In the advertising age, names are most often judged by their cleverness, catchiness, and brand recognition. In the Bible we see God giving names for a different reason. God gives names to His people that give a description of who they are. When He calls Abram, He changes his name to Abraham, which means father of nations. Saul the great Christian killer was renamed Paul, or humble, as he was brought to recognize his sin and God’s glory. The name that the angel Gabriel told Mary to name her son, Jesus, means the Lord is salvation. Their names were descriptive of who they were. So what describes us?
We are Communion Church
UNION WITH CHRIST
2 Corinthians 5.17-21
JESUS GIVES US IDENTITY
Communion with Jesus Christ brings us from death to life. We are all sinners living for ourselves. In His love, God chooses to Tabernacle with us; to be present with His creation. He sends His son to earth to live the perfect life that we never could, to die the death that we deserve, so that we can receive a glory we have no right to. This is the gospel. Through this reconciliation, we become a new creation, living for the glory of Jesus, who took upon Himself the punishment for all of our sin.
JESUS GIVES US COMMUNITY
We have Communion with other Christians in and through Jesus Christ. We no longer relate to each other based on personal preference, likes and dislikes. Instead, we are unified by the shared identity that we have in Jesus. We Communion together to reflect the relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who perfectly lead, submit, and love. We are witnesses of this perfection, though flawed by sin. The Communion of believers is given by God to help sanctify, encourage, and to remind us of the promises that we have received.
THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH
JESUS GIVES US MISSION
The Apostle’s Creed contains two lines which state: I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints. These two statements can only be understood in conjunction with the mission that we have in Christ. They speak of the universal, invisible church; God’s people through time and place. God has given us the history of the church to build up the church. He has given us a diversity of local bodies to Communion together with in a shared identity in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The mission of the church is Christian maturity, which can only be experienced in communion with the church: past and present. Warts and all.