Christian Personal Names
Next Previous Index Tellout Home

12. Christian Personal Names

Solemn Vows

X-Ray BrainJesus Christ lives in me! What is true of the Virgin Mary, who knew the Son of God physically in her womb, is true spiritually of every Christian saint. God's son is born into you and me through the direct act of God. Personal Christian names indicate the characteristic of Jesus' presence in us.

No Body But Yours

Teresa of Avila (1515-1582 AD) was a prominent Spanish mystic and theologian who wrote, "Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he is to look with compassion on the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. And yours the hands with which he is to bless us now." She wrote these words in her book called "El Castillo Interior," "Interior Castle," or "the Mansions." ✞

Present, Prominent or Pre-eminent

Dr. F. B. Meyer (1847-1929 AD), a Baptist pastor in England, added,

"In all, He is present.
In some, He is not only present but prominent.
In others, He is not only present and prominent but also pre-eminent."

Getting Married

A horse and CartBecoming a Christian is like getting married. Being a Christian is like being married. At the wedding, the bride and groom make solemn vows that they will love and care for each other "till death parts us." Over the months and years of a developing union, their relationship is better summed up not by a marriage certificate signed years before but in their day-to-day love. So it is with the relationship between the Christian and Christ. Christian names are the "wedding bands" that indicate this sacred union.

Christian Commitment

Groom and BrideThe initial commitment to faith in Christ is how the Christian begins in the Body of Christ. Both initial Christian commitment and daily love combine to make a good partnership. Similarly, my daily walk and discipleship in Jesus Christ speak more eloquently of my Christian faith than the intensity of my initial Christian commitment, though that is also important. Belief and belonging are always hitched together like a horse and a carriage in the Body of Christ. Is a Christian someone who merely makes an initial Christian commitment to Jesus Christ, or does there need to be more?

Initial Christian Commitment

Some cradle Christians, devoted to Jesus for as long as they can remember, do not recall a specific initial Christian commitment point. Yet, others cannot refuse them the title of Christian. An initial decision is of no consequence to them. It is their present faith that is all-important. Saint Paul describes this sense of commitment in Galatians 4.19-20 as, "My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone because I am perplexed about you!." Christ needs to be part of all of us!

Discover Christian Faith

The Body of Christ is essential for those who discover the Christian faith. Here are some illuminating suggestions. The Body of Christ is the ministry model for Christians in the New Testament church and is also the same for Christians today. She is also God's choice for you and me, living out the Christian faith in the Twenty-First Century. This Body of Christ model, when rediscovered, provides what we now call "the church" with a dedicated and focused workforce for the future. To flesh out a definition of "Christian faith today," Dr. C. Peter Wagner (1930-2016 AD) became a crucial leader in the Church Growth Movement.

Church Growth Movement

This movement within evangelical Christianity aimed to grow churches based on research, sociology, analysis, etc. The Church Growth Movement started with a passion for the Great Commission and seeing people come to Christ. Matthew 28.18-20 reads, "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"

Missiology Movement

The missiology movement presents us with some illuminating suggestions. Missiology is the practical theology area that investigates the Christian church's mandate, message, and mission, especially missionary work. Missiology is a multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural field of study incorporating theology. Dr. Wagner said, "Church planting is the most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven." I heard Dr. Peter Wagner speak at several conferences in the Toronto area. Peter loved a good joke, especially at the expense of another denomination. He was a Presbyterian but joked that the Chrystal Cathedral had more water than any Baptist church because of the fountains on either side of the central aisle.

The Elbows Rule

Dr. Wagner teased Anglicans and Episcopalians about the Charismatics' elbows rule and only raised their hands that high! On one occasion, he was waiting to go into a large church to preach, and a Deacon prayed at the door. "Dear Lord," he said, "please let something happen today that's not on the bulletin!" Dr. Wagner was a gracious, dynamic, and knowledgeable man of God, whom the church sorely misses. Mark 16.15 summarized his views in Jesus' words, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'"

"Christian Personal Names"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

^Top Page Next Previous