Listen to the message
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Series: In His Image
Sun am 13 October 2013 – Kobus Swart
Ps. 68:4; (Matt. 16:13-19); John 18:6; Rev. 1:8; John 5:43; (Ex. 3:13-14);
John 17:6 & 18; (John 8:58); Acts 4:9-12; (John 9:5); Matt. 5:14; Col. 1:13;
1 John 4:16-18; (Rom. 8:35-39); (Col. 1:15); Matt. 28:17-20; Gen. 1:26-28; Phil. 2:5-7
What do you mean when you conclude your prayers with “in Jesus name”? Has it become just another Christian habit? Let’s look for a deeper understanding, respect and appreciation for the NAME above every other name – what it stands for and what it means.
Jesus asked His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church.” He was saying, “I will build My Church on the rock of the revelation of who I AM.” I will give you (those who have a revelation of who He is) the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:13-19). There is power in that name if used correctly and from a heart that knows by revelation who He is. Notice the power in the Name: When the chief priests and Pharisees came looking for Him – not knowing who to look for – He said “I AM”. The next moment they all drew back and fell backwards. The name of Jesus on your lips, however, means no more than what He means to you in your heart.
The original name Yahweh (actually YHWH) has no vowels because the name – when YHWH is correctly pronounced – actually sounds like a wind. The different names of God give us the characteristics of the God we serve. It is not quite correct to say “Yahweh Yireh means He is the God who provides.” The danger is there that you only want the provision. Yahweh Yireh means “Yahweh is my provision.” Rather than wanting an aspect or blessing, we want Him. Paul was able to say, “My God is able to provide all your needs”, because he had experienced Him first hand. “I am the Alpha and the Omega (=completeness; from everlasting to everlasting) says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8). He is the ever coming One. The name Jesus comes from the name Yahweh-shua, the God who saves.
God gave Moses a mandate to lead Israel out of Egypt, then he asked, “Now if they asked me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’”(Gen. 3:13-14). So who sent Moses? I AM!
Jesus came in His Father’s name and said, “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world” (John 17:6). Jesus is the proto-type, the pattern Son. He is the first-born and we are to follow in His footsteps, which means, among other things, we have to manifest His name, not just talk about it. Christians are not called to be signposts. We must manifest the Name like Jesus did. This name must become ours by revelation as we demonstrate that name as Jesus did.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 9:5) but then He also says “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). As Jesus was sent, so He has sent us! When you were saved you were rescued from the domain of darkness, into the domain of His beloved Son (Col. 1:13). We are to be sons of light; where true Christians are, there should be no darkness. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world (1 John 4:16-18). If God is love, can we be anything other than love if we are followers and disciples of Jesus? Do you think God has a problem loving the worst sinner? There should be no difference between the way Jesus was sent and demonstrated the Father, and how we should do it. We must represent the I AM in this world. It will start in small situations.
Let’s look again at the “Great Commission”. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the NAME (singular) of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:16-20). The root words indicate that to ‘baptize in the name’ means to baptize into the authority and the character of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To be baptized into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit means more than just being immersed in water. We cannot understand the great commission without understanding the first commission God gave to man: God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:27-28). That is a kingdom commission. We carry within us the image, the I AM. The first commission should be our vision, the great commission should be our strategy.
We are on holy ground because this cannot be abused or taken lightly. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men (Phil. 2:5-7).
Is it right in our everyday speech and conversations to add something negative after the phrase “I am”? It does not make sense. In challenging situations we should rather confess, “I am strong, I am anointed, I am an overcomer!”