Title: Names of God; part 26. Being a son in the house of YHVH.
1JO 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us [perfect tense: it is our permanent possession], that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1JO 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.
1JO 3:3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
We are cleansed in Christ [positional sanctification]. We must choose experiential purification. It consists of the decisions to follow the righteousness that we are a slave of.
The word pure is from the same root word that means saint or sanctified, hagios. But this word, hagnos, refers to being pure from defilement, and so it is only used of Jesus and not of the Father, since the Son of God came into the world as Jesus and was subjected to all temptations. He was able to maintain Himself as pure.
How does a believer understand grace and works in the context of the Christian way of life? How is he to become a good son?
This is a very important question and one that has been confused quite a bit in the history of the church. Some, afraid of the answer, would rather not pursue it. The scripture is full of grace and truth in every sentence and paragraph. We need not fear searching. We will always find the love of God and the grace of God at the end of every quest.
Many Christians know of ROM 11:6. We will use this passage first of all in our own quest.
ROM 11:1 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
ROM 11:2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
ROM 11:3 "Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, they have torn down Thine altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life."
ROM 11:4 But what is the divine response to him? "I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal."
7,000 more than Elijah who have faith in the word of the Lord. He doesn't testify of them anything other than their faith.
ROM 11:5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice.
ROM 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
What does verse 6 state in the context? Salvation is not in keeping the law. One cannot work for salvation or the favor and grace of God. It does not indicate that we do not ever perform works.
Let's look at the bigger context, which would actually start in 9:1, but this will suffice for our present purposes.
Paul in this section has in the background of his mind, the fact that the Judaism of the first century had been perverted from a supernaturally revealed and empowered system in which salvation was given in answer to faith in a blood Sacrifice, to a mere ethical cult where obedience to the Old Testament Decalogue would bring salvation. He is combating this. Israel sought a righteous standing by law obedience. Paul says it can be only appropriated by faith.
ROM 10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" — that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
ROM 10:9 that [namely] if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;
ROM 10:10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
A Jew frequently stated the name of God in prayer and in ritual. If they believe in Jesus then His name is confessed as Adonai.
Verses nine and ten have been the topic of much discussion. First it must be understood that Paul is directing this passage towards Jews and to them he states unequivocally that Jesus is Lord.
We must remember who Paul was as Saul of Tarsus the Pharisee. He believed in the one true God, Yavah Elohim. He vehemently rejected Jesus as the Messiah, as the Son of God. But then Saul was converted and under his Roman name Paul, he proclaimed to the world that Jesus of Nazareth was Yavah Elohim. He would be the most unlikely and significant person to proclaim that.
The Greek word kurios (Lord) is used in the Septuagint for Jehovah. He is asking the Jews to confess Jesus as Yavah Elohim.
As we know, the Jew would not at that time state the name Jehovah, but instead would substitute Adonai. Paul is revealing to them the gospel: Jehovah/Adonai is Jesus. So why confession? The Jew speaks the name of God frequently compared to any other people. Every day he states the Shama: Adonai (Yavah) Elohenu, Adonai (Yavah) echav. He says the name in his prayers. He says the name if he vows. He says the name at feasts and at sacrifices. A pagan never uses this name. Hence, Paul is not giving a form of the gospel not given anywhere else, namely, that one must confess the name out loud. Salvation is by faith and faith alone, as Paul has stated a great number of times in this letter, but if the Jew believed in Jesus as his Savior and thus Jesus as Adonai, then they would be confessing the name Jesus when before Adonai was not yet linked to a personal Messiah.
This is not a call to confess publically that Jesus is Lord at a single event, for instance at a baptism. The believer who states the word "Lord" identifies it with Jesus in his mind.
The one who believes in Christ as his Savior would meaning "Jesus" in his mind every time he used the name God, Lord, Savior, Messiah, etc. Even if he was an immature believer who was afraid to publically acknowledge Jesus as Lord due to fear of persecution, he would none the less equate Jesus with God or Lord in his own mind. In the case of the Jew in Paul's day, since unlike today, every Jew was under great pressure to follow the rituals, they were forced to state the name Kurios or Adonai fairly frequently.
In my opinion, there is no distinction from a head faith and a heart faith. All faith is from the heart, the deepest part of man and the seed of his life. Intellectual assent, for instance, reciting the Shamah without faith in it, is not faith. A person who recites words from a script is not necessarily believing in them.