Let's build an awesome city! Let's build a tower to heaven! Let's build it right up into God's face! Let's make a name for ourselves! Then the whole world will know that we climbed up to heaven! We'll put it on Facebook and see how many "likes" it gets. We'll post the video on YouTube! It will go viral. It'll be in every newspaper and on every news channel. It's all people will talk about. That's what it looks like to make a name for yourself. Your Old Adam wants nothing more than to be the center of attention. We all want to be liked, to have a better reputation than others, and to make a name for ourselves. Of course, we plan for it to be an awesome name. But our sin makes a name for us in other ways, too. "Oh, her? Yeah, we all know about HER!" "Him? Yeah, he's the guy who..." Our sin is that we want to make a name for ourselves so that everyone thinks were the best ever or else sin makes a bad name for us, a horrible reputation that we can't shake. Because, when it's OUR name, that's all it's worth. Let's build a tower and make a name for ourselves? Ha! Remember those fools at Babel who tried to build a tower and the Lord came down and scattered them? We'll never forget THOSE failures! If you pin your hopes on your name, what people think of you, how you can manipulate them to like you or the reputation have, then you're in trouble. Because that sort of name doesn't save you.
But there is a name that saves us. The name of Jesus. Peter preaches it on Pentecost. Rushing wind. Tongues of fire. And a sermon that preaches on the prophet Joel: "And on that day, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." The Spirit shows up on Pentecost to grab everyone's attention and put it on the preachers. And the preachers preach the name that you call on to be saved. The Name of Jesus. Keep reading and you'll get Peter's full sermon on Pentecost: Jesus, crucified and risen for sinners. Crucified and risen for you. Jesus, whose name means "The Lord saves." The Lord saves you. Salvation is in the Name of Jesus. The name of Jesus is the name of the Lamb of God. Where man tries to make a name for Himself, Jesus comes to give His name to us to save us. His death and resurrection give His name the saving power it has when we call upon it. Jesus. Jesus means cross. Blood shed. Death for sinners. Resurrection. Jesus means death and devil and hell defeated. Jesus means sins forgiven. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord, of Jesus, will be saved.
How do we call on the name of the Lord? That's just a Bible way of saying, actually, that God puts His name on you. You have called upon the name of the Lord when He brought you to the font and put His name on you. Cassidy and Emma have called on the Name of the Lord too. They were baptized. The name of Jesus was put upon them. And now, with us, they will call on the name of the Lord as we are gathered at the altar to eat and drink the body and blood of Jesus. Jesus tells His disciples that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, will come in His name, to remind them of all things. That's the Holy Spirit's job. To remind you of all the Jesus stuff. Everything His name brings. Baptism. Absolution. Gospel. Supper. Those are the Jesus gifts that bear His name and so bear His forgiveness for you. They are delivered by the Holy Spirit through the pastors Jesus calls to shepherd His people. This is what Pentecost is all about: that God has given a Savior for everyone. A Savior for sinners. A Savior for you. A name to call upon, the name of His Son. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. That Name is given to you so now you know. You are saved. Forgiveness and eternal life are yours. Because Jesus died and rose. Because the Spirit was poured out on Pentecost. And because that name is upon you. Happy Pentecost! In the Name...of Jesus. Amen.
Sermon Topics: Acts