“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Alexander the Great was a capable military general and was once on one of his campaigns when he apparently received a report about a soldier who was continually acting improperly.  The general summoned this soldier and asked him, “What is your name?”  “Alexander, sir” the soldier replied.  To this, the general looked this soldier in the eye and said, “Soldier, either change your life or change your name.”  Anyone carrying his name wasn’t going to dishonor it.

What’s your name?  Isn’t your most important name “Christian”?  Through faith in Jesus your Savior you bear the name of Christ.  That’s a name far more important than “Alexander” or “Aaron” or “_________.”  In this verse, God encourages us to examine our lives.  Are we living as people who bear His name?  Are we living as people who have been delivered from eternal death and given eternal life?  Are we living in a way that honors the name we bear?

The answer is… no we haven’t.  None of us has.  God ought to tell each of us to change our name.  We’ve sinned, we’ve tarnished and dishonored His name.

But what does God do?  Unlike Alexander, God doesn’t tell us, “Shape up or ship out.”  Instead, in incredible grace, He sent Jesus to be the perfect you and die for the imperfect you.  Jesus died for your sins in full.  Why?  So Jesus could take up residence in your heart through faith.  Jesus lives inside you!  That means you have a new name, a wonderful name, a name to treasure: Christian.  Live with that new name!

Joyful to bear Christ’s name, just like you,

pastor