Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 31, 1951

Calling On The Name Of The Lord

M. F. Manchester, Rising Star, Texas

On the day of Pentecost the apostle Peter speaking of the prophecy of Joel said: "This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, and it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved." (Acts 2:16, 21) It is plain from verse 21 that salvation is connected with calling on the name of Christ; therefore it behooves all men to know what it means to call on his name.

Many people believe that prayer is calling on his name. The fact of the matter is that I used to believe the same thing, but by a sincere study of the New Testament, I found that I was wrong, and we hope that by this article we may teach someone the way of the Lord more perfectly.

A thorough study of the second chapter of Acts will reveal what is required on the part of the sinner in calling on his name, and we invite you to study with us this lesson, that you may learn and obey the will of Christ.

In the sixteenth chapter of Mark, Jesus said unto the apostles: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Verse 15 & 16. The gospel is God's power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16) and consists of three fundamental facts namely, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and these facts the apostles preached on the day of Pentecost, as revealed in the second chapter of Acts. When the people had heard these things they believed them. Yes verily, they believed that Christ was the Son of God, and as a result of their faith they were made to cry out: "Men and brethren what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37) Remember that Peter had told them "that it would come to pass, that whosoever should call on the name of the Lord would be saved," and if prayer is calling on the name of the Lord, is it not strange that Peter did not tell them to pray in order to be saved? And if a sinner is saved by faith only, is it not also equally strange that he did not tell them that they were already saved? Furthermore if faith only saves, it follows that faith only is "calling on the name of the Lord," and therefore there would be nothing else required on the part of the lost. But this would permit men to be saved without repenting. But we know that this is impossible, because Jesus said: "Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish." (Lk. 13:3) Peter knowing their faith, by the question they asked, said unto them: "Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the NAME of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins." (Acts 2:38) "And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation" Verse 39. "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized" Verse 41. When they did this they called upon the name of the Lord." And this is all that they were told to do, and we know that in repenting and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, that they called upon his name, because this is all that the Holy Spirit through Peter told them to do.

The Name Of Christ

1. Salvation in his name: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name given under heaven whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12) We are baptized in his NAME for the remission of sins; therefore this is calling on his name.

2. In Samaria: "But when they believed Phillip's preaching concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women." (Acts 8:12) They called on his name, by being baptized in his name.

3. In Ephesus: Paul found certain ones who had been baptized unto John's baptism, but they had not received the Spirit, as promised in Acts 2:38; therefore he taught them the way of the Lord mare perfectly, and they were baptized in the name of the Lord. (Acts 19:1-5) When they were baptized in his name, they called on his name.

4. Saul of Tarsus: "And now why tarriest thou? arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16) It is obvious in view of the foregoing Scriptures, that to be baptized in the name of the Lord, is to call upon his name.

Faith That Does Not Call On The Name Of The Lord Is Dead

Baptist preachers teach that remission of sins is by faith only, and quote Acts 10:43 as one of their proof texts, but they distort this passage as we shall show you. Here it is: "To him (Christ) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive the remission of sins." Now we believe this passage just as it is, but when one adds to it "Believe only" then we cannot go along. Joel was one of the prophets and he said: "That it would come to pass that whosoever called on the NAME of the Lord, would be saved": therefore calling on the name of the Lord is included in "whosoever believeth in him." To those who believed that Jesus was the Son of God, as we have already noted, Peter said: "Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins." (Acts 2:38) When he said in Acts 10, "Whosoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of sins," was he abrogating what he told the people to do in Acts 2:38? Indeed not, because such would be a plain contradiction in view of what he had already taught believers to do in order to obtain the remission of sins. No friend's faith without "calling " on the name of the Lord is dead, and no man can be saved by a dead faith.