Trinity: Gospel, Matthew 28:16-20
If you have walked the American evangelical landscape for the past 40-plus years you no doubt have heard of a sect of American Christianity known by the pejorative “Name It and Claim It.” It is an aberrant doctrine of God which presents Him as providing health and wealth and all the best this world has to offer–all the time–to all of God’s people. And the Christian gains access to all the abundance of God through “positive confession.” It’s a practice whereby the believer simply makes declarations and thereby puts God in his or her debt by having to fulfill the claim of the spoken Word. After all, the apostle Paul taught that God declared things to be that were not and so as His children and heirs, we have been given that ability. Oh the foibles of poor interpretation. They are myriad in the church these days. Much gets missed. Sadly, much has leaked into the mainstream and sits as part of standard practice. Please go back and read the second letter of Peter. You’ll get an apostolic lesson in the dangers and damnations caused by false teaching.
But there is a beautiful use of “name and claim it” in the Christian Church. And the practice is exclusively in the hands of God. For He is the namer and He is the claimer. At the end of Matthew’s gospel the divine name is proclaimed as the gift of God in His commanded practice of water baptism. The name is His Triune name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And when applied to the repentant sinner God Himself makes the claim of generating new sons and daughters of the King. Now that’s a “name it and claim it” practice I savor daily in my life and one I desire for others as well. God baptizes us into His family, gives us His Triune name, and claims us as His own. If we want to speak of naming and claiming, let’s be truly biblical in our usage and rejoice in all that God has truly spoken.