What Is In A Name?
In the majority of existing manuscripts of the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament), Kyrios is substituted for Jehovah (YHWH) much like how our AV/KJV Bible substitutes LORD for Jehovah (YHWH). In the New Testament, this same Greek word Kyrios is translated Lord and most often references the Lord Jesus Christ. Kyrios literally means he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; owner, master, lord; and the sovereign, prince, chief. As a title, it refers to the honour expressive of respect and reverence with which servants greet their master but more importantly, this title is given to God, the Messiah. Thus, a reference to Jesus Christ as Kyrios is a reference to Jesus Christ as Jehovah. In the following passage, I replaced LORD with Kyrios to help drive this point home.
Isaiah 43:1-11 “But now thus saith the KYRIOS that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have REDEEMED thee, I have CALLED [thee] BY THY NAME; thou art mine. 2 When thou passest through the waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 3 For I [am] the KYRIOS thy GOD the HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL, thy SAVIOUR: I gave Egypt [for] thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life…10 Ye [are] my witnesses, saith the KYRIOS, and my servant whom I HAVE CHOSEN: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I [am] he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after 11 I, [even] I, [am] the KYRIOS; and beside me [there is] no SAVIOUR.”
Here we see that Kyrios, Jehovah, is the God who forms His people; redeems His people; calls His people by their names; walks with His people in the midst of their deepest trials and tribulations; saves His people; finds His people precious in His sight; loves His people; chooses His people; and sacrifices men and even nations for His people. This is the same Kyrios who said in John 15:16 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you.” This is the same Kyrios spoken of in Revelation 4:11 wherein we read “Thou art worthy, O KYRIOS, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
To further prove the matter, consider the very meaning of the name Jesus. The Greek word transliterated as Jesus is Iēsous; it is synonymous with and derives from the Hebrew word Yĕhowshuwa. Both the Greek word and the Hebrew word have the same meaning — Jehovah saves or Jehovah is salvation. We see again, in the very definition of His name, that our Lord did not just make salvation possible but, as the only self-existent Being, Jehovah God, He actually saves. When you take into account the two root words that make up Yĕhowshuwa, we see that it can also be read as The Existing One (I AM) saves. That the Lord Jesus is the great I AM is clear from passages like John 8:58 wherein “Jesus said unto [the Jews], Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM” and John 18:6 “As soon then as he had said unto them, I AM, they went backward, and fell to the ground.”
Notice that the name means Jehovah IS salvation. Jesus, Himself, is salvation; He is the Resurrection, the Life, the Hope of His people. He does not just save them but He is (by way of His person, office, and work) their salvation. All who are in Him are most certainly saved from sin and eternal wrath to come. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him” 1 Thessalonians 5:9. Yet, there are indeed some who are appointed to wrath; God declares in 1 Peter 2:7-8 “Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed” — knowing that “…the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience” Colossians 3:6.
The precept that Jehovah (Jesus) is the salvation of His people is further evidenced in:
Matthew 1:21-23 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he SHALL save HIS PEOPLE from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the KYRIOS by the prophet, saying, 23 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.
Here we see the glorious prophecy that God with us (in human form and flesh) shall save His people. It does not state that He will save those who let Him save them nor does it state that He makes salvation possible; the passage firmly declares that He shall save His people from their sins -and- He shall do so because He is their salvation. The passage also does not state that He will save all mankind nor does it state that all born into this world will have an opportunity to be saved; the passage clearly states that He came into the world to save His people — not all people but His people, from their sins. (Spiritual) Judah, yet another title for the people of God, will be saved as we read in Jeremiah 23:5-6 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” This Iēsous, this Jesus, is the Branch; He is Jehovah/Kyrios our righteousness and by Him our salvation is sure.
We considered the Lord, we considered Jesus, but what of the title Christ? The Greek word translated as Christ is Christos and it is synonymous with the Hebrew Mashiyach, the Hebrew word we translate as Messiah. Both refer to the Anointed One, that is, the one Anointed of God. Just as with Kyrios and Iēsous, Christos is a title directly related to the salvation of God’s elect. We read in Hebrews 9:28 “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” We see this on the Old Testament side in,
Daniel 9:24-27 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the [CHRIST] the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall [CHRIST] be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant WITH MANY for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Here we see that Christ, the Messiah, the Saviour of His people, finished the transgression and made an end of sins. He is the One who made reconciliation for iniquity and who brought in everlasting righteousness. He is the one who was anointed the most Holy but was cut off (not for Himself but for His people); He was cut off because the Father “hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” 2 Corinthians 5:21. We; what a powerful word, this we. Is it all mankind? No, it is we whom the Father chose in Christ ‘before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved’ Ephesians 1:4-6. Consider also, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for IT [literally, HER]; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” Ephesians 5:25-26. Though He was made sin for His people to make an end of sins; though He was cut off for them as He gave Himself for His Bride (the elect church); though He was once offered to bear the sins of many; He will return the second time without sin, without our sin which He bore in His own body on the cross — for He has put it all away as He endured the wrath of God in our stead unto the full payment of the penalty and unto the full satisfaction of the divine law.
Note also that in the Old Testament, the King, the High Priest, and (per 1 Kings 19:16) the Prophet were anointed. The Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah the Anointed Saviour, is the actual Lord, Deliverer, Prophet, and King of His people. He is also their High Priest, but not High Priest alone; He is also “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” John 1:29 — even “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” Revelation 13:8.
But what does the Bible declare concerning Christ as Prophet? It declares that “…Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people” Act 3:22-23.
What does the Bible declare concerning Christ as High Priest? It declares “For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this He did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, [maketh] the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.” Hebrews 7:26-28.
What does the Bible declare concerning Christ as King? “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” Revelation 19:11-16.
Conclusion – The Lord Jesus Christ
Words have meaning; the names and titles of our Lord have meaning. We see even in the often used title the Lord Jesus Christ the reality of salvation actually accomplished by Jehovah, God with us, as the one anointed of the Father, by the Spirit, unto the fulfillment of all roles and duties necessary for the salvation of His people. What is in a name? Everything necessary for our salvation: “for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” “Neither is there salvation in any other” Acts 4:12. All praise and honour is due our great Jehovah, even the Lord Jesus Christ and the Godhead of whom He is the fullness bodily.