What Is Your Name?

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

3 John 9-10

Diotrephes’ name is composed of two words: Dios, meaning “of Zeus” and trepho, meaning “to nourish”. This was a Greco-pagan name, and it was custom practice among the early church for a Christian to discard one’s pagan name at baptism and take upon a Christian name descriptive of their Christian character. Diotrephes had not changed his name, and this is reflective of his character, in that, he was prideful and unwilling to even forsake his own name for the sake of “the Name”. How often do we see those who claim to be of Christ still being called by their pagan name, in a figurative sense? If one desires to be a follower of Christ, they can no longer be called a member of the pagan world; they can leave no remnant of their old selves amongst their new creation.

What is your name? Are you known for your pagan past or your resurrected self in Christ? We must flee from those past desires and the past wickedness that encompassed our identity. Our identity is now fortified and found in Christ. When God the Father looks at His adopted children He sees a new creation; He sees Jesus as intercessor. Why would we want to keep any ties with the world?

It truly shows that one does not recognize who God is, what His grace has done, and what the Christian life is all about. One can join a church, even become authoritative in that church as Diotrephes seemingly was, and still lack the most basic Christian principle.

Change your name! Flee from this world; flee from who you were, and become who God can make you to be.


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