11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. (I Cor. 3:11-13)
So what’s in a name? Why such a fuss? Here’s something that I think is important to understand. Our Lord said that when we pray we pray in His name right?
25 “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. 28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.” (John 16:25-28)
So what does it mean to pray in His name? It’s not just some magic words is it? Aren’t we praying in His character and nature? Here’s another example from the book of Revelation.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’(Rev 2:17)
So in this Scripture the Lord is talking about giving His faithful disciples a new name. When you think of receiving a new name, isn’t there some kind of change taking place? When you think of who you are in Christ now compared to who you were before Christ, hasn’t there been in a change in your character and nature? Haven’t you been given a new character and nature by the working of the Holy Spirit in your life?
So what’s in a name? A name represents the character and nature of that which is named. When we think of how some things or individuals are named different emotions and reactions are evoked based on our understanding of that name. Some names like satan can bring on emotions of fear, loathing, contempt and so on. (Talking in a general sense here.) Some names like Disney World evoke happy and excited emotions. And of course the name of Christ can evoke all kinds of emotions based on a persons relationship with the Lord. So when we name something or someone we are naming it\them based on the character and nature we perceive it to have.
Which brings me to the point of naming an assembly of Saints. I struggle to understand how we can name God’s work. First, it’s His and not ours. Second when we look at the example of the apostles in Scripture, no where do we find that they named their assembly. Why not? Because everyone understood they were disciples of the Christ by word and deed. They were all one in accord with each other. One Body, One purpose functioning by the Holy Spirit.
Today we have a fractured view of Christianity. Whether true or false it’s a fractured witness because each denomination claims to have the truth when in fact they are only displaying a partial witness of Christ, if at all. If this wasn’t true there wouldn’t be so much confusion.
The truth is Scripture shows only one Body of Christ, One bride whom Christ is the bridegroom. So what kind of Bride is the Bridegroom preparing? One that is Holy and Righteous by the Blood of the Lamb. If we each are members of that pure Bride that Christ is preparing for His return, what manner are expected to walk?
One more point. Christ is teaching us to walk in the Kingdom principles. If we are walking in the Kingdom, then we have no need of names, structures or any added doctrine. In other words, if we can’t imagine something being in existence when Christ returns, it’s likely that we don’t need the practice now as we walk in the Kingdom.