“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
This verse shifts from the worship of the previous verse to putting truth into motion.
“And whatever you do in word or deed”
There is an implied imperative in this phrase that everything we do, is to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus. There is no division between the spiritual and secular. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Everything we do at home, play, or work, God wants us to do it for His glory.
“do all in the name of the Lord Jesus”
We do whatever we do, whether by lip or life, creed or conduct, with a given norm in mind–“in the name of the Lord Jesus.” The “name of the Lord Jesus” means under the authority and approval of Jesus. The approval of Jesus gives dignity and purpose to all we do for Him. Everything we do must fall under the motivation of the approval of Jesus. This incentive will clarify any doubt of selfishness in our service to Him.
What does the “name” of Jesus imply? When a product carries a name, it indicates the standard of quality for that brand. Suppose we hear the term “Ford,” which is one standard, and then hear “Lincoln,” which is another standard. We make purchases by the product’s name (if we can afford it!). The title makes the difference.
In Christianity, the name of the Lord Jesus makes the difference. He is the benchmark by which we measure life. His name stands for integrity, quality, perfection, and honesty. It was never necessary for Jesus to renounce anything He ever said. He never confessed to any act of aberration. So whatever we do, we do it in His name. This orientation is Christ-centeredness.
“Do all”–nothing is exempt from this standard of action. God does not want us to treat anything we do as insignificant or without value. The smallest act has significance in the Christian life. Nothing is too small. Nothing is too ordinary. God does not want us to treat anything we do indifferently because we represent the Lord Jesus on earth. We do everything with an orientation to being centered in Christ.
Notice that Paul does not give a rule for every situation someone faces but provides an overarching principle. He says that we measure every motive on the norm of the criterion of honoring Christ. Whatever we do at work or home or play, if we do it with this standard, it will have blessed eternal consequences.
Christ-centeredness is the norm by which we measure the direction of our lives.
Everything we say and do, we put under the Lordship of Christ. If God were to give you a report card on the motives that compel your deeds, what grade would He give you? Living for the name of the Lord Jesus clarifies our motives. Each one of us is responsible for living under the name of Christ. There is no passing off this commitment to someone else.
Jesus is the norm for conduct; He is our standard. Everything we do, we do in the authority and strength of Christ. Everything we do should be motivated by our relationship with Him. Every act can be an act of worship.
God wants us to do all things in the name of our Lord Jesus. Our name stands for our person. Our name represents us. Jesus’ name represents Him. Whether we wash dishes, sweep the floor, paint the house, or do our job at work, we represent Jesus there. We need to make sure whatever we do is worthy of His name.