Summary: Easter 7(C) - Our Savior Jesus Christ prays for his believing church to be united in his love so that it may share God’s glory.
JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS BELIEVING CHURCH (Outline)
May 24, 2009 --
EASTER 7 --
INTRO: In the verses preceding our text Jesus prays for his disciples (cf. *Gospel). Our text states that Jesus prays for “them”. “Them” refers to Jesus’ disciples. Jesus prays for his disciples. Chapter 17 began with Jesus praying for himself. Here is the very Son of God praying. Jesus is God Himself and considers it vital to take time and pray. Jesus sees the need and finds the time to pray. This is an example for us. One finds comfort in the fact that Jesus now sits on his throne of glory in heaven. Jesus still prays on our behalf. "Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them" (HEBREWS 7:24,25). Jesus always lives to pray for us.
JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS BELIEVING CHURCH.
I. That is may be united in love.
II. That it may share God’s glory.
I. JESUS PRAYS THAT HIS CHURCH MAY BE UNITED IN LOVE.
A. Verse 20. Jesus prayed for his disciples. Now Jesus changes the attention/direction of his prayer
1. Jesus now prays for those in the future. He prays for those who are yet to believe.
2. Jesus prays for those who will believe because of the apostle’s message, which is God’s word.
B. Jesus prays that the future believers would be united, not in differences, but in God’s love, verse 21a.
1. Jesus desires believers to have the same unity of this Son with his heavenly Father.
2. Jesus uses his unity with his Father to describe the closeness of believers.
C. Verse 21b. Jesus prays for the unity of future believers who believe in the Triune God.
1. Verse 23. This is a powerful prayer on behalf of all believers by the very Son of God.
2. Jesus wants the believers to know and live in that same great love the Father has with his Son.
3. Verse 26. Jesus revealed himself by faith. Through love Jesus lives in the hearts of believers.
D. It is only through love that Jesus lived in this world. It is only through love that Jesus gave up his life for sinners. It is only through love that our wickedness, rebellion and sin have been removed. It is the very self-sacrificing love of Christ, our Savior that unites us. We now know what love is because God first loved us (cf. **second lesson, below). We desperately need God’s love because we are born enemies of God. "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation" (COLOSSIANS 1:21,22). Jesus has paid the price. Jesus has made us children of God, heirs of eternal life. Not by our choice or merits but by his grace.
E. Now Jesus prays for his believing church. Jesus prays for those who confess him as Savior, for those who confess him as Christ. Believers make confession of faith according to the words of the creeds of the Christian church: Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian. We confess that we believe in the “holy, Christian church, the communion of saints”. This is the invisible church that includes all believers everywhere who confess and believe in Christ as the Savior, their Savior. This invisible church is united by faith. This holy, Christian church is united in God’s love. "’Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’"(ROMANS 10:11-13). God’s holy, Christian church crosses all denominational lines. God looks at the heart.