Some Rather Choice Names God Calls You in the Bible
If the Bible claims to be the Word of God (Jn 1:1; 2 Tim 3:16), and if God is true (Rom 3:4), then we should expect the Bible to be true (Ps 119:160). People who have never read the Bible for themselves do not believe it when a Christian claims the Bible is the word of truth (Jn 17:17).
If the Bible is the word of truth, then it should tell us the truth about everything found on its pages. The Bible speaks much about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit; but it also has some diaphanous terms for humanity, too. Indeed, the written word of God has some rather choice names for man, made in God’s image, yet fallen in sin. Before I was a Christian, if someone would have sat me down and said, “Let us consider some words God uses to describe you,” I would have benefitted immensely. I also would have been very hurt. Why?
First, the Bible calls fallen humanity: “sinners” (Gen 13:13; Rom 5:8). Sin is lawlessness (1 Jn 3:4). God has given humanity the Law of God (Ex 20; Rom 5:20), which exposes man’s rebellion against God. All have sinned (Rom 3:23), and it starts when we are conceived in sin (Ps 51:5). Fallen man has a sin nature opposed to the things of God (1 Cor 2:14; Eph 2:3). Sin has separated man from God (Gen 3), and sin leads to death (Rom 6:23). Why do people die? They sin. Why do people sin? They are conceived, born, and live spiritually dead in sin (Eph 2:1). Sin is man’s inheritance and environment. He inherits sin from his parents and sins during all his days in the land of the living.
Second, the word of God calls man: “wicked” (Ps 1:6; Prov 4:14). The construction of a candle wick is twisted twine. Wicks are twisted and so are wicked people. Sinners are wicked. The double-minded man, in all of his ways, is unstable (Jas 1:8). The heart of man is wicked (Jer 17:9), and so are the thoughts of his mind (Is 55:7; Jer 4:14). His works are wicked (Job 34:8; Ps 9:16). The wisdom literature of the Bible, especially Psalms and Proverbs, frequently employs this term. In our day, we listen to “media spin doctors” and “fake news” but who is not guilty of their own “white lies?” When the truth is twisted, it becomes a lie. Telling a lie breaks the ninth commandment (Dt 5:20), and it is a sin in the repertoire of sinners.
Third, Scripture calls people: “unrighteous” (Is 55:7; Mt 5:45). A person is righteous or unrighteous in her standing before God’s just judgment. It is a legal title. Sin causes a person to be guilty at the judgment seat of Christ (Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10). Guilty, twisted sinners are unrighteous before a holy God. Because men are dead in their trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1), it is impossible for them to change their condemned status (Jn 3:18), by their own will (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:15–16).
Righteousness, or right standing with God, is a gift of God (Rom 5:17; Eph 2:8–9), who imputes it by predestined election, through the perfect work of Christ on the Cross, and applied by the Holy Spirit. Unrighteous sinners become saints, being justified by faith (Rom 3:28; 5:1), if and when God decides to have mercy upon them (Rom 9:15).
Fourth, humanity is called, “children of the devil” (1 Jn 3:10). Our first parents, Adam and Eve, opted out of God’s garden paradise by joining in the rebellion of God’s created angels (Gen 3). The progeny of humanity’s federal head divided into two groups: the wicked and the righteous (Rom 5:12–21). We have noted that the righteous did not choose righteousness for themselves; but our Lord came to them and saved them from their captivity to Satan by God’s appointment (Acts 13:48; Rom 5:6).
The line of the unrighteous continues on, in rebellion against God, doing the works of their father the devil (Jn 8:44). They assist their father in his activities of lying (Jn 8:44), blinding people from the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:18; 2 Cor 4:4) and killing people in body and soul (Jn 16:2). All people were born into this world of sin, as children of the devil (Ps 51:5; Eph 2:2; 1 Jn 3:10).
