What’s in a Name? – Weekly Sermon – May 26, 2019

Sunday, May 26, 2019
“What’s in a Name?”
Acts 11:19-26

Upon the execution of the Elder Steven the church of Jerusalem was under a lot of stress and duress.

Many of the church fled the city in search of safer and more secure pastures.

Some went to Phygaria, some to Cyprus, some to Cyrene and some even to far reaching places such as Antioch of Syria.

This laid to the northeast of Jerusalem in modern day Turkey.

There was already a Jewish population residing there.  Some were from the Judean Galilean region and yet others were native Syrians of that city.

There were a number of them that fled Jerusalem that worked their way from the other places to Antioch.

As they moved they preached the word of the Gospel, but only to the Jews.

At Antioch they taught and preached the Gospel, but only to the Jews.

The Grecians – Greek speaking Jews.

God was with them, because many, many of the came to salutation.

Word of these things got back to the Council in Jerusalem and they sent a well-recognized well thought of and faithful man by the name of Barnabas.

We he arrived in Antioch he was elated, he encouraged the preachers and the converts to keep it up and to continue to draw closer and closer to the Lord.

Barnabas was a great ambassador and was considered to be a good man; he was filled with the Holy Ghost and was a great man of faith.

At some point Barnabas thought about Saul by this time Paul in Taurus. Barnabas sought out and found him and they spent a year working with the resident converts and teachers and preachers in the Gospel effect and many more people came to salutation.

Barnabas and Paul helped to make Antioch of Syria a strong church.

Antioch was a center for the Great Commission.

Barnabas, Paul and Peter – didn’t get much better than that.

These men and all those who followed Christ were known as “Christ” Followers.

It was in this place that they and we received our name:  Christians.

In Latin the ending “ian” meant the “party of” thus a Christian was “of the Party of Jesus”

It was kinda like saying that Jesus-ites or Jesus people, some even thought that the idea was to reference them as Christ-ours.”

It may be that this was first applied as a mocking term, but the Christians I would imagine reveled in it.

Up until that time Christians were called.  

Disciples in Acts 1:15

Saints in Acts 9:13

Followers in Acts 9:2

Believers in Acts 5:14

Brothers in Acts 6:3

Witnesses in Acts 5:32

What’s in a name?

Perhaps nothing – perhaps everything?

Name is a form of identification; it’s a title that designates who we are or what we do.

There are different applications for this.

Names and titles have meaning behind them.

Our given name in not normally just a last minute thought.

Do you remember the times that you considered hashed out, discussed with your spouse and others the name or names of your children?

The name may have been a connection with a person, place or somewhere.

Every given name has meaning in some way or another.

Middle names take time and thought as well.

Given and middle names don’t necessarily work in unison, but when they don’t it kinda just doesn’t sound quite right.

I have become convinced that the origin of the use of middle names was created for a specific reason.  For mothers to use when we got into or get into trouble!!

Our surname of family name or last name began sometime after the Biblical days.  

Many of our surnames were given in accordance to one’s profession is likely the most common basis for them.









Many of our surnames can identify us with our ancestral places of habitation.

Many names of my and your friends help us to kinda figure out where those places were.

Smith, Jones, White, etc. Brittian Isle

McAninch, McKinney, McGarvey etc.  Ireland and Scotland

Fillhart, Trithart, Wentz, Schmit etc.  German and Bavarian

Ortiz, Sanchez, Rodriques, Spain and South America

Yoo, Chan, Li – Pacific Rim Countries.

What’s in a name?

Personal identity, honor or even embarrassment and shame for some too.

I want to be identified as who my given, middle, and surname are, but in the end the name that I want to be synomous with is “Christian.”

As Jesus tarries, someday we will be called from this world.  50, 75, 100 years from now we may be remembered, but most likely it will only be from our name on a headstone.

There is one name, a name that is above all names, a name that will be remembered for all eternity.

Jesus of Nazareth and his titles.


Son of God – Son of man

Second person of the Trinity




Lord Master



The Word

Alpha and Omega

Light of the World

Lam of God

Ruler of Creation



Bread of Life

The Way

The Truth

The life

King of Kings

Lord of Lords

Prince of Peace

There are 150 different names and titles of our Lord Jesus.

His Fathers names will be remembered for the ages.

Father – Abba

Ancient of Days





Today is Memorial Sunday in which we honor those who have passed into eternity, but especially those who served our nation both the deceased and the living.

We will never know all the names of them all, we may or we may not see their names on a headstone, but what we won’t do is ever forget what every single one of them did on our behalf and for one another.

May we never forget!!

What’s in the name of an American G.I. from the Army

The Always faithful – Semper Fi  – Marines

These that fly into the wild blue yonder.  The US Air Force, those who guard our seas and the US Navy, those who guard and protect our shores the Coast Guard.

What’s in a name?  Honor, justice, national pride, sacrifice, courage and respect.

Thank you,  to all of our Vets and those gone from our midst, naturally or on the field and seas and air battles.

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