Calling on the Name of the LordBy: Joseph H. Murray
What does it mean to call on the name of the Lord?
Does it mean to envoke the name of Jesus at the ending of our pious prayers? I think you will find it means more than a mentioning of His name, Jesus, no matter how precious it may be to us.
Calling on His name is a heart condition and it is a cry from a broken and contrite spirit.
“For with the heart, man believeth unto righteousness (righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost); and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10). (Speaking in tongues, Acts 2:4).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you (or, for us), who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Pet. 1:3–5).
To make a legitimate call to any one there has to be a relationship or kinship prevailing between the caller and the callee.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” In other words, with the heart man believes until he is made right with God. And, when he is made right with God, he or she enters the Kingdom of God (Rom. 14:17), and that makes him or her a subject of the King which rules over this kingdom. No one can call on the name of the Lord who is not in or under His authority, and is not filled with the Holy Ghost.
The entrance into this kingdom and authority is called, by those who know the truth, being born again.
This is the last statement, or one of the last statements, made by Jesus before He was taken up into a cloud to heaven. “But ye shall receive power (or authority) after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me (a witness is someone who can speak in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance) both in Jerusalem (Jews) and in all Judea (Jews), and in Samaria (mixed, or part Jews), and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Gentiles)” (Acts 1:8).
It is by this power, and by this power alone, that a son or a daughter can call on the name of the Lord. Only His children are allowed an audience with, or conversation with, our Mediator Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of God; the Father.
“He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own (Jews), and His own (Jews) received Him not. But as many (Jews and Gentiles) as received Him, to them gave He power (or Holy Ghost) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name...[These signs shall follow them that believe on His name (Mark 16:17–18)]...which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:10–13).
In this proper kinship and fellowship of likemindedness, one is able to call on the name of the Lord. All others are like the woman to whom Jesus said, “Ye worship ye know not what” with “a form of godliness and denying the power thereof” or that is, the power of godliness that we receive after we receive the holy Ghost (Acts 1:8).
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, (in the manner of which we have written) shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).
Or, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).
We must be believers and be baptized with the baptism which is evidenced with the signs following according to verses 17 and 18 of Mark 16 to be able to properly call on the name of the Lord. This is also the hope of the callers to be saved when Salvation shall be revealed in the last time (1Pet. 1:5). This is the Spirit of Christ in us giving us a sure hope of being saved.
“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope (and keep on calling on the name of the Lord) for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it (to be saved in the end)” (Rom. 8:24–25; Mark 13:13).
Sinners cannot confess Christ, because they do not have Christ. They can only confess what they do have, and that is their sins. God is faithful to forgive and to grant repentance unto life to those that do repent of their sins, because He is a just God.
It takes a saint like Stephen to call upon God and be a confessor of the name of the Lord, as he did when he was being stoned by the religious people of his day. But he “cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:60).
Saul of Tarsus had to humble himself and call on the name of the Lord, whom he had so vigorously persecuted in the saints by “binding and delivering into prisons both men and women” (Acts 22:4).
Saul had authority from the chief priest to bind all the believers that called on (or had the signs following) the name of the Lord (Acts 9:14).
Ananias was sent to him (Saul) by the Lord, to turn him from sin to righteousness and from darkness unto light; from blindness to the light of day (1) and fill him with the Holy Ghost (2) so as to enable him to call on the name of the Lord and wash away thy sins (Acts 22:16).
And when the slate is clean they are called the "Born again".
Then they can call upon the name of the Lord of host,
For their hearts have been filled with the precious Holy Ghost.
“Speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance” (Acts 2:4).
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?...(Signs follow believers, Mark 16:17–18.)...And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?...[“Then said Jesus unto him, except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). Unless one sees or hears a sign from or through a believer, they have no reason to believe. The signs follow and are manifest through His preachers]...and how shall they hear without a preacher? (a preacher whom God has sent) and how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things” (Rom. 10:14–15).