"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12 KJV)
Someone asked the question, what's in a name? And of course, the answer to that is simply, everything. If it were not for names this would be rather confusing world. More confusing than it is now.
And if it was not for names, we could not truly understand God's greatest gift to the world, which is the Lord Jesus Christ. His name is the sum total of all God has for us. To know that name is to know what God's blessing to us is all about. The significance of other names fade with time, but the name of Jesus shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.
The early church believed that there could be no salvation in any other name but the name of Jesus Christ. His was the name above all other names. No matter how important other names are, the name of Jesus rises above all other names.
When we come to think about Jesus the Bible gives us a multitude of names associated with this one. Some have said there are around 700 names associated with Jesus Christ. I will take their word for it, but this I do know for certainty; there is no other name than the name of Jesus whereby we must be saved.
The hymn writers down through the years understood this and taught us to sing this wonderful truth.
- Jesus Is The Sweetest Name I Know
- Take The Name OfJesus With You
- At The Name Of Jesus
- All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name
- How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah sounded forth the message that established the expectation of this name for all time. Isaiah wrote, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)
It would be nigh unto impossible to exhaust the names of Jesus in order to understand the nature and character of Jesus. The whole scheme of salvation and redemption can be boiled down to one word, the name Jesus.
In studying the Scriptures, it is quite clear that the salvation of mankind is the highest priority of the Trinity. This whole scheme is fully focused in one person of the Trinity, and that is Jesus Christ the Son of God. However, never let your thoughts drift far from the truth that all of the Trinity is in complete harmony when it comes to the salvation of mankind.
Let me point out just a few of the names Jesus ascribed to himself. What a person says about himself is very telling. Jesus, and using these names, reveals to us what he thinks about himself that he wants to relate to us. This is Jesus bearing his heart to those he loves. Allow me to enumerate some of the names Jesus has assigned to himself.
I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst" (John 6:35 KJV).
The average person out in the world is ravaged by a deep hunger. For the most part, a person tying to satiate this hunger only aggravates it. It would not be hard to prove that every person is guided in someway by his hunger. That may be hunger for sensual things, or philosophical ideas, or entertainment, or a dozen other appetites controlling the destiny of mankind. None of these things satisfies.
After a man or a woman has spent an entire lifetime chasing everything in the world, they come to a lonely end with a deep gnawing hunger left unsatisfied.
When Jesus said, "I am the bread of life," he was referring to the fact that only he can satisfy the hunger within the heart of each and every human person. In the very beginning, man was created m "God's image." And unless and until a person has feasted upon the riches of Jesus Christ, the will be an emptiness and a hunger deep within the soul.
Jesus reveals himself to that which can truly satisfy the inner yearnings of a man's heart.
I AM THE DOOR.
"Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in he shall be saved and shall go in and out, and find pasture" (John 10:7-9 KB).
In order to get from one room to another, or to go from outside to inside, a person needs to use a door. Every door has a twofold function.
First, it is built to keep people out. Every house has a door and in that door is a lock. The purpose of doors to keep certain people out that is not welcomed inside.
Then of course, a door is a means of entrance. You come to a huge old house and the only way to get inside is through a door. If that door is open then entrance is possible. If not, then there is no way inside.
Jesus is saying here, that he serves a twofold function. He keeps things out and allows things in. In the verse before us, Jesus promises to keep out robbers and thieves. Meaning, those who would take away that which he has placed within our soul. Similarly, he is the entrance into this place of safety. Nobody can touch us in that place of safety. In order to come in, everybody must deal with "the door."
The door also represents an opportunity for us to go out and to do the things compatible to a nature redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Through that door, we find nourishment. Through that door, we find service. Through that door, we find security and safety.
As long as Jesus Christ is "the door," there is nothing for us to fear. But as we rest in his safety, we enjoy fruit of his labor as our Savior and come in and out with His blessing.
I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6 K.1.1).
This is the most revealing of all the names of Jesus. It is Trinitarian in its scope. And by that, I mean it embraces all three persons of the Trinity.
The Way," speaks of the Father who has established the way from before the foundation of the world. It is an ancient way, but still leads to that divine destination. Although every generation has tried, nobody has ever improved on this way. Not everything new leads to that old way, the way of truth. Many are so enamored by the "new," but they fail to appreciate the old. In his day Jeremiah warned, "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein" (Jeremiah 6:16 KJV).
The Truth," refers to the Son who has opened up to us the true entrance into "The Way," established by the Father. Only Jesus Christ can reveal to us the way established by the Father. One aspect of The Truth," that is most overlooked is the exclusivity of it. If this is true, then everything else cannot be true. The Way" always leads to "The Truth."
And, "The Life," refers to the Holy Spirit and his work within the life of each person who has put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not our life reinvigorated. It is His Life pulsating through our life. It is the Holy Spirit that enables us, who "The Truth," which is Christ, to walk in "The Way" established by the Father before the foundation of the world.
I AM THE TRUE VINE.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman" (John 15:1 KJV).
The word that stands out in this verse is the word "true." All around us we encounter the false. Jesus reveals to us that only he is the "True Vine." All others are false and fall short of the glory that only belongs to Jesus Christ. As "The Vine," Jesus Christ is our connection to all of the resources of heaven. It is through the Name of Jesus that we can come boldly to the throne of grace. We come because we have a connection. That connection is not of our own doing but rather it is Jesus Christ who is the "True Vine."
Through the vine, we receive from God, the heavenly husband, all we need to glorify Christ in our life. Everything is supplied to us from heavenward downward. The apostle James says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17 KJV).
I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
"I am the good shepherd the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep" (John 10:11 KJV).
Again, is a word in this verse upon which the entire verse pivots. That is the word "good." Jesus reveals himself to us as the "Good Shepherd." The world is flooded with many false shepherds, shepherds the Bible refers to as "hirelings," who are simply after what they can get for themselves without any regard to the welfare of the flock, exploiting the flock for their pleasure.
As the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ looks out for his flock. They belong to him and therefore he assumes responsibility for their welfare. Jesus says in this verse that a good shepherd "giveth his life for the sheep." It is the sacrificial work of the Lord Jesus Christ that ensures us everlasting life.
Jesus Christ, The Good Shepherd, will never do anything nor allow anything to happen to the flock that would in any way be detrimental. Not only does He own the flock, but takes great joy in the flock and receives from the flock his due benefit. As part of his flock, I have tremendous worth to the Good Shepherd. I matter to him.
I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA.
"I am Alpha and Omega the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8 KJV).
This represents one of the final revelations of Jesus. The book of revelation is the unveiling of the glorified Christ. Those familiar with "Al ha and Omega," know these are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet. Christ reveals himself as the beginning and the end of all things. He is the final word in all things. The phrase, "which is, and which was, and which is to come," sums it all up very nicely. Jesus Christ stands outside of time holding it firmly in his hand without regard to the insidious rebellion of mankind held hostage to time.
Jesus Christ is the first word in all things. In him all things began whether in heaven or in earth. And in the same token, with him is the end of all things.
In Jesus Christ, we have the sum total of all things in heaven and earth and under the earth. Within the realm of the vast creation, nothing makes any sense apart from Jesus Christ.
I have made a full circle; I am now back to the hymn writers of the church. No one sums it up better than, Isaac Watts' hymn,
"0 How I Love Jesus."
There is a name I love to hear,
I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in my ear,
The sweetest name on earth.
That name above every other name, Jesus Christ our Savior.