We’re about to enter an area of detailed commands concerning the dearest and most common relationships known to mankind: husband/wife, parent/child, and boss/worker (Colossians 3:18-4:1). Before we manage the types of boiling issues which often erupt when we consider these commands it’s necessary to grapple with the idea stated in verse 17: “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” A good test of your personal obedience to the individual commands of scripture is to see if you possess a general willingness to live an “every word and every deed” kind of Christianity. Are you holding anything back from God?
Old Testament Jewish saints often used the phrase “in the name of the LORD.” The phrase expressed their belief that a particular action was done for the LORD, or on behalf of the LORD. David killed Goliath (1 Sam 17:45) Elijah built his altar (1 Kings 18:32) Elisha cursed his enemies (2 Kings 2:24) Isaiah encouraged true believers (Isa 50:10) and Micah expressed a category of people as those who walk in the “name of the LORD” (Micah 4:5).
In the New Testament Jesus taught his followers to begin praying to God in his name (John 16:23-27). The followers of Jesus, both Jew and Gentile, came to see their entire lives and ministries as lived within the context of Jesus’ name. We see many examples of this in the book of Acts: Peter healed (Acts 3:6) Paul cast out demons (Acts 16:18) and preached (Acts 9:27) the Sanhedrin prohibited any ministry done in this name (Acts 5:40). In the letters of the New Testament the Apostles taught 1st century Christians to do everything in the name of Jesus (Eph 5:20, Col 3:17).
It’s clear that NT Christians used the expression “in the name of Jesus” in the same way OT Jews used “in the name of the LORD”; in doing so NT Christians clearly proclaimed their belief in the deity of Jesus. They believed Jesus and the LORD were one and the same!
An action done in the name of Jesus was done:
1) In Christ’s stead: 1 Cor 5:4.
3) Upon Christ’s finished work: 1 Cor 6:11.