Rising up, be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord Acts 22:16
Calling On The Name – How do you establish ownership of your possessions? In this age, we have titles, certificates and deeds. We use legal documents to prove ownership. In ancient times, other methods were used. Brands, inscriptions (remember Song of Solomon 8:6?) and oaths proved ownership. In fact, the earliest sign of ownership in the Bible is an audible one. It occurs in Genesis 4:26. The phrase “call on the name of” is a technical term for proclaiming ownership. When a man called on the name of the Lord, he acknowledged that he was the property of God.
Today we have forgotten the implications of this phrase. We think that calling on the name of the Lord means asking God to do something for us. We use the phrase, “in the name of Jesus” as though it gave us heavenly power. We have it backwards. To call on the name of the Lord is to offer our total and absolute submission to His ownership of me. When Ananias came to Saul after he saw the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, Ananias instructed Saul to deliver himself to the Lord as his owner. The Greek epikalesamenos to onoma is a translation of the Hebrew words spoken to Saul. Saul knew exactly what it meant, and so should we. It is worthless to rise up, be baptized and ask forgiveness if we do not transfer ownership from ourselves to the Lord. The purpose of redemption is to establish a new owner of my life. Until I become the property of God, I have no place in His kingdom.
There is one other significant element in God’s view of ownership. It does not require a deed. God takes us at our word, just as we are to take Him as His word. What you say in your vow of obedience to your new Master is accepted as absolute proof that you belong entirely to Him. He does not ask you to sign a document or leave a cut on your arm. He accepts your declaration. He treats your words with the same weight that He gives to His own words. A vow of ownership is a sacred oath.
Have you made such a vow? Have you called on the name of the Lord, transferring ownership of your life to Him? Once you speak those words, God treats them as a sacred commitment. He holds you accountable just as He holds Himself accountable to His word. There is nothing trivial about this. God expects you to keep your vow. If you called on the name of the Lord, you made a solemn commitment to be His property. Are you keeping your word?