For example, if I hear the name “Honey”, I realize it’s my lovely wife. Through that name, she is communicating the sweetness of our marriage relationship. Or perhaps I will hear “Pastor”. I recognize this is someone who views me as a spiritual leader or teacher. “Josh” is the name generally used by friends, whereas “Mr. Gelatt” (if mispronounced) indicates a telemarketer (i.e. someone who sees me as a ‘quick buck’). If it is one of my children, I hear the wonderful title “Dad”, reminding me that I am a protector, provider, and lover of three adorably naughty little ones. Occasionally, I even hear the name “Jah-dee”, implying the voice must be my mother (the only human being I dare not threaten for using such a term). This reminds me that I am a valued and cherished son, called to love and cherish my parents.
Names tells us a lot about who were are. Christians were called various names in the New Testament times, such as the called (Rev. 17:14), the chosen (Col. 3:12; 1 Peter 2:9), and the elect (Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1). These names indicate that all Christians are chosen by God, and are powerful indicators of His great love for us. We also have an intimacy with God. We are called members of God’s family (Eph. 3:14–15) and household (1 Tim. 3:15). We are God’s children (“sons”, Rom 8:23) and His heirs (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29; 4:7). Even more intimately, we are called Christ’s bride (Rev. 19:7–8; 21:2, 9; 22:17), His siblings (“brothers”, Heb. 2:11-12, 17), and friends .(John 15:13-15).
The names for Christians in the Bible also tell us about our role. We are called believers(Acts 4:32; 2 Cor. 6:15; 1 Tim. 4:12), followers of the Way (Acts 9:1–2), and slaves and servants of God and Christ (2 Cor. 6:4; Eph. 6:6). These names reflect a new allegiance and complete commitment to Jesus.
We are the body of Christ imagery (1 Cor 12:27; Eph 1:22-23), sons of the day (1 Thess. 5:5), children of light (Eph. 5:8), light in the Lord (Eph. 5:8), and the light of the world (Matt. 5:14–16). As such, we are to no longer live unconnected to Jesus, as we did when we lived in spiritual darkness. Names such as the blameless (1 Thess. 3:13; Rev. 14:4–5), the holy (Eph. 2:19–21; 5:3; 1 Thess. 3:13), instruments for noble purposes (2 Tim. 2:21), obedient children (1 Peter 1:13–16), the righteous (1 Peter 3:12; 4:18), and saints (Acts 26:10; Rom. 8:27; 1 Cor. 6:1–2) reiterate our continuing responsibility to reflect in life and practice this new moral standing with God.
Whatever your name, you are a Christian. Live up to your name!