For his name’s sake

I was reading Ezekiel 20 this morning, and was struck by verse 44:

And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways or corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, says the Lord God.

This picks up on an earlier reference in verses 8 and 9, where God describes how (instead of pouring out his wrath on the rebellious people of Israel during the exodus from Egypt) he had “acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived”. Similar statements are also found throughout the Old Testament.

This highlights another aspect of what it means for us to be baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. It means we bear God’s name, and as such God deals with us, not “according to [our] evil ways or corrupt deeds”, but “for his name’s sake”. That is, with mercy, according to the promises he has made to his people.

To be baptized is to be part of the people whom God “will not cast away … for his great name’s sake” (1 Samuel 12:22); whom he leads “in right paths for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3); who are pardoned, guided, forgiven, saved and delivered, all “for his name’s sake”.

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One Response to For his name’s sake

  1. Phil Walker says:

    I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the story of the lady who was asked whether she didn’t think that God’s promise might be in vain and that he might not save her. She paused for a moment and then said, “Oh, I shouldn’t think so. He’d lose far more than I would.”

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