In Chronicle number one of “the church of God” series we saw
that believers are given two sets of instructions: one, concerning
something they were in; and two, concerning the place where God lives.
In the OT, they were in the land of promise which was their gift
from God, and then came to the temple at Jerusalem where God was.
In the NT the believer is in Christ through the gift of the
Spirit of promise, and as God’s living temple of Christians come
together in one place where Jesus is: the local church.
Continuing to focus in this series on the place where God lives, we
saw that it was to be the gathering center for His people to give
worship and service unto Him and not a place of getting one’s own needs
satisfied. It is a place for God, not self. Is He worth such? In this
chronicle we will see that the house of God is to be the place where
His Name is. In a world of many religious names, His house is for
His Name alone.
In Deuteronomy 12 God gave Israel instructions concerning what would
make the place of gathering special. Israel was to destroy all other
names from the land. All shrines and religious gathering places were to
be overthrown. Anything that hinted of the name of another god was to be
eradicated. But there was one name they weren’t to eliminate, That was
the Name of their God, Jehovah, for He had put His Name in one
place. This one place, then would become His people’s only religious
gathering center in the land.
Then there shall be a PLACE which
your God shall choose to cause his NAME to
thither shall ye bring all that I
command you; your burnt offerings,
sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of
hand, and all your choice vows which ye
vow unto the LORD (Deu.
It is the name of the Lord in that place that then makes that place
holy and sacred; different from all other places. When one puts their
name on a house it expresses certain facts. What’s in a name on a
A name conveys:
identity of the person who lives there
authority over all that transpires there
personality that must be pleased
Initially in Israel, the place God chose for His tabernacle (living
place) was Shiloh. Eventually, God chose Jerusalem with its temple to
put His Name there (1Kings 11:36). Jerusalem became the one gathering
center for Israel because the Lord’s Name was there.
“The place ... the Lord put His
expresses His authority
|“Ye shall not
... every man
whatsoever is right in his
I command you, observe
to do it.”
The fact that God’s Name was at the place of His choice
conveys that His absolute authority and wisdom were there because His
presence and Person was there. For example, when one comes to your door
in the name of the IRS, you understand “name” to mean all the authority
of that office. God stressed two ways by which His people were
not to operate in His house.
One, by what seemed right in their own eyes (Deut. 12:8).
Their authority would not be what seemed to make the most sense to them
nor what produced the best results, nor what was the most popular.
Two, by how the other nations functioned (Deut. 12:30, 31).
His people were not to ask how the other nations served their gods and
then imitate such methods for Jehovah. They were not to go by the
systems of men, but by the authority of the Lord alone, for His
Name was there.
Israel was not to subtract from God’s Word: that would be liberalism.
Neither was Israel to add to God’s Word: that would be legalism. They
were to walk the middle road between the two extremes of liberalism and
legalism – God’s Word alone.
Therefore, God said:
Take heed to thyself that thou offer not
offerings in every place that thou seest: But in
PLACE which the LORD shall choose in
one of thy tribes, there thou
shalt offer thy burnt
offerings, and there thou shalt do all that
command thee (Deut. 12:13,14).
Thus the faithful would perhaps travel many miles past other former
places to the place where God had put His Name. God’s house became a
place of separation. For to gather unto HIS NAME ALONE was to
recognize no other names or places.
The popular saying “Go to
church of your choice” is wrong.
One should go to the place
God chose to place His Name.
And this matters to God for He has said, “I am the LORD: that is my
name: and my glory will I not give to another ...” (Isa. 42.8),
and “... For the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God”
From Jerusalem to Jesus - Where has
Jehovah Lord God placed His Name today? Is it in one holy city on earth?
Is there a central place on earth unto which Christians are to gather
for their authority?
In Acts chapters 6 and 7 a great progressive transition was revealed
by God. The Jews accused the Christian, Stephen, of speaking
“blasphemous words against this holy place [temple].” Stephen
reminded them that the Scriptures said, “the Most High dwelleth not in
temples made with hands.” As they began to attack him, Stephen saw the
glory of God. It wasn’t in the temple as before, but now with Jesus
standing on the right hand of God.
By resurrection to His own right hand, God has graphically
demonstrated that this Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified as a criminal
by religion and government is indeed Lord ( Acts 2:36). Philippians
2:8-11 shows that God has now given Jesus a Name above every name – the
name is Lord! Thus the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone
has authority to give salvation, remit sins, grant access to the
Father, discipline sinning believers, and authorize a church gathering
place of believers that is recognized by God (Acts 4:12, 10:43, Eph.
5:20, 1 Cor. 5:4, 2 Thess. 3:6, Matt. 18:20).
Not only is the Name of the
Jesus Christ the only Name by
which to be saved, but it is
only Name to own in the church.
The Corinthian epistle deals with the truth of the Name of the Lord
Jesus Christ in the local church. His Name is the only Name with which
to identify, own as an authority, and from which to draw wisdom. As
brought out in Chronicle #1, a local church is those in Christ Jesus who
in a given locality (anywhere in the world) come together in one place
to call upon the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord (1Cor. 1:2). An
assembly of believers that calls upon His Name is recognized as
God’s temple. His Spirit is then in their midst (1Cor. 3:16).
In 1 Corinthians, the opening issue is renouncing all other names for
His Name: the Lord Jesus Christ.
The New Testament Gathering
|“And whatsoever ye
do in word or deed, do all in the name of the
God and the Father by him” (Col
|“In the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, ...|
The Corinthian Problem
The Corinthian believers had placed personal faith in the gospel and
were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 18:8). The
grace of God had been given to them. They were very gifted. They were
confirmed blameless to the end in Christ and had been called by God
Himself into the fellowship of His Son (1Cor 1-9).
