It is related in the book of Acts, third chapter, that as Peter and John were going into the temple to pray, a beggar who had been born lame asked them for money. Peter and John stopped and looked at the man, and then Peter said, "Look on us." The man did so expectantly. Then Peter, speaking authoritatively, said, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." Peter and John did not stop to sympathize with the man or to argue with the belief of error that had bound him since birth. But, acting with authority, "in the name of Jesus Christ," Peter took the man by the right hand and lifted him up, and we are told that "immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God." It was not necessary for this man to learn to walk, in spite of the fact that he had been lame since birth; the act of walking normally was human evidence of the spiritual fact that man had forever been perfect and active as God's child.

Reading on in the book of Acts we find the story of Paul healing a girl who was not in her right mind (chapter 16). Paul, too, used the words "in the name of Jesus Christ" when he caused the demon or evil spirit to come out of the girl. We are assured that the demon "came out the same hour."

In the nineteenth chapter of Acts, however, there is an account of the failure of the use of the name of Jesus to bring healing. This story tells of seven men who tried to heal with words they had heard others use with healing effect. They thought that they could use the name of Christ Jesus with the same results. They believed that there was power in the words themselves, that the mere repetition of them would heal. They did not know that back of the words there must be spiritual understanding in order to produce healing results. When they tried to exorcise an evil spirit "by Jesus whom Paul preacheth," it is recorded (verse 16) that the demented man "leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded."

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November 15, 1947

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