Ask most people, "Who is Jesus Christ?", and they will tell you that Jesus is the Son of God. Ask most Christians what the "name" of God is and they will say "Jehovah" (Yahweh).
The answer to both questions is actually much, much simpler: Jesus is the name of God.
Consider the following prayer of Jesus:
Which is completely consistent with this:
The first point is quite simple, Jesus (the son of God) was named after his Father (God). Jesus inherited His Name from His father. This means that Jesus is the name of the Father; Jesus is the name of God.
Most Christians will then respond that God has many names. I don't disagree, but consider this passage:
"Jesus", the name of God, is the name which is above every name.
On an important side note, Jesus is not what Mary (the mother of Jesus) said when she called her son to dinner. Mary did not say "Jesus, supper's ready", she said "Yeshua,it's time to eat". Yeshua means "Yahweh (Jehovah) Savior" or "Yahweh Salvation". Jesus is the name above every name of God because that name describes how God most wants us to know him. God is our Savior.
OK, you've made your point. Jesus is the name of God; why is that so important? Knowing the name of God is VERY important. Here is what the Bible says:
That is a very simple statement and it is made several times:
And that is actually not a new promise, but an old one that was first made to the Jews. Consider this:
Oh come on now, it can't be that easy. Are you telling me that if anyone just calls upon the name of the Lord they are saved? That's what it says.
But here is why it's not that easy. Do you remember what I asked at the beginning of this discussion? I asked "Who is Jesus?" Most will say that he is the Son of God. But what does that mean? The answer is many things to many different people. Many will say, oh sure, Jesus is the Son of God, but that's the same God that is worshiped by the Jews, the Muslims, etc.
And that's were it get's sticky. There is ONLY one God. Jews believe that there is only one God. Muslims believe that there is only one God. But do Jews, Muslims and others believe that Jesus is the name of God? The vast majority do not and if you assert the notion that Jesus is the name of God, it can become a point of serious offense.
That's why it's not that simple. If you are going to call upon the name of the LORD, you must know who it is that you are calling upon. Can you call upon the name of God by simply saying the phrase "name of God"? If I came to you and said I was coming in the name of the king, what would be your first question? You want to know what king I'm talking about? The only answer is to give the proper name of the king.
If I tell you that a guy named Harry has $100 that he will give you, and I tell you to go find Harry, will you find Harry by running around calling out the name George?
If you pray to God, and say in your prayer, "in your name", what name is that? What is HIS name?
Once again, this is a big sticking point for many. They make a great distinction between "God" and the "Son of God". They readily acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God, but would pass by that and not acknowledge that Jesus is the name of God.
But this is more than just two people sharing the same name. I believe that the Son of God was given His father's name because the "God" who is in the Son of God, is the same God who is the one, true and only God.
I can't put this more simply than the Bible does:
Do you see it? A "child is born", a "son is given", and he (the child; son) shall be called "Mighty God" and "Eternal Father". Could it be simpler? The "son" is called the "Eternal Father". The "son" is called the "Mighty God". Why is he called the Mighty God - because the Son is the Mighty God.
The deity that is in the Son of God, is the SAME DEITY that is God. There is ONLY one God.
Jesus made the same point himself when He explained who He was to his disciple Philip:
And this is not a single reference. Consider this:
Once again, the God that is in Christ (the Son of God) is the same God who we need to be reconciled to. There is ONLY one God.
In fact, as you examine the Bible closer, you will see that Jesus is that one God.
QUESTION: "Who" is our Savior?
According to the Old Testament, God is our only Savior:
By contrast, the New Testament says:
At first glance it would appear that the Bible is contradicting itself. On one hand it says that there is only one Savior and that the Savior is God. Then in another place it says that Jesus is Savior. What's going on? The answer is quite simple: Jesus is God and God is Jesus.
If you don't believe that Jehovah is Jesus, then it appears there are two Saviors, and not one. But Titus nicely clears this up for us here:
God is our Savior, Jesus is our Savior, God is Jesus.
For more "Who is who?", click here.
Now by this point most Christian readers will be asking, "Why has he not talked about the trinity?" My answer is simple: The word "trinity" is not found anywhere in the Bible; no where. Because it is not found in the Bible, and because the doctrine associated with the term trinity causes many misunderstanding about Jesus, I try to explain that Jesus is God using the scriptures ONLY as we find them.
OK, but God is "three in one", right?
