What’s in a Name?

“Jesus;” this is the name above all names, (Phi 2:9-11, Act 4:12, Eph 1:21, Mat 28:18). John writes, “so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him, (Joh 5:23).

As persecuted as we are today, many Christians spend a lifetime professing their faith to God. Every day, I read and hear about what’s going on in and around the faith we call Christianity.

And as easy as it may be for people to put two and two together, as they say, and even though I read and hear so much about Christianity and the Christian faith, I decided to pause for a moment and meditate not on Christianity, but on the name of Jesus.

In my head I said to myself, “why don’t I hear more about Jesus?” I wondered; do we relate “Christianity” with “Jesus” so much, that we simply set aside “the name above all names?”

I recently wrote brief messages to several people about some Christian faiths that simply are not “Christ-centered.” This brought the subject to the forefront of my thinking once again.

I asked myself, How I can be as “Christ-centered” as I believe I am, if I’m routinely using the term, “Christ-centered?” How did this happen? When did we stop referring to our Lord, as “Jesus?” Some will say I am making a mountain out of an ant hill here; but that is not my intention.

It’s likely that the most asked question on our planet is when we ask someone; “do you believe in God.” Now, don’t go off the deep end and tell me I’m way off base here. Don’t tell me that “everyone” knows that we are talking about Jesus when we use the word, “Christ.”

Of course, it’s obvious that we Christians are referring to Jesus when we say, “Christ.” Does that come out in any translation, as we are trying to introduce a non-Christian to the faith?

We do know there is a multitude of people in the world, even today, that either don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God and don’t believe He even existed. Others simply say Jesus was another rabbi or prophet.

Now, let’s talk about “evangelism.” Evangelism is the spreading of the Christian Gospel by means of preaching or personal witness. This indeed, is what Jesus Himself, commissioned us to do.

Jesus said to His disciples; “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem,” (Luk 24:46-47). (bold=author’s emphasis)

His name? His name is, Jesus. Christ is His title. Luke recorded Peter’s word, from what is considered the very first sermon given; “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved,” (Act 4:12).

The angel said to Mary; “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus,” (Luk 1:30).

The Gospel is Jesus. The Gospel is His. As Christians we are to spread His name and His Gospel. As much as I want people to know there is a Christ, I want them to know who Christ is.

I believe this is something we all need to work on. This is something we all can do. The whole of the New Testament is to tell people about Jesus; to tell them what Jesus had done for us.

I am not suggesting that we remove “God” from our vocabulary. But in everything we say or do, we are to do in the name of Jesus, giving thanks through Him, to God, (Col 3:17).

My own ministry is called “Acts 5:42.” In his book of Acts, Luke recorded, what I feel is one of the most important events taking place in his time; “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ,” (Act 5:42). (bold/underline=author’s emphasis)

Even if one was to simply leaf through the New Testament, they would come away with the importance of sharing Jesus’ name. As even the Psalmist wrote, the apostle Paul also said, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,” (Phi 2:9). (Also see Psa 148:13)

I must share the Gospel. I must share “God” with anyone who will listen. I must also be sure that the person(s) I’m speaking to understand that it is Jesus I am sharing. I must share what Jesus did for me, in my own life. I must share what Jesus did for the world. The gospel is Jesus! The Word is Jesus!

If they haven’t already done so, I’d like people to discover God. Because Jesus is the only way to God, I must make sure they know Jesus. Throughout the entirety of the bible, we are told to praise, pray, and thank God through Jesus.

I’m not saying to stop using the word God or Christ. But we must make sure that when we witness or preach, people walk away knowing who Jesus is.

What do YOU think?

©2019 Clayton Moore All Rights Reserved!

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