He Knows My Name - Christian

He Knows My New Name - Christian

 

TEXT: Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

 

INTRODUCTION:

A name is something to be proud of.

Told my boys - remember who you are - you are a Hopper.

I’m not always going to have the same name I have now – Text.

Someday I’ll have a new body … and a new name to fit that glorified body.

2 Cor. 5:17 – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

We will even have a NEW NAME! don’t know what my NEW NAME will be … Have you ever wondered?

Maybe it will be a name to match our character.

 

I think our NEW NAME will reflect our POSITION as a Child of God.

When a child gets ADOPTED, they get a new name.

When we get to Heaven, our ADOPTION will be complete, and we will get a NEW NAME.

Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

 

MEANWHILE, God has given us a NEW NAME to tide us over.

Acts 11:26 – “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

When they were first called “Christians”, it wasn’t said in a very nice way.

It was meant to CONDEMN and DEGRADE … a name of scorn and ridicule … said with a sneer.

It means “a follower of Christ” … the criminal … the executed One … the blasphemer … the imposter!

Today, it would be like being called a “Judas” … an “Osama Ben Laden”.

 

HOWEVER … the followers of Christ were PROUD of that name and title.

They later adopted it for themselves.

They began to call THEMSELVES “Christians” … with PRIDE.

It’s a title, a name, given to us when we’re saved.

 

On several occasions, God CHANGED the names of certain select people.

There was a REASON and a LESSON for us in doing so.

God wants US to see that we need to CLAIM the name that He has given us … “Christian”.

Are you PROUD to be called a “Christian”?

Do you live up to that name?

 

It was a CUSTOM to change the name of a person when a great event occurred in their life.

The King of Egypt changed Joseph’s name to Zaphnath-Paaneah.

Nebuchadnezzar changed Daniel’s name to Belteshazaar.

Hananah, Mishael & Azariah’s names were changed to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Each name had a particular meaning when it was changed.

When GOD changed a name, He had a reason.

He wanted them to live up to their new name … just as He wants US to live up to OUR new name … “Christian”.

 

EXAMPLES in the Bible where GOD changed a person’s name:

A CHANGE OF FAITH

Genesis 17:1-5, 15-16

1  And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.

16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her

 

It seems like Abram & Sarai were MISNAMED from the very beginning.

ABRAM = ‘exalted father’ (he had no children) …

SARAI = ‘my princess’ (she had no heirs).

They had no children … he was 99 … she was 89 … there was no human possibility!

THEN … one day God told Abram that He was going to change his name.

I can just hear Abram say, “Thank you, Lord … I get kidded so much about my name … ‘exalted father’ … yet, no children!” THEN, God told Abram, “Instead of Abram, ‘exalted father’, I’m changing it to Abraham, ‘father of a multitude’.

I’m changing Sarai’s name from ‘my princess’ to Sarah, ‘Princess of many’.”

 

Why did God do this to Abram?

Why change his name like that?

God had a LESSON for him.

“Abraham, I have given you a PROMISE of many children … I am Almighty God … trust in Me and I will do the impossible!” “Claim that name, Abraham … live up to your new name … and you will see that I will live up to Mine!” (see 17:1).

 

With their new name came a NEW COMMITMENT … a NEW TEST OF FAITH.

When Abram accepted his new name from God, he displayed his trust in God.

There was a NEW NEED to put his faith in Almighty God … in His power and faithfulness.

God is telling US today … “Your new name “Christian” will forever reflect My power and faithfulness.”

NOW, we can look back and see Abraham as the “Father of the Jewish nation”.

 

You and I have a NEW NAME … and He is showing us in the name “Christian” that He is STILL the God of the impossible … the God of power and might.

We are to CLAIM that name … we are to LIVE UP TO that name.

AND … as we do, we will see God live up to His name … “I am the Almighty God”.

 

II. A CHANGE OF PLANS

Genesis 32:24-28

24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

 

“Jacob” = ‘trickster, schemer, conniver … to trip somebody up’.

He tricked his brother into trading his birthright for a bowl of chili.

He deceived his aging father Isaac into granting him his final blessing, which Isaac had meant for Esau.

He lived with his Uncle Laban for 20 years, and each tried to out-trick the other … Jacob just about met his match! Jacob lived up to his name, “trickster, schemer, conniver”.

BUT … God had something else planned for Jacob.

Jacob was used to doing things his own way … making his own plans … being his own boss … scheming to get what he wanted.

AND … it always got him into trouble.

God had better things planned for Jacob.

In order to accomplish these things in his life, his life must change.

