The High Priestly Prayer: Part Three | Sermon 02/11/2024

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John 17:20-26 Pastor Wade continues his sermon series on the Gospel According to John with sermon titled, The High Priestly Prayer: Part Two going over John 17:20-26.


John 17, so starting in verse 20 of the
Gospel according to John, chapter 17, hear now the inerrant and infallible words of the living and true
God. I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, even as you,
Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.
The glory which you have given me, I have given to them, that they may be one, just as we are one,
I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them, even as you have loved me.
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, although the world has not known you, yet I have known you, and these have known that you sent me, and I have made your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.
That sends the reading of God's holy and magnificent word. Let's pray what's more as a church body.
God, thank you for this. Thank you for this magnificent prayer that we have a record of.
Thank you so much, God, for preserving this and showing this to us, that we may get a glimpse of what
Jesus has felt about his people, about us.
From the beginning. Lord, I pray that we would see why it is so important to be united today in you.
Lord, I pray that if we need to be challenged today with your word, that you would do that. Lord, your word is called a sword.
It pierces, it says, between joint and marrow. God, if that's what needs to be done today, please do a work in your body, in your church this afternoon.
Please show us, Lord, these wonderful things that you said about us. Help us to see your goodness in this,
Lord, to be encouraged, to be built up, to be challenged. I pray this in Jesus' name.
Amen. So we are in the final portion of the high priestly prayer of Jesus.
I've told you so many times how heavenly this is, how we are seeing
Trinitarian communication take place, that the
Son is incarnate. He's in the flesh, and this is how he speaks to the
Father while on earth. And we have seen God's one and only Son make statements that could not otherwise be said if he did not have equal deity.
Jesus is God. He couldn't speak this way if he was otherwise. The one nature of God that both the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit possess equally. And I said it last week,
I'll say it again. Between the Father and the Son, what we've seen in this prayer is we've seen mutual glorification.
Verse 1, mutual authority. They both have authority. In verse 2, they are both mutually the objects of eternal life.
Verse 3, mutual mission. The Father's mission is the Son's mission. The Son's mission is the
Father's mission. Verse 4, mutual eternality. They're both from eternity past. The same words
Jesus said in verse 8. Mutual ownership of creation. Mutual ownership of believers.
The Father gives believers to the Son. The Son owns them fully. That was in verses 9 and 10.
Oneness of the Father and Son in verse 11. And they are mutually the source of truth in verse 17.
And he switched from focusing on his own glory. We saw that in part 1. Jesus was focusing on his own glory with then moving on to focusing on the preservation of his disciples.
That's what we saw last week. He has guarded them. And he has kept them in a way that no one else ever could.
No one else. Though they will scatter, they will come back. He prayed that they specifically not be taken out of the world.
He does not want them out of the world at this point. But kept from the evil one. He requested that they be sanctified in the truth.
Made holy in the truth. That's the word here.
Jesus confirms the Word of God is the foundation of all truth with that statement. He said, sanctify them in the truth.
Father, your Word is truth. That is a revelational epistemology. The Word of God is the foundation for all truth.
Without it, we would be resorted to absurdity. So, Jesus confirms that. And then we ended last week with application, if you remember.
We are not to what? Assimilate with the world. Assimilate with the world.
Become like the world now that we've been saved out of it. Nor are we to alienate from the world.
Don't assimilate, but also don't alienate from the world. We are not to stop laboring in the world.
We are to continue laboring in it with the gospel. And so, all at once, Jesus has prayed and confirmed.
We are not to compromise, nor are we to confine. Don't compromise, don't confine.
We move forward into this world as foreigners, in a sense. No longer of the world, but ambassadors of Christ into the world that we once were a part of.
Into the world that is now being transformed. The world that is groaning for the final revealing of the sons of God, Paul says in Romans 8, for total and complete redemption.
This world is groaning ever since the fall. It is waiting for the transformation.
The renewal that the gospel is bringing even at this moment. And so now, as we finish this glorious text,
I will remind you that no one else could have God's will so perfectly in them.
No one else could have God's will so perfectly in them. No one has ever prayed a prayer so perfectly in line with the
Father's will. Jesus Christ. Such is the privilege of the
God -man, Jesus Christ, that he prays exactly what he must pray. And he prays exactly what the
Father intends to do. Therefore, if Jesus has asked for it, and he never asks for anything outside of God's will, then these things are certain.
That's what I'm getting at. Jesus has prayed these things in John 17. Read through it again when you get home.
Read through all that. Every single thing that Jesus has prayed will come to pass, has come to pass, is coming to pass.
They are not merely possibilities. The protection of the saints, the preservation of the saints, being owned by God, being sanctified in the truth, all of it and all the rest of the things that we're going to see in our passage today, have complete guarantee of fulfillment.
There is no if in Jesus' prayer. There is no if to Jesus' prayer.
They are guaranteed to come to fulfillment. Jesus cannot lie, and he cannot request the wrong thing.
Do you get that? Jesus, the Bible says, is holy, blameless, sinless. He cannot ask for the wrong thing, and nor can he lie.
And so these things that he prays to the Father, they are absolutely happening, will happen. And so keep that in mind as we finish this most famous prayer of Christ.
