The Use of 'The Name of The Lord' in the New Testament's Evangelistic Message

This is a small and brief idea that I am working on. I will be updated later

And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls. (Joel 2:32 NKJV)

The first sermon preached by the Apostles quoted the prophet Joel,

But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.‘ (Acts 2:16-21 NKJV)

Peter’s application of Joel’s message was picked up and used elsewhere in the Church. It was used by Ananias when he spoke to Paul,

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’ (Acts 22:16 NKJV)

There can be little separation between baptism, sanctification, and the name of the Lord. Paul uses this theme in his letter to the Corinthian church,

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11 NKJV)

Paul would then use it his letter to the Romans,

For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13 NKJV)

It is part of Paul’s larger message, which connected Christ to the YHWH of the Old Testament,

That if you will profess with your mouth that Jesus is God, and will believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved! For with the heart it is believed unto righteousness, and with the mouth it is professed unto salvation. For the scripture says: Everyone believing on him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is over all, being rich to all that call upon him. For whosoever will call upon the name of the LORD will be saved! (Romans 10:9-13 CTV)

Returning to Peter, we see that the immediate application of his understanding of Joel’s prophecy is given in baptism,

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 NKJV)

Peter would later say,

There is also an antitype which now saves us–baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:21 NKJV)

Paul, again in Romans, applies his understanding to baptism as well,

Therefore we were buried together with him through baptism into death, and just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, so also we should walk about in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of his death, certainly we shall also be sharers of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man was crucified together with him, that the body possessed by sin might be destroyed, that we should no longer serve as a slave to sin: For he that has died in baptism, stands free from sin. (Romans 6:4-7 CTV-NT / W)

Throughout Acts the phrase ‘name of the Lord’ is connected to baptism, and baptism to new converts. (Acts 8.16; 10.48 (TR); 19.5; 22.16). Along with Peter’s application of YHWH to Christ (Joel 2.32/Acts 2.21), it soon became custom to associate the name of Jesus with the phrase ‘name of the Lord.’

There is little doubt that there is a connection between Peter’s sermon at Pentecost at the several times that baptism is performed using his formula, ‘in the name of the Jesus Christ’. Beyond that, the ‘name of the Lord Jesus’ was associated with power for evangelism.

And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. (Acts 9:29 NKJV)

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” (Acts 19:13 NKJV)

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.(Colossians 3:17 NKJV)

The verse commonly used in evangelical circles is John 3.16; in oneness, Pentecostal and other wise, is Acts 2:38; however, the passage of Scripture most commonly referred to by the Apostles was Joel 2.32.

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7 Replies to “The Use of 'The Name of The Lord' in the New Testament's Evangelistic Message”

  1. Interesting. i’m not sure what you are getting at, because you did not add your thoughts. However, I would like to ask, is the name of the Lord that we are to call on explicitly stated in the NT?

  2. Hey Joel, I’m pretty much done with my book (and our latest round of discussion, I think :-). What do you think I should call it? I’m planning on sending you a free copy, and no, I’m not mocking or teasing you.

    I’m curious what you think I should call it. I’ve had a heckuva time coming up with a name for it.

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