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October 23, 2017 11:09 am
And I just moved into our home here in Charlotte over 11 years ago.
On one Saturday morning a young man appeared at our door wanting to sell us a package for pest control sign-up and every month we to pay something like $40 or something and I asked him what kind of press he was wanting to control and that he explained that here in North Carolina. Those all kinds of pests I should've explained I was a pastor I know about past but I said to him, what do you have in mind. Then he said, well, for example. Hence I said what we've lived here a week or two and I have not seen one single and that he said will this will put a body of about 20 feet running the perimeter of your house and our houses are very close together nicely will make sure the neighbors are by and that will be okay and as we spoke. It was obvious to me at least. He was trying to sell me something that I didn't really need and in the over 11 years. We stayed in our home the same home only had a few little ants which are easily killed with the thumb and I thought just think how much money I have saved over $5000. I would've saved he was trying to sell me something, but he was not very good salesman because he did not create a need.
Trying to give me a cure for something that I did not think need to needed to be cured. The reason I tell that story is this before fall in the wonderful epistle of Romans presents the spiritual cure.
He wants to tell you the spiritual condition that all of us have, and it is a very serious condition and soft before Paul in great detail presents the part of the purposes of God revealed in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul deals over and over again with this problem that we all have the problem of sin.
Last week we saw that the evidence for the existence of God is self evident, because God has revealed himself in his creation.
Whether we look up to the sky with a look at the flyer whether we look at and then we see their handiwork of God, but rather than worshiping God and loving God.
Paul tells us that we suppress the truth instead of worshiping the immortal God. We create our own idols.
Paul is going to tell us something very very insightful is going to answer the question what happens when a society abandons God what happens when an individual turns their back on God, what happens to those who faced with the truth. Reject the truth suppress the truth and live their own lives sometimes seem that those who rebel against God. Those who deny God. Those who live their lives as practical atheists as if there were no God. The tall that God sometimes just leaves them in the light seems quite good and we sometimes wonder is God going to take any action against those who turn their back on him. But we learn from Romans one verse 18 that God's wrath is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and all unrighteousness on this judgment of God will certainly come on sin in the future. But Paul is going to tell us something that we don't often think about God's judgments.
Also, as evidenced in the present and that the private JR versus the society where people live. Anyway they want, when people adopt any lifestyle when people do their own thing where they exercise they think their choice and their freedom to live as they like, rather than that.
Being a blessing is in fact an evidence of the judgment of God, and God gives such people over to their own desires.
If you have your Bible, their turn with me to Romans chapter 1, as were going through this wonderful book of Romans and didn't today.
This morning we come to Romans one verses 24 through 13 two versus 34 verses 24 through 32 when the society rejects God. God delivers that society to its own desires. The key phrase in the passage is God gave them up. Look at verse 24. Romans 124 your people faced with the evidence of the incident of the existence of God reject God for the long way claiming to be wise, they become fools. As we saw last week. The result verse 24 therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity.
Verse 26 for this reason God gave them up to this Hon. pensions verse 28, and since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. That expression God gives gave them up means to deliver to judgment and that is used when Pilate delivered our Lord to be delivered. He gave them up to be delivered to give them up to be crucified is the point society experiences the judgment of God through the consequences of their freely chosen action. That is when people abandon God if you as an individual abandon God when the society abandons God and pursues their own rebellious desires and live as they like. That is an evidence not of God's blessing on them. It is an evidence of the judgment of God. God delivers them up.
Do you really think that you can live anywhere you like. Do we really think here in the United States that we can live any way we like it was a society which rejects God, no, God abandons that society and gives them over to depravity you want to live that way. Go ahead with the same principle and second Chronicles 15 verse two the Lord says if you seek him, he will be filing the view I asked you last week to seek the Lord to pursue the Lord to love the Lord.this is a passion of your life. Number one priority to seek the Lord and to love the Lord. If you do that he will be fined of your but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. Two Chronicles 15 verse two.