So Jesus broadened his prayer from himself to the immediate 11 men next to him, the remaining apostles, and now he widens it once again to all those who believe.
Look at verse 20 in your Bible or in your printout. I do not ask on behalf of these alone.
These alone. These men alone. These men who are right next to me. The 11. Judas had left.
He told Judas to leave. Go do what you have to do. And then now that the betrayer is gone, he continued his teaching and encouragement.
Those who would stay with him. And so these 11 men, they've been with him. And now he says, I don't ask on behalf of these ones alone, but for also those who would believe in me through their word, through the 11's word.
And so first, what we see is it was right for us to apply the principles of verses 6 -19 to us.
Those things were for the disciples, but we see here that it was right for us to apply the principles of verses 6 -19 to us, to the future disciples.
His ask here, I do not ask on behalf of these alone, that does not entail only them or only what he says moving forward.
It's not like, okay, verse 20, now these are for us. What Jesus is trying to say is everything he's previously said, all that I've asked,
Father, I apply to these future disciples as well. These future believers. And so that means the keeping and guarding us, the making us holy in the truth, the saving us from the world, but keeping us in it.
They are God's promises for you. They are for you as well.
And this is all possible because secondly, is not for these men alone with an earshot of prayer.
It is for those who believe in him through their word, through their word.
And so what is this a foreshadow of? What is famously called the Great Commission, Matthew 28 verses 18 -20.
You can look in your printout. I'm going to read it. Matthew 28 verse 18 -20,
And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.
And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. And so that was after Jesus's resurrection.
He's about to ascend back to heaven and he gives this Great Commission before Jesus returns to his heavenly abode.
He says, Go, make disciples, give the word, preach this gospel, baptize people, teach them all that I've commanded.
And this commission would create a domino effect. Domino effect that would start with these 11 men, but it would turn out to be an exponential reality.
These men are just the beginning. They're just the beginning. Each disciple that these 11 men made by the
Spirit of God would also make this commission a priority. They would do the same.
So the 11 disciples would spread this gospel. Then the disciples that they made would spread that gospel.
Then those disciples of them. And you see how it just continues to go out and grow. And of course, how could they not?
If Christ has saved you, there ought to be an insatiable desire to tell the world that they can be forgiven.
The best gift that you and I could give to someone is the gospel.
And inversely, the worst curse we could give to anyone is to withhold that gospel.
That's a challenge. That can be difficult. We can let the fear of man get in the way.
We can get in our heads and not do this. But truly, since this is the reality, since we've been saved from hell, since we've been saved from the condemnation of our sins, the one thing that we could do is give this gospel.
And that's what they did here. The disciples did not withhold it at the cost of their livelihoods, at the cost of their reputations, their families, their physical bodies, and even their lives.
They gave this truth. They spread it all over the world, all through history.
And it has been that kind of selflessness that Jesus has modeled that has caused this to spread like it has all over the world and throughout every single generation.
It is estimated that in 100 AD, we're talking about 70 years or so after Christ ascended.
70 years after Christ, the year 100, there was about 7 ,500
Christians. 7 ,500 is estimated. Then just 50 years later, in the year 150
AD, there was an estimated 40 ,000 Christians. So 7 ,500 to 40 ,000.
Then it rose to over 200 ,000 Christians only 50 more years later in the year 200.
So remember that in the year 200, there could have been around 200 or more thousand Christians in the world.
And then, this is crazy, just 50 years after the year 200, the year 250, there was then an estimated 1 million
Christians in the world. Do you see how it keeps quadrupling and keeps growing exponentially?
But then astoundingly, in the year 350, it's possible by then, there was 30 million
Christians in the world. I just told you 1 million 100 years before. 100 years later, in the year 350, 30 million
Christians in the known world, year 350. Then, there was 600 million
Christians in the year 1800. And today, it is estimated that there are 2 .6
billion Christians. And it is also projected that by the year 2050, there will be 3 .3
billion Christians on the face of the earth. It's wild. It's unbelievable.
Now, of course, it's my understanding that there are false churches included in that number. Even cults, those who use the name of Christ.
And so, you know, this is visible church numbers. So, I'd imagine it would be less.
But I don't think it's as less as we would probably think. This is a lot of Christians. This is what
Jesus said would happen. That this would be like a mustard seed with these men. One of the smallest seeds that there are on the planet.
And he says it'll grow to be like a tree where birds can rest on its branches and nest.
And he says it's like a little speck. You ever made homemade bread and you see the yeast?
You ever seen one little yeast in that little packet? And it's like the smallest thing. And then, if you were to put it into some water and flour with one speck, if you were to let it ferment over time, even that one little yeast kernel would spread throughout.
And it would leaven the whole dough. It would make the biggest loaf of bread. And so, that's what
Jesus says is happening. It's going to start with these 11 men and it's going to expand exponentially.
That's what we've seen. This is his promise. That's the domino effect I was talking about.
And what Jesus is saying in his prayer is that he considers each and every individual of those numbers.
He considers each and every individual true believer in his petitions.
I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those who believe me through their word.
He prays for all these people. He prays for all of us in this moment. And the eyewitnesses accounts that we have are in the
Gospels, are they not? The eyewitness accounts are in the four Gospels that we have. The Holy Spirit inspired doctrines that Christ gave are in the letters of the
New Testament. If you say you believe in Christ, you don't believe in a
Christ of your own imagination. But you believe in the Christ who is of the word. They will believe because of their word.