Some people were adopted out of this orphanage of hell, by God’s merciful and gracious choice (Rom 8:15, 23; 11:5; Eph 1:4–5). Children of the devil love sin (Jn 3:19). They do not care that they are unrighteous and wicked sinners. If they did care, they would repent and accept the terms of peace with God, which is to trust Jesus Christ by faith. In this way God proves faith is not a meritorious work of man’s decision-making prowess (Rom 4:5).
Fifth, humanity is called, “children of wrath” (Eph 2:3). Children of the devil are children of wrath. Children receive their inheritance from their parents. The wrath of God is directed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of the ungodly, unrighteous sinners (Rom 1:18). Wrath begets wrath in the same way one reaps what he sows. The wrath of men is what unrighteous sinners reap because sin is what has been sown.
Enmity exists between God and man, evidenced by enmity between men (Eph 2:15–16). God’s wrath comes in righteous judgment against the wicked (Rom 1:18–32), and the wrath of men shall praise God (Ps 76:10) because He has employed it in His providence with perfect justice against them. The sons of disobedience inherit the wrath directed at Lucifer, whose spirit works in them (Eph 2:2).
We should note Christ’s propitiation for the wrath of God directed against sin and sinners (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10). The redeemed of the Lord have been sprinkled with the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet 1:19), shed for the forgiveness of sins done in unrighteousness (Mt 26:28; Acts 2:38; 5:31; 10:43; Col 1:14). Christ suffered the wrath of God in our place, but there is a wrath to come for unrepentant sinners (Mt 3:7; Lk 3:7; 1 Thess 1:10).
Sixth, the word of truth calls men, “liars” (Rom 3:4). God is true, and God’s word is truth (Ps 119:160; Jn 17:17). Every man is a liar in God’s omniscient evaluation. If we say we are without sin, we make God out to be a liar (1 Jn 1:10). The first step in coming to Christ requires an honest confession of one’s true state (total depravity). If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us (1 Jn 1:9); but if we continue under dominion of sin (Rom 6:14), we have none of the benefits of Christ (2 Cor 1:20; Eph 1:3).
People of truth are humbled by the truth about themselves (Rom 7:24). The apostle Paul confessed a name for himself, “chief of sinners (1 Tim 1:15–16).” Saints are forgiven sinners (Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7). Forgiveness is issued to all who humbly come to Christ, denouncing their pride and sin, and trusting in His blood payment for their crimes (Rev 1:5). Children of truth walk in the truth (1 Jn 3:18; 2 Jn 1:4; 3 Jn 1:4); and Jesus Christ is the truth (Jn 14:6). Those in Christ love the truth (Zech 8:19; 2 Thess 2:10) and speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15) to all nations.
Seventh, Scripture refers to people as, “helpless” and “ungodly” (Rom 5:6). People think they can seek God of their own free will, but the Bible calls us “helpless.” The inability of man to seek God is the clear teaching of Scripture (Rom 3:11; 8:7), and the Bible rejects the false notion that men can “will” their own salvation (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:15–16). Being “ungodly” is what wicked, unrighteous, lying sinners do. The Bible reveals the perfect attributes of God, and it displays how different fallen man is from the holy God.
Christ died for the ungodly elect, and demonstrated His love toward us while we were yet sinners (Rom 5:8). Jesus Christ promised to send the “Helper,” the Holy Spirit for our salvation (Jn 14:16) and for our sanctification (Jn 14:26). God helps us by causing us to be born again of the Spirit (1 Pet 1:3), and He continues to help us in prayer (Rom 8:26), in bearing witness of Christ (Acts 1:8) and walking on the pilgrim’s way (Gal 5:25; 2 Cor 5:7).
Eighth, Jesus called people, “slaves of sin” (Jn 8:34; c/f Rom 6:6). Humanity resides in a fallen world. Sin and death are evidenced everywhere. The Bible teaches us what we know of Satan, the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), who is the destroyer (Is 54:16; 1 Cor 10:10). As the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2), the devil reigns in the domain of darkness (Col 1:13); exercising dominion over sinners (Acts 26:18; Eph 1:21; Col 1:16).
