Emmanuel Is My Favorite Name For Jesus. None of the other names, as beautiful and as accurate as they are, come close to saying as much about Him as Emmanuel (God With Us). Of course, most people describe God With Us as representing His birth and earthly life as Jesus of Nazareth. This is correct, but such a limited definition it seems almost insulting. You see, He was God With Us at creation, when, through Him all things were made. He was God With Us since creation in his visits to various leaders between creation and His birth. He is God With Us since Pentecost when He poured out His Spirit on all flesh and still does so to all He calls. He is God With Us even to those who don't follow Him because in Him we live and move and have our being and all things are held together by His Word.
Essence Of Christianity: God With Us is the essence of Christianity, where He literally takes up residence within us, giving us His Spiritual guidance and power. We have a present reality called eternal life. We have the mind of Christ. We are seated with Him in Heaven. He intercedes for us. His Spirit prays for us. Because His anointing is in us, we need no one but His Spirit to teach us. All of this is the opposite of religion.
Opposing Religion: With religion, God is distant and we must sacrifice our behavior, time and money to earn our way to Him. With Christianity, we were distant and God loved us so much He sacrificed Himself to be with us. With some religions, God is under us, in that, if we do or say certain things, He must respond by blessing us in one way or another. With Christianity, God is with us, wanting us to have every good thing, answering our every prayer by granting what we ask unless He has something better in mind for us. There is no religion where you're able to participate in the Divine nature, but that is the nature of Christianity.
Spiritual Community: God with us means that our Deliverer, Redeemer, Good Shepherd is within all of us at the same time. His power makes us so close as to be one body, no matter how far apart we are. As His people, His love shines through us to reach the world and draw them. His power protects us from harm, even from death. His Spirit works through us and empowers prayer and other miraculous works that heal people, overthrow evil, feed the hungry and proclaim His everlasting love. With all that within us, how pitifully we live, barely allowing ourselves a glimpse of the true riches He's poured on us. Jesus, please forgive me for knowing this and yet not knowing, not bearing fruit in keeping with the vast promise of You who live within me. Help me to overthrow my sin nature and live in the true power and glory of You, so I can finally know what your name means...God With Us.
Glen Williams is an Ordained Minister, Founder and CEO of E-Home Fellowship (EHF), Inc. and Webmaster for http://www.web-church.com. He has been active in ministry since 1989. You can comment on his articles at Web-Church Christian Forums.