Sermons

Summary: A message of commitment.

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A SPECIAL PEOPLE

John 17:1-26

INTRO: Recently, I learned that the USAF does a special thing when a person gets a promotion to general. They attend “charm school.” It is a training designed to acquaint a person with the expectations of a general’s life.

Jesus wanted His followers to be special people. In the upper room, Jesus had been teaching them the special life and work with which they were to be involved. He concluded His teaching with a prayer. Jesus’prayer is in three parts: 1. Jesus prays for Himself (v. 5); 2. Jesus prays for His disciples (vv. 6-19); 3. Jesus prays for future disciples (vv. 20-26). From the prayer, one can see how Jesus prayed for His people to be special.

I. PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW A LEADER.

The followers of Jesus are special because of their relationship to Jesus Christ. Jesus regards the apostles as the Father’s gift to Him (v. 6). Remember the period of prayer after His baptism before he chose them.

The Lord did an unusual work for His people. Followers belong to Jesus because they have opened their lives to Him. The followers adore and worship the Lord. They listen to Him, and they seek to obey His commands.

Look at Psalm 9:10 — David does not mean those who know what God is called will trust in Him, but those who know what God is like — His character, His nature — will trust in Him.

Jesus claims loyalty and fidelity in these men with the exception of Judas (v. 12). He does not claim perfection for them, but they have at least held on to the message of the Father in spite of doubt and wavering. Christians are special because of their relationship with Jesus.

II. PEOPLE WHO AIM FOR HOLINESS.

God’s people live in the world, but they do not live of the world. Jesus sanctifies His followers. To be holy means to be different. God bestows His character on those who open life to Him.

Christ will no longer be visibly present to the world, but He will be with the believers through the Holy Spirit (v. 11).

III. PEOPLE WHO SHARE A UNITY.

The followers of Jesus have unity. Christians have a genuine unity because each believer has a union with Jesus Christ. Unity happens as a result of a common relationship. In this relationship, believers share a mutual love for each other and a common mission.

Christ prayed for all believers to have unity (v. 11). The disciples had union, but lacked unity or oneness of spirit as was shown this very evening at the supper. Jesus offers the unity in the Trinity as the model for all believers. The witness of the disciples will fail without harmony.

IV. PEOPLE WHO PURSUE A MISSION.

The mission of God’s people is to reflect His glory (v. 22a). Glory contains the idea of the reputation of God. Jesus enhanced the reputation of God. The followers of Jesus pursue the mission of making God’s name be known to the world.

Verse 23 — gives the reason for our mission. That the world may keep on knowing.

CONC: Christians are God’s special people. They are not special because of God’s favoritism. They are special because of their relationship to God and His work in them.


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