The Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Colosse, ends a section of practical instruction with these words; "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him."  To do all "in the name" of someone carries a far greater responsibility than is often assumed. Many today preach (word) and practice (deed) things "in the name of Jesus." However, "in the name of" is NOT a magic incantation that makes whatever a person says or does acceptable to God. Jesus said that only those who "doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21), will enter into heaven. Doing something in Jesus' name, or God's name, is more than just saying words. It is actually saying or doing those things that God has given mankind authority to say or do.

In Acts chapter 19, the seven sons of Sceva spoke the words, but without God's authority. They paid the price by being attacked by the man possessed of an evil spirit. The text says "they took upon them" to do what Paul had been doing. The text also indicates that they were not followers of Paul, or even Christians (outside of Christ), and unknown to the evil spirit. Today, either those OUTSIDE of Christ (alien sinner), or UNFAITHFUL Christians are, by definition, not doing "all in the name of the Lord."

     Growing up in a rural community, I would be sent by my dad to a little country store a mile down the road to buy something. Sometimes, he would tell me to charge the purchase. The owners would let me sign a receipt for the goods. Because my dad had credit at the store, and because he had told the owners I had authority to charge "in his name," I could conduct the purchase. BUT, he ONLY gave me authority to charge what he TOLD me to charge.

To say or do something "in the name of the Lord" is no different. "In the name of the Lord" simply means "with His authority". What if my dad had sent me after a loaf of bread and I brought back the bread PLUS candy and soda? I would have been in trouble! Why? Because SILENCE DOES NOT AUTHORIZE! The excuse "You didn't say NOT to" would not wash with my dad, and you know what? It won't wash with God, either.

To do "all in the name of the Lord" simply means to do everything with God's authority from His word, the Bible. Trying to "take it upon ourselves" to change God's plan of salvation, worship, or anything else He has directed in His word, may curry favor with mankind, but will cost us our eternal salvation. Rebellion and submission are opposite concepts. We cannot rebel against God and "do all in the name of the Lord" at the same time.

Earl D. Reed, Cheyenne, OK