What’s in a Name? The Name of the Church
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet…” Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Is there anything in a name? From God’s perspective, would the church called by any other name smell as sweet? Names are important to God.
- He named them Adam & Eve Genesis 5:1-2
Why did God give them an name?
- Why did God change Abram’s Name to Abraham Genesis 17:5
- father of many nations
- Changed Jacob’s name to Israel, Genesis 32:28
- Paul condemns divisive names, 1 Corinthians 1:12-14
- Is Christ divided? or baptized in the names of others than Christ?
If there is nothing in a name why not name your son FIDO?
There IS something in a name. What does the word of God tell us about the name of the church?
Names of the Church Used in the Bible
- My church, Matthew 16:18
- The church, Acts 8:1, the called out ones
- Church of God, 1 Corinthians 1:2
- Churches of Christ, Romans 16:16
- Body of Christ, Ephesians 4:12
- Church of the Living God, 1 Timothy 3:15
- Church of the Firstborn, Hebrews 12:23
The church of Christ speaks of the church in scriptural terms. Isn't it strange that people who claim to belong to Christ are willing to be members of a religious group whose name is foreign to the Bible When we call ourselves by any other name than commanded in the Bible, we are dishonoring God. We generally call ourselves the church of Christ, meaning the church belonging to Christ.
What Does the New Testament Call the Members of the Church?
- Disciples, Acts 20:7
- Saints, 1 Corinthians 1:2 - called to be saints… Called by God to be through the word of God. Saint means one that is sanctified, set apart, by being washed cleaned of our sins and set apart as servants to God.
- Beloved of God, Romans 1:7 -- called to be saints and beloved of God
- Brethren 1 Corinthians 15:6, the relationship we have with one another
- Sons of God, Romans 8:14
- Children of God, 1 John 3:1, relationship to the Father
- Heirs of God, children of God, Romans 8:16,17, joint heirs with Christ, to inherit from the Father.
- Priests, 1 Peter 2:9
- Christians, Acts 11:26
We must wear only the names the Bile uses to designates God’s people.
I am a member of the church of Christ, because it sticks with just the names that the bible teaches, Christians, just Christians.
“I say of the Baptist name, let it perish, but let Christ’s name last forever. I look forward with pleasure, to the day when there will not be a Baptist living… I hope the Baptist name will soon perish; but let Christ’s name endure forever…” -Spurgeon Memorial Library, Vol. 1, p. 168.
“I pray you to leave my name alone, and call not yourselves Lutherans, but Christians. Who is Luther? … I have not been crucified for anyone… let us call ourselves only Christians after him from whom our doctrine comes...” - The Life of Luther, by Stork, p. 289
Why go by the name of religious leaders?
What’s in a Name? What About Religious Titles?
Figuratively speaking, we have much of the language of Ashdod in the world today. Many exalting titles are now being used in opposition to the teachings of the Bible. After captivity, the Jews confounded their speech in the Jews language and half in the language of Ashdod, Nehemiah 13:23-24.
- Psalm 111:9, a name used only for God.
What did the Apostles call themselves? Servant, indicates subjection, in bondage.
The Greek word: doulos
“When used as an adjective, signifying ‘in bondage,’ …when used as a noun, and as the most common and general word for ‘servant,’ frequently indicating subjection without the idea of bondage…”- Vine's Expository Dictionary of N.T. Words
- Paul, a servant, Romans 1:1
- Simon Peter, a servant, and apostle, 2 Peter 1:1
- James, the Lord’s brother, a servant, James 1:1
Why not just be a servant?
A pastor is an elder of the church. Shepherd comes from pastor. Elders are called to pastor the congregation. Not one pastor over the congregation, but several working together to guide the flock, Ephesians 4:11.
- Difference between evangelist, and pastor
- Call no man your father… Mathew 23:9
Neither let me give flattering titles unto man., Job 32:21-22.
What’s in a Name?
Let’s call Bible things, by Bible names. “
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus…” -2 Timothy 1:13 KJV
We need to call ourselves Christians, We need to use sound words of the Bible to refer to His church.
You can be a member of the church of Christ, in His name. If you believe that Jesus is the son of God, if you repent of your sins, confess his name, and be buried in baptism to have your sins washed away.