This message was preached by Chris B at Word of Grace Church on August 6th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
The last time, I had 3 goals. To answer who you are, who I am and what are we doing here. That came with a disclaimer- If you are in Christ. The other question is, What if I am not yet in Christ? Who am I?
The scriptures make it clear. If we haven’t put our faith in Jesus, we are like the husband looking for something in the wife’s bag and unable to locate it- you know something is there, but you just cant get hold of it.
Romans 1:19-20 “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” They are clearly perceived. We can see through creation that He is there, but we just can’t get it.
Eph 2: 1-3- “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
A. What is God’s Name?
B. Why does it matter?
C. What does knowing His name do for us?
We need God’s help to intervene and understand what he is doing. Psalm 9:10- “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you”
It’s an excellent promise. We need to know God’s name. Ex 3:12-17- “And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[b] will worship God on this mountain.” Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’”
This is God for the very first time giving his name. Our concept of Name is different from what the Bible says. In my culture, a name is merely something you are called. But in the Bible, when God changes someone’s name, he is making a promise. He is offering a definition and disclosing your character. Jesus’ name was Jesus because the angel told Joseph to name him that. He doesn’t just say this is what you are called, it is who you are.
When God says his name, He is offering revelation of who He is. The Israelites haven’t had the experience of a prophet until this time. So, Moses says, I need a fresh disclosure of who you are. I have 6 principles drawn from that name:
1. He exists- he is not a fairytale or a phantom. He is absolutely real. He is real in this room.
2. He is knowable- He is disclosing himself to Moses. I AM. We don’t know and understand everything about God. He is more like an iceberg rather than a mountain. 90 % sits below the water. Only 10% is knowable. He has disclosed himself so that we might know him
3. He is Unchanging- The same disclosure He gave Moses is true for us because he does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
4. He is Self-determined- God had determined who He is. We can seek and know him, but we can’t change who he actually is.
5. He is Eternal- He existed from before time and space. He exists now and will forever. I am who I am has a future component- that I will be forever. I will never not be.
6. He has come to rescue us- John 8:58- ““Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”” he is more certain than anything else. Jesus has always been there as the second person of the Trinity and has come to rescue us.
This is who he is. This is his name
D. How do I know if I’ve really placed my faith in Jesus?
Hebrews says, in these last days he has spoken to us through the name of Jesus. Jesus is a better vivid revelation of the God who is.
Acts 4:12- “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”” John 6:35- “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”
This is not a statement that anyone can say without clarification. These are two parallel phrases. He who does something , will never go hungry or thirsty. Hunger and Thirst are the basic needs of the Body. So coming to him and believing in him are the same thing.
Q. What is the nature of Biblical, saving faith?
It is coming to Jesus, believing in Jesus in such a way that you come to him for the satisfaction of all your spiritual hungers and thirsts. Alcohol, drugs, TV, and all will never satisfy. But He will. We say it like this- Enjoying God, coming earnestly and honestly to a God who satisfies. If you’ve recognized him as the one who gives life, that’s saving faith. Jesus working through it is what transforms and changes you.
John 6:67-69 ““You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”” Through believing, they came to know he is who he says he is. This is a hard concept to understand. But the Holy Spirit has already been speaking to us throughout the worship.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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