1 John 5:1, Jesus is the Christ

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God

//Many of us have a habit of speaking of Jesus Christ as if Jesus were his first name and Christ were his last name. I do it too. Or I’ll sometimes just say “Christ did this” or “Christ did that,” as if I were using a proper name.

It’s not a proper name, of course. “Christ” is a title, not a name. We’re tricked by lazy translations into Latin which drop the definitive article, perhaps to reinforce the habit of speaking of Christ as a person. Very few verses in very few translations still speak of Jesus as the Christ, rather than Jesus Christ. Most of us know Christ means Messiah, translated sometimes as the Anointed, or the King. With an emphasis on the word “the,” as in today’s verse. Do you believe Jesus is the king? King Jesus, not Jesus King?

Today’s verse says that if you do—if you recognize that a new world order has broken into the world and God has set his king on the throne—then you are born of God. According to 1 John, this is what it means to be born again.

(Inspired by The Problem with Christ, by Christopher Gorton)

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