What Is in a Name?

        “Beloved, when I gave diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3.)

        The above scripture plainly shows that there is one and only one Faith. We have to fight for that one faith and defend that one faith. It is that one faith which was delivered to the saints once for all time. Any faith which is delivered differently from that one faith is a perverted gospel. (Galatians 1.6-9.)

        To prevent any man from falling into this kind of danger, the Bible warns in Proverbs 30.6, “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

        Let's consider this question: What is in a name?

        With this background, let us try to find out if there is any salvation in a name. "What is in a name?"

        A name is a word or a group of words that is used to identify a person, place or thing distinct from any other, e.g. Moses, The Church of Abraham, Bethel, etc.

         It was God who introduced names and asked that man should give names to everything that is created. (Genesis 2.19-20.)

        After a name is accepted for a thing, if any man should call it a name which is not the accepted name, we can say, “No, that is not the name of it.” A dog is not a cat; and if I call my dog “Ponny,” only my dog shall be called “Ponny.” If someone called my dog “Funny,” I would say, “No, that is not my dog's name!”

        There is a good name and a bad name. Solomon said, “A good name is rather to be chosen that great riches.” (Proverbs 22.1.)

        God often chose names to the neglect of others. He changed Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah. (Genesis 17.5,15.) John's name was chosen before he was born. (Luke 1.13.) The Jews often chose names of children from among their ancestors. For this reason they wanted to reject the name “John,” but because it was from God, they had to accept it. (Luke 1.59-63.) Jesus' name was chosen before He was born. (Matthew 1.20-25.)

        Why has God so much delight in a name? Because God is glorified in a name and He requires that He should be glorified in the right name, that is, His name, the name which He has chosen. God the father is not called Jesus Christ, but He chose that name. It belongs to Him. He demands that this name should be confessed among men. (John 12.42-43, Matthew 10.32.)

        Jesus humbled himself even unto death, painful death, on the cross. A suffering which was so great and humiliating. What was His reward! What was His prize for the pains He suffered? "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. And that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father." (Philippians 2.8-11.)

        Was Jesus Christ paid with something which is not important for His suffering? NO!

        Colossians 3.17 says, “And whatsoever ye do in words or in deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the father by Him.”

        A name is so important to God that He selected a name in which man shall have salvation and apart from that name there is no other name given among men under heaven in which salvation can be obtained. That name is the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 4.10-12.) So important is a name that God deliberately chose to give a name (a new name) to His people and according to the prophecy, the name shall be given at a time when the word of God reaches the Gentiles. (Isaiah 62.2.) Truly when the gospel of Christ was preached among the Gentiles, the new name was made known of the people of God. (Acts 11.26.)

        All those who hold the same faith and belong to the one family of God are known by the same name. (Ephesians 3.14-15.) This is why when King Agrippa was not willing to hold up this one faith, although he was convinced in all points, he said, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” (Acts 26.27-28.) In this name God is to be glorified. (1 Peter 4.16.)

        Since Jesus is the one who sent out men to call His people out for Him, the people who are called out are identified by names which show who the owner is. The word ecclesia which is translated “church” in the English Bible means those who have been called out. We have the name of the church of God (Acts 20.28), the churches of Christ (Romans 16. 16) (“churches” is used to denote the called out in various towns or localities such as those in Philippi, Thessalonica, Ephesus, Rome, etc.)

        To show where the particular group of the called out people reside, the place name is used, e.g. The churches of Galatia (Galatians 1.2,) the church of God which is at Corinth (1 Corinthians 1.2,) etc.

        The name of the organization of which you are a member: Is it the name of Christ that is revealed in the New Testament for the glory of God? If the Lord would come today and you will have to stand before Him in judgment in regards to the name according to the following scriptures, would you be found faithful in the faith that was once delivered to the saints? (John 12.48, Galatians 1.8,9, Revelation 22.18, Deuteronomy 4.2, Proverbs 30.6.)

        Let us be honest to ourselves and to God.

        The church of Christ is an army of soldiers fighting a spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6.11-18), but the Lord did not call it the Salvation Army.

        The church of the Lord is an organization under the overseership of elders who are also called pastors, bishops, or presbyters (Acts 20.28, Titus 1.5), but the Lord did not call it the Presbyterian Church.

        The church of God is commanded to do all things orderly, i.e. by a specific method (1 Corinthians 14.40), but the church is never referred to as the Methodist Church.

        The church is universal; that is its head has authority to rule it in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28.18-20.) In other words it is catholic, but it is never referred to as the Catholic Church.

        It is not the Roman Catholic Church. It neither started in Rome, nor has it ever had its headquarters in Rome!

        Since Jesus was made Christ and Lord by God and this was announced to the people on that memorable day of Pentecost (Acts 2.36), He has never been dethroned nor did He ever resign nor will He ever allow another man to take over as head of the church. (Colossians 1.18, Daniel 2.44.)

        Yes, Jesus shall reign until the last day, when He shall give up the kingdom, which is the church, to God the Father (not to any man.) (1 Corinthians 15.24-28.)

        Do you believe this ?

        Jesus is the only author of salvation to them that obey Him. (Hebrews 5.8.) Let us therefore obey Him by glorifying God in the name which He has revealed in the New Testament.

        Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 13.15.) Only this plus every other commandment of Jesus can save us. We are to do all things in the name of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28.20, Colossians 3.17.) Let the Lord add you to His church, the church which is built upon the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16.16,18, Acts 2.47.)

        If your group will not accept the name that shows that the owner is Jesus Christ and if you want salvation, brother, the Bible says, “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” (2 Corinthians 6.14-18.) He said He would build His church. He will save His church only (Ephesians 5.23.) Even the apostles did not claim it for themselves.

        We should therefore strive to be added to that church which Peter, Paul, John, and the first Christians were added to so that we can be saved from the wrath of God that comes upon the children of disobedience.

May the Lord guide us to do His will. Amen