The Expository Files


Calling On His Name


The Bible says that men and women must “call upon the name of the Lord” to be saved (see Rom. 10:13). How is this done? What exactly does it mean to “call upon the name of the Lord”?  

First, we need to understand that it does not mean to merely cry out “Lord, Lord.” Jesus made that clear (see Matt. 7:21-22). Some suggest that it means to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and to “invite Him into your heart.” Is this what the Bible teaches?           

We can find examples in the Scripture of people calling on the name of the Lord Jesus through His gospel. The first is in Acts 2. These people were plainly told that they must call on His name to be saved (Acts 2:21). When they came to believe in Jesus , they asked, “What must we do?” (vs. 37). Specifically, they were told to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins (vs. 38). Thus, they “called” upon the Lord’s name by their obedient, trusting response to the Lord’s invitation issued through His apostles.  

Later, when Saul repents, he is asked, “Why do you delay? Arise and be baptized washing away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16). It is by our trusting obedience that we call upon the Lord’s name. It is not merely something we think, or believe, or say. We must also do as He commands. He is the Lord.

By Jon W. Quinn
The Front Page
From Expository Files 20.6; June 2013