The Significance of the Name of Christ -- By: Ralph Rogers Hawthorne

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 103:412 (Oct 1946)
Article: The Significance of the Name of Christ
Author: Ralph Rogers Hawthorne


The Significance of the Name of Christ

Ralph Rogers Hawthorne

(Continued from the July-September Number, 1946)

Doctrinal Significance in the New Testament

A consistent and systematic formulation of Biblical truth resolves itself into doctrine or the teaching of the Scriptures. Study of the name of Christ reveals a vast field of truth relative to His Person and work. All this is not confined to the realm of Christology, but extends into revelation concerning Israel, the Gentiles, and the Church of God. The “people of promise” are to receive both judgment and an earthly kingdom because of the name of their Messiah. Unbelievers discover themselves condemned by the name of the Son of God and shut up to faith in His name for any release from punishment and for the gift of righteousness, forgiveness of personal and imputed sin, and eternal life. Believers owe their light and life to the name of their Savior. The name of Christ, then, possesses meaning for Christology, Pneumatology, Angelology, Hamartiology, Soteriology, Ecclesiology, and Eschatology. His name will now be related to each of these fields of truth in the order named.

1. Christology

First, the incarnation of the Son of God is prophesied in very concrete manner when an angel of the Lord quotes to Joseph, the affianced of Mary, from the prophecy of Isaiah: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt 1:23; cf. Luke 1:31). It may seem strange perhaps to those who think of Christ’s name as a bare appellation that nowhere in Scripture was He

ever addressed by the title Emmanuel. It should be plain, however, that the prophecy merely shows the incarnation of the Son of God. Second, Christ is revealed as a theanthropic Person in these same portions of Scripture (Matt 1:21, 23; Luke 1:31). The hypostatic union, joint association of both divine and human natures in the one Person of Christ, is a fundamental of Christology. Third, Christ performed His miracles by the power of His omnipotent name. His disciples did many “signs and wonders” by that same powerful name. Fourth, as one supreme object of His life Christ commissioned the Eleven to evangelize the world. “It behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day…that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations” (Lu...

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