As I ran through my list of errands, I found myself stopped at a red light with low volume lyrics playing from the radio, making themselves stand out in the background, "there is power in the name of Jesus." I had not been paying attention to the song, but for some reason the line made me stop in thought. What does "power in the name of Jesus" really mean? You may have heard this line in an old hymn or a new age radio song. But have you ever wondered the meaning? When listening to songs and hymn lyrics, we can always look to God's Word to see how the words stand up against Scripture. You might be surprised by how many times we sing words that don't truly align with what God's Word says, or you might be surprised by how much the lyrics point us to deeper truths embedded in Scripture.
Looking to the pages of the Bible, we see that there are many names of Jesus. He is called Counselor, Son of Man, Son of God, Immanuel, Rabbi, and many more. He is also called Christ, which means anointed or chosen one. While the other names identify Jesus' character, sonship, and presence, the name, Jesus Christ, is an embodiment of all of who He is. There aren't enough words or phrases in our vocabulary to fully represent all that He is, but Jesus Christ is the name God has placed above every other name, not sheerly because of the name but because of the One who holds the name. It is the essence of Jesus Christ that is to be high and lifted up, which we do so by naming Him.
What does it mean that there is power in the name of Jesus? Acts 2:38 says, "Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (CSB). When we believe that Jesus is who He says He is, we believe that He is the true Son of God and Savior of the world. This belief leads us to repent and turn from our sin, confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord, to receive salvation so that we might live and walk in the righteousness of Christ. As a seal, we are gifted and filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 says, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you..." (CSB). When we come to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, receiving the Holy Spirit as our Helper, we are consumed with gospel-saving power!
The same power that accompanied Jesus Christ through His perfect life, in order that He may die a perfect death and then three days later defeat the grave, now lives in those who call on His name. For Christians, we receive a divine power through salvation in Christ and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. This power transforms our hearts and desires. This power enables us to proclaim boldly the good news of the gospel, to approach the throne of grace in times of need, to speak truth over the lies we are tempted to believe, to cling to hope and joy in the midst of trial and difficulty, and to preserve as faithful saints in the long journey of life.
Singing or proclaiming that there is power in the name of Jesus is absolutely Biblical and true. We call on the name of Jesus to powerfully redeem us from the depths of our sin. We call on the name of Jesus to powerfully guard our hearts and minds with the help of the Spirit and the Word of Truth. We call on the name of Jesus to powerfully equip us in every good work as we journey heavenward. And when eternity arrives, every single knee will bow and acknowledge the powerful name of Jesus. Philippians 2:9-11 tells us, "For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow– in heaven and on earth and under the earth– and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (CSB). May we be emboldened and strengthened by the power of Jesus Christ today.