And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
God calls each and every one of His people to worship Him. However, our worship is not confined to attending services on Sunday morning and evening. Nor is it the case that our worship merely extends to times of family or personal devotions. Fact is, every aspect of our lives is a matter of worship. Everything we say and do declares how worthy of glory we consider God to be. Worship has to do with declaring God’s worth-ship.
We make choices about worship every moment of our lives. God knows how we are prone to delight in serving ourselves. So, He gave us His Word as a guide for expressing our thankful worship. One expression of that is found in this text. God would have us honor the name of the Lord Jesus in every part of our lives.
The name of the Lord Jesus is the sum total of His revelation to us. Jesus Christ shows His name to be glorious in His Word and all His works.
Scripture reveals His name to be glorious, in the first place, because Jesus is Jehovah salvation, and Jehovah is the great I AM. Every moment brings irreversible changes to creation. A river flows. The wind blows. A leaf falls. Time courses on. But, Jehovah never changes; He simply is. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is like a solid rock; but comparing Him to a rock does not do Him justice. Even the most solid rock changes ever so slightly, be it over millennia. But, Jehovah does not change in even the slightest degree; therefore, we sons of Jacob are not consumed. He is perfectly holy, devoted to His own glory as the highest good, which glory He seeks in the salvation of His people. All things were created by Him and for Him.
The name of the Lord Jesus is glorious, in the second place, because it is the most wonderful manifestation of God’s name in the work of salvation. Nothing reveals God’s love more clearly than Jesus Christ, who loved us so much that He died for us. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (). Nothing reveals God’s justice as much as Christ’s suffering. Such is the nature of God’s justice that He could not let sin go unpunished. Rather than overlooking our sin, He punished it in His only begotten Son. God’s glorious attributes, including His mercy, His abundant goodness, and His truth are most clearly displayed in Jesus Christ.
Through His atoning sacrifice, Jesus Christ has purchased our salvation. He delivered us from bondage to sin and Satan. He has raised us up to new life in Himself. If we are recipients of the grace of God, we will not come up with a more excellent name in all the earth. How glorious is the name of Jesus Christ!
God has regenerated us and is now sanctifying us to restore us to the image of Christ. Now, He would have us do all things as those who have our life in Christ, as His representatives, manifesting His image in the world. “Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed,” whether you are listening or talking, working or walking, nothing is excluded. In all these things, give honor to the name of your Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Immediately after giving this command, the inspired apostle points to the three main classes of relationships we generally experience in this life: husband and wife, parents and children, and masters and servants. Wives are called to reverence the name of the Lord by submitting to their husbands (). Husbands are called to bring honor to Christ’s name by loving their wives and cherishing and nourishing them, without being bitter or harsh towards them ( ). Children have a calling to reverence the Lord Jesus by obeying their parents in all things ( ). Parents have a calling to reverence Jesus Christ by manifesting God’s love, not provoking their children to anger ( ). Servants in the workplace honor the Lord Jesus by giving an honest day’s labor, working as to the Lord ( ). Employers bring honor to the name of Jesus Christ by respecting their employees and treating them fairly ( ). The way we live in these relationships testifies loudly of our relationship to Christ, whose name we bear. “Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
The truth is, no matter what relationship, no matter what station and calling, no matter what activity we are involved in, Jesus Christ would have us reverence His holy name, both in word and deed. Our main objective should not be our own happiness, although that may be one of our objectives. Our main objective should not even be the good of our neighbor, although we ought to seek the good of our neighbor. Rather, our main objective in life ought to be that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ would be glorified in and through us.
Any time we fail to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, we are taking away from the glory He deserves. Depending on how we choose to live at any given moment, we are saying either “He is worthy of glory” or “He is not worthy of glory.” If we listen to music that glorifies sex and rebellion, we are saying, “God is not worthy of glory and honor in this part of my life.” If we watch television programs or movies that take God’s name in vain or that make sin a matter of entertainment, we are saying, “God is not worthy of glory and honor in this activity.” On the other hand, if in obedience to God we deliberately dress in a way so as not to cause others to stumble, we are saying, “God is worthy of honor and glory in the way that I dress.” If we consciously get our rest during the week so that we are able to stay awake during the worship and preaching on Sunday, we are saying, “God is worthy of glory and honor in the worship services.” “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” ().
Why should we do all in the name of the Lord? Why should we reverence God’s holy name?
Because this is the way of thankfulness: “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (). If our speaking and doing is truly in the name of the Lord, it will also be done with thanksgiving to God for His great goodness to us. You cannot have one without the other. Reverencing God’s name and an attitude of thanksgiving to Him are inseparable. No other reason will motivate us to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus as much as our thankfulness to Him for His goodness and mercy to us. Indeed, it is the Lord’s goodness and mercy that enable us to do all in His name.
God’s mercy in Christ Jesus becomes all the more precious when we consider the wrath that we deserve for profaning God’s name: “The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (). We have all profaned God’s holy name. We have not sought His glory and honor perfectly as we should have. By nature, we seek our own glory and honor. Amazingly, God loves us in spite of our sin. Not that He ignores our sin; He could never do that owing to His justice. But, in love, He gave His only begotten Son to suffer the torments of hell that we deserved for blaspheming His name. By His grace, we begin to reverence the name of the Lord Jesus in thankfulness for delivering us from bondage to sin and Satan. Our motivation to seek the things above is God’s gracious gift of life in Christ: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” ( ).
Those who give such honor to God, who seek to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, can expect a blessed reward: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (). The reward of the inheritance is a gracious gift, as the term ‘inheritance’ suggests. The reward, of course, is a reward of grace, earned completely by the work of Jesus Christ.
The apostle identifies those who can expect a reward from the Lord as an encouragement to us to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Though we might see little earthly reward for our labors here below, God encourages us with the knowledge that we have a glorious inheritance above, the weight of which glory far surpasses any sacrifice we have made in this life.
We have been bought with a price and belong to Jesus Christ body and soul. What a glorious privilege is ours!
Do we do all in the name of the Lord Jesus?