This is the word of the apostles. This is the word of God inspired to these men. People believe because of the word, the
Gospel. Gospel literally means good news. It's a word that goes out.
The word we possess today that God preserved perfectly. That's what it is. And so the word of God goes hand in hand with the growth of Christianity.
And some try to say otherwise. Oh, it's not the word. It's the spirit. Well, who do you think gave the word?
The spirit of God. How can the spirit of God go against the word of God? And so it was then that the
Gospel went out and spread. And now he's praying in this moment for these additional believers.
He's praying for you and I. But then just as Jesus recently petitioned for the unity of the apostles for the 11 men, he prayed for their unity.
He widens that unity request. Look at verse 21. With these new believers, he prays that they may all be one, even as you,
Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.
Since the church is going to grow exponentially, one of the most vital things needed in keeping and guarding the people of God is going to be unity.
Unity is necessary to preserve the people of God. We weren't meant to do this alone.
We weren't meant to be separate from one another. Just as much as God declared, it is not good for man to be alone in Genesis 2, he also declares by principle in the word of God, it's not good for the
Christian to be alone. It is not. And that is to say, even so, alone in the original languages is literally divided.
Alone isn't just alone necessarily. It also means divided. We're not meant to be divided. Jesus told them earlier in the farewell discourse that people will know they are followers of him by what?
By our love for one another. People will know we are true disciples of Christ by our love for one another.
That's what he said in chapter 18. And unity is a direct result of that love.
Because this is not saying we won't have disagreements on minor or secondary things. Unity isn't simply having the same conviction and opinion on every single little thing that could ever come up in the church.
You know, in a plurality of elders, typically there's like a voting system on something.
Almost always elders will be unanimous. There's hardly any times where it's like, hey,
I disagree on this or something like that. But it can happen sometimes. And the fact is when there's been times where it's like, hey,
I disagree with you two or you three, but you know, I'll defer to the majority. That doesn't mean they're not united.
In fact, in that disagreement, in that deference, there is a unity that binds them more than that superficial disagreement.
Because being one together is not consigned simply to agreement.
Being united is not just being agreeable or agreeing with one another over and over and over.
There are a lot of yes men out there. There are a lot of men who will say yes to everything.
I agree. But actually, they're not unified with the other person. They say yes for different reasons.
Agreement doesn't always mean unity. OK? Unity runs deeper than this.
Runs deeper than these things. And Carson says, unity is not achieved by hunting enthusiastically for the lowest common theological denominator, but by the common adherence to the apostolic gospel.
So there's an adherence to the apostolic gospel, he says, by love that is joyfully self -sacrificing, by undaunted commitment to the shared goals of the mission with which
Jesus' followers have been charged, and by self -conscious dependence on God himself for life and fruitfulness.
Amen. No doubt the Bible defines the things that we're not allowed to be divided on.
There is something that Paul and John call the teaching of Christ, or Paul calls it sound doctrine.
Things like the Trinity, things like the deity of Christ, things like the substitutionary atonement, faith alone, grace alone, salvation, the infallibility of Holy Scripture.
Those are just a few, but those are things that we can't divide on. Those are things we must be in agreement over.
Those are essentials to the faith. We see them call it, those are the teaching of Christ.
Any disagreement here means we have no real unity with the opposing party. They would be outside God's clear and plain teachings.
Even so, Jesus isn't stopping at just theological unity.
It goes deeper. You see Paul thinking along the same vein in Ephesians chapter 4, 1 through 6.
Look at that. Look in your handout or look in your Bible. Ephesians chapter 4, verse 1 through 6.
Paul says, Therefore I, a prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling, one
Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
These are the outworkings of united people. These are the outworkings of people, believers in Christ who have a oneness together.
He says here, We ought to be working hard, be diligent to preserve the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Preserve it. This word preserve means to lay hold of something so as to not give it up or lose it.
It's like the mother who trips while holding her baby, and she trips and she's falling, and she uses her own body.
She clings more tightly to her baby as she starts to fall, and she uses her own body to cradle the child, and she hits the ground.
She clutches even more. She won't let go. This is like a man who is adrift at sea, who's clutching onto a scrap of wood in the middle of the ocean.
You think he's letting that thing go? He's not letting go. He's holding onto that scrap of wood, lest he go under.
It's like the dad. The dad who tells the wife, It's not a big deal.
You're at the zoo, and the kid wants to look up at the animals a little bit further, and the dad picks up the child. He picks up his toddler, and he brings the child to the rail, but he knows he'd be in huge trouble if he dropped that child.
So he's clutching onto that child. He's got this crazy bear grip on that child, and the kid's looking at the rhinoceros, or whatever it is, right?
And the mom's like, Oh goodness, please stop. Bring him back. And you know, the father's holding on. The mother holds on.
The man adrift is holding on. That's what this word means. You know, you think about the word life preserver.
Preserver is not only something that might preserve your life, but it's something like in the Greek here, where it's like holding on to something, never letting go.
You hold on to that life preserver. And that's what he says here. Don't let go of unity.
