Colossians 3:17

Dr. Steve Viars December 24, 1994 Colossians 3:17

- read Col. 3:17

- we're talking about letting the name of the Lord Jesus motivate you
    - where all that you say, and all that you do--is done in His name.

- now I think we need to say right off the bat--that's exactly what our
   world doesn't want you to do.
    - if you're going to seek to obey Col. 3:17 in your personal life...
        ...and the way you raise your family
        ...and the impact you have on your local church

         - you will probably have some people who don't like it.

- because our adversary the devil does not like the name of the Lord
- many people in this world do not like men and women "who, in word or
   deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus."

  - I'm not talking about imposing our beliefs on someone else
     - I'm not talking about twisting someone's arm behind their back
       till they promise to "do all, in word or deed, in the name of the
       Lord Jesus."

- I'm saying that there's plenty of people in this world who won't like
   it if you try to life this way.

- let me mention a couple of quick examples:

   1) current issue of US News and World Report - an interview with Barry
         - I'm not wanting to make this a political issue
            - but this verse does have some implications to the way we
               view politics.
         - anyway, Barry Goldwater goes on and on in this article about
             how "religious people" are going to ruin a particular
             political party.
- his summary statement is -- you can't mix religion and politics.

   - now, the implication of that position is that it's OK for a person
       to be a Christian--but they can't use their Christianity as a
       means of evaluating all of the issues facing our society today.

   - so apparently, you can be a Christian, as long as it doesn't affect
      your life
        - as long as it doesn't affect the way you think...or the way you
           evaluate certain situations.

- for a person to say -- you can't mix religion and politics is asking
   someone to violate Col. 3:17
    - because believers "do all things, in word, or in deed, in the name
        of Jesus"

- another example happened a couple of years ago
   - one of the TV evangelists was in trouble (I'm not taking up for the
      TV evangelist per see)
        - but Ted Koppel on Night Line was interviewing this man.

   - the first thing Koppel said was--I want to lay some ground rules for
      our discussion.
        - I want to ask you not to quote from the Bible, or talk about
            religious ideas as you answer my questions.

- the tele-evangelist foolishly agreed to that condition.

   - again, I'm not taking up for the TV evangelist--but what Koppel was
      asking him to do was exactly the opposite of what this passage says
      we're to do
        - we have to do all--whether it's in word or deed, in the name of
            the Lord Jesus.

- being able to do this begins when we:

I. Understand the Significance of the Biblical Phrase "Name of Christ."

    - we'd be very remiss this morning if we hustled over this phrase
        without thinking of it's biblical significance.

    - you know....

    A. Names are important

        - thats very true in the Scripture

        - in fact, it's so true that there were times that the Lord
            actually told someone to change their name.

             - you remember, God told a man to change his name from
                 "Abram" (father of many) to Abraham (father of many
                    - names are important

        - in Genesis 17, God sent an angel to wrestle with Jacob
           - the Bible says that they wrestled all night
           - in the morning--do you remember the question the angel asked
                 - he said - What's your name?
                      - the answer was - "Jacob--trickster"

- God wanted Jacob to face that fact, not just about his name but about
    his character -- because it was then and only then that God could
    bless him.
      - by the way--at that point God changed his name--to Israel.
      - names are important

- we could illustrate that all day--let's just mention one other one

    - remember when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and
       commissioned him to lead his people out of Egypt.
         - one of Moses' questions was -- who should I say sent me?

    - do you remember God's response?

         - tell him "I am" sent you.
            - the eternal, self-existent God sent you.

    - later the Pharaoh did ask Moses who sent him--God said, you tell
          "For this cause have I raised thee up, to show in thee my
           power, and that my name shall be declared throughout all the
             - the name "I am" -- the God of heaven and earth

- do you remember who often used that name?

   - our Lord did.  I am the bread of Life, I am the vine, I am the Son
         of David.

- in fact, in the Garden of Gethsemanea, the soldiers came and said that
   they were seeking Jesus of Nazareth
     - do you remember what our Lord said -- "I am"

     - do you remember what happened next?  the soldiers fell over
     - then we have recorded one of the most foolish events in all of
         human history---they got up!

- the point is--names are important.

    - now you might say--well, thats not as true today.
        - it might not be -- but it's still important

        - for example, have you ever heard of anyone name their child

    B. The greatest name in all the earth is the name of the Lord Jesus

        - Heb. 1:4 - (turn and read)

        - Phil. 2:9 - and God has given Him a name which is above every

        - I'd like to get some input from you at this point.  I'm going
            to ask a question that is purposely vague.

        - but, if we're going to do all "in the name of the Lord Jesus",
           I think it's important for us to wrestle with this some.
            INPUT - what does the name of the Lord Jesus mean to you?

              - in other words, when you think of our Savior's name--
                what kinds of thoughts come to your mind? What does that
                name mean to you?  (could develop -- cross/sins forgiven)
- there's a lot we could say about this, but here's some ideas that go
     with this theme:

    1. Its in the name of the Lord Jesus that we have salvation.

        INPUT - any verses come to mind on that?

          Mt. 1:21 - Call him Jesus, for he shall His people from their

          Rom. 10:13 - Whosoever shall call upon the NAME of the Lord
                shall be saved.

          Acts 4:12 - Neither is there salvation in any other, for there
                is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we
                must be saved.

          John 20:31 - But these are written that ye might believe that
                Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing,
                ye might have life THROUGH HIS NAME.