Carnal man loves the course of this world, walking the futility of his mind, filled with thoughts of lust and pride (Jer 14:14; Eph 2:1–3; 4:17). As an expert liar, man deceives himself into thinking God loves unrepentant sinners, which the Bible clearly teaches is not true (Ps 5:5; 7:11; 11:5). Sin comes in a variety pack (Gal 5:19–21; 2 Tim 3:1–9; Rev 22:15), and man’s addictions are external proofs of his bondage to sin and Satan (Rom 6:6).
It was for freedom that Christ came to set the captives free (Gal 5:1), paying the ransom for many (Mk 10:45), and bringing many sons to glory (Heb 2:10). If Christ has set you free, then you are free indeed (Jn 8:36).
Ninth, Jesus also referred to people as “evil” (Mt 7:11). Satan is called, “the evil one” (Mt 13:19); and the children of the devil are evildoers with the face of God against them (Ps 34:16). Evil men will be repaid for their works of iniquity (Ps 28:3–4), and God says in His wrath, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Rom 12:19). Men are commanded to expose evil (Eph 5:11) and remove evil from their midst (Dt 21:21; Is 1:16).
Evil comes from a man’s heart (Lk 6:45), and it is his intention all the time (Gen 6:5). God will not permit evil into His presence (Ps 101:4). Out of man’s heart come evil thoughts, fornications, theft, murder, adulteries, coveting, slander, deceit, sensuality, envy, pride and foolishness (Mt 7:20–22).
Unregenerate people are filthy wretches in God’s assessment, as revealed in the Bible (Is 64:6). God is kind toward ungrateful evil people (Lk 6:35), yet they hate Him (Jn 7:7; Rom 1:30). Man is commanded to turn away from evil and do good (1 Pet 3:10–11). Many try to be “good” but it always ends in epic failure. Many try religion, but it is idolatry, the worship of demons (Rev 9:20).
Tenth, Jesus called the religious people “sons of hell” (Mt 23:15). Religion is man’s design to re-enter a right relationship with God on his or her own terms. God is not impressed with religion (Gen 11). Man kills in the name of his god (Jn 16:2), and calls his evil “good.” The Bible calls him a “hater of good” (2 Tim 3:3), who holds a false form of godliness (2 Tim 3:5).
Religious people bring another Jesus and another gospel (2 Cor 11:3–5), and on the day of judgment, they will hear the voice of Judge Jesus, “Depart from me, I never knew you who practice lawlessness (Mt 7:23),” and “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41).”
In summary, we have considered just a small collection of titles, ascribed by God toward people in the world. These titles are God’s names for you, if you do not belong to Him (Jn 8:47; 10:26; Rom 8:9). You either reside in the family of God or in the orphanage of hell. There are only two places for men to abide, in anticipation of their eternal homes (Eccl 12:5). Which is your home here on earth? I have written to warn you of your position. You live in a land of great peril, and it is quite apparent that men dwell here unaware of their condemnation (Jn 3:18) or the day their soul is required of them (Lk 12:20).
In conclusion, I wish to express my care for your soul. I write to point you to Christ, the only Savior of sinners (Jn 14:6; Tit 2:13). Men have only one hope in this world before destruction comes to them. Jesus Christ is our only hope (Col 1:27).
Like a trumpet from a great fortress calls in citizens to safe refuge from an approaching destroyer, so the herald of Christ proclaims salvation for sinners, right standing with God for the unrighteous, a straight way for the wicked, truth for liars, goodness for the evil, freedom for the captives, adoption for orphaned children of the devil, and propitiation for wrath.
Come to Jesus (Mt 11:28), by order of God the Father (Jn 6:44). Come to Jesus, the Good Shepherd who calls you (Jn 10:16). Come by the Spirit, who compels you to come to Christ, so that He may change your name, as a husband shares his name with his wife (Rev 2:17; 3:12). These names listed here may have hurt you, but His name is above every other name (Phil 2:9). He is Christ, and we are Christians, and those who are called by His name will never be ashamed (Acts 15:17; 1 Pet 4:16).
David E. Norczyk
Spokane Valley, Washington
January 19, 2021