In continuing the series on the Book of Life we now come to Sanctification and the Book of Life-Revelation 3:5
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
The primary focus I want to have here is on sanctification, but there are a few other teachings in this verse associated with the Book of Life.
This verse speaks to us of sanctification, assurance of salvation, friendship with God and service to God and others.
Those in the Book are sanctified by God. The saints here are described as the ones who “Overcometh” and their subsequent description is that they are “clothed in white raiment.”
We need to be careful that we don’t associate overcoming as a work making a person deserving of salvation. Salvation, forgiveness of our sins and the gift of righteousness, is only ever by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In our generation and culture we have shades of white, many in fact. Some say there are 80 different shades of white. Most people know of bright white, soft white, off-white, and eggshell white. What we have here in this passage is a white comparable to light itself. Consider what we know of as bright white and then make that dazzling, perhaps almost blinding, the kind of light that makes us cover our eyes! That is the white raiment described here and it is the righteousness of Christ given to the saints (Revelation 19:8).
Righteousness and holiness describe God. It means He is separate from sin, He cannot tolerate sin to continue and it certainly cannot continue unpunished. Just like a bright light banishes all darkness so to the righteousness of God drives away all sin. When we see saints, ourselves, clothed in the righteousness of Christ then we see sanctification, separation from sin and the world to righteousness and God.
In this passage God also expresses the assurance of salvation
I will not blot out his name…
If you are a child of God then your name is in the Book. If you have repented of your sin, asked God to forgive you for Christ’s sake and accepted Christ as your Saviour then your name will never be blotted from the Book of Life.
Some Christians struggle, some whole denominations teach that salvation can be received and lost. A person, according to their teachings, may have been “saved” all their life but at the end could lose their salvation and go to Hell. I cannot find this teaching in the Bible anywhere. Consider just these two verses and ask yourself how you can twist them to make losing salvation possible:
I John 5:12 – He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
If your name is in the Book of Life then by the same grace that saved you it will continue in that Book!
It is a wonderful moment in James 2:23 when we read that God saved Abraham and more than that, God called Abraham His friend! In our passage today we read that Christ will confess our name before the Father. He will associate with us, He will declare us a part of Him, forgiven, secure and a friend!
Have you ever name dropped in a conversation? Have you tried to get in to a business or meeting and said, “Oh, but I know so-and-so.” Maybe you were trying to impress someone by dropping a name as a friend, or perhaps you have been that one with authority who has said, “Let them in, accept them, I know them by name.”
That is what Christ does here, He confesses our name before the Father! I don’t care who else you know, no matter how famous or great they may be, nothing compares to knowing Christ!
ServiceThe final lesson we have from this verse and the Book of Life has to do with service. It is closely linked to the previous point.
How do we know Christ will confess our name before the Father? Well, in Matthew 10:32 it plainly says,
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Christ says that He will confess our name before the Father if we confess His name to others in this world. This word confess means to acknowledge or (by implication of assent) agree fully: – confess, profess, promise.
Do we do this on a daily basis? Do we speak and live in such a way that says, “I confess, I acknowledge and fully agree with Christ. I confess, profess and promise that I know Him and agree with His teachings.”?
Again, we are not earning salvation. Like works, confessing Christ before men is something we do because we are saved and not in order to get saved.
If our name is in the Book of Life then the natural outworking of God in us will be sanctification, assurance of salvation, service to God and others and one day we will witness our name, a new name that God will give us, will be confessed, acknowledged by Christ before the Father!