What’s in a name?

There is salvation through the NAME of Christ. “Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

“Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” Acts 2:21

Names are important. I grew up with the name Cece. The children at school and in the neighborhood had a hard time saying Celeste Charlene. The kids either called me “Less or Cess.” So Mom took my first and last initials to make Cece.

In high school I asked to be called Celeste because Cece seemed a little babyish. But all the time I lived at home, family members always called me Cece.

In Africa, children are often named by the position in the family, like the oldest son has an equivalent African name. But maybe a very large child would be called “big baby.”  A girl who is exceptionally beautiful was given the name “Beautiful.”

Isaac means laughter. Sarah laughed when at age 90, she delivered him. Abraham her one-hundred year old husband probably chuckled, too. Esau, the first-born twin son of Isaac and Rebekah means red since he came out red. His twin brother Jacob grabbed his foot while in the womb. His name means heal grabber.

God’s name leads us to eternal life. “Whoever shall call on the NAME of the Lord shall be delivered.” Joel 2:21

In the African village when someone became a Christian, he took a name from the Bible of a person he wanted to emulate. One young man who wanted to be wise took the name of Solomon.  A woman who longed to serve God was called Dorcas. A young man who went to Bible School to be a preacher accepted the name of Paul or Peter.   

But if someone in the US took a Biblical name after accepting Christ would he stand out too much? Or would there be so many folks with the names of  Jonah, Noah, Solomon, Esther, Mary Magdalene and Tabitha it would be confusing? Maybe we shouldn’t change our names when we become Christians, because there would be so many Johns and Marys we’d confuse people. Instead, we should behave like Christians with the fruits of the spirit, and then maybe unbelievers would take notice.  Of course they might also notice if we came to work with a different name.

In the vast scope of eternity, Christ’s name is the one that truly matters. “For whoever shall call on the NAME of the LORD shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

Have you called on his name?


Join me next Saturday,

Celeste Charlene


About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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