“And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”
This verse begins the transition into the subject of belief in 1 John and also explains verse 22. It is the climax to the section beginning at 3:18.
And this is His commandment:
John distills Jesus’ ideas as represented in the gospel of John in this verse. The word “commandment” is singular, for God does not separate belief and love. They operate under one commandment because they are indissolubly united. It is impossible to have belief in Jesus Christ without love for His family.
Jn 13:34-35, 34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jn 15:12-14,17, 12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you… 17 “These things I command you, that you love one another.”
that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ
This is the first direct reference to belief in 1 John. This reference is to belief after becoming Christians. The Greek tense indicates decisive action [aorist tense]. John blends the ideas of decisive belief as a Christian and decisive love as a Christian together. We count on Christ’s authority for this.
The “name” of Jesus represents all that He is, His person and work. It is in the significance of the name of Jesus that we believe. We believe all that the name of “His Son, Jesus Christ” stands for. “His Son” stands for His majesty, His unique deity. “Jesus” represents his redemptive humanity. “Christ” represents His Messianic office. Just as our name represents us, so Jesus’ names represent the essence of who He is. He stands behind His signature.
Note the full title given to Jesus Christ. The idea is that we should believe in the message that the name conveys. We believed on the name of Jesus at the point of salvation, but now we are to believe the name of Jesus Christ, that is, all that this wonderful person represents. We trust in the authority that His name signifies.
John refers to prayer in verses 21 and 22. We always come “in Jesus’ name” in prayer, that is, in His authority. Our authority for prayer is our status quo in Christ. God does not hear us because of us but because of Him.
Our authority with God orbits around Jesus’ name.
The Christian life revolves around the person of Christ. Christianity is Christo-centric. We worship both the person and work of Christ. His name represents His glory.
Is 9:6, For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Mt 1:21, “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Mt 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Jn 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…”
Jn 3:18, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
We come to God in prayer in the authority of Jesus’ name.
John 14:13-14, 13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Jn 16:23-24, 23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Jn 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”
Salvation is by Jesus’ name.
Ac 4:12, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Ro 10:13, For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”