You see God you'll find God. If you forsake God that you abandon God if you turn your back on God, God will forsake you call this message a depraved society verses we read a very very serious very, very solemn tough message tough passage but think of this. This passage was written 2000 years ago when the Bible is true. As we read these verses couldn't we say that these verses paints an uncannily accurate picture of it on society here in North America and Europe. Western civilization as described in the verses were going to be my first of all, in verses 24 and 25.
Paul explains that God delivers a society to impurity read with me in verse 24 therefore as a result of them suppressing the truth. As a result of them coming from God. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves because they exchanged the truth about God for all I and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever.
A man God delivers a society to impurity, impurity characterizes those who reject God. This what imputed is a general description of the alienation in which the laws find themselves.
They turned their backs on God. They suppress the truth and God allows them to go their own way. They're quite happy and living life this way and that imputed minds leads to impure conduct.
John Stott writes God abandons stubborn sinners to their willful self-centeredness and the resulting process of moral and spiritual degeneration is to be understood. Is this as a judicial act of God. It is God who is delivering them up.
Stott correctly says this is a judicial act of God as God is the judge said all right this is what you want. Go ahead of the societies delivered up to impurity, Paul says here in verse 25 you reject the truth and they believe lies what kind of lies all kinds of lies.
There is no God happiness. So were told is doing our own thing. God, if there is a God is a restrictive God is an angry God is a kind of cosmic killjoy so ignored this God your parents aren't terribly old-fashioned.
The church is outdated later on in life was of a good time try drug try drink dry sags. Don't worry about God or anything else. This is your life.
Live it up the lies of our society. What happens chaos pain disaster, and we ask this as I could time as people enjoy themselves believe these lives. The first stage in the downward spiral of sinfulness. According to Scripture, is impurity. Verse 24. It's described as the lusts of their hearts desires for what God forbids our culture here in the United States. Would you agree with me is characterized by him.
We live in a society of sexual access, according to God's order the divine order. Sexual intimacy is a beautiful gift of God, and it is to become confined to marriage, which according to Scripture, is one man and one woman in a permanent and exclusive and delightful relationship that was happening in our society know when the society abandons God.
The result is sexual access and sexual impurity.
Paul says here in verse 24. Did you notice the results it leads to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves that which is holy, that which is pure, that which is noble, that which is honorable now becomes dirty sleazy and bad. I remember watching a television interview of about 10 young college women students who are being interviewed about their sex lives in these young woman had had multiple sex partners so they said, and the interviewer and that was not Christian interview someone of her major networks. Interviewer asked them if else as they look back on these experiences and they all said well actual fact we feel used.
We feel exploited with fuel to print and quite amazing, at least to me. I hope to hear that in a number of these hookups. These young woman 1819 2021.
These young beautiful woman said in many cases we didn't even know the name of the young man. We were sleeping with.
To those who don't honor God and up dishonoring themselves and darkness are honoring their own bodies and up dishonoring others which young man in his senses once of that kind of woman as his wife someday who has been so far Don. The slope of sin, then in impurity, they don't even know the name of the person sleeping with this is the judgment of God and morality pornography at epidemic levels in our society we have forgotten Hebrews 13 verse four. Let marriage be held in honor among all and let the marriage bed be undefiled for fornicators and adulterers God will judge not my words. These are the words of Scripture.
Nothing wrong with manager beautiful gift of God. Nothing wrong with sexual intimacy needs to be celebrated as a great gift from our Creator for our pleasure for procreation for the stability of society but when that is abused God will judge to this impurity doesn't come alone doesn't, it leads to loss of dignity and leads to exploitation that leads to abuse it leads to molestation. At least the depravity and our society is majoring on neuroticism.
