The power of Jesus’ name

Jesus was the Son of God. Proof? The power of his name.

We see it first in Acts 3:6 when Peter says “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” and a 40 year old man crippled from birth leaps up the temple steps like a youngster. Peter then yells to the crowd, “It’s the power of Jesus’ name that healed this man,” verse 16, and he says it again in 4:10, “it is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that this man stands before you completely healed.” And then Peter drops this little stick of dynamite for the world ever since to contemplate: “for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved,” verse 12.

No other religious leader or god has the power to save like Jesus does. But why is that important? Why do we need “saving” in the first place? “Saved” from what, pray tell? What’s “being saved” mean, for Pete’s sake? Well Pete himself answers in Acts 2:40, when he pleads with the crowd, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation,” or as The Message phrases it, “get out of this sick and stupid culture.”

Corrupt, sick and stupid? Us? Yes, of course us. Our culture is riddled with war, discrimination, one-upmanship, image-building, bullying, cheating, fraud, loveless sex, addictions, loneliness, phobias of all kinds, anger, hatred, cruelty, exploitation of children, cutthroat competition, incompetence, divided homes, magic-show religion and corrupt politicians. We’re hooked on money, security, ambition, rivalry and personal advantage. We’re forever inventing new perversions and new ways of ripping people off, never thinking for a minute that one day we die and then what happens? But we scoff at God and what he thinks. Oh, we need saving all right – saving from death, evil, demons, idols, fraudulent religions and our endlessly destructive human passions.

And there’s only one name by which we’re saved from that lot. Proof? What’s happened to people ever since that name was first used. Speak the name of Christ and people all over the world, century after century, are freed from their fear of death, from jealousy, murderous hatred, sexual perversion, war lust and their idiotic worship of empty gods. Only one name has been used successfully in the fight against our sick, stupid culture. Only one name has proved its power to lift people above this mess into new, healthy living, free of all fear and worry. Just one name has done it, single-handedly taking on all the gods and idols of our culture and rescuing people in their millions from them. Just one.

And let the world prove otherwise if it can.

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