“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) Having a Good Name (Tom Edwards)
2) Acceptance (anonymous)
Having a Good Name
It was Shakespeare who said,
“Good name in man and woman…
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash…
But he that filches from me my good name,
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed… “ (Othello, Act 3, Scene 3).
Shakespeare, apparently, realized the importance of a good name over even material wealth.
Beginning way before Shakespeare’s time, and up to our generation, the Bible has been expressing this truth for many centuries:
“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold” (Prov. 22:1, NASB).
Though the word “good” is in italics (because it is not in the original text), the implication of it is easy to infer by the context — and even more so by an Israelite of that day. For, as Albert Barnes points out, “To the Hebrew, ‘name’ by itself conveyed the idea of good repute, just as ‘men without a name’ (compare Job 30:8 margin) are those sunk in ignominy.” Job 30:8 declares,
“Fools, even those without a name,
They were scourged from the land” (emphasis mine).
The Hebrew word for “name” in these passages is “shem” — and actually pronounced as “shame.” But certainly the opposite of our English word “shame.” For “shem” is defined as “an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character” (James Strong).
In Genesis 6:4, “shem” is rendered as “renown,” in speaking of “the mighty men which were of old, men ofrenown” (emphasis mine). These had made quite a name for themselves.
When we think of “name” (from the Hebrew “shem”) to mean “honor, authority, and character,” who would better represent all of that than Jesus Christ Himself? For the Father has bestowed on Him “the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).
We have seen that the name of Jesus is so great that we are to honor Him as much as we honor God the Father — and to do any less would be a violation of God’s word: “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:22-23, emphasis mine). Many people today and various religions need to realize this. For they fail to give Jesus the honor He deserves.
In thinking on the meaning of “authority” in the Lord’s name, we know that Christians are to pray by that authority; and we often indicate that when closing our prayers with the phrase, “In the name of Jesus. Amen.” This also often reminds me of what Jesus states in John 15, when pointing out the necessity of abiding in Him. For in verse 5, He declares, “for apart from Me you can do nothing.” But through Jesus Christ, by being redeemed by His atonement, we have the right and privilege to pray to God as our Father.
In the early church, miracles were performed “in the name of Jesus” (Acts 3:6, Acts 16:18) — by His authority. When Peter was questioned concerning the healing of the lame man, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” (Acts 4:7), he answered by saying, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead — by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (vv. 8-10).
The account of that miraculous healing is given in the previous chapter. The beggar, who had been carried to the temple-gate, had been lame from birth. But Peter said to him, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene — walk” (Acts 3:6)! And it was so!
That miracle was witnessed by others who were then “filled with wonder and amazement.” So Peter said to them, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all” (vv. 12-16).
What great power there is in the name of Jesus! For He is Deity; and by His power, He created the universe (Jn. 1:1-3) and performed numerous miracles while on earth — such as giving eyesight to the blind; enabling the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, and the mute to speak. He cast out demons, healed the sick and the afflicted, and even raised the dead back to life!
We can also be greatly impressed through what He has made, when seriously thinking about it, from the microscopic world to the immeasurable vastness of our universe. In easily recognizing the intelligent design we see in all living things, it gives testimony toward the great Creator — and the very heavens indicate His eternal nature and also, therefore, His power that will never diminish (cf. Rom. 1:19-20).
With regard to shem’s meaning of “character,” we again can look to Jesus whose nature and moral quality was far above reproach. For, while on earth, He lived a perfect life, having never sinned, and was always pleasing to His Father in heaven (Jn. 8:29; Heb. 4:15). So not only did Jesus manifest Deity by His own life, thus revealing what His Father in heaven is like (cf. John 1:18; John 14:7-9), but also set forth the perfect example of how we should be as human beings in all our relationships with one another and our concern for all. For that is the godly character we are to develop.
In the King James Version and New American Standard, “good name” is found in only two passages — with the second being Ecclesiastes 7:1:
“A good name is better than a good ointment,
And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.”
The need for having a good name is seen or implied in various passages of the Old and New Testaments. May we each, therefore, always strive to have that good name by submitting to the name which is above every name, the name of Jesus Christ! For then death will truly lead to that which is far better than anything we have ever, or will have ever, experienced on earth — and regardless of how much that was enjoyed! For the bliss of heaven will always be infinitely and eternally greater!
(All scripture from the New American Standard Bible, unless otherwise indicated.)
“Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:6-8, NASB).
From rejected to useful. That describes how much Mark changed in Paul’s eyes between Acts 15 and 2 Timothy 4. Mark didn’t let Paul’s earlier opinion of him get in his way of serving Christ, but persisted through his own conviction and fixed what needed fixing and improved what needed improving. So should we. Go with God.
In 2 Timothy 4:11, during his second imprisonment in Rome, shortly before his death, Paul instructs, “…Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.” And in writing to the Colossians, during his first Roman imprisonment, Paul declares about Mark, “…if he comes to you, welcome him” (Col. 4:10).
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)