W. C. Fields is noted as saying, “It ain’t what they call you, it is what you answer to.” In a world where we are called so many different names, how should a Christian determine which name to answer to?
We not only have folks on the outside who give us names, but we have also even responded to names that we have assigned ourselves. Some of the names we reply to are uplifting, but many times, the names are hurtful.
While the enemy’s desire is for us to react to names that are nothing short of lies seeping from his deceitful tongue, God’s word beautifully describes the names that we, as Christians, should answer to.
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First and foremost, your name is Saved. As soon as we genuinely accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are saved. Yes. It is just that simple.
We are saved from the grip of the enemy and the pit of hell the moment we accept Jesus into our hearts. We have the gift of spending eternity in Heaven and the abundant life that Jesus promises in John 10:10. No one or nothing can take our salvation away. Our mistakes do not change our name, nor do our sins. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Time after time, scriptures proclaim that we are loved. I would even go as far as to say that the Bible in its entirety is a love letter to Christians where God’s love for us is brilliantly illustrated from Genesis through Revelation. Without listing all the passages, because that would take longer than I am sure you would like to spend, let’s look at a couple of passages for confirmation.
John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” He demonstrated His love towards us by sending His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. I don’t know of many parents who would be willing to give up their only child for the sins of the world, but God did that very thing because He loved you and me.
He loves us unconditionally, as Romans 8:31-39 reminds us. Nothing can separate us from God’s ever abounding love.
We do not have to hang our heads low; instead, we can stand tall and receive the forgiveness God freely gives. God calls us Forgiven. 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Jesus’s precious blood covers our past, present, and future sins. While this is not a license to carelessly sin and take God’s forgiveness for granted, God calls us Forgiven. How many times do we beat ourselves up over our sins? How often do we struggle with feelings of guilt or shame over our mistakes?
1 John 1:9 serves as a magnificent reminder that when we confess our sins to our loving heavenly Father, He forgives us. God does not stop with forgiveness either. He gives us a bonus gift of cleaning us up and making us righteous.
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4. Child of God
As a follower of Christ, Christians can answer to the name of Child of God. Galatians 3:26 states, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.” Yes, we have earthly parents, but we can find peace in knowing that we are children of the creator of the universe.
As a child of God, we lack nothing because our Father owns it all (Psalm 24:1). God calls us His children whether we had a healthy, nurturing upbringing with our earthly parents or dysfunctional or non-existent relationships. Having the perfect parent and being identified as a child of the Most High God serves as a reminder that our lives are in the very best and most capable hands.
As a child of God, we have the greatest parent on our side, and when He is for us, who can be against us as Romans 8:31 states?
When life presents challenges that seem insurmountable, Conqueror is a vital name to answer to. Romans 8:37 states, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Of note, the scripture says that we are not only conquerors but more than conquerors.
That means we do not defeat our problems by the skin of our chinny chin chins, but because of Christ, we exceedingly and abundantly conquer! No matter how grim the circumstance appears, we win! God’s word reminds us in John 16:33 that troubles and trials will come, but as Christians, we know that Jesus Christ has overcome the world. So go ahead, answer to the name Conqueror today.
Did you receive a dreadful report from the doctor? Have been feeling sub-optimal? Is something from your past trying to rob you of your present? If you answered yes to any of these questions, healed is the name you can respond to. Isaiah 53:5 states, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
This passage confirms that Jesus died for our healing, so the next time someone tries to call you ill, irreparable, or damaged, remember that God says that you are healed. We can all agree that depending on the type of injury, healing is a process that may take some time; nevertheless, God calls us healed so we can answer to the name healed.
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7. New Creation
I once heard a saying, “the worst sting is by the use to be.” Friends or family members may seek to define you by your pre-Christ days. They associate you with the flaws from your past or activities in which you use to participate. People may even attempt to characterize you by the mistakes you made post-Christ, but guess what name you should answer to? You guessed it. New Creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Christ makes all things new in our lives. The past no longer defines us. Old habits, ways of being, or failures are not our names. We are new creatures who are constantly renewed!
Have you ever felt inferior, sub-par, or mediocre? Does your mind or others try to give you the name deficient? God says quite the opposite, beloved. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
We are each one-of-a-kind works of art that have been meticulously crafted with great power, pride, and purpose by the Master Artist. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, as Psalm 139:14 states. So, the next time those thoughts of the less than mentality try to creep in, remind those thoughts that your name is Masterpiece.
Matthew 5:14 states, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” It is time to rise and shine, child of God. In a world full of so much darkness, God did not just say that you have a light; He said you are the light. When you open your mouth, light should come out. When you enter a room, the entire atmosphere should grow brighter because of your presence.
Despite the darkness, just as Jesus is called the light of the world, God created us to illuminate the world with His love in exchange for hate, peace, in exchange for chaos, and forgiveness in exchange for grudges. Your name is Light.
10. Chosen, Royal, Holy, and Special
1 Peter 2:9 states, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” This passage is loaded with powerful and purposeful names Christians can and should answer to. In times you feel like no one has chosen you, know that God does.
When you feel like an average person, recognize that God calls you royalty and unique. Place your chin up, shoulders back, and walk through this life with dignity and holy pride, son or daughter of the King of Kings. When you feel flawed or unrighteous, remember that God calls you holy.
Lastly, when the world gives you the name insignificant or worthless, our heavenly Father calls you His special possession. God sees your immeasurable value and immense worth.
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Originally published Monday, 30 August 2021.