In The Name Of Jesus

In Colossians 3, Paul provided instructions as to how we are to live as people who follow Jesus; "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (v17). God wants every aspect of our liveds to be focused on and influenced by Jesus Christ, His Son.

Living "in the name of the Lord Jesus" involves several dimensions. First, it means that we are Jesus Chrst's representatives and ambassadors. We are here on earth to show other people who He is and how He works and what He's done in our lives, and He wants our lives to be a reflection of His own love and character as we shine His light into a darkened world (Matthew 5:14-16). The world is looking on, somtimes with curiosity, sometimes in derision---but our behavior and demeanor as "Christ-ones" are always under scrutiny.

The phrase also implies that we live and act under the authority of Jesus Christ. The concept here is not that we are under our Lord's thumb, but that we have been empowered with authority to act on His behalf. The disciples understood what this meant. One day Peter and John encountered a crippled begger at the temple. Peter's response to the beggar's request for money is memorable; "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk" (Acts 3:6).

At Pentecost, Peter asked the assembled crowd to "repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins" (Acts 2:38). He also informed the religious leaders that the only way to be drawn back into an intimate relationship with God is to be saved by the name of Jesus: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved! (Acts 4:12) We as Jesus' ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) have the authority and the obligation to let others know that only Jesus can forgive their sins and repair their relationship with God the Father.

Finally, living in the name of Jesus means that we must submit ourselves to Him. One day everyone will acknowledge that Jesus is God the Son (Philippians 2:10), but as His people we don't have to wait for that day. We have the glorius opportunity to bow to Him now as we live in the joy and peace of doing His will.

When Paul wrote that we as God's people are to do everything in the name of Jesus, he was doing more that voicing a touching sentiment. he was sending out a clarion call to Christians everywhere to live in a manner that is completely different from that of the world around us. There is no greater challenge---and there is no greater source of power than the name of Jesus Christ to help us to be successful in meeting that challenge.

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