Lesson 8 -- second quarter 2007
April 22, 2007
© Copyright 2007
The redeemed bear the Redeemer's name. For millennia, a given family name has been very important. Those who bear that name are generally expected to give a good account of themselves lest they bring reproach on the family name. I think of that as I consider part of Isaiah 43:1 -- "I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name." Having been chosen and redeemed by Him, ancient Israel bore His name. How often they brought reproach on themselves and on His name! That would surely qualify as one way of taking His name in vain. We too bear His name. Let's not do so in vain. Let's hold it fast so that He is not ashamed to be called our God.
"I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days..." (Revelation 2:13).
"But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city" (Hebrews 11:16).
The Redeemer shepherds the redeemed. When the Lord redeems us and allows us to bear His name, He also takes responsibility for us. He becomes our shepherd, promising His presence for the future ("I will be with thee" -- Isaiah 43:2) as well as for the present ("I am with thee" -- Isaiah 43:5).
"The LORD is my shepherd.... Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life" (Psalm 23:1,6).
"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine" (John 10:11,14).
The redeemed live the Redeemer's life. Anyone can claim to be a redeemed child of God. But only the redeemed will live according to the life of the Father in the power of life in the Son. "Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). When God is our Father, our deeds demonstrate His life. Notice an extremely practical demonstration of this in Matthew 5:44,45.
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
The Redeemer commissions the redeemed as witnesses. By accepting redemption, we accept the honor and responsibility of telling others about our Redeemer. He sends us to the task just as the Father sent Him!
"As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world" (John 17:18).
"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you" (John 20:21).
So take His name, take His message, and go.
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5).
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