What’s In a Name. (What’s In a Name. part 1)

Not a question.

Consider this amazing statement of David’s (Psalm 138:2): “I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy name for Thy lovingkindness and for Thy truth:” listen, “for Thou hast magnified Thy word above all Thy name.”

What more imperative do we need to make the study of God’s word one of the most important things we can do for our life? God gives us His word in a concerted master stroke over the centuries and then it culminates in the revelation of Jesus Christ. As a person. As the living word. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) The whole “disposing thereof” is airtight.

What are some of the things in the Bible that describe the importance of understanding, not only the words contained therein, but also the importance of knowing the Living Word? Because, let’s face it: “the letter killeth” (2 Corinthians 3:6). And before I go any further, what Paul is saying here to the Corinthians is that the law is the law. What it says, goes. The law of God as handed down to the Israelites through Moses was immutable. There was no way around it, in other words. Even worse: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all“, says James (2:10, emphasis mine). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) The Old Testament law is what holiness looks like when put on paper. All of the inherent messiness of human existence is, in a sense, not taken into account one whit. Because of original sin, it’s not perfect—not even close. Therefore God must judge. This is why, from a very narrow, almost selfish perspective, it’s so remarkable that God would even lift a finger to help the Israelites out of their predicament(s), time and again. Same goes for us. Because God is holy, we are not. And this stringent, strict holiness is what Jesus walked in perfectly for thirty-plus years. I’m digressing, I know, and I will digress a touch more when I say that, in my opinion, Jesus’ ministry of grace and of the interior began when He received the full measure of the Holy Spirit at His baptism in the river Jordan (see Matthew 3:16). All digressions aside, in order to understand what it means to have the entire revealed law of God be not only, “above Thy name” as David says in Psalms, but also contained in Jesus as the Living Word, necessarily takes the Holy Spirit. The spirit of the law. That’s what Paul is saying. “Who (God) also hath made us able ministers of the new testament (grace, after what Jesus did for us); not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6, emphasis mine) It’s the same Holy Spirit who Jesus was baptized with at Jordan. It’s the same Holy Spirit who is symbolized as flowing, like water from Jesus’ side when He was pierced by the spear as He hung on the cross (John 19:34). And it’s the same Holy Spirit who’s there with you whenever you study your Bible. And “it’s” not a thing. He’s a person with feelings, agency, will, and above all, the same qualities as both the Father and the Son, yet without a body. Wrap your mind around this: you are His body. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16) We’d do well if we never, ever forgot this ever again…

So, what are those things contained in the Bible that show the importance of what I asked earlier? The answer is whatever the Holy Spirit wants to emphasize for your life. Simple as that. Just ask.

“But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26, emphasis mine) When we submit to the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit, we are taught by the best.

“But go ye and learn what that meaneth…” (Matthew 9:13)

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