Steven A. Bush - February 16, 2014
William Shakespeare's Juliet famously asked, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." While the first 15 chapters of Romans are replete with the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, in the last chapter of the epistle, Paul seems to wax sentimental, expressing deep gratitude and love towards specific fellow believers, members of the church in Rome as well as those in his present company. But was Paul expressing mere sentimentality or were there more profound reasons why God wanted the names of these brothers and sisters canonized in Scripture? Paul of course mentions other names in other letters. So are these names to brushed aside or can we glean more from them than initially meets the eye? In Revelation 3:5, Jesus says to the Church at Sardis: "He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." (NASB) Behind each name is a face, and attached to each face is a beloved soul, one for whom Jesus died. And He has called us by name, bound us together in His church, and made us a part of the family of God.