Text: John 14: 12-14, 15: 16, 16: 23-24



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TITLE: A Promise That Comes With Living Out The Family Name.

TEXT: John 14:12-14, 15:16, 16:23-24

THEME: God will do great things when we pray in the name of Jesus.
OPENING

SENTENE: Most of us by now have heard of the seven acts of terrorism that happened simultaneously in Paris yesterday.


INTRODUCTION: The news has been flooded with information exploring the events that left around 140 people killed and 360 injured by Muslim terrorists. Yet few of us are surprised. It is another tragic example of an ideology that that has a distorted and destructive view of God, that perverts His nature and, how He chooses to operate in the world that He has created.
The fact that these terrorists did this in the name of their God is evident in the cry that some of the witnesses heard coming from the terrorists. The cry was, “allah akbar” which is literally translated, “God is greater” (http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Allahu_Akbar). The Koran teaches that if a warrior dies on Allah’s behalf while making this cry he will have certain rewards in heaven.
The use of the word “Allah” instead God is intentional. It is intended to distinguish the God of Islam from the God of Christianity and Judaism. The cry, “Allah Akbar” then is intended to mean that the God of Islam is greater than our God. Their acts of violence are purposely intended show the superiority of Allah by destroying those who do not believe in the Moslem God. The name “Allah” is chosen and used to encompass the nature and essence of the God of Islam. How they receive his promise is dependent on them invoking it at the right time.
TRANSITION

SENTENCE: This morning I want us to see that we are to invoke the name of Jesus in our prayers but He is altogether different from Allah, the God of Islam.

TRANSITION: When we have a proper understanding of who Jesus is we also have a great promise given to us when we properly understand and ask in His name. The outcome of our faith will be different because the God whose name we invoke is different.
SAY WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SAY: The morning I want to address the question, “Why should we ask for great things in the name of Jesus?” We will look at three responses. Our first response it is because we have a promise that God will do great things through us. Second, because what we do will bring glory to the Father and thirdly, because we have a promise that what we ask in Jesus name will be done.
TEXT: John 14:12-14, 15:16, 16:23-24
THEME: God will do great things when we pray in the name of Jesus.
Why should we ask for great things in the name of Jesus?


  1. Because we have a promise that God will do great things through us (12)

John 14:12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.


  1. Those who believe in Jesus will do the things He has done. The gospels go through great length to describe the many things He had done. At the time of this account in John the greatest thing He had done had not yet occurred- His resurrection from the dead.

Other things include his miracles like healing the sick and crippled, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, turning water into wine, controlling the weather, etc. All these things were intended to confirm His message that He was the son of God and to convince people that through Him the Kingdom of God would be realized. As a result many believed and later many more to believe.


Notice- none of these things included violence. In fact, not only does He not advocate violence He tells us to accept persecution as part of what it is to be His follower.


  1. Those who believe in Jesus will do even greater things that accomplish His mission. I believe He is talking about the impact His followers would have on the own the world through the spread of the gospel. Think about it- immediately after the coming of the Holy Spirit, who Jesus will speak about a few verses later, the spread of the gospel had such an impact on the world that within 200 years Christianity would become the legal religion of Rome. Whereas, at the time of His speaking these words His followers were few and they were a persecuted and despised. No one but God could have projected the dramatic influence that this small group would have on the world. Today Christianity is the world’s religion and is growing dramatically in places we could never have anticipated.

ILLUSTRATE: I believe this promise Jesus did still applies. We should continue to ask Him for great things. I believe He still wants His gospel to be spread and through it He will change hearts and lives. The gospel is so powerful it can penetrate even the Moslem world.


This last week I was in Gatineau at a conference with the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptists and had a chance to talk with Edward Karwurs, one of the missionaries we support. He is native to the country of Indonesia in which he serves. Indonesia is about 80% Muslim but the Christian faith in growing rapidly. He says the Moslems he seeks to reach are very interested in hearing about Jesus. Thousands of them see the violence in the Moslem faith and are disillusioned because of it. They know the Koran gives the radicals justification for their violent actions.
APPLY: I believe God is act work among Moslem people and that we should pray that God would do something great. We should pray for God to do something great. That He would break through the evil strongholds of deception that blind Muslims so they can see that they do not worship the true God and that Allah is not greater than the God of scripture.
THEME: God will do great things when we pray in the name of Jesus.
Why should we ask for great things in the name of Jesus?