Don't drop it. Lay hold of unity and never give it up. Don't let go of unity.
Solomon says in the Proverbs, that a man or a woman ought to lay hold of wisdom.
He says, lay hold of wisdom and never let her go. But now Paul tells us in the
New Testament, that apprehending unity is just as important. The word for bond here, the bond of peace for this unity.
This word bond literally means fetters or ties that go on to a prisoner. Our unity is to connect us so deeply that it's as if we're bound by chains.
We're bound by chains. It's as if we're prisoners in that way. He even said at the beginning, he said,
I, a prisoner of the Lord, implore you this. And he brings it back full circle. The image is one of not letting go of anything or anyone.
And it's not letting anything or anyone separate us either. We don't let that happen. That is just what
Jesus prayed for, that they be one, that we be one. Now, how do we do that?
How do we be one? How do we be united? The first thing to do is to seek the sanctification that Jesus spoke of earlier.
That we would be holy in the truth. You open yourself up to it. You say, Lord, make me holy in the truth.
Sanctify me. Incline my heart to Your Word that I may not sin. Because I'll tell you what, sin is always the catalyst.
It is always the spark to every single type of division there is. Sin is the catalyst.
You see, if you are prone to pride, you must humble yourself to maintain unity.
If you are someone who hardly confesses your sin, you must start and find someone who you can confess it openly to.
Get rid of it. If you are not slow to anger, as James says, you must seek with accountability to be rid of your anger.
If you are someone who always wants to be right in a conversation, you're always right, then you need to start practicing being slow to speak and understand that you aren't
God. You're not all -knowing. In fact, this type of person who always wants to be right is often not the one who's right.
They're wrong. If you are someone who holds grudges and does not forgive others, you must, as the author of Hebrews says, remove the root of bitterness that has taken hold in your life.
These are things how you maintain unity. These are things how you grasp unity and never let it go.
In Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus, he gives multiple admonishments that there are men who are prone to conspiracies.
There are men who love strange genealogies, he says. Paul calls these things fruitless discussion.
He calls them worldly fables. He says these men present constant friction with other people with their worldly fables.
They're bringing up the weird stuff and it's rubbing people the wrong way. It's causing constant friction.
He says these people speak with confident assertions about things they don't truly know. He says warn these men.
Stop doing that. He says to watch out for what they tell you. Their rabbit holes create pits for churches and many people fall into them and then it leads to division.
The gospel is to be kept as primary. Now, how do we gain more unity?
When wronged, you don't wrong others in return. You don't revile in return.
You are quick to forgive knowing you deserve worse than you received. You are mature enough to let fruitless discussion die.
Let me give you an example. This person has this conviction about this thing.
You have this conviction that you've thought about for years and they're going at it. They're sharing their conviction and then you start battling to the death over your conviction over this one thing.
It's like just let fruitless discussion die sometimes. Sometimes just, okay, that's their conviction.
I don't need to share mine every time. Sounds like I'm not going to convince them this way.
So sometimes we just let it go, right? We are to stop overthinking conversations.
Stop overthinking conversations. Stop overanalyzing things that are said to you. Operate in what is true and real.
There is a line of what is true and real. You are to operate in that because assumptions are believing a false narrative in your head and therefore you believe lies about your brothers and sisters with no shred of evidence to support it.
Assumptions and overthinking. Well, did they mean this when I said that? What if they're actually mad with me?
Then you just charge them with anger. It seems like the way they said that, they're jealous with me.
You don't know that. You just charge them with jealousy. You're believing a false narrative in your head.
These things breed disunity and division. You're believing false narratives in your head as truth.
You got to stop. You got to shake it. You got to shake it loose. Okay, no. No assumptions. I don't know that.
And if they had a problem with me, the Bible says they'd come to me and they'd tell me. So I'm going to give it to you,
God. I'm going to give it to you. I trust you, Lord, that if there was a real issue,
I'd know about it. And if there's a pattern, then I guarantee if there's a pattern where really what you're thinking is true,
I guarantee it will be found out and the pastors will find out and it will be brought to the light.
But you've got to trust the system. You got to trust the word. You got to trust the God who is over all of us.
So we've got to stop doing stuff like that. We are to practice hospitality. You gain unity with hospitality.
Invite others over. Get to know people. Cultivate a love for everyone. Cultivate a love for the difficult
Christian. Cultivate a love for the weird guy, you know. I wasn't pointing in this direction.
You get it, right? I'm sorry, brother. That's what we got to do.
We practice hospitality. We give that love. Get this, here's a good one.
Genuinely pray for the person who rubs you the wrong way. Genuinely. And it may not be genuine at first.
You may be thinking, ah, this person's always against me, but I'm going to start. I'm going to start today. And it's like a muscle.
You start praying for someone who rubs you the wrong way, then eventually the way you feel about them, that friction will turn to friendliness.
You see, it's really hard to genuinely pray for the needs of someone who you hate. God starts inclining your heart to them.
Loving them. Give preference to one another in love,
Paul says. Consider one another as more important than yourselves. The Bible says
God loves a just balance. A just balance is God's delight. Don't be unbalanced.
Don't elevate personal conviction over a charitable posture. Don't sin to maintain your opinions.
If all your little nuances and all your special views cause you to be a repellent to people, you're doing it wrong.
