By What Power and In What Name?

Weekly Digest - Wed, 21 Nov, 2018

Continuing our biblical exposition on the power of the Church, we are today being advised individually and collectively by what power and in what name are we living our life? The early believers and church were all consumed by the power and name of Jesus living their life; hence they increased in number astronomically with wonders and miracles. Two examples: (1) Following the healing of the lame beggar by the beautiful gate by Peter and John in the name of Jesus Christ, they were arrested and put in jail overnight allegedly for being disturbed by their accusers. Appearing in court in the morning Peter and John were asked, “By what power or in what name, have you done this? Unashamedly, boldly and confidently being filled with the Holy Spirit, they responded, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man had been made well, let it be known to all of you and 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 before you in good health” (Acts 4:7-10). (2) The second demonstration of the early church power absolutely depending on the name of Jesus and power of His Holy Spirit is that which related to the Seven sons of one Sceva who did fake the name of Jesus and power of the Holy Spirit with serious traumatic consequence. The text records that God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul in the city of Ephesus. Some of the Jewish exorcists attempted to name over those who had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” The evil spirit in one man said to the seven sons of Sceva, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you? Then the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded”. (Acts 19:11-16) The name of Jesus and power of the Holy Spirit cannot be faked without dire consequence.

                The lesson for us in the church today is to sincerely ask ourselves, “By what power and in what name are we living our Christian life?” To say the least, we are powerless and unfruitful except we live by the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself said, “I am the vine and you are the branches, he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). You and I, and today’s church need the activating power of the Holy Spirit to be effective and fruitful – Dr. Johnson Omon