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Summary: We Bear His Name

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God’s Adopted Family. 4

We Bear His Name

Reading: Galatians 3:23-4:7; Rev 3:7-13

When someone is adopted into a family, the name of that person is changed to that of the adopting parents. In this country the surname is the family name, when you tell someone your name, your family is identified by your surname. In times past often identified the profession of that family. (Cooper, Goldsmith, Baker are but a few examples.)

When we came to Christ and were born again, we were adopted into God’s family, and our new name was written in the Lamb’s book of life. Those who are Christ’s have a new name that is given by God.

One of the promises of the blessing of God being upon the Gentiles is found in:

Isaiah 65:15; "You shall leave your name as a curse to my chosen; for the LORD God will slay you, and call his servant by another name;"

In this passage the prophet Isaiah is speaking about God’s servants, the new Israel. As children of God we are collectively known as Christians, "Christ’s Own." This name was first used of believers at Antioch:

Acts 11:26; "The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."

We must bear in mind that the term Christian has not always been a title of honour. King Agrippa was to scorn Paul and the rest of the believers when he cried:

Acts 26:28; "Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?""

The Roman historian Tacitus wrote in his annals;

(Annals XV ÿ44) "The vulgar call them Christians. The author or origin of this denomination, Christus, had, in the reign of Tiberius, been executed by Procurator, Pontius Pilate."

The term Christian, for the first two hundred years of the Churches existence, was a term of scorn, it is true to say, that the self same scorn is returning.

We are warned by our Lord that for His namesake we will endure all suffering:

Matthew 10:22; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17; "...you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved."

Matthew 24:9; Luke 21:12; "Then they shall deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake."

Yet the name of Jesus, the Son of God is one of greatest honour, it is God who has exalted him:

Philippians 2:9-11; "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

The word CHRIST is an adjective, an adjective is a word indicating an attribute, and used to describe or modify a noun. So when we talk about "The Christ," it is a description, not a name/pronoun. Jesus is His name, which was given by command of the angels to Joseph:

Matthew 1:21; "..you shall call His name JESUS."

The Greek word "CHRISTOS" [khris-tos’] which is translated CHRIST means "anointed." This comes from the Greek verb "CHRIO" [khree’-o] which is normally translated "ANOINT".


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