Call on the Name of The Lord

Rev. Mark Bartsch June 1, 2020

“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2: 21)

Many people in the world ask the question “What must I do to be saved?” Different answers are given.

• “I have lived a pretty good life. I have done many good things. Surely God would let me into heaven.”
• “If I keep the commands of the law, I will be in glory.”
• “I try hard to be kind to my neighbor. God will see that, and God will understand.”

The Pharisees in the Bible thought they had developed a good way to bypass God. They wrote additional laws and regulations, thinking that by keeping them, this would bring them to heaven.

Yes, God does see what we have done. In his eyes, it is not very good. God also has expectations for us.

• “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” (Lev 19: 2)
• “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5: 48)

Those expectations are beyond our reach. We cannot be holy and perfect. Instead, we are told,

• “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3: 23)

Call on the name of the Lord.

Sunday marked Pentecost—50 days after Easter. Jesus has ascended into heaven. Before he ascended, he told his disciples he would send the Holy Spirit.

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2: 17)

This is what happened. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, or languages, as the Spirit enabled them. The people who were gathered in Jerusalem heard the “wonders of God” in their own languages. The people heard what they had done. But God raised Jesus from the dead.

The people asked, “What shall we do?”
“Repent and be baptized.”
Call on the name of the Lord.

We see what we have done wrong. We see our many sins. But God has mercy on us and calls us to faith through the Spirit.

“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2: 39)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2: 8, 9)

We call on the name of the Lord.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for these tremendous gifts of faith, hope, and salvation. Move us to be willing servants to share your Word so that many more may come to faith in you. What joy there is to know that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” In your name, we pray. Amen.