    2. Its in the name of the Lord Jesus that we have access to the

        John 14:13 - And whatever ye shall ask in my name, that will I
               do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

    3. Its in the name of the Lord Jesus that we serve.

        Hebrews 6:10 - For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and
              your labor of love, which you have shown toward his name,
              in that you have ministered to the saints, and you do

    4. Its in the name of the Lord Jesus that we find purpose in trial.

        I Peter 4:14 - If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy
           are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.

        Acts 21:13 - Then Paul answered, what mean you to weep and to
           break my heart?  For I am ready, not to be bound only but also
           to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

    5. Its in the name of Jesus that we find a Leader to follow.

        Phil. 2:13-14 - That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
           of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the
           earth.  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ
           is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

- now, this is just scratching the surface of the Scripture's teaching
   about the greatness of the name of the Lord Jesus.
     - perhaps one of the reasons you and struggle with doing everything,
        whether it be in word or deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus is
        because we haven't spent the right amount of time studying and
        reflecting on the greatness of that name.

- another idea we could add to this discussion is that:


C. The name of the Lord Jesus had (and continues to have) profound effect
     on people (both positively and negatively).

    - now we probably need to say somewhere along here that this true not
       because it's a name, or because it's a Word --- but because all of
       these biblical truths that His name represents.
         - like the ones we've been studying
         - His name represents His person

     - it is amazing to watch the way that name affected people in

     - let's chase through a couple of examples:

        1) Acts 2:21 - (READ) - part of Peter's sermon on the Day of

        2) Acts 3:16 (after the lame man was healed - the first apostolic
               miracle) -- READ
                 - Peter wanted everyone to know that it was in the name
                    of Jesus that this man was healed.

             - Acts 4:6-7, 12 - READ

                  - 4:13-17 - READ

             - Acts 4:23-30 (Read selected verses)

             - Acts 5:28, 5:40-41

   - the point is -- people who don't know Christ are repelled by the
       name of Jesus

          - people who do know Him are motivated to love Him, and live
              for Him, and serve Him, and even die for Him
                - because of that wonderful name.

- Warren Wiersbe made a good point in this regard
   - he said--you can tell someone you're a Baptist, a Methodist, etc
       - no problem
          - but tell them you're a Christian -- that often gets a
             completely different response

- is it any wonder that the thing that our world is objecting to the most
    about Christmas
      - in the schools
      - in the government
      - in anything that someone else can control

- what is it that they don't like?

   - is it the vacation days?
   - is it the parties?
   - is it the programs?

       - no, it's the name----you can do it--just don't use the name.

- the name of Jesus Christ has profound effect on people.

    - I wish we had time to chase the theme through the life of Paul.
    - it's a wonderful study--the Scripture is very pointed about the
        fact that Paul was never the same after He met the man named

- now, there's another thing we need to add to this discussion:

D. You and I (if we're saved) have the wonderful privilege of being
    called by His name.

    Acts 11:26 - And the disciples were first called "Christians" at

    - I don't know about you--but I've been called a lot of names over
       the years
         - some of them have been pretty mean
         - a few have been nice

            - but none of them match the wonderful privilege of being
                 called a Christian
                   - as follower of Jesus Christ.

- now that's been a long discussion, but when Paul talks about doing
    things "in the name of Christ", he's talking about:

    1) Who He is

    2) our identification with Him

    3) His authority over us

    4) His will/desire for us

- now, with that in mind, let's go back to the argument of the verse:

II. Let His Name Be your Guide, Standard, Source of Motivation

    A. Do that name.

        - there's a great general truth to live by.

        - you can apply it to practically every situation in which you
            find yourself.

        - now you say, well, if I do that--I'm going to have to think.

           - thats right--instead of the legalists in chapter 2 who had a
               rule for everything.
                 - they wanted to have a rule for everything.

        - Paul says -- no, you be motivated by this principle.
             - you let the name of Jesus Christ motivate you
                 - you let that guide you
                 - you let that direct you

        - in the long run--you'll be a whole lot more spiritual, and a
            whole lot more pleasing to God, and a whole lot more
               - then you would have been had you just subscribed to some
                   legalistic checklist---or ascetic code of behavior.

- see, don't mix religion with politics--or something else?
   - thats impossible!

   - now "you" can believe what you want to believe--and I respect your
      right to vote differently than me in this pluralistic, democratic
        - but don't ask me to view anything in this life apart from the
           name of Jesus.

           - without Jesus Christ, I am nothing.

              - I have no goals that don't include him.
              - I have no opinions that don't include Him.
              - I have no standards that don't include Him.

       - I'm motivated by the great name of Jesus Christ.

    B. Especially in the way you speak

        - a good question for us to ask this morning is - does your
           speech indicate that you do things "in the name of Jesus?"

        - ambassadors speak very carefully -- because they realize that
           the name of their master is at stake

             - so they speak very carefully and cautiously

         - Paul says - when you speak--do it in the name of Jesus

    c. Especially in the way you act.

        - when you act, do it in the name of Jesus

- you know, the day is coming, when there will be no question about who's
    name you're living for.

     - read Rev. 22:1-4

     - in heaven, we will forever be identified with our Savior's name.

        - because our Savior is sufficient--may that be true even today--
             - not because it's written on our heads....
                 - but because it's written on our lips
                 - it's written on our life.

(could conclude with the story in Mac's commentary)

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

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