  1. Because what we do will bring glory to the Father (13)

13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.




  1. Jesus will be going to the Father and His work is assigned to us. Jesus will remind us several times in the broader context of John 14 that He is going to the Father. He will later tell us that He will leave so the Holy Spirit can come and through the Spirit we will continue His work on earth. We are also reminded that in John 17 that the very reason that Christ came and did the work He did is to bring glory to the Father.




  1. Whatever we do in the name of Jesus is to bring glory to God. It should be noted that the phrase to “pray in the name of Jesus” must be understood in its context. The context talks about asking in His name so that the Father may be glorified. So this limits what we ask for. We do not ask for new cars, or wealth, or self- focused things but we are to ask for things that expand the ministry of Jesus and that bring glory to the Father. But, in that context we have a remarkable promise that God will deliver on.

ILLUSTRATE: Several weeks ago we had a family in our church face a crisis. The husband had lost his job and because He was on an immigration visa He could not work and because He had a baby that had no visa he could not return to the place he left before coming here. He was preparing to move himself and his family to Edmonton to live in a homeless shelter until his immigration issues could be resolved.


As a church we began to pray for him and even took a special offering to help him. Our prayers have been answered in multiple ways. First, you gave a very generous offering that allows him to stay and get another home locally. Second, lawyers and others were able to get him a visa so that he and his wife could get a job. Third, the company who let him go due to budget related cuts has called him back to work on the basis that he retake and pass a test required for his job- so he is back to work.
APPLY: I am convinced this is a work of God that came about because of our prayer. Two weeks ago he needed a miracle and now I can tell you we asked for something great and God has answered.
THEME: God will do great things when we pray in the name of Jesus.
Why should we ask for great things in the name of Jesus?


  1. Because we have a promise that what we ask in Jesus name will be done. (13-14)

13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.


No less than six times, Jesus urged his disciples to ask "in my name." We have already seen:
John 14:12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
But Jesus makes the same promise four other times:
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
John 16:23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
If Jesus repeated something that many times it must have been pretty important. But what does it mean? There has been confusion over its meaning for years.


  1. Some popular misconceptions related to prayer in his name:




  1. It becomes a secret formula to get whatever we want. We have all heard many TV preachers and evangelists who quote the verse out of its context and use to promote a “prosperity gospel.” In other words if you pray for something in Jesus name you can get a new car or house, or gain wealth and never have to suffer. This is not what Jesus means.

  2. It is a rabbit’s foot to stick at the end of a prayer to give it power. In this sense praying in Jesus name is like a lucky charm that gives you good luck if you use it regularly.

  3. The name "Jesus" has some special, mystical significance. Those who advocate that this are often teaching that this means that only believers are given the right to pray "in his name. They are saying it means only those who are believers pray in His name.

But all three of these misconceptions miss the central point of what it means to pray in the name of Jesus. Before I explain that let me cite some things the context reveals:




  1. Some principles-related to prayer in his name.

A. It relates to what Christ was doing. (Vs. 14:12-13)

B. It relates to doing it so that Jesus may bring glory to the father. (Vs 14: 13)

C. Christ fully expected his disciples to ask in his name from that point on - and He guarantees it will be done. (Vs 14:14)

D. It is limiting. It is not for ourselves but for God (theocentric not anthropocentric) -.

E. Thus prayer in Christs name is a means by which the disciple will be able to do greater works - it will accomplish something (vs 14:12) or fruit bearing as we see in v. 15:16

F. God conditions his actions on human asking- a divine -human partnership.


  1. The meaning of "in my name."

  1. Negatively: Jesus does not say what title or name we are to use. The concept does not involve a title. He did not intend the phrase "in my name" to be a fixed formula attached to a prayer otherwise, He would have identified a correct title.

