What would be the best synonym for the word “sake” when used in the phrase “for Christ’s sake”? Thanks.
Here is a prayer from Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – “Lord God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Forgive my open sins and my secret sins. Forgive the sins I know and the sins I do not know. Forgive the sins I did to please myself and the sins I did to please others. Forgive them all, gracious Lord, for Jesus’ sake” (page 134).
What does it mean when we ask God to do something for “Jesus’ sake”? “Because of what Jesus has done” is a way of understanding “for Jesus’ sake.” In the prayer above, we ask God to forgive our sins. We do not ask God to do that because we are deserving of his kindness. No, our sins deserve condemnation. We ask God to forgive our sins because of what Jesus has done. What Jesus did was to live life as our perfect substitute and then take on himself the punishment our sins deserved. When we ask God to forgive our sins, as in the prayer above, we do so on the basis of what Jesus Christ has done for us (Titus 3:4-6).