“A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).
Matthew 1:23 (GNT)
The above well known scripture quite adequately sheds light on our vision statement “In Christ, with Christ and for Christ”. This month we focus on “with Christ”. Since it is the Christmas season I will take more space than usual.
The Name Immanuel is unpacked in Isaiah 9:6.
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV)
Have you ever considered the significance of the name of Jesus? Indeed His full title is Jesus Christ. Some people just think that Christ is Jesus’ surname!
The name of Jesus is a declaration of who He is and what He has accomplished. Take Isaiah 9:6 for example. Five clear truths are established about our Lord’s name – Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Take a while to meditate on the above five declarations about our Lord.
He is wonderful. This talks about His ability and desire to do amazing and incredible acts on our behalf. He is our Counsellor, He leads us and guides us into depths of truth and love. He is the Mighty God, the ever-present and all knowing. There is absolutely nothing impossible for Him. He is the everlasting Father; to Him there is no end and no beginning. He is the Prince of peace, establishing peace within our hearts.
Now, when Jesus came to earth God wrapped all these powerful attributes and abilities into one powerful name. And guess what that name is – JESUS.
When you mention the name Jesus you are calling upon all the names mentioned in Isaiah 9:6. The name of Jesus is much higher than any other name on earth.
Jesus is the Christ. Christ means anointed one. Jesus is anointed by God to meet all your needs. He came for that very purpose. Christ is not Jesus’ last name; it is a description of who He is. The name speaks of His ministry. The name gives us access to the power of God.
Finally, the greatest asset you possess by being ‘in Christ’ is the ability to walk ‘with Christ’. You can hear God. You can understand God’s word. You can know God’s will. You can know how to pray. Jesus Christ has made all these possible.
Your relationship with God will take on a whole new meaning when you understand that God has brought you into a whole new realm of existence. This Christmas let’s take our faith a step further. We don’t just want to believe ‘in God’ but need to start ‘knowing God’ and walking ‘with Him’. It’s only then that we will fully appreciate Immanuel.
Someone who is ‘in Christ’ can speak of what Christ has done for them (salvation, healing), whereas a person walking ‘with Christ’ can show how Christ has changed them (a new purpose in life, genuine love of people). In the normal Christian life being ‘in Christ’ and ‘with Christ’ should be the same thing. But in our experience this is not always the case. It is God who calls you to be ‘in Christ’ yet it is your decision to walk ‘with Christ’.
Those who walk ‘with Christ’ will not desert Him when things get tough. But you know the best part of all this – Christ is the one who empowers you to walk close with Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus open the eyes of my heart that I might learn to walk ‘with Christ’ and know the significance of calling on the name of Jesus