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« Energizing the Soul | Main | Don’t Abandon Baptism »

What Shall We Name the Baby?

Human interaction demands that we place everything that has any meaning attached to it into a specific name.  That’s why the naming of a baby is so important to us.  The name differentiates the baby from all other babies.  The name gives significance to the child.  In a very real sense, anything or anyone that doesn’t have a name doesn’t exist.  How?  In a legal, social, economic and political sense, you don’t exist if you don’t have a name.  Only a name confers identity.  Not only that, but it is the special right of the mother and the father to name the baby.  No one else has that right.  Naming is empowerment.  In penitentiaries around the country, once an inmate enters the system, he or she is given a number in lieu of a name.  It is a de-humanizing act that subjects the prisoner to the system.  If the system names you, or re-names you (even if it is with a number), the system owns you! In fact, names were so important in the Bible, that when something of huge significance happened in a person’s life, their name was changed.  Now, God himself began the act of naming.  He told Abram to name his first son Ishmael.  Furthermore, God attached such significance to a name that he changed the name of Abram to Abraham. 

No name in the universe surpasses the Name of Jesus.  This truth elevates Jesus’ name in baptism because that sacrament invokes the saving name of Jesus Christ over the believer. A careful reading of the New Testament reveals that the Apostles used the Name of Jesus Christ exclusively in baptism. “Who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them.  They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 8:15-16. “And he said to them, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ So they said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Then Paul said, ‘John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 19:3-5. This made the use of the name of Jesus highly significant, especially regarding the healing of the soul. God always manifested His power on earth through the use of His name.  Consider three blessings that come through the Name of Jesus: 

  • The name of Jesus confers salvation. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
  • The name of Jesus puts devils to flight. “And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And he came out that very hour.” Acts 16:18
  • The name of Jesus heals physical ailments. “Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’ And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So, he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God.” Acts 3:6-8 

Baptism takes the abstract and makes it practical.  It places the use of the name of Jesus within our grasp. The very name which wielded so much power in the early church belongs to baptized believers. The therapeutic effects of such power are immeasurable.  Never forget the name invoked over you.  “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10. 

“What a beautiful … wonderful … powerful Name it is, the Name of Jesus!”

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