What is in a name?

Jesus called himself many things. He said he was the gate, he was the good shepherd, the way the truth and the life, the vine, the son of man, the I am, among others.

Jesus said more than once that he came to save sinners. He dined with a tax collector named Zacheus and said this, ‘”For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

I spent the first 20 years of my life “knowing” I wasn’t good enough for God. I went through bouts of struggling to be good and then failing and falling and rolling around in my failure.

Then one day that all changed. Because of where and when it happened it had to be the Holy Spirit that broke through. I was in the back room of my parents restaurant, it was Sunday so we were closed. I was getting breakfast for my very pregnant new bride, ( honeymoon baby) and the verses from Ephesians 2 came to life in my head and my heart.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

I couldn’t earn Gods love and mercy. I already had it through what Jesus had done dying for me on the cross. Salvation, Gods love, it is a gift and I cannot deserve it, we cannot deserve it. We just need to receive it.

As I began to study the Bible with fresh eyes I saw many other verses that confirmed what I saw in Ephesians.

One of my favorites is in Romans 5.

“6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

While we were still sinners Jesus died for us. He wasn’t waiting until we were good enough. He meets us where we are, in our sin and fallenness.

The blessings we can receive from God don’t stop with salvation. If God did not hold back his only son, what else will he give us so that we can succeed in telling the world about Him?

These verses from Romans 8 also confirm our salvation in Jesus and Gods gracious and generous heart towards us to share our story with the world.

“28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus called himself many different things, they all boil down to one thing, he is the one sent by God to save us, save you and me. He said it in many different ways so that in case we didn’t catch it in one story we might get it in the next. Jesus came to save sinners. We are all sinners. We can be nice people and still be sinners. It’s in our deep down human nature. Only Jesus can fix it.

Today would be a great day to receive Jesus’ gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

How about it?

Author: Peterloeffelbein

I am a man. I am an older man. I am a husband and a dad and a grandpa. I am a disciple of Jesus. Because I am a disciple of Jesus much of what I write is about him, and I usually end what I write with a question, do you the reader know that Jesus loves you? He does. He loves us all but he loves you specifically. He loves me specifically. What will you do with that information today?