The name - Chambers, Oswald

December 10, 1916, Zeitoun, Sunday morning & Communion Service

And his name shall be called wonderful. . . . Isaiah 9:6

In the new testament name frequently stands for nature. When we pray in the name of Jesus the answers are in accordance with his nature, and if we think our prayers are unanswered it is because we are not interpreting the answer along this line.

1. The expression of gods thought

and the word became flesh, and dwelt among us. . . . ( john 1:14 rv )

It is easy to get vague when we think about the thought of god; the poet talks about hearing gods voice on the rolling air, or as coming to us in the love of our friends; it sounds beautiful, but it may be all nonsense. Our sense of the beautiful has to take shape somehow, an ideal is of no use to me unless it has become incarnated. Nowhere in the bible is there any notice taken of the worship of abstractions. We may talk about god as the almighty, the all-powerful, but he means nothing to us unless he has become incarnated and touched human life where we touch it; and the revelation of redemption is that gods thought did express itself in Jesus christ, that god became manifest on the plane on which we live.

(a) the time-beginning of gods thought (genesis 1:2)

When the mind of god thought on the chaos it was like an artist mixing the colours on his palette, and genesis 1:2 describes the state of the palette without form, and void; and out of that god created cosmos; he expressed his thought in the universe we see. The earth is always spoken of in the bible as gods. The word of god produces its own expression. And god said, let there be light: and there was light. Our language rarely expresses us at all.

(b) the time-birth of gods thought ( john 1:13)

Gods thought expressed itself not only in the uni- verse which he created, but in a being called the word, whose name to us is Jesus Christ. John

Declares that gods thought manifested itself in a word, and that that word became incarnated in a human life. We only know gods thought and the expression of it in Jesus christ, and we only know the meaning of god and man one in Jesus christ. Our conception of the trinity is an attempt of the human mind to define how god manifested himself. (c) the timeless benediction of gods thought (Philippians 2:911; Ephesians 1:21) Jesus christ not only has dominion now, but in the ages to come. God never says to man you must; he says, you will ultimately come there. We may come in the right way or by breaking our neck, but we will come, not by compulsion but by absolute agreement that Jesus christ alone is the way. God has so decreed it that man must work together with him and bring about agreement with his own expressed thought. We are apt to make the mistake of thinking that god is going to coerce men; he never does. God is giving men ample time to do exactly what they like, both as individuals and as nations; he allows us to develop as we choose, but in the end we will come to agree with him. The introduction of social- ism into the history of civilisation is the next thing to be manifested, everything else has been tried, and socialism will end as every other human attempt has ended, in proving that man cannot establish himself in unity with god and ignore Jesus christ, either in individual or in national life.

2. The education in gods thought

ye are our epistle. (2 Corinthians 3:2)

You cannot prove that god is love if you have not been born from above (rv mg), because everything around you disproves it. Take the war and the ruination going on just now, it is absurd to say that it is just and reasonable; it is tragic and wrong; and yet when you are born from above you are able to discern the arm of the lord behind it all, but it takes the nature of Jesus christ to see it, human nature apart from him is unable to do so. Marvel not that i said unto thee, ye must be born again, Jesus said to Nicodemus. I must have the nature of Jesus christ born into me, then i shall see things as he did.

(a) the character of the name (Matthew 1:21)

. . . And thou shalt call his name Jesus: for it is he that shall save his people from their sins (rv). The character of the name is that Jesus christ is saviour, and the evidence that i belong to him is that i am delivered from sin; if i am not, i have a name to live, but am dead. When i become a christian Jesus christ exhibits the character of his own name in me.

(b) the curriculum of the name (acts 4:12)

This verse is a profound utterance, the inevitable certainty that there is no salvation under heaven, saving through the name of Jesus. The whole of our education is to bring us to this understanding. So often we are like a man crossing a moor who obstinately refuses to take any directions, and he goes on and on only to find himself hopelessly lost; then he humbly tracks back to the signpost and looking up, sees the way to go. God does not get angry with us, he simply waits until we realise that what he says is true. And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved (rv ).

(c) the comprehension of the name (1 Corinthians 12:3)

We blunder when we tell people they must believe certain things about Jesus christ; a man cannot believe until he knows him, then belief is spontaneous and natural. No man can say, Jesus is lord, but in the holy spirit (rv ). You may get a parrot recital of a creed, but when a man says, with a thrill all through him, thou art the Christ, he is stating an intuitive revelation, not an intellectual conception; it is a committal to a person. When i commit myself to Jesus i begin to see properly. No man believes what he sees unless he believes before he sees. Because thou hast seen me, hast thou believed? [rv mg] blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

3. The experience as gods thought

We become incorporated into gods thought, and then we go on to experience it. It will take all time and eternity to experience gods thoughtand this is life eternal, that they should know thee . . . (rv )a continual new wonder. The schooling we are going through just now is to develop us into an understanding of the thought of god.

(a) the charge of the name (Matthew 10:32)

The charge of the name means that i stand true to Jesus christ, confessing him wherever i am. It is easy to preach, nothing easier, but it is another thing to confess. Confessing means to say with every bit of me that Jesus christ has come into my flesh. In practical outcome it means that if i say i have been saved by gods grace, i must show it, i have to be true to the name in every detail. By their fruits ye shall know them.

(b) the charm of the name (revelation 2:17)

Think of the way god disciplines us into an experience of the phases of the name; sometimes we are chastened into knowing Jesus christ as the way, at

Other times into knowing him as the truth, and the life; but there is another and a grander name yet a new name . . . , which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it (rv ).

(c) the community of the name (Ephesians 4:13)

We attain to the fulness of Christ in one way only, through the name. It is not individuals who attain, but humanity as a whole. One day the whole human race will be in gods sight as the body of Christ, completely one with god. Jesus Christ was the word of god, the expression of gods thought, and his earthly life is a symbol of what the human race will be like when it is related to god as the son of man was related. . . . Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the son of god, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of christ.