Introduction


Breathing the Names of God

Introduction

 In Biblical times, children were given names that showed their character.  Their names described them. 

  • Aaron means teacher, lofty, a mountain of strength. 
  • Anna means gracious, one who gives.
  •  Jacob means that supplants, undermines, heel.  It was changed to Israel, one who has prevailed with God. Genesis 32:28

Does anyone know what your name means?  Does your name say anything about who you are?  Does “Who you are” influence the meaning of your name to other people?   

In studying the various names of God, we can learn a great deal about His nature and about our relationship with Him.  We can know the name of the Queen of England or the name of the Rockefeller family and know the vast fortunes that they possess, but what does that mean to us?  However, to know that God has these wonderful Names and to know that through Christ’s death on Calvary, He gives to us the benefits of what those Names mean…That can change our lives. 

His names not only tell us who God is, they also remind us who we are in Him.  Since He is our Shepherd, we are His sheep.  Since He is our wonderful Father, we are His precious sons and daughters.  Since He is our mighty King, we are His protected and privileged subjects.  Since He is the whole vine, we are branches filled with His very life.

By our union with Jesus Christ at the cross, He lives His life in us and shares with us His character as well as His Name.  No matter what happens in the world, our lives are bound to Him in an eternal love relationship.  Knowing His Names will open the door of our hearts to all that He longs to give us in Himself.  Knowing His name will energize us to know Him, love Him, become like Him, discover our own identity in Him, share His vision and purpose, become an expression of His life to others, and enjoy the riches of Kingdom-life with Him.

There are over 800 names of God in the Bible and each one of them is like miniature portraits and promises.  Each reveals a significant attribute of God, a revelation of His character.  They are a sign of the authority and power of God.  To meditate on God’s Names is a source of peace, joy and powerful prayer life.  We need to know Him better.  His Names tell us about who He is.  They show His majesty, His power, His glory, and His infinite love for His people.

Why study the names of God? 

  • Names were important to Jesus.  We can see this in the prayer he prayed for his disciples at the end of his ministry. 

1.John 17:6  Who did Jesus reveal to those who believe?  Who had been given to Jesus? Who did the disciples belong to? (Use the name of God that you think is appropriate here.)

2. Write the scripture putting your name in the appropriate places.  Have you been obedient as a reflection of belonging to Jehovah?

In this passage, the word “name” refers to the attributes or character of God that Jesus taught his disciples.  In other words, he had revealed God’s character, his will, his plan, his mercy and love.

3. John 17:11-12 How can the power of the name of God protect those who belong to Jesus?

 He kept them by his example, purity, instruction, and miracles. The name of God kept them, the name of power, authority, and truth.

4. John 17:26 What happens when we understand the name or attributes of God?

Jesus had taught them about the one true God.  He had taught them his glorious attributes.  It was the power and knowledge of “who” God is that will keep them from evil, keep them from giving in to sin, and keep them true to the gospel given by Christ.

  • God uses his names to reveal himself to his people.

God is our Creator.  He loves us and desires to have a relationship with us.  He wants us to know Him.  We cannot know Him unless he reveals Himself to us.

5. Acts 17:27  Why does God want us to learn about who He is?

God revealed his name to Moses in Exodus 3:14, God says to Moses, “I Am Who I Am.”  He revealed that He is self existent and He Himself perpetuates his life. We find insight into the character of God in the names we find throughout the Bible.

Jesus used this name when asked who He was.  He described himself as the “I Am” who lived before Abraham.  The Scribes and Pharisees tore their clothes and sentenced him to death for blasphemes.  He also called Himself the “Light of the world” in John 8:12, “the Gate to eternal life” in John 10:9, “the Good Shepherd”: in verse 11 and as “the Way and the Truth and the Life” in John 14:6

Each statement reveals the truth, grace, and majesty of Christ.  We cannot know everything about our sovereign God, but through His names we know that he is:

  • self-existing
  • not restricted by time
  • unbounded by place
  • unlimited in power
  • unlimited in knowledge
  • transcendent (having his existence beyond the physical universe)
  • Immanent (involved with the universe).
  • God used names to honor his Son.

