Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.
An angel appeared to Joseph and told him that Mary, who was pledged to marry him, had conceived a child by the Holy Spirit. The angel instructed Joseph that, after the child’s birth, he was to give him the name Jesus — the Greek form of Joshua, which means “the Lord saves.”
From as far back as Jesus’ time in the womb, we see His awesome power revealed in the name given to Him — power to save men and women from their sins!
Matthew 1:1 is the first mention in Scripture of the name Jesus. Then this all-powerful name occurs over 1,300 more times in the New Testament. Let’s look at that name’s limitless power, along with its availability to you as a believer to use with power and authority in multiple circumstances.
God the Father has given His Son a preeminent name, one that is above all other names. At that name —“Jesus” — every knee is to bow in submission, every knee “in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” Angels and demons alike must submit to that name. Ultimately all humans, past and present and future, believers and unbelievers alike, saved and lost, must bow to the name Jesus.
If even God’s angels and Satan and his demons are subject to that name, it is safe to conclude that sin, sickness, addictions, depression, and even ultimately death must bow in submission to Jesus.
Acts 2:36 tells us that the Father has “made Jesus…both Lord and Christ.” Jesus the Savior has been given lordship from the Father and anointing by the Holy Spirit. And there is no limit to that Lordship. After his death and subsequent resurrection, Jesus told His disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). How much authority does Jesus have from the Father? — “All”! And where does Jesus exercise that “all” authority? — “in heaven and on earth.” No exceptions!
Preach, teach, share with your friends and co-workers that there is total forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus for all who look to Him in simple faith and repentance.
It’s not a difficult message to share. Guilt is hard for people to carry. And when they hear that there is a solution to their guilt, many people are greatly relieved and blessed. Tell them that there’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Many guilt-ridden souls are longing to hear just such a word.
Here is an astounding thing. Through turning to Jesus for forgiveness as noted just above, and by “receiving Him” and “believing in His name,” we become children of God! We are delivered from the devil’s dominion and brought under Christ’s lordship (Colossians 1:13). We are “born of God,” which the Bible elsewhere calls being “born again.”
Think of it! Without Christ we were spiritually children of the devil (John 8:44; Acts 13:10). But then we joined those who “believed in his name” and repented and received Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We were immediately born again, born of God, and were removed from the devil’s control and made into sons and daughters of God Almighty! (2 Corinthians 6:18). The devil and all his demons are unable to withstand the irresistible force of faith in Jesus’ name transforming lost people into children of God.
After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus came to His disciples and “breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’.” (John 20:22). And from that day on, every born-again believer in Jesus has the joy and privilege of having the Holy Spirit live within our very bodies. The apostle Paul later taught this same glorious truth for born-again Christians: “Your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Jesus also promised those same disciples — and all believers everywhere — that He would give them another marvelous working of the Spirit in their lives. And that is the mighty baptism with the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ promise to them (and to us) was: “…you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…  You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you… [2:4] All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 1:5,8; 2:4).
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, would be sent “in my name.” And exactly as promised, Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” And some days later, having ascended back to heaven, the same Jesus poured out upon them the powerful baptism with the Spirit (Acts 1:5-8 with Acts 2:1-4), thereby equipping them to be His witnesses to a lost world. Jesus Christ “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). And in Jesus’ name you too, in this 21st century, can receive the Holy Spirit from Him in both the new birth and the power-imparting infilling/baptism of His Holy Spirit.
Peter and John used His name in the raising up of the lame man: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6, 16). In that same almighty name of Jesus the apostle Paul cast the demon out of the fortune-telling girl: “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” (Acts 16:18), and the demon spirit left her.
You too, like the early Church believers, can “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (Matthew 10:8, NASB). Like those believers, you will find that the name of Jesus has irresistible power in the spiritual realm as well as in the natural: “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name” (Luke 10:17).
Are you looking for keys to getting your prayers answered? Here’s a big one: “I [Jesus] will do whatever you ask in my name.”
Are you desiring to minister with supernatural power as the early Church did? Jesus promised in that regard: “Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these … I will do whatever you ask in my name.”
The name of Jesus is able to meet any need and fix any situation … completely! Not just partially. Peter had invoked Jesus’ name over a man “lame from birth” (vs. 2). And he was “completely healed” (16).
No matter how difficult the situation you may be facing, if you have faith in Jesus’ name — and that essentially means you have faith in the person of Jesus Himself — there is no obstacle too strong for you to overcome.
There is, as we have seen, healing in the name of Jesus. In that name we can also see signs and wonders occur. And again, remember that the “name” speaks of the person. Through Jesus (“in his name”) we can experience signs and wonders. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus (Matthew 14:29). Paul raised a dead boy (Acts 20:9-12). Exactly as Jesus had promised (Mark 16:17-18), Paul was bitten by a poisonous viper and shook it off with no ill effects (Acts 28:3-6). This opened the door for a healing revival among those who had witnessed this remarkable sign (vss. 6-9).
The name of Jesus is powerful enough to trigger massive opposition and persecution. Have you noticed that no one cusses in Buddha’s name or the name of other religious figures or so-called gods. But the name "Jesus Christ" is commonly invoked in vehement cursing.
The exact count of the millions of Christian martyrs is known precisely only in heaven. The record of history shows multitudes killed for the name of Jesus in all centuries and across multiple cultures and nations. And this, Jesus prophesied, would be “all on account of [His] name.”
I have lived in the USA all of my nearly 74 years. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2014 more than 70% of Americans identified themselves as Christians. Ponder this: although more than 2/3 of Americans call themselves Christians, our faith — the faith that centers on the name of Jesus — is the faith most widely and routinely put down and even mocked in the media as well as in other sectors of our American culture. Without hesitation many people will mock Christianity and its followers, but would rarely speak the same negatives about, say, native American religious practices, Judaism, or a number of other faiths. Why is this? Jesus said there would be persecutions “all on account of [His] name.” That’s how powerful that name is, that it can motivate such hostility and persecution from those who refuse to believe in Him.
In closing, let’s ponder once more the irresistible force and power of Jesus’ name. The apostle Paul rightly noted that it is “above every name.” He declared further that ultimately “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” There will be no exceptions. Unbelievers’ high-sounding arguments will wilt under the eternally binding words of Jesus at the last judgment: “Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons” (Matthew 25:41, NLT). But Jesus’ followers, those who believed in and treasured Him and His name, will hear the joyful words: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34) … and “Well done, good and faithful servant! … Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21).
Eternity in hell awaits those who only at the last judgment bowed the knee under the sentence of Christ’s judgment upon disbelievers. By contrast, eternity in heaven awaits those who simply and joyfully bowed the knee in their lifetimes to Jesus and His Lordship and embraced Him as their Lord and Savior. The choice is simple: bow now in faith and worship and submission to the name of Jesus and enter into the eternal salvation made available to all only through Him.
©2017, James H. Feeney.