Yet, as fundamental as they were, within the church they were
identifying themselves by different names – even good names. And, of
course, this created contentions and disunity. Rather than just telling
them to stop doing it, the apostle gives the reason behind the truth.
Thus they could have committed minds in doing it the Lord’s way. He
deals with 3 areas that will be affected by identifying with a name
other than the Lord Jesus.'
1. The Name and unity
2. The Name and glory
3. The Name and
What’s in a name? For example, consider a newly married
couple. What if Mrs. Jones now said to Mr. Jones, “Wasn’t the
preacher eloquent who performed the wedding. Would you please call
me Mrs. Preacher”? Or what if she said, “What a lovely bathroom you
have provided, would you please call me Mrs. Bath”? Or what if she
said, “I appreciate your orderly methods. Please call me Mrs.
Method.” Or what if she said, “It’s such a delight being your wife.
Please call me by what I am, Mrs. Wife."
Such an attitude that would want another Name would affect the unity
of the marriage, the glory of her husband’s name, and it would question
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the
our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the
thing, and that there be no divisions among
but that ye be perfectly joined together in
same mind and in the same judgment (1Cor.
When a believer or Christian group identifies themselves by a name
other than the Lord Jesus, whether it be a good man, an organization, a
church, or a doctrine, he has introduced a division to the one body of
Christ. For a Christian to say “I am a ‘this’,” by definition means some
other isn’t: we now have a difference.
The apostle takes their minds back to the truths connected with the
gospel. Who was crucified for them? And in what name were they
baptized? Of course, the only answer is Jesus Christ the Lord. Then that
is the only Name to own. Our mind-set and all our decisions (evaluations
and judgments) should only come from the risen Lord through His
Spirit-inspired Word. This will take humility, time and trusting His
Spirit to rightly divide the written word of truth to our seeking
This is not a unity of purpose, all agreeing to do the same thing,
for that could simply be a unity of error. But it is a unity of truth,
based on the Name (authority) of the risen Lord alone.
We should also never say
asked what we are, “We have no
name,” for we do have a Name
Jesus Christ the Lord.
That no flesh should GLORY in his
That, according as it is written, He that
let him GLORY in the Lord. ... Therefore let no
GLORY in men (1Cor. 1:29,31, 3:21).
The Lord has said, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my
glory will I not give to another ...” (Isa. 42:8).
You would be highly insulted and hurt if your children announced to
you that they’re changing their family name. So the Lord is defamed and
hurt when we do such. Isaiah. 43:7 tells us that every one called by His
Name is created for His glory.
Again the apostle takes us back to gospel truth to explain church
truth. He reminds the Corinthians that every grace they have is
of God in Christ Jesus. Thus, their redemption for sins, righteousness,
sanctification, and even their wisdom came not from any human source. So
the only One we dare glory in is the Lord for He only is worthy of such
(1Cor. 1:29-31). All titles of sacred honor must only be given to Him
(Matt. 23:7-12). Glory is a reason why it matters by what name we
identify ourselves as we come together in the church.
Where is the wise? where is the
is the disputer of this world? hath not God
foolish the wisdom of this world? (1Cor. 1:20).
Of course the term, “name,” also has to do with authority, such as
one coming in the name of the law. When the apostle calls for
unity of mind and judgment, he does it by “the Name of our
Lord Jesus Christ.” Here he is not even satisfied with
those who say “I am of Christ.” For while one might believe in Messiah
Jesus, does he submit to His risen authority as Lord over the
church? Not what Moses (law) or tradition say but only the risen
Lord. (Christ is called Lord 7 times in 1 Cor. 1.)
It is the authority that supplies the wisdom and logic for the
commands it gives. As the apostle goes on to teach, the Lord’s wisdom is
the only wisdom we are to seek and apply in the church. For His wisdom
alone is true and good: the best and right. That’s why we need to own
His Name (authority) alone.
Again the apostle appeals to the gospel as he proves in whose wisdom
a church should walk. He shows that the cross of Christ has exposed the
wisdom of the wise as nothing. In light of the “Lord of glory” being
crucified by men, religious and intellectual men, God
asks, “Where is the wise?” To think, the church was now looking to
men for their authority and wisdom.
How has the cross destroyed man’s wisdom and proven God’s wisdom? The
cross, you see, was capital punishment. It was where only criminals
went: the vilest scum, who were unfit for society.
Demonstrated In Christ
|Princes (authority) of this world crucified Lord
glory not knowing it
was He 1Cor. 2:8
|God knew Christ was|
raised Him from dead – using the preaching
of cross to save
|Ignorance in crucifying Lord has now
exposed man’s wisdom as unable to know God: foolish
|God in His wisdom used man’s
crucifying the Lord, thus
proving man’s poverty
God’s richness 1Cor. 1:21a
|Cross has now destroyed
any logical confidence
in man’s wisdom to discern
the things of God via
1Cor. 1:19, 2:9
|The Spirit has now given|
believer the mind of
Christ so that by
know the wisdom of God 1Cor.
The Lord Jesus Christ is not
an issue of one’s personal heart but
the Name we name. And
is not just a right title to mouth but
glory and wisdom.
If you’re saved by the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, may you also
take no other Name in the church for His sake. Could the above truth be
part of the reason why the assembly in Philadelphia received no rebuke
from the risen Lord but only compliments? “The church in Philadelphia
... for thou ... hast kept my word, and hast not denied my
name” (Rev. 3:7,8).