Numbers 6:23-27 (NASB)
“Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’ So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”
The covenant blessing that was to be prayed over Israel invoked the name of the Lord. Each line of the prayer started with the name of Jehovah. The prayer was made for their peace and that the face of God would shine on them. The expression “face of God” was used figuratively to describe the Spirit of God in the Old Testament. (For example: Ezekiel 39:29)
In the Old Testament, covenant blessings were available when praying the covenant name of Jehovah. In the New Testament, Jesus fully manifests the name of the Lord. God, our Father, ultimately revealed Himself in Christ. The name “Jesus” actually means “Jehovah the Savior.”
John 5:43 (NLT) I have come to you in My Father’s name…
John 17:6 (NKJV) “I have manifested Your name…
John 17:11 (NLT) Holy Father, you have given me your name…
John 17:26 (NKJV) And I have declared to them Your name…
The new saving covenant was established by Christ in His name.
Acts 4:12 (NLT)
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
God’s desire is still to have a people that have been called by His name.
Acts 15:14-17 (NABRE)
God first concerned himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name…even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked.
In response to the Lord’s instructions to invoke His name over converts, the early church called the name of Jesus over believers as they entered the covenant by baptism.
Acts 10:48 (HCSB)
he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ
James 2:7 (HCSB)
the noble name that was pronounced over you at your baptism
Acts 2:38 (NIV)
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit
Acts 8:16 (HCSB)
they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Acts 19:5 (HCSB)
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus
Acts 22:16 (NKJV)
Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’
Forgiveness of sins is a result of the blood of the covenant as well as applying the name of the covenant.
1 John 2:12 (NKJV)
Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
How important is invoking the name of Jesus?
Just as the priests prayed blessings in the name of Jehovah, we pray for blessings in the name of Jesus.
John 14:14 (NIV)
You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Just as the priests prayed for God’s Spirit to shine on Israel in the name of Jehovah, The Spirit now comes in the name of Jesus.
John 14:26 (NKJV)
the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name
By washing in the name of Jesus and through the Spirit, we are made right with God.
1 Corinthians 6:11 (NKJV)
you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
In conclusion, as children of the covenant, we are instructed to do all in the name of the Lord.
Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.