Where in the Bible does it say that God is "three in one"? Go ahead, try looking that up.
There was one reference for it in the King James Bible which said:
The problem is that this passage was taken from modified copies of the original New Testament manuscripts. Older manuscripts (copies of the originals) have been found showing that at some point someone added something. When you look at the same passage in a much more modern translation you will see something like this:
and the reference will have a footnote such as appears in the New American Standard Bible:
NOTE: The reference to "mss" is short for manuscripts.
But didn't Jesus tell his disciples about the trinity when he said:
So God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, right? I completely agree.
OK, and so those three are "three persons", right? I would ask you to hold that thought and let's look further.
First of all, the Bible make no reference anywhere to the term "three persons". You can try to look it up, it's not there.
Set that aside for a minute and look carefully at what Jesus specifically instructed his disciples to do. He said to make new disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And sure enough, if you go to most churches, and watch people being baptized, the minister will usually say, I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And that's good right, because that's what Jesus said?
But is that what Jesus meant?
How did the disciples, who Jesus told this to in person, baptize new disciples? What did they do in response to the specific, personal, final instructions that they were given by Jesus?
Let's look at the first reference to baptism in the book of Acts.
Oops, did Peter goof? Did Peter miss the meeting where Jesus gave His final instructions before he ascended into heaven? And if Peter wasn't there, could someone have forgotten to tell him what the final instructions of Jesus were?
Of course all of that is preposterous.
Peter was with the disciples and heard the words of Jesus himself, to baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Bible records that the disciples were sticking closely together from the time of Jesus ascension up to and when they were gathered in the upper room.
In fact the time between when Jesus was raised from the dead (Passover) and the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) was 50 days, less than two months. And Jesus ascended into heaven 40 days after His resurrection, meaning that the disciples spent 10 days together in Jerusalem before the day of Pentecost.
So there was less than two weeks between when Jesus gave his instruction about baptism and when Peter made this statement to the crowd in Jerusalem:
So let's summarize: The instructions given by Jesus in Matthew 28: 18-19 were given only 10 days before Peter told the crowd they needed to be baptized in the name of Jesus. Peter was present and heard Jesus give those instructions in person. Could Peter have forgotten what Jesus said 10 days before? No. Could Peter have disobeyed Jesus? It wouldn't have been the first time but if Peter disobeyed he was not alone. Consider that there is no place in early church history, as recorded in the book of Acts or the Epistles, where anyone was baptized using the phrase "in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit".
Here are other references to baptism in Acts:
At first glance that appears ambiguous but we know these folks were baptized in the name of Jesus because it is further described here:
Here are two more examples of baptisms that took place:
It should be noted that there are other references to baptisms in Acts but none refers to what name the individual was actually baptized in. What is important is that there is no record in the Bible of anyone ever baptizing anyone by saying "in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit". Why? It is because the disciples all knew that Jesus was the "name" he was referring to when he gave the baptism instruction.
JESUS is the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
If you break it down, you will see it is not much of a mystery. If I ask you, what is the name of the "Son of God", you would easily answer "Jesus". Now previously I discussed the question "What is the Name of the Father"?. We established from scripture that one of the Father's names is "Jesus"; the same name he gave to His Son. We also established that Jesus is the name above all other names. Which leaves us with what is the name of the Spirit?
Is the "Spirit" or "Holy Spirit" a distinct person from the Father?
Let me ask you, "Who got Mary pregnant?" According to the Bible it says:
If you believe that the Father is a distinct "person" from the Holy Spirit, we have a problem. It would appear, from the two verses above, that Jesus is really the Son of the Holy Spirit because that's who got Mary pregnant.
That is where the term "trinity" and the teaching associated with it are so confusing. If the "Father", who is the first person of the trinity, is not the same person as the "Holy Spirit", who is the third person of the trinity, and the Father and Holy Spirit are different persons, then the "Father" is not really the father of the son of God.
Of course all of that is confusing and nonsense. The Father is the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is the Father; the same God. Jesus is the Son of the one and only true God.
Here is what Jesus said about himself, in relation to the Holy Spirit:
As Christians, we believe that when we are saved, that the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. So who is it that is living in you?:
To summarize, Jesus is the Spirit, the Spirit is Jesus.
Let's go back to Jesus' instructions about baptism. Notice that Jesus was not making a plural reference to the "names" of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He made a singular reference to the "name" of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It wasn't three names, it was one name.