You're doing it wrong. You can have all the convictions, all the opinions you want. Of course, you've got to be unified on the essentials.
But if those things are causing you to be a repellent, to repulse people, to move people away from you, you're doing it wrong.
Maintain a charitable posture, right? We just did a video on head coverings.
I had someone tell me, great, you're sharing with people now with your video how to sin and disobey
God. It's like, you know, okay, buddy, I get it. I get it.
It's important to you. And it's important to me too. That's why I spent years studying it. I want to obey
God too. It means a lot to me as well. But you see how that creates division?
Calling someone like me a fraud or saying that the way we believe, the way that we see a secondary, really not even a secondary, but like a tertiary, a very small issue.
And they would elevate it so much that they would not want to even shake my hand. That's terrible.
That's terrible. We got to call that out. Lovingly, we got to call that out. But that's what people sometimes do.
We are not to be repelling people. We're not to be driving people away. You know, a lot of these people are like even internet guys.
You know, they have all these special nuanced views. This is how I believe. If anyone operates outside of Mr.
So -and -so's belief, I'm not going to spend time with them. They are not part of my circle. I don't want them.
You know what? I challenge that guy. And we get people who watch our sermons sometimes. I challenge that kind of guy to go to a church because a lot of times they're not even part of a local church.
They're divisive men. I challenge you to go to a church and go to their fellowship dinners.
And I dare you to talk about the gospel of Jesus. I dare you to tell someone about the cross.
In fact, I dare that kind of person to let other people talk more than they do. And just listen, right?
That's what we've got to do. Ask people what they're convicted about instead of expressing relentlessly what you're convicted about.
But here's where it all lands. Here's where it all lands. All in all, if you have received grace from God, if you are saved from hell, if you have eternal life, you ought to be able to have unity with other
Christians because we all know what we deserve. If that was our posture, if that was really our posture,
I deserve worse. I deserve hell. I've been saved by the grace of God. If all
I had was the grace of God in this life and I had nothing else that I have, then that would be enough. Your grace is sufficient,
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12. If that's all we have, that's enough. And that's enough even to be unified on.
We can be unified on that thing. If we had that, if no one owed me anything, then
I could be one with them. We've got to maintain that posture. You see, self -righteousness and entitlement breeds division.
It breeds disunity. And those are anti -Christian qualities. Self -righteousness.
I need the righteousness of Christ. Entitlement, I deserve. Paul says no man can boast.
Those are anti -Christian qualities. They're satanic in nature. And they strive for self over others.
Again, there are people who we won't be able to have unity with. There are some who will show themselves unable to have oneness in the church.
And when they make that clear after we plea with them many, many times, we then are no longer to defer to them.
If someone comes in here and they want to be divisive, then I will no longer defer to them. I will have to ask them to go after many, many pleas, after many, many cries, after many, many, many prayers.
But that's something where they must leave until they repent. They can't tear us apart.
We'll welcome them back with open arms. Now, you might say, Pastor Wade, can the church really have unity?
Can the greater universal church have unity? Look at denominations.
Presbyterians, Baptists, Episcopalian, all this, whatever. Can we really have unity?
I personally think that denominations are a mercy from God because we have so many different opinions, because we have so many secondary convictions.
I think denominations are a mercy from God. I really do. When you look at denominations, of course, there are a lot of unbiblical ones.
But when I look at the biblical ones, they're 100 % together. Baptists, Presbyterians, non -denominational, whatever, which means
Baptist, as we all know. You know, you have all these different denominations. They're 100 % together on the essentials.
They're 100 % together on the deity of Christ, the trinity, the word of God, faith alone, grace alone. And then 98 % there on the non -essentials.
Mode of baptism. Today, you're going to see that we're going to immerse, fully immerse the people who are getting baptized.
I understand. I've looked into the word baptizo, baptizame, and the immersion that goes with it.
I understand there might've been times in history where there wasn't enough clean water and there wasn't a place to do it.
And I would do the same. If I had to, I'd pour a bucket of water over someone and baptize them. If I had to.
But because we have this access, I will do what I believe the Bible says we ought to. We ought to immerse people.
But even so, there are some who believe we should baptize infants, small children, sprinkle them on the head.
We're different. I don't believe that way, but we're 98 % there on the non -essentials.
We are then in denominations of one spirit, one Lord, one God and Father, one faith.
All those things bind us. Christ binds us. He's the unifying factor to people in varying denominations.
Now, was there a time, especially after the Reformation, where people of different denominations wanted to kill each other?
I'm sorry to say there were. I'm sorry to say that there's been times that brothers have been put down into a pit and held there until they changed their view on something.
That's really happened. There's been times where other Christians have killed other people who said,
I love Jesus. And they've killed them because of secondary beliefs. That has happened.
And what a shameful time for the church. But look today. Jesus's prayer is being answered.
It will be answered. Denominations are coming together. We're seeing a lot. We're seeing those conservative, biblically -minded denominations crossing over and saying, it's
Christ. I think that is a fulfillment of what Jesus is praying for. That oneness that's happening.
It may be perfect in eternity. But he wants us to have unity even now.
And we must strive for it. Even outside our church. I've heard someone recently tell me, yeah,
I pretty much have unity with everyone inside my local church. But I hate those guys over there.
