Athlete, God Gives You a New Nature and Name
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 (ESV)
Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.
If you had to choose a new name for yourself or your team, what would it be? When I was little, my brother convinced me my name was Marsha. Although my brother had the time of his life watching me declare my new name with excitement, my parents were not amused. Later when I found this out, neither was I.
What if we could really declare a new name for ourselves? Maybe not change our names, but change the way people perceived us when they heard it? Maybe change the thoughts we think about ourselves when we think of some of the things we’ve done or said.
Here, this is Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians. He knows from verse 10 that even though they have been made new in Christ, they are not perfect. He prays in verse 11 that their love for each other would increase, therefore increasing for all people as Paul and Timothy originally loved them.
Finally, he prayed that due to this “increased love for one another and for all” that the Christians’ hearts in Thessalonica would be “blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”
But what does it mean to be “blameless in holiness”?
In the Roman culture, much like today, there existed adoption. To be adopted meant that your old identity was gone. When you came into the new family, you assumed their financial status, their work responsibilities and ultimately their name. You were by definition “made new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
This is exactly what happens when we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts for the first time as our personal Lord and Savior. “Blameless in holiness” means that what you have been carrying around with you on your shoulders is no longer yours to bear alone. You no longer have any reason to walk around with your eyes to the ground because of the way you think others view you.
You may ask, how is this possible?
Notice that verse 13 says, “He may establish …”
“Blameless in holiness” only comes from the saving work of Christ at the cross that was approved by God, not by anything we can accomplish.
We are adopted into God’s family. He is actively working to make us “blameless in holiness.” We should have confidence, not arrogance, when we speak to others about our faith. We should be bold out of humility when we pray. We should be empowered to share and pray for others to know this too!
Praise God that no matter how the world sees you or how you view yourself, God sees you as established in His kingdom family with the name of “Beloved” forever!