-John 17:26 (NIV)
Question: What is a Christian?
Answers might be, "one who is born again", "one who is saved through Christ from their sins", "a believer in Jesus Christ", "a Christ follower", "a disciple of Christ", or, "someone who goes to church".
I define a Christian as someone who is in Christ and Christ is in them.
They have been born again as a second birth, a birth from above, a "start-over in their spiritual life". They are being saved from their sins. They were not just saved at a point in time, in their lives; but they began their salvation life at a time, and continue to be saved. Salvation is an event and a process.
Believers in Jesus Christ, Christians, are known by their love. They are disciples, learners and doers, of Christ which is demonstrated by their obedience to his words.
Children of God
But, what did Jesus originally want his followers, who would later be called Christians, to be all about? God. The true, real, authentic, one God. God is greatly misunderstood. God was misunderstood in Jesus time on earth and God is misunderstood today.
Jesus came to set the record straight on who God is. Jesus showed God's character. Bill Johnson likes to say that Jesus is perfect theology. Making his name known means that he revealed God's character.
God the Father loves the Son
We Christians agree with God. We have the Son in our hearts. God loves those who love the Son. Jesus ministry is to reveal God the Father. When we receive Christ into our hearts, we have the One who reveals God in us.
We also become revelators of God, to a lost world
When Jesus says, "I have made your name known to them", he means that he has revealed God, God's character, God's person, God the Father's nature. Jesus carries God's name, revealing God's name to the people he is saving.
The name is the nature
"I have revealed your name to those whom you gave me from the world...
Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.
I have made your name known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
-John 17:6, 11, 12, & 26 (NIV)
As Jesus carried God's nature, Christians carry Jesus' nature
God was and is Jesus' authorization. God was and is Jesus' message. To have Jesus Christ in your life and in your heart, is to be a carrier of God: who God is and what God is all about. Jesus carries God's name and Christians now carry Jesus name: who Jesus is, what Jesus is all about, and Jesus' authority.
Praying in Jesus name
Do you ever wonder why we say, "in Jesus name", when we pray? This is the answer to the question, "by what authority do you do these things?" The answer is Jesus. In the name of Jesus, I pray. To say, "in Jesus name, amen", means, "and by the authority vested in the Lord Jesus Christ, by that authority that you have granted permission for your children, in Christ to invoke, I ask this of you God, amen." Sometimes we pray in this longer way, but the short way ("in Jesus name") means the same thing. But, it is good to know what we mean by this.
The name of Jesus
Jesus name is in me because God's name is in Jesus. Jesus is God revealed. If we don't get that, we don't get Jesus and we don't have Christ. Christ is Greek for Messiah and means "anointed one", which carries with it the meaning of God's Viceroy, the royal official who carries the authority of the King.
Jesus' mission to reveal God is also our mission
Jesus' original mission from God and his mission today is to reveal God. Jesus' disciples in the beginning and Jesus' disciples today and people to whom God has been revealed and carry that revelation in Christ, to a world that needs to know God. That's the Christian, "Christ-ian", life; having God the Father revealed to you in Jesus Christ and then showing and telling that to others.
When Jesus said, "I have made your name know", he meant, "I have fully caught them up on what you, Father, are all about".
We might ask, "why Jesus, why do you need to give us God knowledge, a knowing about God the Father?"
Jesus might answer, "so that God's love for me may be in you and I may be in you."
Jesus is saying that you have to get who God is, His name, His character, His love; in order to have him in your heart. That's Jesus big prayer for us, that he prayed the night before he went to die. We need to understand how important that this is. Jesus prayer was that we would keep getting what he was and is informing us about: God's name, knowledge of God: God's character, God's essence, revelation of God's person.
The Christian life is a lifetime of knowing God; being loved, knowing God loves you, and then passing on that working knowledge and being the message of God's love.
-The post was originally published in 2012