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Monday, October 3, 2022

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Why Are Names Significant?


We are just a few months away from meeting our son, and my husband and I have been calling him a name for the past month at home to my baby bump. There is something so valuable when it comes to a name. As we worked a ministry table on a college campus just this morning, I could not help but think about how unique each individual was who came to the table. As we would get to know their names, we would learn more about who they were. I always love it when someone I recently met can remember my name, it helps me to feel known. I try to do this for others to help them feel cared for, but I am not always the best at it. Today, we are going to explore why names are significant.

When we think about a person’s full name, it identifies who they are. It clarifies what family tree he belongs to, it reveals possibly what heritage he comes from, and it says a lot about the parents who selected the name. Many times parents pick a name that will indicate who they hope their child will become. It is almost like a prayer for the next generation. 

We see times in the Scriptures where God made names clear in the womb, sometimes once the child was born, and other times the Lord even changed names halfway through some people’s lives for His purposes. (Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Saul to Paul, Simon to Peter, Hosea to Joshua, Solomon to Jedidiah, etc)

I think this is a great reminder to us that no matter what our names are, no matter what culture we come from, or what family line, we too can be given a new name by the Creator God. We do not have to be known for our past failures or our sinful choices. We can be reborn into new lives and identities in Christ.

Child of God

Spiritually speaking, something absolutely beautiful happens when we accept Jesus as Savior. We take on the name child of God. We go from being His enemies through sin to being forgiven and adopted into His family. When a child is adopted into a new family, this is a legally binding agreement. The child then takes on the last name of the parents. The Lord chose us and wanted to pursue bringing us into His family. We were not going to be easy by any means, and we have nothing to offer Him. However, He has given us the privilege of His unrelenting pursuit to be His own. He has reconciled us. 

2 Corinthians 6:18 says, “And, ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’”

John 1:12-13 says, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husbands will, but born of God.”

Galatians 4:4-5 says, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.”

Bride of Christ

Not only do we receive adoption into God’s family, but we as the church are called the bride of Christ. On the day when my husband and I got married, I was so excited to be his forever here on earth. Part of becoming one meant that I would take on his last name. I was so honored to be his. We both said yes to each other, and marriage is a stunning representation of the gospel of Jesus. Christ pursued us and committed His life to the point of dying on the cross and raising Himself for us. Then, after He said “Yes” to us, we are now invited to say “Yes” to Him. When we accept Jesus, we take on His name. We carry the name of Christ-followers. We are His forever, sealed by the Holy Spirit and secure in His love.

Ephesians 5:31-32 says, “‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”

2 Corinthians 11:2 says, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.”

Revelation 19:7 says, “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;”

Isaiah 54:5 says, “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.”

We carry the name of Christ-followers. We are His forever, sealed by the Holy Spirit and secure in His love.Future Names

There is a very mysterious verse in Revelation 2:17. (Who am I kidding, there are many mysterious verses in Revelation as a whole) However, this verse talks about the person who overcomes will be given, “A white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.”

Got Questions shares some great thoughts from Theologians. Their personal favorite view of the white stone with the name is, “The ancient Roman custom of awarding white stones to the victors of athletic games. The winner of a contest was awarded a white stone with his name inscribed on it. This served as his ticket” to a special awards banquet. According to this view, Jesus promises the overcomers entrance to the eternal victory celebration in heaven. The new name” most likely refers to the Holy Spirits work of conforming believers to the holiness of Christ (see Romans 8:29Colossians 3:10).”

Be encouraged that you are known and deeply loved by Christ. If you have accepted Him as Savior and Lord, you are sealed with His Holy Spirit, and you belong to His family forever. As we think about our own names, may we never forget about the joy and responsibility of carrying the name of Christ-follower.

Photo credit:  ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/artisteer

Emma DanzeyEmma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, inspiring young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew and they have been married for over a year. Drew and Emma serve with Upstate CRU college ministry in South Carolina. Emma is an avid writer for Salem Web Network and provides articles on the Bible, life questions, and on the Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 viewed article on Crosswalk for the year 2021. All the glory to the Lord! She has the joy of being the host of Her Many Hats podcast where she explores the many roles that women play while serving One God.

Emma enjoys singing/songwriting, fitness classes, trying new recipes, home makeover shows, and drinking tea! During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Currently, she is in the editing stages of her first published book on singleness. Emma also had the privilege of being a national spokesperson for Mukti Mission based out of India. Mukti has been working to restore shattered lives in India for over 120 years. You can view her articles through her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com and check out Her Many Hats podcast on Instagram @her_many_hats.





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