Why the Name?

Just the Circle Feathered EdgeWhy did you name your church “Grace Gospel”?

Occasionally we get asked a question like this—and we love it. It ‘s a great question. Here’s our answer.

There are only two places in the entire Bible where the phrase “good name” shows up. One is in Proverbs (22:1) and the other is in the book of Ecclesiastes (7:1).

In context, the phrase “good name” in the above verses means a “good reputation” or “good character.” The phrase implies “that for which one is known,” “one’s legacy.” In Proverbs, God values a good reputation higher than the accumulation of abundant wealth. In Ecclesiastes, God esteems the permeating effects of a sterling character as more valuable than the sweet-smelling fragrance given off by the precious oils used to anoint the heads of priests and kings. God used Solomon’s pen to convey these simple word pictures to communicate the importance of one’s personal reputation, one’s name. This is true on a personal level, for when someone hears your name they will immediately think of your actions, attitudes, and the other things which define who you are. Are names important? Yes, insofar as they become the verbal representation of the character of the person named.

The name of any local church is no less important in what it communicates. In short, the main questions concerning a church name might well be:

  • What does God want the reputation or character of the local church to communicate?
  • What does God want the church to be known for?
  • What would God want its legacy to be?

crossThere may well be many legitimate answers that could communicate a good reputation and character through a good name for a local church. There are two words in Scripture, however, that arguably are the pinnacle words linked to God’s eternal plan of redemption for sinful man. They are the word grace and the word gospel.

  • Grace” is that unmerited favor from God to His lost creation that originates wholly in Him—sinners like us can do nothing to deserve grace.
  • Gospel”—literally “good message”—is that fullest expression of God’s grace found in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as a sinless sacrificial substitute for doomed mankind.

Grace is a multifaceted truth, like a diamond that reflects the radiance of God’s love to a lost a dying world and His daily enablement for His children as they live for His glory.

The Gospel becomes the singular non-negotiable for reaching a lost and dying world. Each of these two words, “grace” and “gospel,” occur over 100 times in Scripture. God’s grace is foundational for life and living, while the Gospel is directional for sinners and saints.

It is for these reasons that a small group of believers in September of 2008 chose the name Grace Gospel Church as the recognized name of this assembly; that it may build a reputation and character of seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ lived and preached to the glory of God as we endeavor by God’s grace to impact Ottawa, Kansas for the cause of Christ.

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)