We are bombarded underway with sexual images in the media and advertising and email here to tell the church on our on why we have to put all kinds of filters that IT people tell me to stop all of the pornographic and all of the filth in bombarded into our system and so if you have an iPhone 14-year-old boy with his iPhone can bring up an image of the most depravity rights. There this is the world that we live in social media is abundant with eroticism and impurity and this surely is a sign of the judgment of God on our society. Eric was praying for little Isaac Peterson this little baby who's in the renters been so sick and as we went recently to pray for him. We saw this sign on the computer in the hospital. It's a dirty world but from the rent main and before we could go and see little Isaac Peterson and pray with them. Eric and I had to wash her hands for about three minutes right up here, washing and washing so that we are going in with no viruses or disease or infection and they're telling us is a dirty world. Yes, it is a dirty world I'm shooting for disease and virus, but I thought there's a worse kind of dirt doesn't or was more older and the spiritual search and all of the washing of her hands will not get rid of that impurity pulsated in verse 25 that they reject God's and worship the creature rather than the creator of foolish God is rejected in the place of God. We are worshiping the creature we know the truth of God in creation, but we suppress the truth. This truth is revealed to everyone, but we suppress it. Yet our society prefers online. Verse 25. The exchange the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever. We know call impurity good. We call that which is pure ally more and more we are worshiping the creature rather than the creator were much more concerned the society with mother Earth rather than our heavenly father and the more bizarre the false religion. The philosophy that believe what seems to be more and more attracted to get applauded.
If you save trees. If you see whales if you save spotted owls and we should care about these don't know about spotted owls are concealing around. But, of course.
As Christians we should be concerned about the environment yes about trees and whales and spotted owls. We understand that, but don't you think of something strange in the society that if a whale is breached. You'll get hundreds of people thousands of people flocking to the beach to trying to get that whale back in the water and we sin is wonderful and it may well have the national news. If you're concerned about saving unborn babies. You might be accused of hate speech. You might be accused of interfering with a woman's right of choice was the result of all of this, God delivers society to sexual impurity with dreadful consequences, broken homes, unwanted children, abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, loneliness, substance abuse, exploitation, and yes even sexual slavery. Do you realize here we are, apparently, a civilized country in the United States. Also true in Europe and today in October 2017 we have slavery in Charlotte is about slavery in this country was abolished many years ago. John you need to get yourself familiar with American history. I know about American history. I'm not talking about that kind of slavery.
Praise God that slavery was abolished by the sexual slavery was young woman here in Charlotte throughout United States throughout Europe who are sexual slaves.
This is the judgment of God. God delivers first society to impunity. You say that bad is going to get worse is the second stage verses 26 and 27 you say how much worse can it get to gets worse. God delivers a society homosexuality.
Verse 26 for this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. What you mean Paul dishonorable passions of Tellier for their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another man committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the June penalty for their error is to avoid.
I don't know if you should talk about that John Paul is talking about it, the spirit of God is writing about it and know that unpalatable and have a very politically incorrect. It may be to our ears. We need to hear this.
This is the word of God, homosexuality and the society is a consequence of God abandoning the society pulsates here. The natural has been exchanged for the unnatural. Yes, there's impunity. Yes, sexual access, but now there's a downward slope to that which is on natural moral depravity. As a result of the judgment of God society which abandons God is not content with sexual impurity. You notice that sin always takes us time we see that very very clearly with the drug. I think it starts with a little bit weedy. Start a little marijuana.
He thinks he's very co-might even say this brings him closer to God's such as the delusion, but soon the person is trying another drug and another drug. The same with the person who drinks I can control my drink and the Texas Donovan and I know Paul is saying the society is characterized by the on natural acts of homosexuality and lesbianism. Don't you agree that verses 26 and 27 could have been written yesterday by someone observing our culture here in the United States. Several people are born that way.
John be very careful really and 20's and a 2016 study entitled sexuality and gender findings from the biological and psychological, and social sciences researchers from John Hopkins find that the idea that people are born with a fixed sexual orientation is not supported by scientific evidence. People say what people are born that way. Well, that's what John Hopkins researchers fund allows people to make their findings. But even if it could be proved that homosexual orientation is not the choice does that make homosexual acts good or right every single one of us sitting here are born with a tendency to sin. It is true we are not all tempted to the same sins I've never been tempted to take a drug never take a drug in my life, never been a temptation of mine. I think of I was an unbeliever.