And I was like, goodness, man. What are you thinking? This unity that Jesus is talking about crosses these walls.
It goes everywhere. It's over the whole earth. One brother said, well, yeah,
I got into a tiff with someone. And there's a disagreement. And if he was going to my church, I probably wouldn't take of the
Lord's Supper because we have a division together. But since he doesn't go to my church, I think I'll take of the
Lord's Supper. I said, no, man. Call him up. Do a Zoom call. Make things right.
It doesn't matter if he's 100, 200, 1000 miles away. Be in unity. Then come to the table with a clear conscience.
It's just, I don't know how people get into this mindset, right? Our unity we see in this verse is based on the
Father and Son's unity. That's key. Our unity together is based on the Father and Son's unity.
It's founded in the adherence to the revelation of God through the coming of Jesus Christ. I told you that last week.
The Trinitarian communion and the oneness between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the foundation of our unity.
Okay? And our love for one another ought to be representative of the love of the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They model unity and love for us.
We look to God on how we can be united. You see, if I look to any of you in this world, if I look to myself on how to be united,
I will argue with you. I will be divisive with you.
But if you and I not look at each other and not look at yourself, but if you look to God, if you look to Christ, then we can be united together.
Then we can have oneness. And what does that tell you practically? What can you do practically?
You have an issue with someone? In fact, you have an issue to the point where someone won't give reconciliation that I don't want to be reconciled to you.
I don't care if you're offering me forgiveness for your sin. I'm not going to give you forgiveness for mine.
What do you do in that situation? You've got to look at the unity and love of our
God. Because if you're looking at that, then you get hardened and you get down and you can then maybe breathe that root of bitterness.
But what do you do when someone's against you? What do you do when they don't want to reconcile? You look to God.
You look to the unity between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I think in some ways, a
Christian's constant combativeness is an indicator of a lack of faith. Let me put it this way.
If you and I have no unity with God, we will have no unity with one another. That's clear. If you have much division with other
Christians, then you are probably someone who divides much with God and over His Word.
If you divide with Christians a lot, you probably divide from the Word of God a lot. You go into other places.
You don't obey what God says. That's what I would imagine. And do you see how
Jesus ends this verse? This is key. Okay, with this unity,
He says, so the world will believe that you sent Me. Father, this unity that we're supposed to have is to be observable.
It does something. Just like our love for one another would be how the world knows we are followers of Christ, so now the world would believe in the incarnation of God, the arrival of the
Son of God, the Messiah, by the unity of the disciples of Christ. You see that? Look at the verse again.
It said right here, that they may all be one, even as you,
Father, are in me and I in you, that they may also be in us. And here it is, so that the world may believe you sent
Me. Our unity is a testament to the fact that Jesus Christ came.
That's huge. That's huge. Our unity is a testimony of the gospel, which makes people believe it.
While our division is a testimony giving way for unbelief in the world. Does that make sense?
If our unity causes people to believe that Jesus is the Christ, then our division would be a cause for unbelief in the world, right?
When there's a church split, when a body of Christ, a local church divides in half, the world laughs.
It's pacified into its sin and delusion. Look, they're no better than us.
We fight all the time. Why do we need Christ? They fight just as much as us.
Jesus says that our unity will be a cause for belief. It'll be a cause for belief.
But our division will be a cause for unbelief. And are there good reasons for there to be a split sometimes?
Or are there good reasons for someone to leave a certain leader or whatever?
Absolutely. But unfortunately, a split will always come at the cost of the world looking at us in one way or the other.
That's just the reality of sin. Sin leads to something like that. Jesus emphasizes these same principles of unity again in verses 22 and 23.
This is so important to him. Look at this. The current and future disciples are going to need this.
He says, verses 22 and 23, the glory which you have given me,
I have given to them that they may be one just as we are one. I in them and you in me, that they may be perfected in unity so that the world may know that you sent me and I loved them even as you have loved me.
Jesus says he has transmitted the glory given to him to all believers. What does he mean by this?
He's talking about the glory in a sense in which he has brought the revelation of God. He has brought
God's word. He is about to finish that glory at the cross at Calvary.
In the Bible, glory is often associated with a manifestation of God's character or personal presence or revelation.
And Christ is all those things. The son of God in the flesh is the exact character of God.
He is the precise manifestation of God's personal presence. Hebrews chapter 1, verse 3 says that Jesus is the radiance of God's glory and the exact imprint of his nature.
This giving of glory to believers in this verse is Jesus giving himself to us.
He said, I gave them glory. He's saying I gave myself. I gave the revelation of God, the presence of God in myself.
Jesus says his arrival is the glory we needed so much so because of the enmity between us and God.
And that would be removed. And we would gain a communion and fellowship with God once again because of what
Jesus has done. He must be in us and us in him for unity to be possible together.
This is similar to the abiding language in chapter 15. That is, abide in me and I in you.
He says those who aren't that way, apart from me, you can do nothing. We must be connected to Christ.
He is the true vine. For us, actually think about that.
Think about Jesus calls himself the vine. He says, we are the branches. Without me, you cannot bear fruit.
Apart from me, you can do nothing. Think about it. On a vine, what unites us, what makes branches be of the same tree and not tons of different trees, not divided is that one trunk.
