We already looked at how early church growth came because of the name of Jesus.
As we continue to look at the book of Acts, we find that they not only spoke in the name of Jesus but did all in His name.
And, they made it clear that people likewise needed to respond in His name.
How Doing All in His Name, the Name of Jesus, Affected Early Church Growth
They made it clear that all they did, not just what they said, was done in the name of Jesus.
With the name of Jesus came power and authority to heal (Acts 3:6, 16; 4:10, 30) and cast out evil spirits (Acts 16:18). They didn’t presume people would know they healed and cast out demons in Jesus’ name. Rather, they verbally focused the attention on Jesus as the Source saying … “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6), “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see” (Acts 3:16), “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed” (Acts 4:10), “said to the spirit, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!’ At that moment the spirit left her” (Acts 16:18).
- We too are commanded, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus …” (Col. 3:17). God may not use us to physically heal someone or cast out demons but He certainly will use us to minister in His name. Perhaps we will feed the hungry, visit those who are sick or imprisoned, help restore homes destroyed by natural disasters, and many, many other ways we can meet needs. The question for us is if we are making it clear that we are doing it in the name of Jesus. Does He get the credit for the good we do?
They also made it clear that people needed to respond in His name, not in the name of the church leaders or in the name of a local church.
Early on in Acts we read of Peter pointing back to Joel, one of the Old Testament prophets, who predicted the events of that day. He also provided the outcome, that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21). Later in His discourse, Peter urged people to “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). It wasn’t about who led them to salvation or to what local church they would belong. They would call on the name of Jesus for salvation (Acts 2:21; 22:16) and then be called by His name.
- We too must keep the focus on Jesus in our church growth efforts. How we invite people to accept God’s plan of salvation in Jesus must make it clear that they are responding to Him. It’s not so much about them becoming part of our local church but part of His Church.