Colossians: All for the Name

What does it mean to do literally everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus...as a way of giving thanks the God? This sermon focuses on Colossians 3:17

Colossians 3:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

...that our life must be so regulated that whatever we say or do may be wholly governed by the authority of Christ, and may look to His Glory as it’s aim.
— John Calvin, Colossians Commentary
The New Testament does not contain a detailed code of rules for the Christian. Codes of rules, as Paul explains elsewhere, are suited to the period of immaturity when the children of God are still under guardians; but children who have come to years of responsibility know their father’s will without having to be provided with a long list of ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’. What the New Testament does provide is those basic principles of Christian living which may be applied to varying situations of life as they arise. So, after answering the Corinthian Christians’ question about the eating of food that has been offered to idols, Paul sums up his advice in the words: ‘whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God’ (1 Corinthians 10:31). Phrases current in worship, like ‘to the glory of God’ or (as here) ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus,’ were given a practical relevance by being applied to the concerns of ordinary life.
The Christian (whether of the apostolic age or any other generation), when confronted by a moral issue, may not find any explicit word of Christ relating to its particular details. But the question may be asked: ‘What is the Christian thing to do here? Can I do this without compromising my Christian confession? Can I do it (that is to say) ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus’ - whose reputation is at stake in the conduct of his known followers? And can I thank God the Father through him for the opportunity of doing this thing?’ Even then, the right course of action may not be unambiguously clear, but such questions, honestly faced, will commonly provide surer ethical guidance than special regulations may do. It is often easy to get around special regulations; it is less easy to get around so comprehensive a statement of Christian duty as this verse supplies. In the New Testament and the Old Testament alike it is insisted that our relation to God embraces and controls the whole of life, and not only those occasions which sometimes described as ‘religious’ in a narrow sense of the word.
— FF Bruce

Sermon Discussion Questions: 

  • What is a "half-hearted" Christian? 

  • How is a persons life transformed by Jesus? 

  • What is included in the text "Whatever you do"? 

  • How is "doing things in the Name of the Lord Jesus"...honoring to Him and to "govern" our actions?

  • What is Jesus' master plan to save the world?  Are we doing our part?