And Christ calls himself that. He is the main vine. For us to be united, we must be united to Christ.
He says that they would be perfected in unity. His prayer is that you and I would be perfected in unity.
And that word perfected comes from the word telos, telos, which means the end or completion.
God will complete or finish this unity in all of us. This is an image of one of total and full unity together.
Jesus's prayer will be answered. It is being answered. There will be total and complete unity.
There will be perfected in unity. He said it, it will occur. So then
Jesus appeals to the father concerning his disciples. Again, in a relational and intimate way, look at verse 24.
Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am.
So that they may see my glory, which you have given me. For you have loved me before the foundation of the world.
As much as Jesus said, I do not pray for them to be taken out of the world right now.
We see Jesus's ultimate desire here. What does this say? His ultimate desire is that all who have been given to him by the father, all those who are true believers and true disciples, he says would be with me.
Would be with me where I am. Isn't that incredible?
Jesus prays to his father. I desire that they, which is you and me, be with me.
Jesus prayed with you in mind. He wants you with him. You see the frightened child comes to the parents room and says, will you be with me?
The grieving man who just lost his father, just lost his dad, sits down on the bench at the cemetery and his best friend and brother in Christ comes and sits next to him and he looks over and he says, will you just be with me?
Will you be with me? The newlywed bride turns to her husband and that wedding ring is a deposit of something that she hopes is forever.
And she turns to her husband and says, will you be with me always? Will you be with me? And all of that makes sense to us.
All of that makes sense that the child would say, will you be with me? Or the grieving man would say, would you be with me?
Or the woman would turn to her husband and say, would you be with me? But what doesn't make sense, what is unfathomable is that the perfect, not needing anything, son of God says,
I desire that they be with me. He wants us with him.
That's huge. How will the one called the
I am, the Lord almighty, how will his prayer not be answered? How could the father's gift to the son not be delivered and remain his possession forever?
You see, when he prayed this, when he said, father, I pray that they be with me. He prayed this for you.
He prayed this for you. He prayed this for me. And when every disciple and every one of the elect goes to be with Jesus, he desires for us to see his glory.
That's what he says. I pray that they would be with me and they would see my glory, his glory, the
God glory, the glory he shared with the father before the world was. He wants us to see that, to see his glory.
That's what it says right here. He says, for the father has loved the son before the foundation of the world.
The apostles, the eyewitnesses of Christ, they've seen many wonderful things. The apostles, these 11 men standing next to him while he's praying, they've seen him do signs, miracles.
They've seen him raise the dead, walk on water. They've seen him heal people.
They've seen all these things. But even they have not seen his glory he had with the father before the world was created, except maybe those who are on the
Mount of Transfiguration. See, we're going to be with Jesus one day and we will see his glory.
That's what it says. The unveiled splendor of Christ.
John says in his first epistle, chapter 3, verse 2, Beloved, now we are the children of God and it has not appeared as yet what we will be.
When we know that he appears, we will be like him. And here it is, because we will see him just as he is.
We will look upon the brilliance of the Son of God. We will see him just as he is,
John says. And so if we receive the love of God, we will get to see the glory of God.
Let's go to our final verses for the evening. Verses 25 and 26. O righteous
Father, although the world has not known you, yet I have known you and these have known that you sent me.
And I have made your name known to them and will make it known so that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.
O righteous Father, the world has not known you. The world doesn't know the
Father, nor has it known righteousness since the time of the fall. And so Jesus in this moment, he solidifies his role as mediator.
He has known the righteous Father. He has had love with the Father. He's been with the
Father from eternity past and he has made the Father known. Jesus' mission didn't fail even though there are only 11 men standing next to him.
Jesus did not fail. This is one of the greatest fulfillments of his mission. To make the
Father known to people who were taken out of the world and brought into the kingdom. Jesus is the bridge, you guys.
He is the bridge. He said in chapter 1 that he's Jacob's ladder, the thing that goes to heaven.
He is the stairway to heaven. He can do what the tower of Babel could not. He actually brings us to God.
He is the way to the Father's house. And Jesus says he has made the
Father's name known to us. We talked about what it means to be in the Father's name.
To know the Father's name is to know him intimately. It encompasses all of him.
And now that Jesus' mission is complete in one sense, but it's not really complete in another as he goes to the cross.
But he says, I will make your name known. He says,
I've done all this. But then he gives a future promise.
He says, I will make your name known. I've made your name known, and I will make your name known.
There are more who need to know it. There are more who need to know the name of God, to be brought into the name of God.
The future disciples, you and me. And he's going to do this by way of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the
Holy Trinity who expands the reach of the ministry of Jesus. He expands it in this world.
And so we see John 3, 16 on full display here. It's reached his pinnacle. All of this is so that the love with which you,
Father, love me may be in them and I in them. That's what he says. Love from God through Jesus and Jesus himself will be in us.
You see, we are objects of God's love. We are, but we're not only objects of God's love.
With the love of God and God residing in us, there is also a promise of transformation, transformation.
The love of God will do something. The love of God acts and this will complete us.
