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When do names matter?

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12 ESV
http://bible.com/59/act.4.12.ESV

One name.

John 14:6 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Philippians 2:9-11 ESV
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:11-13 ESV
http://bible.com/59/rom.10.11-13.ESV

This is the root of the gospel of Jesus Christ,  that He is the vine of life,  that He is the light in the darkness – that to find life,  we must turn to Him.

Acts 2:38 ESV
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Some people resist His claims. Many do this because they don’t like the idea that they are not in control,  that they are not strong enough to earn God’s favor through their own works. Many do not like light being shined on their sinful lives because they have made such effort justifying it to themselves and others or hiding it. Many do not want to let go off the very chains of temptation and sin that will carry them to destruction. There are many that are still lost and in bondage and slavery to sin.

“See that you do not despise  one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven  their angels always  see the face of my Father who is in heaven.  What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?  And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.  So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Matthew 18:10, 12-14 ESV
http://bible.com/59/mat.18.10-14.ESV

We do not despise our brothers and sisters who are still lost in sin and participating in sin. We love them and hope that they will grasp hold off the truth of the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ so that they to might be changed and might bring life and light to the world.

We recognize that they are not our enemy,  but are under the control of their master until they choose a different master. And this is the choice they must make, just as we ourselves must make as well,  who we will follow.

Ephesians 6:12
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Joshua 24:14-15
“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

When do names matter?

His name matters for us to find salvation. Our names also matter because we want them written in heaven.

Luke 10:20
Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

So today,  I encourage you to press on, fight the good fight, and see this race to its finish,  so that your life may be a light and example to others –  so that they too might find the way and not stumble as a result of your imperfections. Take hold firmly of Christ and set your mind upon the higher things as you resist evil and as the power of Christ in you overcomes and brings victory to your life.

Know His name.
Know Him.
And know your name in Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

2 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

Philippians 3:12-14 ESV
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Acts 20:24 ESV
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

1 John 2:1
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous

.

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
1 John 2:4-6 ESV
http://bible.com/59/1jn.2.4-6.ESV

2 Timothy 2:5 ESV
An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.