I still when the brain and drugs absolutely no temptation very easy for me to say now I don't want drugs but I'm tempted to other students, and you may not be.
You may be tempted to homosexuality or you may not be this I got to every single one of us has that sinful nature and all of us. All of us without exception attempted to send the fact that you are tempted to commit a particular act does not make that act good does not make that convict good. The fact that someone says well I'm attracted to men. I'm not going to deny that and I can sell right you attracted to men. That doesn't mean to say that the act in the behavior and the lifestyle of the homosexual is good.
Every single one of us is sent to let me say very very clearly and needs to be said because we are bombarded with all of the propaganda. Let me say very clearly from the word of God, Old Testament and New Testament, but homosexual and lesbian acts on natural and sinful was about how your back to that word sin. I realize that but God, not me. Not you do not tell the church nor Congress it is God who is our creator who defines and decides what is sinful and what is not. And Paul is saying here that the natural function is exchanged. Verse 26 for that which is to say to the end of verse 26. Contrary to nature homosexuality is contrary to the order of creation in the beginning I did God create us. He could've created us anyway. He wanted the sovereign he created us male and female Jesus and the gospel reaffirmed that when he was asked about marriage and divorce made it very clear that right in the beginning. This is God's ordinance that God made us in certain ways human beings and he made us with a distinction between male and female.
So, among other things, is a method of anatomy homosexuality that is not an alternative lifestyle is not gay. It's an assault on the wisdom of our creator God who in the beginning made us male and female should not be obvious. Paul says here in verse 22 claiming to be wise, they became fools.
I read that there are schools elementary schools there now teaching what they call gender fluidity that gender is a continuing really that somehow I male and that my mom not moving to be a female and here is my little granddaughter who is a five-year-old little girl and she's got to be told that this gender is fluid that they had that at some point she might be a body and were told in the schools.
Can you believe it that teachers and administrators are not to refer to boys and girls because some might be confused as to where the little boy to go or someone might be in the gender fluidity continuing moving from a little boy to little joke so we can call them boys and girls. We just call them students.
Can you believe the staff and it is going on right in culture throughout church history. Followers of Jesus, about which regarded homosexuality as sinful. When Paul talks about marriage in Ephesians 5 he uses a beautiful picture he likens it to the relationship between Christ and the church and he says marriage is between a man and a woman.
Don't let anyone try and talk you out of this. Don't be intimidated by people that will call you homophobic. They will try to accuse you and accuse me of hate speech on. Don't fall for that decision magazine, the Billy Graham magazine just this month, October 17 reported that the Southern poverty Law Center in Alabama has labeled a number of Christian organizations such as family research Council, and D. James Kennedy administration as he organizations Christian organizations accused of hate organizations. Why article says they believe the biblical teaching on social issues such as same-sex marriage because they believe the word of God. There are no accused of hate. Scripture is very very clear. Now this doesn't mean let me say this. This doesn't mean that we reject people who struggle with homosexual homosexuality, or even practice homosexuality and lesbianism. No, we accept them we love them. If you here this morning, we welcome you and everyone is welcome at Calvary church.
All of us struggle with sin. You're not unique and we are not in the position of judging you as people but God in Scripture judges this conduct homosexuality as sinful is not my judgment not judging you as a person.
I'm not saying that you're a worse person than I am what I am saying this on the authority of Scripture that God says this conduct is a natural and it is sinful. As an example.
Paul says in verse 26 of this Hon. passions and then he says in verse 27 that those who practice the sexual sins are receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
I see if you live a life threatening American God guards may well allow you to pursue that lifestyle. You can live anywhere you once brothers, consequences and third.