God started out with a CHANGED NAME.

THEN … He said, “Claim that name … live up to that name.”

JACOB = “trickster” … ISRAEL = “the prince and power of God”.“Jacob, you are now going to do things God’s way … because … you are the ‘Prince and Power of God’.

No more scheming.

No longer the ‘Prince and Power of Jacob’.”

 

Why do we always think OUR WAY is better than GOD’S WAY?

Why do we plan, scheme, make decisions and direct our own life … without considering God and His plans?

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” This is the “Israel” way!

 

After Jacob became Israel, we see his life CHANGE.

He faced up to the results of his scheming life and he got things straightened out with Esau.

He fathered many sons, who are to this day known as the “Children of Israel (not Jacob)” … the “12 Tribes Of Israel”.

His life was CHANGED, when he had a CHANGE of Masters … a change of plans …and let God direct his life.

 

WE ALSO have a NEW NAME … “Christian” … a ‘follower of Christ’.We need to CLAIM that name … LIVE UP TO that name … AND … follow Him, not our own plans and schemes.

When we do, we will see God bless us.

If we don’t, we will see our life in a shambles … like Jacob.

 

A CHANGE OF CHARACTER

John 1:38-42

38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

 

SIMON = ‘to make a noise … loudmouth’.

Simon was like a bull in a china shop… a loudmouth.

Do you know someone like this?

He tried to talk Jesus out of going to Jerusalem.

Jesus told him, “Get thee behind Me, Satan.”

 

Simon promised Jesus at the Last Supper that he wouldn’t forsake Him … though everybody else would.

Simon made a “big noise” … YET … he denied knowing Jesus 3 times.

He lived up to his name.

 

We see a CHANGE in Simon when Jesus changed his name from “wind-bag” to PETER … CEPHAS … ‘a rock’ (“Rocky”).

After the resurrection of Jesus, Peter took charge of the frightened and faltering Disciples.

Peter fearlessly preached the news of the resurrection on the streets of Jerusalem, for all to hear.

Peter was a leader in the early church … a Missionary statesman … a martyr for the cause of Christ.

 

This was a great CHANGE for Peter … he claimed his name … he lived up to that name.

 

WE also have a new name … “Christian” … a ‘follower of Christ’.

Peter went from a windbag to a preacher of the gospel.

Simon became a ROCK, standing hard and fast for Christ.

You also have a name to claim.

Let’s claim it!

Let’s live up to it.

Let’s plant our feet and faith in that name … the solid Rock!

 

A CHANGE OF OPINION

Acts 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.

PAUL, before he was saved, was called “Saul”.

Saul persecuted the church, killing and imprisoning Christians.

This was his mission when he was on the road to Damascus.

“Saul” is a Jewish name, meaning “asked”.

What Saul asked for and demanded, he got!

He was feared and respected by the Jewish leaders.

He was a man of influence and power.

 

BUT … God had a NEW NAME in mind for Saul … for a new job He had for him.

God changed his name to “Paul”, which means “little”.

That will surely humble you!

Saul didn’t have any room for Jesus in his life.

He thought he could live his life in his own power and strength.

God had to cut him down to size for Him to use Saul.

He blinded him (that will humble you!).

 

Saul had to see Jesus as more important than anything else in the world.

His opinion about himself and Jesus had to change.

Self had to be crucified …

Christ had to be put on the throne.

God gave him a NEW NAME to claim … “little” … PAUL.

It was a name he had to live up to … and he did!

Listen to what he says about himself after his name change … Ephesians 3:8 – “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;”

 

Jesus became foremost … Paul became insignificant.

That’s why we can see the greatness of Paul … because he saw the greatness of Christ!

 

We also have a new name … “Christian” … a follower of Christ.

It should reflect our weakness … and His strength.

It’s a name we must live up to … a name we must claim.

 

CLOSING

I looked up my name: Mark is a common male-given name and is related to the Latin word Mars.

It means "consecrated to the god Mars", and also may mean "God of war" or "to be warlike"

God specifically and specially selected only a few to bear a new name in the Bible.

 

We have a NEW NAME … “Christian” … a ‘follower of Christ’.

From a vile, un-regenerated sinner, to a Child of God!

God has a PURPOSE in changing your name … so you can CLAIM it … so you can LIVE UP TO it.

Along with His name, comes a responsibility.

Along with that name comes the power of God!

Let’s do it!

Let’s be PROUD of that name.

Let’s make Him proud that He gave us His name.

Jesus says, “You have My name!”

Let’s give honor to that name … the name which is above every name … the name of “Christ”.