Tuesday, January 8, 2008
"What is God's Name?"
Isa 30:27 (NIV) See, the Name of the Lord comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire.
What's In A Name?
Gen 17:5 (NIV) No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.
Bible Knowledge Commentary (BKC): "In Bible times a person's name stood for the person--and represented him and his characteristics."
1 Sam 25:25 (NIV) May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name--his name is Fool, and folly goes with him.
Gen 27:36 (NIV) Esau said, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob? He has deceived me these two times."
Mat 1:21 (NIV) "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus [Yeshua, Hebrew for 'salvation'], because he will save his people from their sins."
Acts 4:12 (NIV) "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
Rev 19:13 (NIV) He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
Phil 2:9-11 (NIV) ... God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.
Ps 138:2 (NIV) I will bow down... and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
NIV Study Notes: "God's name... is a symbol of [His] nature, character, and person... The name of the Lord is the manifestation of His character... it is synonymous with the Lord Himself."
In this study we will focus on what "the name" means in this sense. This may be a new insight to many present-day Christians, but was second nature to first century Jews--and even Pagans.
As a means to get the most out of this study, substitute nature, character, or spirit when you come across the name, and the meaning should come into better focus. The name is not mere syllables, words, or sounds, but is God's nature, Spirit, and presence.
John 12:13 (NIV) They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"...
Where God Is
2 Chr 6:6 (NIV) But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there...
1 Kings 8:29 (NIV) "May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, 'My Name shall be there,' so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place."
2 Chr 7:16 (NIV) "I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there."
Heb 1:3-4 (NIV) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
NIV Study Notes: "To Jews a name stood for the full character of a person in all he was and did."
The Name In Us
Col 1:27 (NIV) ... God has chosen to make known this mystery, which is Christ in you...
1 Cor 6:11 (NIV) And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Acts 2:21 (NIV) "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
John 14:26 (NIV) "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
1 Cor 6:19 (NIV) Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?...
In The Name, In The Spirit, In The Nature Of Jesus?
Isa 11:2-3 (NIV) The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him--the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of council and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord--and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eye, or decide by what he hears with his ears.
John 14:13-14 (NIV) "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
John 16:23-26 (NIV) "In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete... In that day you will ask in my name..."
Oswald Chambers: "'... In my name,' i.e., in My nature. Not--'You shall use my name as a magic word,' but--'You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me.' 'That day' is not a day hereafter, but a day meant for here and now."
Inner Reality Consistent With Outer Form
John 15:16 (NIV) "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."
Luke 10:17 (NIV) ..."Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."
Acts 3:6,16 (NIV) Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." ... "By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see."
Ps 20:7 (NIV) Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord...
John 17:11-12 (NIV) "I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled."
Mat 18:20 (NIV) "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
Recognition Of The Name
John 5:43 (NIV) [Jesus] "I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him."
Acts 5:41 (NIV) The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
John 15:21 (NIV) "They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me."
1 Pet 4:14 ,16 (NIV) If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
In our society, we aren't jailed, beaten, or killed (at least presently) for having the nature of Christ "in us", even though our brethren in other parts of the world are experiencing these physical tortures (Heb 13:3). But every Christian is destined to suffer because of the struggle that the Name--in us--creates against the flesh (1 Thes 3:3, 1 Pet 4:1, Heb 12:4, Rom 8:22-23). The lower nature will not submit to God and must be whipped, jailed, and put to death. The painful tension we experience as we struggle to avoid sin and follow Christ is no less "for the sake of the Name" than the physical suffering that we may also yet endure.
Col 3:17 (NIV) And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Just Using The Words?
2 Cor 10:7 (NIV) "You are looking only at the surface of things."
John 7:24 (Phi) "You must not judge by the appearance of things but by the reality!"
It is a shame to do something in the name--with the inner character and power of Jesus--and not give Him outward credit for it. But even worse is to adhere to the outward form when the inner reality is missing: to give God credit he doesn't want!
Acts 19:13-17 (NIV) Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. [One day] the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.
BKC: "The words 'in my name' are not a magical formula which enable the user to get his will done."
Using The Lord's Name "In Vain"
Ex 20:7 (NRS) [The third commandment:] "You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name."
Deut 18:20 (NIV) "But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say... must be put to death."
If "the name of Jesus" is spoken flippantly--not in the nature, character, or Spirit of Christ, submission, understanding, and fear of God--then the name of the Lord Jesus is used "in vain".
Deut 5:11 (NIV) "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."
Misuse Of The Lord's Name Will Get Worse
Jer 23:25,27 (NIV) "I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, 'I had a dream! I had a dream!'... They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their fathers forgot my name through Baal worship."
Mat 7:22 (NIV) "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'"
Ps 139:20 (NIV) ...your adversaries misuse your name.
Mat 24:5 (NIV) "For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many."
Rev 13:6 (NIV) He [the Beast] opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.
Luke 21:8 (NIV) He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them."
Bless The Name (Baruch Ha Shem)
Mat 6:9 (NIV) "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name...'"
1 Chr 16:10,29 (NIV) Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice... Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
Prov 18:10 (NIV) The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Ps 5:11 (NIV) But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
2 Tim 2:19 (NIV) ... God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
John 20:31 (NIV) But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.