Baptized in the Name of Paul

Names matter. They describe. “Sweetheart” says one thing; “Meathead” says another. Names distinguish. Imagine a family of three children, a dog and a cat; all named “Fido!” Names signify. “Hercules” suggests strength, “Venus” suggests beauty, “Judas” suggests betrayal, “Jesus” suggests… What does “Jesus” suggest to you? How important is the name of Jesus to you?

To some in the church at Corinth apparently Jesus’ name suggested little: “Each one of you is saying, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I of Apollos,’ and ‘I of Cephas,’ and ‘I of Christ.’ Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:12-13) Division among first century believers caused some to identify themselves with different names. Division among 21st century believers is doing the same. Paul condemned this in the church at Corinth, calling such “divisions” and “sects” works of the flesh (Galatians 5:20).

Whose name do you identify with? Paul's? Peter's? A church father? A reformer? A “saint?” Were you baptized in the name of…? Maybe it doesn't matter. After all, names are just names. Maybe it doesn't matter. After all, names are just names.