Where In The Bible Will I Find:

The Name For The People Of God? II

By: Gary Colley
Date: September 19, 1999
Past/Future Articles

NAMES have always had meaning in the Bible.  NAMES continue to have great significance daily in the world.  Note some special meanings of NAMES in the Bible.  Eden (garden of delight) is where God placed Adam and Eve in the beginning.  Adam (red earth) causes us to think of the beginning, where God created man from dust.  Eve (Life) brings to thought the mother of all living.  Abraham (father of a multitude) causes us to think of the promise of salvation through his seed, Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:16, Acts 2:38-39, Galatians 3:26-29).  Noah (rest) quickly brings to mind the ark and flood.  Israel (the people of the Lord) once represented the Jews as a nation.  But since the Old Law has been removed, the NAME is now for those who have entered into the church of Christ
(Colossians 2:14, Romans 2:28-29).  Jesus (Savior) brings to our thinking the Savior of the world, Christ (Anointed of God), Lord (Ruler) as He presides over His church (Matthew 1:21, Luke 24:47, Ephesians 1:22-23).  Today, the Lord's church is and should be known as it was in the first century.  We should not speak of "MY CHURCH," or "YOUR CHURCH," since it does not belong to us.  We did not work to build it, die to purchase it, nor are we able to promise to save it
(Ephesians 5:23).  The NAME Christian (follower of Christ) is not meaningless.  It was prophesied to be THE NEW NAME of God's people several hundred years before given (Isaiah 62:2,
Isaiah 65:15).  After the middle wall (Old Law) was broken down between Jew and Gentile, there had to be a new NAME.  We are even told by Isaiah how long that new meaningful NAME would last (Isaiah 66:22, Isaiah 56:5).  When Isaiah's prophecy was complete, about the kings seeing Jesus' glory and the Gentiles seeing His righteous plan, the new NAME "Christian" was given
(Acts 11:26).  Paul was not trying, nor did he ever persuade others to be come one of "the sect of the Nazarenes (Acts 24:5)."  But he did persuade sinful men to become "Christians (Acts 26:28,
II Corinthians 5:11)."  The apostle Peter said God's people were not to be ashamed of that NAME, but were to glorify God in that NAME (I Peter 4:16).  When individual "Christians" are spoken of collectively in the Bible, it is "church of the Lord (Acts 20:28)," "the churches of Christ
(Romans 16:16)," or "the church of God (I Corinthians 1:1)."  These are Scriptural designations of the collective body of Christ (Matthew 16:18).  NAMES not found in the Bible, but chosen by men, divide religious people into warring sects.  We should be satisfied to wear the Lord's NAME, without addition or subtraction.  We can unite upon Scriptural designations if we are willing to follow the Bible.  It seems all thinking people would agree, that we should refuse to belong to any religious organization of which we cannot read on word in the Bible!