No name can stand the onslaught of the devil’s schemes but the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The Jesus who was born in the flesh, died upon a cross and rose from the dead and is alive forevermore.
Because Jesus rose from the dead, the name of this Jesus opens doors. The name of this Jesus shuts the mouth of the devil. Furthermore the name of Jesus is my new name. I have no desire to build a ministry in my name. Whether my name is known or not means nothing, because I represent the name of Jesus Christ. Above all there can be no competition for whose name is highest.
Have you considered that every human enterprise will be no more. Every denomination and movement will be no more. Even those faithfully serving the name of Jesus will one day be no more.
It’s not just the buildings of our churches that won’t be in heaven. Likewise our vision statements, brands, and cultures won’t be in heaven either. These things make good tools and are useful when applied to task. But when our ‘name’ our ‘vision’ our ‘culture’ is held up as something to follow we are in dangerous territory.
The Holy Spirit says: Every organisation serving my kingdom is temporary. These entities are my means to eternal ends. Your name, vision and culture, and your branding; are all scaffolding. While people spiritually alive in Jesus Christ are the only true church. Therefore, don’t discard the scaffolding but don’t treat it as precious, it is useful not precious. And all scaffolding has a use-by date.
Where the name of our church, movement or denomination with its history, vision and culture is lifted up – God will come and scatter. He creates confusion amongst us to scatter us. In Genesis chapter eleven the people built this tower to keep themselves from being scattered. Movements built around our ‘towers’ of name, vision, culture and language could be modern towers of Babel. God will come and scatter them.
The unity of the Spirit
The unity of the kingdom is not in appearances, and its not in our culture and language. Rather, the unity of the kingdom is in the Spirit. So, as a person born of the Spirit of God unity with God’s people is in my new nature. To break unity I have to deny my faith in Christ and grieve the Spirit within me. What holds the church of Jesus Christ together as one is His blood and the indwelling Holy Spirit within each member of the church, and the love of our heavenly Father. That’s it!
There can be no competition about whose name we follow and worship. For example, I’ve heard testimonies that have lifted up a ‘church organisation’ more then Jesus Christ, this should not be. Who do you lift up? Why do you serve? or what enterprise do you put expectation in? What leader apart from Jesus have you invested hope in? We honour leaders and the ministry gift they bring, but we hope in our Lord Jesus Christ who gives the ministry gift to the leader. Don’t follow any other than Jesus Christ.
While serving people I diligently gaurd my heart from any expectation towards people. I do this by serving people as the overflow of my devotion and delight in Jesus Christ. Everything I give to ‘church’ and a person is not given to them but to Jesus, they are the recipient of my faith and obedience. There is only one name I want to represent and lift up, the name of Jesus Christ.
Making it clear
I am not saying we should not use, branding, vision statement, and develop culture. Rather I’m saying we should examine the reason why we are using these tools. We should not be using them to hold people together around our dream. Why not? Because we rely on the work of the Holy Spirit to lead his people, and arrange his body, and to be our unity. Then we use these tools of brand, vision and culture to clearly communicate and engage with those who have yet to come to Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit.
There is one call on every believer. The call to sincere and pure devotion to Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4) And this believer prays in the name of Jesus Christ, and all authority in heaven and earth is in that name. Hell won’t move to my name, but everything moves to the name of Jesus Christ.
Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”