The certainly eternal consequences but are often consequences right in the moments we see that with people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I think of the penalty that is on people who live in life of sexual excess guilt disease. Sexually transmitted diseases, jealousies and depression most serious of all listen to what Paul says in first Corinthians 6 first Corinthians 6. This was written in the first century as well to a church. First Corinthians 69 says don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor man who practice homosexuality, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor violators nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. Those who practice these things, not just sexual sins is a number of dimensions. Those who are greedy drunkards of Eiler swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. But praise God's these sins are not unforgivable is what Paul says in verse 11 and such were some of you there were people in the church at Corinth, where, who had been homosexual who had been swindlers and drunkards and reprobates, says Paul, such where some of you but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God. And this brings us, of course, to the gospel.
This is what Paul is preparing us for as he is painting this terrible picture of human depravity and of sin and of sexual excess and more is going to present the wonderful message of the grace of God. Paul puts it this way in first Timothy one. The seat describes himself as a blasphemer. Several very nasty person, one who really persecuted the church. What is he saying in verse 15.
This is a faithful saying and worthy of everyone's acceptance, but Christ Jesus came into the world to say sinners and Pohlad's of which I chief no we don't condemn your book Paul is making it clear that all sins, whether sexual or otherwise, whatever sin you've committed whatever sin I have committed that there is hope. And the only way of cleansing the only way of washing the only way of forgiveness is through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. There must be an acknowledgment over sin. There must be a turning from arson. That's called repentance. And there must be a crying out to our Savior who comes in great love to us pays the price for our sin. Yes, all of these sins and offers us a new beginning, a fresh start a new birth, as we receive him as our Savior.
This through the blood of his cross through his resurrection from the dead, and he is alive. So what we have seen missing the first two first delivers a society to impurity. Secondly, God delivers a society to homosexuality. And finally, in verses 28 through 32. God delivers a society to depravity. Verse 28, and since they did not see fit to acknowledge God. What does God do God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manners of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice.
There full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent party forceful inventors of evil, visibly gentle parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Here is the third and the final stage in the downward spiral of sin. God delivers a society to depravity to a debased mind mind now is so debased the mind is so crooked. The mind is so twisted that this society is unable to discern between good and evil emphatically called by good and good evil Paul says in verse 28. The due what ought not to be done to think were there in our society and not everyone in our society goes to the same extent of depravity, but one of the things sin does time when you turned your back and caught a time when you were involved in sin, isn't the case that sin affects our thinking people say of someone or that person would never have done that are there too smart they they wouldn't do something so foolish. Yes they are smart. Nothing wrong with an IQ of about one of the things sin does.
It affects our thinking.
It affects how we see reality is certainly a fax how we see Scripture is certainly affects how we see what is right and wrong. So what do we do with this debased mind, we rationalize our sin away. People rationalize living a life of the morality people rationalize their faith in the corruption student Cisco rationalize cheating very clear from Scripture that this is wrong, but students rationalize our analysis during its we rationalize being disobedient to parents, well if you knew my parents, my mom and dad are the really tough, there is a totally unreasonable noise should honor them, but if you only knew them and were masters IIa at rationalizing arson was a come from a debased mind. This is the inevitable downward spiral of sin in our individual life and the life. As a society and the end result is a depraved and corrupt society plans allow school your people to make all the jokes about sleazy lawyers and bad lawyers and and I used to look at underclassmen think that the value of this class is going to be these terrible lawyers because they all seem pretty respectful, fairly nice guys really none of them said that to be a crooked lawyer. But what happens state-by-state up a little compromise here a little compromise their little compromise there and I met some 10 years after graduation and they look at the life and say how did I get here by step compromise by compromise one.
Sin leading to another, one sin blinding our minds. One sin, making it easier to commit the next sin, and so it is Don Don Don with the results society is depraved. This is God's judgment if he abandons a society not God doesn't abandon us in an absolute sense, but he does sometimes allow us 70 to pursue our own sinfulness without restraining us in society without God chooses sin and I say to her students, young men and young women don't turn your back on caught on rebel against God arise. Life might be difficult for you. Elijah faced with difficult choices. But Don don't turn your back on God's don't think that you can go into sin, and that you will know where you can stop that you will know where you can draw the line. It isn't true. One sin leads to another because one of the most disastrous effects of sin is that it impacts our thinking a debased mind this downward slope, then this accelerating slope to do this.
