Turning many to righteousness #“Misnomer.”

Turning many to righteousness #“Misnomer.”

There is an old joke about a Russian car manufacturer who went to visit a French car plant. “What are the working conditions here,” asked the Russian. “Well,” said the French plant manager, “my workers start at 8am, they have 15 minute coffee breaks at 10am and 3pm, an hour lunch break at noon, and then knock off at 4pm.” The Russian replied proudly, “Russian men start at 6am, have half an hour for lunch at noon, and then work until 8pm.” Shocked, the French car plant manager said, “Our Unions would never allow these men to work those hours. They’re all Communists here!”

As in the workplace, so too in the church, perception and reality can be two totally different things. Jesus gave the Laodicean Church a reality check when he told them:

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

But Jesus wasn’t only concerned about a congregation’s poor perception of itself, he cared that a church might have a “Name” among the churches as having ‘Made-it!’ Jesus told the brethren at Sardis: “I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1).

When spreading the gospel, the only Name to promote as Righteous is the Name of Jesus. We work to call everyone to Christ Jesus, “who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

We do not want a “Name” that elevates anything about us over the glory of our Lord. Paul reminds us: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Again, we do not want to have a “Name” for what we are not!

“For this reason also, God highly exalted Jesus, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).


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