This Week's Gospel Sermons

Unity In The Early Church  - David Sandlin

Calling On The Name Of The Lord  - Scott Richardson


March 6 - 11, 2011 Gospel Meeting At Jackson Drive.

Speaker:  Jerry Curry

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April 24, 2011


Calling on the Name of the Lord

Peter, in his sermon we have recorded in the second chapter of Acts, quotes from the prophet Joel. The quote begins by telling of “the last days” and Peter applies it to the on-going events on that day of Pentecost. Peter then closes the quote with, “AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED” (Acts 2:21). We find this in the second chapter of Joel. In verse 32 of that chapter, the prophet said that it would come to pass that whosoever called on the name of the Lord would be delivered. This would be in Jerusalem. In our text in Acts 2, the location is in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49; Acts 2:1). In explaining the events of Acts 2, Peter said this was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (Acts 2:16). Peter used the word “saved” while Joel had used the word “delivered” which shows this really had a spiritual application. Thus, the Old Testament had foretold and the New Testament revealed.

From Acts 2:21 alone we cannot learn what all is involved in calling on the name of the Lord, but we can learn this by considering some other places where the term “calling on the name of the Lord” is used (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:12-17; 1Corinthians 1:2; Acts 22:16). Near the end of the Bible, we have Peter’s letters recorded. The idea of being “called” is prevalent there, too. Let us study about the salvation which comes from calling on the name of the Lord.

Notice, first of all, who can call on the name of the Lord. It is whosoever will. We also remember that Jesus Himself says that all are invited. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30). We also know that when Jesus gave His commission to teach that He said anyone could believe and be baptized (Mark 16:16). The writer of Hebrews makes this statement: “But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9). Since Christ tasted death for all men, we see the scope of all of this is universal.

Now, see the result of calling on the name of the Lord—salvation. What was the promise of God that Joel wrote and that Peter applied in a spiritual way? The promise is: “shall be saved.” It is both positive and certain. God leaves no room for doubt.

Before any one can call upon the name of the Lord, requirements must be met. One must know that there is a Lord upon whom to call. One must know he needs to call. One must know who the Lord is upon whom to call. Peter explains all of this in his sermon. He spoke of Jesus, who “God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear … Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:32-36). Peter knew upon whom to call: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

How can anyone call on the name of the Lord? Many insist upon people calling upon the name of the Lord but never tell them how to call or never tell them how to correctly call. Some tell people to pray and in this way call on the name of the Lord, but prayer is never mentioned in connection with the alien sinner calling upon the name of the Lord. Prayer is involved with the erring Christian seeking forgiveness (Acts 8:21,22). Furthermore, calling on the name of the Lord is not saying: “Lord, Lord” or “Lord, save me” or “Lord, I believe.” Hear the words of Jesus: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (Matthew 7:21). How can this be done? Let us consider those who were told to call on the name of the Lord and see what was done.

Romans 10:12-17

Notice in this case that preaching preceded calling on the name of the Lord. This preaching has to be believed and obeyed, but all do not obey (Romans 10:16). What did they do when they obeyed the message? This is not specifically stated. So, we look more.

1Corinthians 1:2

These Corinthians had called on the Lord Jesus (1Corinthians 1:2). What had they done in calling on the name of the Lord? They had heard, believed, and had been baptized: “Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized” (Acts 18:8). That is so plain to see.

Acts 22:16

Saul (Paul) was told to arise and be baptized. “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16). He had already learned the message in regard to Christ. When he was baptized, he called on the name of the Lord, the text says.

Consider our text where we started in Acts 2:21. What took place when these called on the name of the Lord? Peter preached Christ. They were told to know assuredly that these things were so, on the ground of faith (Acts 2:36). They were then told to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins: “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:37-38).

Now answer—how do people call on the name of the Lord?

—S. Scott Richardson Sr.

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