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What does it mean to believe in the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:13)?

believe in the name of the Son of God

In 1 John 5:13, we encounter the profound statement, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” Jesus is “the Son of God,” whose name John refers to in this passage. John, a devoted disciple of the Lord, consistently emphasized the importance of believing in Jesus, the Son of God who came in the flesh.

The name Jesus is a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshua, which is etymologically linked to the name Joshua. The meaning of the name is “Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation.” Names held great significance in ancient times, and it is no accident that the Son of God was given the name Jesus. He is our Savior, the Lord who brings salvation, as declared in Acts 4:12: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

However, it is not solely the name that holds importance, but the Person behind it. Jesus was a common name among Jewish men, but the Son of God adopted this common name to reveal His purpose. When we invoke the name of Jesus, we refer specifically to the divine Messiah who redeemed us through His blood, fulfilling the angel’s prophecy to Joseph in Matthew 1:21, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Beyond salvation and forgiveness of sins, the name of the Son of God also carries immense authority. As Paul declared, the name of the Son of God is “above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:9–10). This authority is evident as the apostles performed miracles in the name of Jesus (see Acts 3:1–6), in the act of believers being baptized in His name (Acts 2:38), and in our prayers being offered in the name of Jesus (John 14:13–14).

Therefore, while many Jewish men may have borne the name Jesus or Joshua, only the Son of God fully embodied the name’s implications. He alone provided salvation and the forgiveness of sin. He alone is the ultimate authority; He alone reconciles people to God; and He alone deserves all worship.

Given the significance of the name of the Son of God, all who profess to be His followers should hold it in the highest regard. Honoring the name of the Son of God involves more than treating the word with respect; it also involves honoring the Person whose name it is. We do this by aligning ourselves with His teachings and commands, as we are empowered by the Spirit.

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Questions about 1 John

What does it mean to believe in the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:13)?
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This page last updated: December 11, 2023