Take a look at this cartoon I ran across the other day…
In reality, sometimes name-dropping can be not only good, but powerful.
Please join us as we explore this further in our daily Bible conversation.
INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS
Isaiah 28:14-33:9. In chapter 29, Isaiah refers to “Ariel,” which is poetic way of saying “Zion” (see Isaiah 28:8). As God condemns Zion, he finally explains his bottom line frustration:
“The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.’” Isaiah 29:13
The people followed empty rituals and meaningless rules while their hearts had strayed from God. Our faith is not based rituals or rules, it’s based on a relationship. This was Paul’s concern with the Galatians, as it is God’s concern for the church today.
People mistakenly believe that God hovers over the earth, looking for opportunities to strike us with lightening. But Isaiah 30:18, Isaiah says, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.”
God longs to be gracious to us and pour out his love on us.
Galatians 3:23-5:12. Paul makes an interesting comment: “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” When we live by faith, we no longer need the law to guide us. Instead, the Holy Spirit to guides us (John 16:13), telling us what to do (Galatians 5:18), and convicting us of sin (John 16:7-8).
Psalm 62:1-63:11. “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him,” (Psalm 62:5) David writes. Only God can bring our restlessness to a standstill. Centuries ago, St. Augustine wrote, “God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.”
Do you find yourself restless, constantly looking for news ways of entertaining yourself? Do you feel an inner sense of dissatisfaction with your life?
Your only place of rest is in God—knowing him, worshipping him, experiencing him, allowing him to live through you.
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THE WORD MADE FRESH
So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” Isaiah 28:16
The New Testament writers interpreted this verse as a reference to Christ (Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:6). Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of our faith (Ephesians 2:20)—not social action, world evangelization, tolerance/inclusiveness/respect, not even our responsibility to love. Who he is and what he has done is far more important than what we can do for him. And without him, this spiritual house crashes to the ground.
In construction, the cornerstone was a visible section of the foundation of a house or building. On it was inscribed the name of builder or architect, as well as a dedication.
The cornerstone of our faith, the name inscribed on our faith, is Jesus Christ.
That’s not to say that Jesus is more important than God the Father or the Holy Spirit—but of the three persons of the Trinity, only Jesus has been given a name. This makes sense since he is the cornerstone. But this fact is extremely significant:
- We are called to repent in the name of Jesus in order to be saved (Acts 2:38).
- People are healed in the name of Jesus (Acts 3:16)
- The Jewish authorities commanded the disciples not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18; 5:40).
- Paul delivered a demonized girl using the name of Jesus (Acts 16:18).
- The disciples were willing to die “for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13).
- Followers of Jesus gather in the name of Jesus (1 Corinthians 5:4).
- We are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11).
- We are called to do everything—in word and deed—in the name of Jesus (Colossians 3:17)
- We are encouraged to “believe in the name of his son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 3:23).
Most importantly, we read that God (the Father) exalted Jesus and gave him the name that is above every name, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:9-11).
In the understanding of people in Bible culture, calling on the name of Jesus was a means of communicating with that person’s tangible presence. So when they wrote (or spoke) of the name of Jesus, they were saying that Jesus is the tangible presence of the Trinitarian God.
Talking about God is good. Seeking to live in the power of the Holy Spirit is good as well. But does the name of Jesus play a role in your everyday life?
If it is, then you’re doing some power name dropping!
- What spoke to you in today’s reading?
- What role does the name of Jesus play in your everyday life?
- Read Galatians 5:1-8. What symbolizes circumcision to you?
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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church with Eugene Scott in Littleton, Colorado.