Jesus Gives a New Name

Published 2:08 pm Saturday, August 19, 2023

By Dean Kelly

Minister, Highland Home Church of Christ

Isaiah the prophet prophesied these words: “The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name.” (Isaiah 62:2).

Email newsletter signup

What he prophesied was that once the Gentiles were accepted by God then He would give his people a new name.

In Acts 10 the first true Gentiles were saved by faith and obedience to the Gospel. They “saw the righteousness of God” and for the first time were accepted as part of the people of God in the church that Jesus built.

In the very next chapter the Bible writer states, “And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26).

When the Gentiles were accepted as part of the people of God, just as the Jews had been for centuries, God gave His disciples a new name: Christian.

Paul, in Acts 26, is preaching in his defense, and tells King Agrippa about Jesus Christ. Verse 28 says, “Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You almost persuade me to become a Christian.’”

Agrippa understood that Paul wanted him to become a Christian, one who bore that special new name for God’s people.

The word Christian is used once more in the New Testament, 1 Peter 4:16 records this, “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. In context he is saying we should not suffer as wrongdoers. However, we should glorify God as a Christian if we suffer for that name.”

Let’s meet at the cross again, which is the center of that new name, Christian.