3 John 1:7-8
Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.…
In all the older manuscripts the phrase is, "For the name's sake." The meaning is the same, but the expression of it is more striking in the general form.
I. "FOR THE NAME'S SAKE" IS THE AVAILING PLEA IN ACCEPTABLE PRAYER. God has revealed Himself in Christ. The name is the character; the name of God is the character of God as manifested among men. He has got Himself a glorious name, and our knowledge of that name has been completed, rounded, fulfilled, alone in Christ. To pray in His name, therefore, is to recognise God in Him, in His whole personality, in His whole history, in what He has done and suffered on our behalf.
II. "FOR THE NAME'S SAKE" IS IN A PRE-EMINENT DEGREE THE SPRING AND MOTIVE POWER OF HOLY OBEDIENCE. This is the meaning of the text in its own connection. These men went forth in a spirit of self-consecration that asked no questions, that fixed no limits; they went forth to tell the world the news. And they lived upon the news they told. When they had plenty of outward comfort it was hallowed by the "name." When they had no comfort the gospel was compensation. The gospel would be benefited by their self-denial — that settled the question in a moment. Nor was this a transient impulse pertaining exclusively to the very earliest days. It multiplied itself in great numbers of instances, it continued from age to age. The whole secret of such loyalty, of such endurance, of life so unselfish, so divine, lay in this — "For the name's sake." Nor let any one say that in this matter we live upon the past, and that we are always speaking of a glory that has faded from among men. Answer ye graves of missionaries on Indian plains! and ye martyrs for Christ lately slain. Ye glorious company of consecrated souls! You and your labours are more to the city, and more precious to the State, than bridges and viaducts, and queenly procession and regal pomp. What essentially is this Christian service? It means the consecration of the redeemed self in wholeness to the glory of Christ and to the service of our fellow-men under Him. The love of Christ has this perfectly unique peculiarity, that it is the love of God and the love of man in one; and when, "for the name's sake," we give ourselves to God and live to God, then we are swayed by this all-comprehending love. And just as surely as we are so, "we are more than conquerors." For love is invincible. Of what importance, then, must it be to a Christian to be full of love, full of the love of Christ to him, full of quick answering love to Christ, full of the power of "the name."
(A. Raleigh, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.