It will perfect us. It will bring us to him because the highest desire of every faithful believer and saint in God since the beginning of creation has been to dwell with the
Lord. Every true believer, every desire they've had, every time you see that in the
Bible, their desire is to be with God, that God's presence would be among them. You see that especially in the
Psalms. The psalmist says, God, don't remove your presence from me. Because that's ultimately what the true believer wants.
The true believer doesn't want all these material things of heaven. The true believer doesn't want to be exalted in heaven.
The true believer wants to exalt Christ in heaven. I told you that. Christ is the treasure of heaven.
This is what He came for, that we would be with Him forever. That's what it is. He's reconciled a people to Himself that we would be with Him forever.
Love was the motivation. Love was the gift. And this love is nothing less than the love amongst the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is of heavenly origin. Love from heaven came down to you on earth.
And so church, we have come full circle in the high priestly prayer. In verses one through five, the eternal high priest,
Jesus Christ, He was after His own glory. Did we see that? Jesus was after His own glory. Glorify Myself, Father.
The God glory. The glory He shared with the Father before the world was. We talked about how that wasn't selfish in the slightest, because of what it meant for us and because of who
He is. And here at the end of this magnificent prayer, we see besides that glory being
His right, His privilege, His crown, He desires that we go to be with Him so that we would see this glory.
You see, do you get it? At the beginning, Christ was after His glory. Glorify Me.
Return to Me. To the glory that I shared with you, Father, before the world was. Not because He just wanted glory for Himself, so that He says, they would see
My glory and they would be with Me. When Jesus seeks His own glory, it's because He seeks you.
It's come full circle. And the tremendous thing about all of this is the
Father is invisible, it says. The Bible says He's immortal. He's spirit, too holy to look upon.
But now we get to see God. We get to see God in the face of Christ.
The shining brilliance of Christ. The light of the world lighting up eternity.
The radiant glow like the magnificence even brighter than lightning in the sky. The pure white nature that not the brightest cloud on the most summer day in the sky could compare to.
And yet, Christ is still approachable. That's what's amazing. He's glorious. He's brilliant.
He's radiant with glory. And yet, Christ will still be approachable. He'll still be the one in heaven that you can embrace.
He'll still be the one that you'll be able to see warmth and peace in His face. It's amazing.
The great English preacher John Owen said, though the blessing of heaven is the face of Christ, this text also means that we can behold
His glory even now in a sense. Owen then preaches that if you desire to see the face of Christ in heaven, you should ponder it now.
You should study it now. You should marvel and love the face of Christ now. Ask yourself, are you truly seeking the glory of Christ today?
And if you are, if you're seeking the glory of Christ, you're going to let it shine in your life.
You're going to let it shine in your life. If you seek Christ's glory, His glory will shine through you.
Paul says that because we're His, the veil has been removed from our hearts.
We can now see who God is. In 2 Corinthians 3, verse 18, it says, but we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of God, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory just as from the
Lord. So what that's saying is, while on this earth, while still in this world, while we're still on mission for Christ, while we're still waiting to be in His presence and to see
His face and His glory and fullness, are you like a mirror of Christ's glory?
Do you mirror the glory of Christ? Do you shine the glory of the Lord into the world?
Do you demonstrate the beauty of Christ or the ugliness of sin? Do you show the world that you are united to the brothers and sisters of Christ?
Or do you show division? Do you show the world that we are really being changed and transformed?
The word here in 2 Corinthians 3 is metamorpho. It's not just a one -time thing here.
It's a continual process of being changed into Christ's likeness. He says from one degree of glory to another.
This is the process of being made holy that prepares you to see His glorious face.
And the amazing thing is that He says He'll do it. And I'm finishing up right here.
He says He'll do it. Jesus says He'll do it. He says I'll perfect you.
Father, I want them perfected in unity. It's His will. It's His purpose.
It's His responsibility. What He started, He will finish. I've always known that to be true in my heart.
You see, Christ must save me if I am to be saved. Christ must open my eyes if I am to know and believe.
Christ must teach me. Christ must lead me. Christ must transform me. And He must take me to Him.
There's no other way. I can't get to Christ unless He takes me to Him.
I'll never get there on my own and neither will you. And after Christ's most famous prayer, the prayer that can only be answered, it can't be denied
Him, I think the proper thing to do would be to pray to Him. So let's do that now, church.
Lord, thank You for Your Word. Thank You, Lord, for preserving
John chapter 17, for seeing this glorious prayer of Your Son.
Thank You, Jesus, for having us in mind. Thank You, Jesus, for asking for things that can only be answered.
That we will be united. That if we belong to You, we will be united. That if we belong to You, we will be in Your love.
If we belong to You, we will be guarded and kept in that love. And thank
You, Jesus, that You wrote here, that You gave us right here, that it says,
Father, my desire is that they would be with me. And God, that is our deepest prayer, even in ourselves, that we would be with Jesus.
That's what we want too. Thank You for that promise that we're not going to go into the grave and blackness will be our residence, or Sheol or Hades or the pit will not be our home.
A casket, a cemetery will never be our home. It'll never be our home. It says here,
Jesus, You prayed that we would be with You and we are confident and full of faith that whenever You take us home, we will be with You and we will see
Your glory. And we'll give You all the praise because You deserve it. Lord Jesus Christ, to You be all the glory and honor and dominion and power.