A New Name

A New NameText: Isaiah 62:2

This passage in Isaiah 62 contains a prophecy of salvation and redemption from the Lord. In it, there is mention of a “new name” (v. 2). Let us consider what the Bible says about this new name.

Given by God

  • Called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord will designate” – not selected by men
  • Given after salvation and redemption would come – through Christ (Acts 4:12; Ephesians 1:7)
  • Given after “the nations” saw His righteousness – salvation brought to the Gentiles (Acts 10:34-35; 15:11)
  • The “new name” that was given was the name Christian (Acts 11:26) – given by God, not by the disciples’ enemies (cf. Romans 7:3 – called by God)

Meaning of the Name

  • Christian (Christianos) – follower of Christ (Thayer); this name is found three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16)
  • Named by His name because they are part of His body (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23)
  • Named by His name because they make up His bride (Ephesians 5:23-24)
  • Named by His name because they are to live as He lived (Galatians 2:20; 1 John 2:6)
  • Named by His name because they belong to Him (1 Peter 2:9-10; 1:18-19; 1 Corinthians 6:20)

Given to Disciples

  • The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26)
  • A disciple is a follower of Christ – “a learner, pupil” (Thayer); they turned to the Lord (Acts 11:21), were told to remain true to the Lord (Acts 11:23), and were brought to the Lord (Acts 11:24)
  • The Great Commission was to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20) – recognize Christ’s authority, be baptized into Him, observe His commandments

Given to Those Who Are Different

  • In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28)
  • Need to be persuaded because being a Christian is different (Romans 12:2; Matthew 5:13) – not the type of life that will be embraced by a worldly-minded person (Luke 8:14)
  • The fact that persuasion is necessary shows that there is a choice to be made on our part – must decide for ourselves (cf. Joshua 24:15); even the Lord won’t save us against our will (Matthew 23:37)

Given to Those Willing to Suffer

  • If anyone suffers as a Christian…” (1 Peter 4:16)
  • This is not something that should surprise us (1 Peter 4:12-13; cf. 2 Timothy 3:12) – we can expect to suffer as Christ suffered (1 Peter 4:13; John 15:18-20)
  • We can endure suffering because of the hope we have beyond this life – those who would destroy us can only take our lives (Matthew 10:28); we still have a reward (Matthew 5:10-12)

Conclusion

  • It is a privilege to be called a Christian – not that the world must commend us for this, but that God sees us this way
  • There are challenges, hardships, and obligations that come with being a Christian – but the reward is more than worth it

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