If my people …
Terry R. Baughman
“Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 28:10).
God’s desire is fulfilled in people who willingly choose to take on His Name and personally identify with Him. God made covenants with those who followed Him. He pledged His faithfulness to those who enter into a covenant relationship with Him. God assured Moses that He would be with him and called him back to Egypt to represent God before Pharaoh. God promised, “I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (Exodus 6:7).
It was always God’s pledge to be with those who would become His people. “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jeremiah 31:33). There is no doubt about God’s ability to commit to the covenants He establishes. Whatever God promises will most assuredly come to pass. He will be our God and we will be His people as long as we continue to live in relationship with Him.
In the New Testament Church a New Covenant was instituted. Just prior to the arrest, the trial, and the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples were gathered in a room to observe Passover and share a meal that became known as the last supper. Jesus spoke to the group as He took the ordinary elements of the meal, the bread and the fruit of the vine, and gave them special significance. These elements became symbols of the body and blood of Jesus, “He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins’” (Matthew 26:27-28).
On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out on all believers in Jerusalem. In this grand beginning and birthday of the church this new covenant was instituted. Peter preached that in response to faith each believer should, “Repent, and … be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” He went on with a promise, “You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Through baptism in Jesus Name we become personally identified with Christ through this new covenant in His blood.
We take on the name of Jesus through water baptism. Jesus is the family name and we receive the spirit of adoption to enter into this new family. Paul said, “I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:14–15). All those who follow Jesus will take on His name. It is imperative that Jesus becomes our new identity. Peter declared, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
The conditions of the covenant are set, “If My people who are called by My name …” Jesus is His name. Let the name of Jesus be magnified and in Him let us be identified.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).