WHAT IS THE NAME OF NAMES?
Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Words and names are of utmost importance to us and our thought processes-for God created us to think in and with words and names. One of the first concerns of Adam was to give names to all the birds and animals, and man is continuing to coin names for newly discovered creatures. When we think of all the words and names in the dead and living languages since creation, the number must be staggering and run into the millions and millions.
“What’s in a name?” has often been said, and it is true that names often mean little or nothing. But of all the names in this world can we imagine one name so outstanding that it towers over all others? There is such a name in a class by itself and set apart from all others by God Himself. Surely we are interested.
WHAT IS THE NAME OF NAMES?
- THERE ARE MANY FAMOUS NAMES
We have space for only a few examples of famous names in history. Almost everyone has heard of Alexander, Caesar, and Napoleon. Many buildings, colleges, and hospitals are named after distinguished people such as the Yerkes and the Lowell observatories, the Chrysler and the Woolworth buildings, just to mention a few. Many streets and cities are named for Washington and Lincoln and many other famous people.
In every branch of learning and labor there are outstanding names. At some time or other we have heard of the great doctors, scientists, educators, and manufacturers of our day.
In religious circles we find many revered names in history. The Apostles are certainly well-known names and church history is filled with names who have contributed so much to our faith and life. History, past and present, is rich with names of people who are above the average person in thoughts and deeds.
We repeat, of all these renowned and important names there is one name which stands high above them all. We could add all the great names of the world together and the name referred to in our text would be higher than the heavens above them all, because it alone can open the door of eternal bliss and happiness. Yes, we call it the name of names.
- THERE IS ONLY ONE SAVING NAME
In the name JESUS alone is there salvation for all mankind. He received His name from God through the angel before He was born. The angel said, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Gabriel first revealed the name to Mary, “Thou shalt bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS”(Luke 1:31). The Lord’s directive was carried out and He was given that name on the day of His circumcision.
JESUS has been given other names in the Bible. Isaiah 9:6 gives a list of names which refer to JESUS, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” The following is a partial list of some more names for JESUS found in the Scriptures—
Alpha and Omega, Anointed, Bread, Bridegroom, Christ, Star, Son of God, Son of man, Immanuel, Lord, Judge, King, Priest, Lamb, Light, Master, Prince, Redeemer, Shepherd, Vine, Word, etc. All of these names for JESUS are not a contradiction of our text which says “name”, not names. The many names describe some phase or work of His life, but He has only one real name given Him by the Father. A man, for example, could be called doctor, director, chairman, health inspector, husband, and father; but that would not change his real name.
JESUS, God’s Son, came down from heaven to be our substitute and in our stead suffer all the torments of the damned. He paid for our sins fully and completely. Who else could have done that for us? What other religion has a solution for our sins and offers us salvation free and without cost? There is none other, for JESUS is the only one who has taken away the sins of the whole world and reconciled us to God.
Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” There is salvation by faith in the name JESUS, and JESUS means Savior, “for he shall save his people from their sins.”
What’s in a name? Often very little. Some of the worst people and greatest criminals have names which originally had the noblest of meanings. But look at the name of JESUS once more, not a single soul can get to heaven without it. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Believe in that name, trust in it, call upon it, for only by it can we hope for eternal life. All other names fade into insignificance along side of this powerful and mighty name of names.
JESUS is the heart and center of the Bible and without Him there would be little value for us in the Scriptures. “Search the Scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me,” says JESUS in John 5:39. Every sermon must testify of the salvation in JESUS, otherwise it is no true sermon. What good does all preaching do if the people do not hear the way to heaven in JESUS?
Some people spend their lives trying to make their names famous.
Many industries thrive on famous names or brands. When a man becomes famous, crowds of people gather to see him or be near him. But how many people in this world are attracted to the most famous name of all?
Names on certain products are guarantees of good merchandise, and they create confidence in us that the quality offered is excellent.
Our signatures on a check can buy many things; our name on a contract can move us into a new home; or by signing our name we can drive home a new car. In fact, most serious business transactions are done over signatures. Under certain conditions and circumstances even our names are of value and can do many important things.
But look at the Name of Names. God put this name far above everything in heaven and earth, Phil.2:9-11 “God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” The moment the name of Jesus is signed in our hearts we have eternal life. If we want our names to be found in the Book of Life, the name JESUS must be written on our souls and in our hearts. Little wonder that we sing—
“How sweet the name of JESUS sounds in a believer’s ear; It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, and drives away his fears.”
PRAYER. Dear JESUS, Thy name means more to us than anything in this world. It means for us forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and the hope of glory. We pray Thee to keep Thy name in our hearts at all times so that our names may remain in the Book of Life. We thank Thee for Thy salvation, Thou who livest and reignest with the Father and Spirit, ever one God, world without end. AMEN