Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Name that Name!
In a certain local church bulletin I came across a statement of purpose that failed at any point to name Jesus, that wonderful, all victorious name of our beloved forerunner.
Pleasing things were said about glorifying God and encouraging Spirit-filled living, developing ministry potential and providing blessing locally and abroad...but no naming of Jesus! I was stunned. I believe that the fellowship is duly promoting new life in Christ, scriptural wisdom, worship, communion and service. But why the omission?
I am reminded of the man at the Temple Gate (Acts 4) and Peter's explanation that faith in the wonderful name had healed him of dropsy:
9If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
10Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
I have the same concern with many so-called renewal songs which make vague references to Lord, beloved, shepherd, wonderful Saviour, but avoid that Name. Certainly the old unstoppable hymns never did this.
The message of the Father's love has gotten out of proportion, as in earlier Pentecostal outbreaks did the message of the potential, gifts and anointing of the Spirit.
Friends, Jesus is our surety, forerunner, interceding priest, Elder Brother, captain, teacher, physician, shepherd and coming King. He is our sole "door" of access to the Heavenly Father. He is the main subject in the curriculum of truth, love and righteousness delivered to us by the Spirit. Indeed the Spirit is always dedicated to glorifying the Son.
Surely a statement of church purpose MUST recognize these things, and MUST acknowledge His Name.