A Change With His Name On It

by APC on February 10, 2016

When I was a child I never wanted to get married. Marriage to me only equated with the loss of my last name. I was proud to bear my last name because it was my Dad’s, it was unique, and it was mine.

Growing up, I never understood my classmates who opted to go by their middle names, nicknames, or a variation of their given name. I was so enamored by my name, I wrote it (first, middle, and last) on everything—even on my homework—just ask my parents and grade school teachers.

But, time marched on. I met my husband, fell in love, got married, and took his name. I’m now the proud bearer of a new last name.

Changing your name alters who you are more than you think it would. Sure, I’ve got most of the same characteristics that I developed under my Dad’s last name, but, I assumed a new identity when my name changed—literally and figuratively. If you’ve ever changed your name, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t just look at Scripture!

A notable example of a name change is found in Genesis 35:10. God changed Jacob’s name—meaning supplanter/deceiver—to Israel—meaning prevails with God. Jacob (Israel) wasn’t the same when he left his encounter with God and got a new name; read the story and I think you’ll agree!

But, this example is not my favorite by far. The greatest example is one is mentioned in Scripture, but still occurs today. Between childhood and marriage, I had another name change. That name change happened the day I was baptized. I no longer bear my earthly father’s last name, but I now hold the one of my heavenly Father.

When we are baptized (Acts 2:38), we not only put on Christ (Galatians 3:27), but we take His name. Jesus said He came in His Father’s name (John 5:43), and Scripture reveals the whole family in heaven is called that name (Ephesians 3:15). When we call on the name Jesus in baptism, which is the same word used in Ephesians 3:15 for named, we receive His surname!

Once I received that name, my identity changed. I was adopted into my Father’s family (Ephesians 1:5) and I became a new creature (II Corinthians 5:17). I stopped serving myself, and started to serve God (I Corinthians 7:22–23). When I took on His name, I also received His Spirit (Acts 2:38). The Holy Ghost working in me has changed my identity in more ways than one.

Today, I’m not the same person I was when I had my Dad’s last name. A few years have gone by since then, and I’ve grown up quite a bit. But, I’m different because I’ve changed my name. I’m now a child of God, I’ve made the decision to call Him my Father, and the new name He gave me is now written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Philippians 4:3).

You can experience the power of a name change for yourself! I’m not the only one who bears my Father’s name. I have many spiritual brothers and sisters in this world as well as the next. If you haven’t experienced the power of the most important name change you could make in your life, I encourage you to do so, dear reader. It will be the best decision you could ever make in this life. Let go of your name, follow Acts 2:38, and get a new one! You’ve got a change with His name on it!