The description of all of the sins you think I'm nuts. Homosexuality is in my sermon by the other ones were in the think of that next week as we go into chapter 2.
You feeling a little comfortable with yourself because you think well I'm not like these others be careful read the list. Notice what it says here in verse 30, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haters of God, things Lamis, now deceased, was a famous celebrated English novelist when will the price school will be ready's book Lucky Jim regarded as one of the greats English novelists at the end of the 20th century and he died an additional service which interestingly was in the church in London Church of England in London, his son Martin Amos was also a novelist was giving a eulogy and he recalled the conversation, which his father had had with Yevgeny give to Schenkel Russians .1 the Russian point yet to Schenkel asked Kingsley Amos is from a communist unity theorist Kingsley inmates said well yes I am an atheist, but it's more than that. I hate him. Think of that man a brilliant man, educated at Oxford fame.
Not only is he saying I don't believe God, I hate but with a contradiction of course, haters of God. That's what happens when the society turns its back on God that know this in verse 32 people know the rejected God, but they continue in their depravity and rebellion better study to those who know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them as bad but notice this they give approval to those who practice them. They know they're doing wrong, but they still go ahead.
They not only commit the sins but encourage others to commit the sins with them. Why is it that when people get drunk. They want all of us to get drunk. Why is it that the young woman doing drugs. Once her friends to do drugs. Why is it that the gossip wants everyone to listen to the gossip and to repeat the gossip. Why is it that the person who's a sexual pervert. Once others to be involved in the sin they think the sins are cool, the beautiful and different approving of the evil DC the spiral Don Don not even content with your own sin you're trying to justify your trying to get others to be involved in your same sin.
This depravity of the mind is one of the most serious consequences of sin they hate God, but they don't hate sin.
God has abandoned people to the downward spiral of sin are what we learned today will when the society rejects God.
God delivers that society to its own desires depraved society is the evidence of the judgment of God, they dishonored God they don't acknowledge God as God by the end up dishonoring themselves and others know every single one of us here to send every single one of us is under the judgment of God. Sin is like a virus which untreated will destroy us and by ourselves, we cannot cure the illness. It is too deep. It affects the totality of our being. We needs cure. The only cure comes from God. That is the gospel so I pull this writing personally to condemn these people but to wake them up and to realize that if you live your own life you will go further and further away from God. God in his grace and his great love has provided a cure in our Lord Jesus Christ is why I love Romans 116 and 17 were Paul says I'm not ashamed of the gospel why it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. Think of the power the confines of sin. Think of the power they can take someone who spent their life in drugs and make them a new person in Christ, think of the power that can cleanse you from your sin which is in your own heart and in your own life and is threatening to destroy you and destroy those around you. That's power. The power of the gospel revealed in our Lord Jesus Christ who comes he himself said for God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. You saved have you been delivered from that sin, giving washed and cleansed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ could be said of you as it was said of the Corinthians, yes you once were a terrible sinner, but now you wash your sanctified your justified all through our Lord Jesus Christ would understand and sing in a minute about the love of God.
I thought had to be close service like this is we deal with such weighty serious truth you're still wondering me.
The love of God melt your heart that God's love comes to you that God loves you so John I've really messed up. I understand that so have I so is every single person sitting here messed up. God loves you.
Jesus Christ came to die for you for your sense and if you receive Christ, the Holy Spirit will indwell you and transform you and give you a new power so that you can live for Christ. We pray with me and then will stand and sing this wonderful hymn of the love of God father. This is a such a serious passage yet. We thank you for that we thank you for the cottage of your truth is wakes us up. This helps us to see things as you see them rather than through our own lens or through the lens of society. So we thank you for its clarity that pray every boy, girl, young person older person father that he will understand the ugliness of their personal sin and look to Christ the perfect Savior who comes not to condemn them but to save them and to rescue them and to forgive them and transform them may they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.
We thank you for that love deep, deep love that you have for us in Christ name