Why the Name Heritage?

The author of Proverbs wrote that, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.” (Proverbs 22:1) And Solomon said that, “A good name is better than precious ointment.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1) From these verses it is clear that even names are of tremendous importance.

 In Genesis chapter 1 verses 5, 8 and 10 we have the Lord naming His creation. He calls the light Day and the darkness Night, the expanse Heaven, the dry land Earth and the waters He calls Seas. The pinnacle of God’s creation is man whom we are told is made in the image of God. Man is to image God to the creation; he is to display God’s attributes and likeness to the world. As God’s image bearer it is no surprise to find that God’s first job for Adam is to name the animals. (cf. Genesis 2:19)

 Names undoubtedly have great significance in Scripture. One only has to think of Abraham (Father of many), Jacob (Supplanter), Bethel (House of God), Jesus (Saviour), Christ (Anointed One), Jerusalem (City of Peace) etc. to see the importance and meaning that is attached to names.

 It is for these reasons that we believe that the name of a church is so important. As can be seen in Scripture a name is not merely a set of letters used to identify someone, like a tag. Rather a name has tremendous significance and points to the character and calling of a person or to the symbolism of a place. A church name should have significance and symbolism.

 We chose the name Heritage Baptist for several reasons. Firstly, the word heritage is a biblical word. In Psalm 16:6 David refers to his heritage as goodly. “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” Isaiah prophesies the following, “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD." Here we see that the inheritance for God’s people is ultimate victory! In 1Peter 5:3 we have these amazing words in which the church is called God’s heritage and elders are warned about their conduct. “Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” Finally in Revelation 21:7 those who overcome are promised the ultimate heritage, “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” From these few examples it is clear that the word heritage has a rich, biblical significance.

 The World English Dictionary defines the word heritage as, “anything that has been transmitted from the past or handed down by tradition.” As those who want to be faithful to historic, orthodox Christianity this is exactly the meaning that we want to be associated with Heritage Baptist. We want to emphasise the fact that we are not innovative or novel when it comes to theology. We desire to tread the well worn paths of those giants of the faith who have gone before us and on whose shoulders we now stand.

 Even our tree logo is rich with biblical symbolism. The tree of life points us to Christ who alone can satisfy and give everlasting life. (cf. Rev. 2:7) In the synoptic gospels Jesus likens the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed that grows into a large tree that provides shelter for the birds. This is what we want Heritage Baptist to be; an expansion of God’s kingdom that gives spiritual rest and sustenance to God’s people.

So, now you know why our name is Heritage Baptist.

Soli Deo Gloria

 

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