WHAT’S IN A NAME?
What do people do in times of bombardment? In times of war?
Their lives are devastated through the loss of loved ones, livelihood, and dwelling place.
Those of us who have not experienced this, can only surmise the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual impact that this brings, and the toll it takes.
We feel inadequate to even make a suitable comment by way of offered empathy or understanding. Mix-in the fact that there may be little we can do to offer assistance.
True Christians of course, offer the gospel as the news everyone needs to hear. We claim and proclaim that in the gospel message, God addresses the need of mankind and offers salvation in His Son The Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the first things a Christian will tell you is to ‘believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved’.
‘Saved’ means – delivered, set free, opened up spiritually, born again inside – in the spiritual new birth, saved is to receive the gift of forgiveness, as we invite Christ to come into the innermost human spirit to dwell there.
There are others ways of explaining what salvation is.
The birth of Faith in the heart with confession of the mouth, is one of the priority factors in the process of being saved/converted. (Romans 10/9-10)
But I want to highlight what can be faith in ‘different clothes’, to speak in metaphor.
When someone is devastated through a horrible experience, and human help is in short supply, and indeed all else has failed – through deep brokenness and pain the human spirit almost automatically cries out in it’s brokenness. Cries out to the divine.
However one requirement is needed above all. We are told that ‘… “whoever calls on the name of the Lord [in prayer] will be saved.”
Notice call upon – ‘the name’.
Get someone’s name wrong in the doctor’s waiting room, as the doctor calls out, and that person will remain in their seat, with no medical attention or help forthcoming.
Get their name wrong and they will not be responding to your call.
Get God’s name wrong and the promised help cannot be brought to the needy heart.
It is not a small thing with God that His name be overlooked or that He be called by a name He does not recognise.
I guess that kinda sums up the comparative religions problem?
There are many names for God in the bible. In simple terms each one brings out a different aspect of His character, but they are all ‘add-ons’ to His name Jehovah.
In the New Testament we are told:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
I don’t think anything needs to be added to this. It’s plain and simple. The New Testament name of the one who brings salvation is Jesus Christ The Lord.
But just in case there is any doubt we also read:
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
So in a condition of deep despair, when you have suffered in the flesh – take God at His word and call upon the name of The Lord, getting His name right, is realising He is God, and in fact – the only living and true God.
Faith awaits His response. Even when His response seems slow – it is sure.
When our cheek/gums are frozen by the dentist – he supplies the help we need.
We have no ‘sense’ of the help, or that he has carried out the procedure properly. No ‘sense’ that the problem has been fixed. Until some time later – when our insensitivity has been removed.
God will give that sense of assurance that He has responded, whether straight away or later, as faith waits expectantly.