Christ directs us into all ways God desired for us. Remember one thing when you ask help in the Name. It was because Peter and John believed in God raising Christ from the dead that they had the courage to use the name Jesus Christ to heal the lame man. So, our courage to use the Name in the presence of God should come from believing that there is God’s power in it. All good things are by the Name. We need good things to continue in life not only for ourselves, but also for God. And God is greatly willing to provide them for us at the claiming of the Name. If Peter and John claimed the Name so that a lame man should stand up on his feet, the power in it will be no less to perform for us, who deeply trust God. “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE’” (Jam. 4:6).
As believers in Christ, we are all saved by grace. In other words, we possess eternal life. Yet, God did not call us to receive grace alone, but also to possess greater grace that we become His light. Our salvation, the nature of salvation and purpose of our living are manifested only through the obtaining of greater grace. Greater grace establishes the dominion of the Almighty God among men. With it God desires we live on this earth and become proof of a victorious life. When the apostle speaks of it, he speaks of the immeasurable grace in the Name that cares for us in every manner and situation. A stipulation to receive it is to be humble before God. No man with sin can be humble; for sin producing covetousness of all kinds makes him arrogant before the Almighty. On the contrary, a humble person is one who confesses his sin and seeks God’s desire for him. God intends greater grace for us, namely, to deal with us in a way that brings glory to Him and us. Hence, when we use the Name, He first searches our hearts to reach out for us. “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6).
The above saying is also true for faith and spirituality. Its meaning is very obvious. What farmer sows little knowing he would reap little? But he sows greatly that he should reap abundantly. He does not desire to waste his time, energy and resources. To sow little even appears absurd to him. Yet, many times we fail to transfer the same idea to spiritual life. When our sowing to faith is little, our spirituality declines and we do not reap as we desire. In fact, it is even imprudent to sow little to faith and expect God to give a greater grace. Sowing little to faith leads to weak spiritual life and weak spiritual life is a sign for partial obedience. As we know, partial obedience is disobedience and any disobedience is sin. So, though we have faith and by faith in the Name have been made God’s children, our lack of complete obedience defines our using the Name as inappropriate. In this state we cannot see God positively working for us.
So, the question then is, ‘how does one sow bountifully to faith?’ “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’” (Luke 17:5). This is the best way for it. There’s not man who can tell another how to fully sow to faith, except to lead him to the Lord. If we desire to use the Name for our good and for the good of others, our faith must increase so that our attraction to disobedience is annulled. Increase in faith helps us to know God intensively. We learn how He acts and in what circumstances. We learn of His willingness toward us. We learn of His desires, righteous ways and justice. We learn His ways and thoughts for us. We learn of His readiness to come to our aid. We understand His reasons for disciplining and testing us. We learn of the manner by which He controls us. To gain such bountiful wisdom and then claim the Name is the sure way to be acceptable to Him. He will surely give us greater grace, whatever the need. The disciples being inspired by the Lord knew what they were asking. They wanted it desperately. So, it all depends on how desperate we are to claim the name Jesus and win God’s help. For this is His promise. “SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, ‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN’” (Matt. 21:5).
Do not be confused. He has come to give eternal life to all who believe, even us. And He continues to come to us so that God awards us a greater grace. He is gentle; He cannot reject us when we put all our trust in Him. He will carry our burden, i.e. remove it from us, when our obedience gives Him joy. He is our King and will shepherd us into eternity. He will not leave us to disappointment; neither will He let the enemy rejoice over us. For His name is Wonderful. So, “Is it being said, O house of Jacob: ‘Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient? Are these His doings?’ Do not My words do good To the one walking uprightly?” (Mic. 2:7).