THE NAME OF THE CHURCH
by Dan Goddard
Some argue that there is nothing in a name. However, such is neither true to Scripture nor reason. God placed special significance on names when He changed Abram’s name to “Abraham” and Sarai’s name to “Sarah” (Genesis 17:5, 15). There is great significance attached to the name of Jesus. All that we do in religion must be done in His name (Colossians ). There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved (Acts ). The importance of a name is illustrated in Paul’s reproof to the Corinthians for calling themselves after certain human names (1 Corinthians -13).
A name is so meaningful that people name their dogs “Fido” and “Satan,” their mules “Rebel” and “Lucifer,” but their sons “James” and “John.” If there is nothing in a name, why not reverse the order and call the boys “Fido” and “Lucifer”? Yes, friends, there is something in a name and especially in the God given ones.
The church of the Lord should not be adorned with human names but rather should wear only the terms God has chosen. The God-given designations for the church are:
2. “Churches of Christ” (Romans ). The writer is speaking of the various local churches or congregations. This designates them as belonging to Christ.
3. “The church of the living God” (I Timothy ). This also indicates ownership.
4. “The church of the firstborn” (Hebrews ). The firstborn of the ancient families were heirs and were to receive the birthright. Thus, the Lord’s church is made up of those who are the heirs of the promises.
The expressions “body of Christ” and “
The Lord’s church has a method or
system in its worship and work, but it should not be called the “
The Lord’s commands include such
things as baptism and repentance, but His church should not be called the “
Christ’s church should be named after Him (It Is His. He built it. He died for it. God named it after Him.) that in all things He might be glorified.