The Name

butterflies_13766c“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet;” Juliet asked Romeo. Was his being a Montague and not a Capulet a barrier to their young love? Regardless of how significant or insignificant your name is, the name of God is exceedingly important, as he points out in Exodus 20:7.

“There is an intimate link between God and his name. According to Scripture, this link is not accidental or arbitrary but forged by God himself. We do not name God; he names himself. In the foreground here is is the name as a revelation on the part of God, in an active and objective sense, as revealed name. In this case God’s name is identical with attributes or perfections he exhibits in and to the world. . . .” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 2, p. 98).

“If the name of God is dwelling in a believer by the Spirit, then the believer’s word should be as good as God’s and need no extra swearing. . . . God’s name is a living reality with implications in every area of the life of his people.” (Edmund P. Clowney, How Jesus Transforms the Ten Commandments, p. 41).

One of the blessings of the covenant is to be called by the name of God, Numbers 6:22-27; Deuteronomy 28:10. The name of your God has been placed upon you in Christ. His Spirit gives you the desire and ability to reverence all that God uses to make himself known. God identified himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In a real sense, you can truthfully insert your own name. God is “the God of Tom,” “the God of Susan,” “the God of Mary,” “the God of Peter” “the God of [insert your own name].”

(Quotes included in this reflection on the Third Commandment for Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC.)

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