If the essence of Christianity is belonging to Christ (Rom. 14:8; 1 Cor. 3:23), and the purchase price was blood (Rev. 5:9), there can be no doubt that Christ, as the Purchaser, has a vested interest in protecting his property (cf. Acts 9:4-5). For instance, in the high priestly prayer of John 17, Jesus affirms that during his ministry he had protected and guarded (ephylaxa) his followers by mediating the revelation of his Father (‘in the name you gave me’, v 12; cf. 1:18, 14:9), and prays that after his return to heaven his Father may keep them fully true to the revelation he had brought them (v. 11) and protect them from the evil one (v. 15; cf. Matt. 6:13). Paul refers to this protective role of a kyrios when he reassures the Thessalonians that ‘the Lord (kyrios) is to be relied on, and he will give you strength and protect (phylaxei) you from the evil one’ (2 Thess. 3:3, Goodspeed).
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