Your Bible question was:
> I have been hearing discussion on the matter of wearing the name of our
> Savior. Some say that if we are going to wear His name, we should be the
> "church of Jesus" instead of the "church of Christ." "Christ" is His
> Messianic title; "Jesus" is His name (Mt. 1:21; Phs. 2:10).
> What do you think?
First of all, it is entirely right to identify God's people with the
expression "church of Christ" (Rom. 16:16). There are other terms used in
the NT to designate the saved (church of God, 1 Cor. 1:2; church of the
firstborn, Heb. 12:22). One must always remember that "church of Christ" is
not a title such as those used by denominations, but an expression of
ownership. Therefore, to use "church of Christ" to identify His church is
The "name" means far more than simply a moniker. In the scriptures it
refers to the power or authority of the one whose name is being invoked.
As, for example, in Phil. 2:10-11, when "at the name of Jesus every knee
should bow...and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father". There were many men in the days of Jesus
of Nazareth who wore the name "Jesus" (the Hebrew equivalent is Joshua).
But only the name of Jesus demands that all men confess that He is Lord.
The point: His authority as the Son of God demands that all submit to Him
and acknowledge His power! (Matt. 28:18)
Colossians 3:17 teaches us that we are to do all things "in the name of the
Lord Jesus". That does not mean that we run around always saying "Jesus,
Jesus" whenever we do anything. It means we must always act in harmony with
His revealed will and authority.
Acts 4:12 teaches there is no other name but Jesus by which we must be
saved. Is it the word "Jesus" that saves? No, it is the power of Jesus of
Nazareth, the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who saves (Jno. 14:6).
When Jesus asked, "But who do you say that I am?", Peter did not say, "you
are Jesus!", he confessed his faith in Jesus by saying, "You are the Christ,
the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16).
It it well to remember that Christians wear the name of Christ (Acts 11:26;
26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). We do not read of "Jesus-ians" in the NT, we read
about "Christians" (those who pertain to Christ).
When Christians start suggesting that we use something other than "church of
Christ" to identify us as the church which belongs to Christ, I must ask the
question, "Why?" "Church of Christ" meets the objective: to identify who
we are. It is scriptural (Rom. 16:16). And, it is recognizable (generally
used worldwide). Why change what works?
My conclusion is that we have every scriptural right to use "church of
Christ" to refer to the church which belongs to Christ (whether universally
or locally applied), and we should continue to do so. I see no overriding
reason to change what already works.
Thank you for your good question, and may God bless you in obeying His will.
Joe R Price
Mt. Baker church of Christ