What Is the Power In a Name? Part 1

Revised February 2016


That a name can have spiritual power is understood from the Holy Bible. It is through the power in the name Jesus Christ that heavens are moved and the earth is shaken. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”  Acts: 5:12 NIV

Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”. NIV


 The origin and meaning of the name of our LORD, Jesus is rooted in the Hebrew Yehoshua or Yeshua of which the English form is Joshua.  This is taken from the Latin “Iesus”, an anglicized form of the Greek “Yesous”. “Yeho” is in reference to YHVH, Yod-He-Vav-He, the Tetragrammaton, GOD’s four letter name. 


Literally translated Yeshua means “GOD is salvation” thus revealing the Father’s plan in naming His Son, Jesus. Salvation is in His name. Acts 10:37-38 states: “You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached–how GOD anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because GOD was with Him” NIV. Anointing through GOD’s Holy Spirit is a consecrated act of setting apart the individual for service in the work of a Holy GOD.  Jesus was epitomized through the meaning of His name. Since we are made in GOD’s image I believe that we would be the same.

As we explore this teaching together, we will be examining how Jesus’ name and our own name form a covenant partnership, and how we are led to be what is expressed in the meaning of our name. Does your name have a negative meaning or no apparent meaning at all? We will explore how what we believe, say, and do can influence the meaning of a name.

What is in a name? I have always been fascinated by the field of etymology (word origins and meanings) especially the meaning of names. My own name, Charlene, has never been the most popular on the baby name list. However, in my own family it has a significant meaning and contains a morsel of family history.

 The Korean War came on the heels of World War II. My Uncle Charles was deployed in 1950 to serve in Korea, and my mother, Irene, in an effort to preserve what they meant to each other as siblings, combined Charles and Irene to form my name, Charlene. What was interesting was the fact that she did not know that the name already existed. Charlene was such a rarity that when I met a schoolmate in the eighth grade named Charleen–she was the first person I had met with a form of my own name. Since that time I have discovered many people named Charlene, but it is still difficult to find my name on curios or placards.

It took several years into my adulthood before I felt compelled to search for the word origin and meaning of my name.

Charlene is a feminine form of Charles, which is a French name meaning “a manly freeman; a warrior”, so Charlene as a female diminutive means “a  womanly free woman; a warrior”. I could stop there except I must include the meaning of Irene. “Irene” is of Greek origin and means “peace”. Therefore, when combining the two names I get the meaning “free woman warrior of peace”. What a wonderful legacy! All that I wish to be is expressed in my name, and through the power of Christ I can  live according to the name given to me by the leading of the LORD.

Surnames are also important, so I am going to explain the meaning of the name Kirst. Some find it hard to pronounce this name, especially if they haven’t seen it in its written form. Therefore they mistakenly pronounce it “cursed” which is not it’s true meaning or pronunciation. There is a t at the end of Kirst ( pronounced Kurst or Keerst) which gives a clear, crisp ending to this name. My husband’s family for generations has pronounced this name Kirst(Kurst). I tell people, “you’re first with Kirst” as a guide to pronunciation.

The name Kirst had its origin in Northern Germany. It is a short form of the name Kirsten which derives from the Greek name of Christian.   This is derived from the Greek “Christos” which means “anointed”, which is rooted in “chrio”–“to anoint”.  In the Hebrew “Christos” means “Messiah”. There is a clear connection between Christ and Kirst, a wonderful covenant relationship that I pray will go on for as many generations as GOD has ordained.

My family has a book called “The Book of Kirsts” which contains everything about Kirst that you can imagine.  The meaning of the name as defined in that book is “descendants of followers of Christ”. Rejoice! Rejoice!  Now I can say that my name means “a free woman warrior of peace who is grafted into a family that follows Christ“. Hallelujah!! This revelation comes with responsibility to live what this name means. Since I have the name through adoption into this family (marriage) it reminds me of how I am adopted into the inheritance of Christ and therefore into all of the privileges and power of His name.

Everyone has meaning to their name. I hope that this will encourage you to seek that meaning, and to use wisdom when prayerfully choosing names for your children.

Part 2 of this teaching will concentrate on how our actions influence the meaning of our name.

May GOD Bless You.   Charlene

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