6. Philippians 2:8-9 Why did God give Jesus a Name exalted above all others?

Because of the work He has done, He is given honor that no other can receive.  No other deserves the name of Redeemer and Savior.  No other deserved the exalted position on the throne of glory as Christ, the anointed of God.

7.  Describe Jesus according to this verse?  It is conjecture on any ones part, but what do you think the name could represent? Revelations 19:12

  No one but Himself can understand its importance, the degree of its sacredness, the relationship between Him, and the Father.  No one knows the cost of god becoming mn.  No one can fathom the cost to a Holy God assuming the sins of eternity on Himself.

 We are told to seek God, to know Him. 

8. Jesus prayed in John 17:3 According to this passage, what is eternal life?  How can you apply this knowledge in your own life?

Jesus prayed for us to have knowledge of the true God.  It must be important to study His characteristics, His Name, if we are to have true knowledge of Him and thus have eternal life.

Matthew 6:33, Psalm 69:32, Psalm 63:1, Galatians 4:9, Proverbs 8:17, Amos 5:4, John 17:3

  • Our purpose is to glorify God.  How can we glorify Him if we do not know Him?



9. Corinthians 10:31 When are we told to glorify God? 

10.1 Corinthians 6:20 Why are we told to honor God?   How are we to honor God?  List at least three ways we can do this.

  • The Bible tells us that Jesus name is to be respected above all names.  We must know Him and have a relationship with Him in order to have proper respect for Him.

 

11. Philippians 2:9-11 When we totally understand the attributes of Christ, of the Trinity, of God Almighty, What is there left to do? 

We need to truly know God when we name Him in prayer.  We should not be guilty of name dropping.

Acts 19:13-17 tells us the story of the seven sons of Sceva, who was a Jewish chief priest.  These boys saw Paul use the name of Jesus to command evil spirits to leave the demon possessed people.  They decided that this was pretty cool.  It did not look too difficult.  They knew the name that Paul used.  They decided to invoke the name of the LORD Jesus to eject evil spirits.  They set up shop.  One day, they said, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 

And to their surprise, the demon answered them.  “Jesus I know, and I know Paul, but who are you?”

Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house, naked, bruised, and bleeding.

These young men knew the name to use. They knew how to pronounce it.  They just did not know who they were calling on.  They did not know Jesus.  And to their misfortune, the demon knew who Jesus was, and recognized that they did not have a relationship with the LORD.

  • God wants to change the bad name we have made for ourselves.  He wants to give us the name Jesus Christ earned for us.

12.  “Revelations 2:17 Who will receive the white stone and hidden manna?

 The new name will be written in our minds. “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them in their minds.” Hebrews 10:16

  • We are baptized in His name.

13.   Matthew 28:19 We know that being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit  identifies us as belonging to God.  What significance should the “name” have for us since we recognize that it is also talking about His attributes?

  • God has a good reputation.  We must learn to trust his name. 

 

14.  John 14:13-14  Knowing that God’s character defines who he is.  As covenant maker, He is unable to lie, He is faithful, and He keeps His promises.  Knowing this, what does this scripture mean to you?

God’s names describe him.  They reveal his character and his Godhood. His glorious attributes are manifested in his name.  By learning about those attributes our understanding of God will increase.  Our faith will grow stronger and our ability to praise, honor, glorify him will expand.

 Breathe in the proper name of God, Yah…Praise you for giving me your Name

Breathe out Weh…The Name that saves me

Breathe in Yah…Praise you for giving me your Name

Breathe out Weh…the Name that keeps me from evil

Breathe in Yah…Praise you for giving me your Name

Breathe out Weh…the Name that keeps me with power and authority

Breathe in Yah…Praise you for giving me your Name

Breathe out Weh…the Name that reveals the truth, grace, and majesty of Christ. 

Throughout the day, breathe in God’s name and breathe out praise for mercy, grace, and blessings that are yours through Him.  Use your breath to be totally and continuously in communion with your LORD.

(Answers will be posted the next day.)  Please post suggestions and comments.  I relish your input.

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