If I ask, "what" is the "name" of the "Father, Son and Holy Spirit", the correct answer is Jesus. In what name were the disciples told to baptize; in the name of "Jesus". I would argue that Jesus, in giving his instructions about baptizing in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, was really making a statement about the fact that God is one God, and that He is that one God.
Of course there will be those who will correctly note that I have talked about Jesus the son as being distinct from Jesus the father. Jesus often spoke about his father in the third person. If the son is the father, why did he do that?
The son of God was not JUST God, the son of God was also man. He is God and He is man. He is "two in one".
Jesus is God because his father was God.
Jesus is man, because his mother was human.
Jesus inherited his deity from his father, and he inherited his humanity from his mother. It is the humanity that separates the son from the father.
This is why the Bible is often calls Jesus the son of man.
We know that God is not a man:
God is not a man, but the son of God IS a man and referred to both as the son of God and the son of man. It is the humanity of the son that is the distinction between the son and father, NOT the deity. The deity is the same and only God.
So what is the point of all this? Let's review what we have established from the Bible:
Jesus is the name of God and Jesus is God
So why is that important, what's the big deal? The big deal is in reference to the promise:
If you do not call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus), you cannot be saved. This scripture makes the point crystal clear, and sums up the importance of the name of Jesus:
What does does the word "saved" refer to. Save is defined in the dictionary as:
If someone saves someone else, then that someone else must have been in trouble, in some kind of predicament.
In the Biblical context, I would argue that the term "saved" relates to a "heaven or hell" meaning. If you are saved you are saved from hell. Rather than being condemned to hell, you get to go to heaven. Here are a couple more passages from the Bible with the words "saved" in them:
Romans 5:9 (NIV)
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
I know that there is much more that we are saved from than hell, but being saved from hell is pretty important. Being under God's wrath and condemned by God is a big predicament; being saved from all that is huge.
So who is the offer of being saved made to? You will see the words "everyone" and "whoever". But is it really "everyone"? You have to keep in mind that many of these words were written by Jews for Jewish readers. What about those of us who are not Jews? That is cleared up here:
I really don't think that needs any explaining other than to say that it does not matter your ethnic background, your cultural background or your religious background, the offer is good to everyone and no one is excluded from the offer.
But that does not mean that everyone is saved? Jesus said:
The fact that an offer is made to everyone does not mean that everyone takes advantage of the offer. You have to accept the offer to complete the transaction. Someone can come and offer to pay me money for my house. Is that it, is the deal done? Of course not, the offer is only the initial part of the transaction. The offer must be accepted. If I don't accept the offer, then the house does not change hands.
It's even simpler than that. First, you have to believe that the offer is a real and genuine offer. If my 6 year old neighbor comes over and says he/she would like to buy my house, I might tend to discount the offer as not genuine and dismiss it out of hand. After all, does the 6 year old have the money for a house? Can they make good on the offer?
Suppose someone came to your door with $500,000 in cash, telling you that they would like to buy your $250,000 house? You might be concerned about the offer being "too good to be true". Where did the money come from? If the money is from drug dealers, you may find you lose your house because the money really didn't belong to the person making the offer. You might reject the offer as being bogus.
So the first step in accepting the offer is to "believe" that the offer is real and genuine. You must believe that the person who is making the offer can make good on that offer. That's why the Bible says:
Romans 10:9 (NIV)
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Being able to "believe" is a huge hurdle. If you don't believe what the Bible says about Jesus, then there is no way you are going to accept the offer. After all, if you do believe what the Bible says about Jesus, and what He offers, how could anyone turn down such a super deal? If I hand you a gold bar and say, "Here, this is for you", do you say "No thanks".
But no one who now believes in Jesus started out believing in Jesus. All people begin life as unbelievers and we are all cursed with being blind and oblivious; just as I was. In that regard I like to remember these portions of the Bible.
Ephesians 2:6-9 (NIV)
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
It is quite clear that our ability to "believe" is a gift of God. If we lack the ability to believe, we simply have to ask Him to help us believe. In fact I go one step further, I pray and confess my unbelief to God and confess that I have no ability to believe without His help. Try that prayer, it puts you in the right frame of mind. You would be surprised what God can do for those who confess that they need His help.
So let's review the original Biblical promise again, and see if we have missed anything:
"Whoever calls on the name of the Lord...".
What is the name of the Lord? It's simple. The name of the Lord, the name of God, is Jesus.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at: