Everybody has a name. Nearly everybody who has a name knows what it is. Our name is as familiar and as close to us as our own skin; indeed, we are more frequently aware of our name than we are of the unique living body that it identifies. We write it, we speak it, we answer to it—often, immediately, and without even thinking about it.
The power of a name and its value has long been immortalized in song, poetry, and religious ceremony. Everyone recognizes himself or herself by name.
The question is: how does a name influence a person’s character? God said to Abram, you will no longer be Abram, you will be called Abraham. This was not the only time in the Bible someone’s name was changed to give that person a greater purpose. Today, I want to talk about a name—a name above every name, a name that has been given to you and me.
Isaiah 9:6, For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Luke 2:11, For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
In Matthew 28:18-20 … Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. We who follow Christ bear His name. In Luke’s record of the early church, in Acts 11:18-26b he said … And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. We often take our new name for granted. In a deeper sense we may not really know our name-what it means, why we have it, how it should be regarded and used.
There are diverse interpretations of Christianity which sometimes conflict. However, “Whatever else they might disagree about, Christians are at least united in believing that Jesus has a unique significance.” The term “Christian” is also used to describe “all that is noble, and good, and Christ-like.”
The word Christian comes from the Greek word christianos which is derived from the word christos, or Christ, which means “anointed one.” A Christian, then, is someone who is a follower of Christ. However, it is important to note that it is the true Christ that makes someone a Christian.
Power of the name—
Philippians 2:8-11 (New Living Translation) –
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Later, Peter urged the early believers not to be ashamed of suffering as “a Christian.” 1 Peter 4:16, Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. Paul wanted all that heard him to be a Christian, even the King. Acts 26:28-29, Then [King]Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” 29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.” The term Christian, once directed at Jesus’ followers in scorn, was embraced by them as a badge of honor, a mark of allegiance to Him.
The Christian is one who accepts, with all its implications, the lordship of Jesus Christ.
This time of year there is a lot of “hoopla” about the phrase “Merry Christmas” and the word “Christmas.”
As followers of Christ today, we gladly bear His name as our Savior, Lord, and Friend. We are ordinary people who love God with all our heart. Just what do Christians look like? What sets our lives apart?
Earlier I asked three questions about our new name: what it means, why we have it, how it should be regarded and used.
What does it mean—we have the most powerful name in heaven and earth.
Why do we have it—to go into all the world and share it.
How should it be regarded and used—with the highest respect and as often as possible and in every situation.