Bible Reading: 1 John 3.23-24
This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 3:23-24
What does it mean to believe in a “name”? It no doubt refers to more than just the word by which a person is called - in this case, Jesus. Psalm 124:8 reads, “Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” David isn’t suggesting in this psalm that our help comes from the word Jehovah, but rather, our help comes from the love, mercy and power that have been revealed in the nature and character of God. In today’s passage, John is pointing us to the whole nature and character of Jesus himself.
Therefore, let us ponder this command to believe in the name (nature and character) of Jesus Christ. Do I really believe Jesus is God’s one and only Son? That He is the Christ (Messiah), who the Father anointed to be both the King of Kings and the Chosen Savior? That He is the perfect revelation of God to men? That He humbled Himself of His glory, became 100% human and gave Himself up for me? Do I accept Him for who He really is? If we claim our answer to these questions is yes, then it follows that we would desire nothing more than “keep His commandments” and “love one another”.
Like we read last month in James, John reminds us here that our belief is not authentic unless it ultimately results in action. Conversely, our actions must be born of our sincere belief in the name of Jesus Christ, so we are not acting in vain. William Barclay commented, “We cannot begin the Christian life until we accept Jesus Christ for what He is; and we have not accepted Him in any real sense until our attitude to men is the same as his own attitude of love.”
Let’s seek to abide in Christ today through the Spirit He has given us.
Weekly Memory Verse: Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3.2-3