“Calling on the Name of the Lord”

By Royce Frederick

Peter said, “...whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved...” (Acts 2:21). Ananias told Saul, “...Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord(Acts 22:16). What is meant by “calling on the name of the Lord”? 

It does NOT mean merely SAYING WORDS.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven...” (Matt. 7:21; see Lk. 6:46).


A SINNER calls on the name of the Lord IN BAPTISM. Baptism is God’s way for us to appeal to Him for forgiveness and salvation (1 Pet. 3:21; Col. 2:12; Rom. 6:3-4, 17-18; Acts 2:38; Mk. 16:16). “The name of…” often refers to authority or ownership. If a policeman says, “Open the door in the name of the law,” it means “by the authority of the law.” If a man sells some land, a deed is issued “in the name of” the new owner. Jesus said, 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 of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matt. 28:18-19). Peter said, “...be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38; see 4:12). A sinner who believes, repents, and confesses the name of Christ (Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:9-10; Phil. 2:9-11) is ready for baptism. At baptism, the Lord forgives him by divine authority and becomes his owner (Rom. 6:3-18; 1 Cor. 6:19-20).

A CHRISTIAN calls on the name of the Lord IN PRAYER. Jesus opened the way to approach God’s throne in prayer, and Jesus is our High Priest (Heb. 3:1; 4:15; 10:19-22). He tells us to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus (Jn. 14:13; 16:23-24, 26; 1 Cor 1:2; 2 Tim. 2:22).