  2. Positively: In using the word “name”, Christ was signifying the idea of being, personality and character.

Let me quotes for several Hebrew scholars:


Ronald Allen: "For in the world of Abraham, David, Isaiah, names were common nouns and verbs from the living language and their meanings were transparent. The meaning of the name was in fact the reason for that name being used ... meaning, character, personality are in a name."
P. Van Imschoot: "In the eyes of the ancients, the name was not a simple label distinguishing one individual for his kinsmen. It is an integrating part of the person; what has no name is so to speak, non-existent. Moreover, the name is supposed to correspond to the essence of the object, and consequently reveals it."
When I was a student taking Hebrew, the language that the Old Testament was written in, one of the challenges was learning how to identify when a name was being used to identify a person. You see every Hebrew name has a meaning. The person was named based on that meaning.
In our culture we name a person based on family associations or because we like the sound. For instance we name a person Brenda because we either like the name or because you had a friend or family member named Brenda. I have a niece named Brenda because she was born when my sister Brenda had just lost her husband and it was a way of affirming my sister in her loss.
This way of naming would have been foreign to the Hebrews. They always gave a name that identified the essence of the person they were naming. In fact, whole sermons can preached on the meanings of names in the Old Testament.
ILLUSTRATE: For instance, if you look at the names of Jacobs children we find the resentment Leah had toward Rachel as the basis for all the names her children. Each name shows her pain or joy. In another account we see an encounter with David and Abigail, which in Hebrew means “wise. ” She was married to Nabel, which means “fool.” The story that develops reveals the expression of those names.
It was also not uncommon in Hebrew for a name to be changed to reflect the change in a person’s essence. For instance, Abrams name was changed to Abraham, Jacobs name was changed to Israel; Saul’s name was changed to Paul. If you explore the meanings of those names you see why.
One of the Ten Commandments is, “Do not use the Lords name in vain.” It has the idea that we do not speak of God’s nature or effort carelessly or frivolously.
In the New Testament we talk about praising the name of Jesus and that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow. These both reflect the use of name in this Hebrew sense.

Therefore, when we ask in the name of Jesus it means that whatever we are asking is to be consistent with His nature, character and essence.


APPLY: As believers we are in Christ and become part of the family name. To pray in His name is to pray on the basis of a new relationship whereby have the vantage point of our new and exalted position in Jesus. We now petition Christ fully conscious of who we are in Christ, asking on the basis of His nature and authority. And with that comes a wonderful new promise.
THEME: God will do great things when we pray in the name of Jesus.
SAY WHAT YOU HAVE SAID: The morning we addressed the question, “Why should we ask for great things in the name of Jesus?” We saw in our first response that it is because we have a promise that God will do great things through us. Second, because what we do will bring glory to the Father and thirdly, because we have a promise that what we ask in Jesus name will be done
TIE INTO OPENING SENTENCE: Last night we saw what evils can happen when one has a distorted view God. The god of Islam has a different name for God than we have. Allah and the God of the Bible are different in nature, in character and in essence. As believers we are to ask in the name of Jesus that God will do great things through us. But our mission and methods are dramatically different. Allah is not greater than the God of the Bible.
APPLY TO SPECIFIC AUDIENCE:

  1. Read the Bible and what it says about God. We need to get to know the nature and character of the God of the Bible and His Son Jesus. The better we know God the more equipped we are to know what He wants to be done to glorify Him. But, once we do let us pray for Him to do great things.

  2. What you know and believe about God matters- it will impact how you live and make decisions. I believe most of the decisions we make in life will be shaped on what our view of God is. If we have a flawed or distorted view of God we will make bad and self-centered decisions that will not bring glory to him.

  3. Pray in Jesus name. Acknowledge God has done and can do great things and wants us to be part of His divine plan. We have many challenges facing us and our God is greater than them all. But we need to pray and expect God to respond.

HAYMAKER: A recent article tells the story of Lin-Manuel Miranda who received one of the most important phone calls of his life recently—three times in a row. Miranda, who is the creator and star of the Broadway musical Hamilton, was being called by an unknown phone number because he had just been awarded one of only twenty-four MacArthur Foundation fellowships, which are more commonly referred to as "genius grants." The grants (along with some hefty sums of prize money) are awarded annually to some of America's most brilliant minds. On the day of the call, however, Miranda chose not to answer the phone. "I had just broken up with a cable provider the day before, which is the best thing in the world," he said. "I was like, 'Oh boy, they want me back.'" So he didn't answer the first call. Or the second. Finally, on the third ring, he picked up the phone with exasperation, only to hear the good news.


Um, kind of reminds me of another story about Somebody knocking at your door. Or maybe a story of a King who invites his people to some fabulous wedding celebration. Or even a great God who invites us to know Him and ask Him for great things- but we do not answer back when He responds. Luckily for us, he always keeps calling. (PT, “In the News, Oct 11, 2015)
THEME: God will do great things when we pray in the name of Jesus.




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