Whose name is Reverend? It is striking that the word, “reverend,” is found only once in the Bible, and that in reference to God. It appears in Psalm 111:9: “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” This verse clearly tells us that God’s name is reverend and we never find any other name in Scripture called thus. How then can any mortal, be he ever so godly and worthy of esteem, be given or take a title which is only given to God in His Word? Reverend is an attribute which only belongs to God. The word is never used in connection with any servant of God in the Old or New Testaments.
The Word of God surely teaches that Christ’s servants and ministers should be esteemed and honored. I Thessalonians 5:12-13 says: “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you: And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.” And I Timothy 5:17 exhorts that even “the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” But nowhere in the Bible is there even a hint given that they who labor thus should be called “Reverend,” etc. Our esteem and honor is not to be shown by giving them a title that only belongs to God.
The words of C. H. Spurgeon are worthy of note in this connection: “There are a great many reverend, very reverend, and right reverend sinners in the world. For myself I desire to be known henceforth simply as a servant of God, and I want my walk and conversation to prove that I am His servant indeed. If I, the servant of God, am to be esteemed in any measure by my fellow Christians, it shall not be because in front of my name an attribute stolen from God has been placed by an ordaining council.”
God spoke of Moses in these words-“My servant Moses . . . is faithful in all mine house.” (Num. 12:7). What a great honor to be called by God “my servant.” So the apostles in prayer to God spoke of themselves as “thy servants.” (Acts 4:29). And in Philippians 1:1, Paul and Timotheus called themselves “the servants of Jesus Christ.” Surely this is honor enough.
The Lord said to His disciples: “Be not ye called Rabbi [Master or Teacher]: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Matt. 23:8-11). It is surely out of place for followers of the rejected and crucified Saviour to bear flattering titles. The word “pastor” describes the nature of one of the gifts from the Lord and is not used as a title in Scripture.
Has the reader learned to give reverence and honor unto the Lord God? If you do not know God as the One who sent His Son to be your Saviour and Redeemer, we would lovingly direct your attention to His wonderful salvation for you in Christ Jesus, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world.” (Gal. 1:4).
You need to be redeemed from your sins if you would go to heaven and be eternally blessed. God’s Word says in I Peter 1:18-19: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” This is the only way to be redeemed and saved.
If you come as a sinner to God and trust in Christ’s shed blood for your redemption, you will then know the blessings of His covenant which He has commanded forever. We are told of these covenant blessings in Hebrews 10:16-17: “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them: And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
Then when you are redeemed by the blood of Christ and know your sins are forgiven, you will praise the Lord for His great salvation and proclaim, “Holy and reverend is HIS name.” Yes, He alone is worthy of all honor, reverence, praise, and glory, and His glory He will not give to another. (Isa. 42:8)