EXPLORING THE WORD
Calling on the Name of the Lord
By William Stewart
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"
So, what does it mean to call on the name of the Lord? Paul, in Romans 10:13, is quoting from Joel 2:32: "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved..." While Joel is referring to the last days when the Lord returns, Paul is applying it as a truth for our day also. The Greek word for call in this verse is epikaleomai from the Greek words epi (on), and kaleo (to call). Together they mean literally, all who call upon or invoke the name of kurios (the Lord) will be sozo (saved).
Paul is walking backwards on God's plan of salvation:
1. One is sent to preach the good news (the Gospel);
2. The hearer hears what he is preaching;
3. The hearer believes what he has heard;
4. The hearer then responds by calling on the name of the Lord to be saved.
We are saved by hearing and responding, but only if we first understand what is preached in the good news about Jesus Christ. As it says in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...You see, Jesus was equal with the Father as stated in John 1:1-3: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."
Then it states in John 1:14: "The Word [Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Even though Jesus became flesh (human), He was without sin as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:21: "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Yes, it seems impossible, but all things are possible with God (Matthew 25:26). Before Jesus could save anyone, He had to be an innocent substitute, and then on the cross become sin for us. He took the punishment of death and was cut off from the Father to be able to save those who have sinned which includes us all, for all have sinned (Romans 3:23).
Now believing these things, we can trust what Jesus has done for you and when we call upon His name it is an act of faith asking Him to save us, and Jesus said in John 6:37: "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away."
To believe (John 3:16), to receive (John 1:11-12), trust (John 12:36), call upon His name — all are the same thing and bring everlasting life.
What then? "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Image Credit: Jeremy Yap; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Salvation | Biblical-Truth | Jesus-Christ
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