John 17:13-26

The importance of unity in the body of Christ: cannot be overstated. Our passage today is entirely Jesus the Christ praying to God the Father. If they are one, why does Jesus pray? Mystery of the Incarnation / authority structure. What a lesson on prayer! We would all do well to pray for these exact things. The scene is the garden of Gethsemane… Jesus goes off to pray…

This chapter documents a series of statements / prayers. It starts with the disciples who are with Him and includes all who would be disciples. The prayers of Christ we are going to look at today are mostly about unity. These are the basis of what Jesus’ church has always united around [traditionally] Traditional…what does that word say to you?

Christ prays for the ways that we are to be unified and that we will understand what we are to unite around. If have to be united around important things / The most important things. In this ‘High Priestly’ prayer Christ prays into existence core aspects of His Body.

John 17: 13-26 (NKJV)

13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

  • Christ approaches The Father in prayer to ask that HIS joy be fulfilled in US
  • What makes that happen is God’s Word / Scripture
  • If we accept the truth of God’s world we will be despised by ‘this world’
  • This is good because it unties us with Christ in being otherworldly

15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

  • We are called to stay involved with this world but not to belong to it
  • As we engage culture Christ prays for those who are HIS to be protected
  • Christ asks that we be apart by His truth [Traditional interpretation of Scripture]
  • God’s Word is the source of truth

18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

  • Christ prays for us to be sent just as He was… to show the world who God is
  • To enable this, Christ set Himself apart for us. That same truth can set us apart

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

  • Everything HE prayed previously focused on the 11 also includes all believers
  • All of these prayers include those who believe in Him based on The Apostles
  • That we would believe their testimony… which we call the ‘New Testament’
  • We would be united around Their Gospel the way The Father & Son are united
  • In that unity we become one with The Trinity / God of the Scriptures
  • Our unity with God and each other proves that Jesus is ‘Heaven Sent’

22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

  • The glory of being God incarnate, being Lord and Savior
  • Christ Prays His body will share in the unity of the Trinity!
  • It will be a reflection of the perfect unity found among Spirit, Son & Father
  • Being grown in this unity will be perfecting / sanctifying
  • This refining unity results in our lives being a convincing witness / apologetic
  • Christ prays our unity will make people believe God came & God loves them

24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me, may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

  • Christ prays that those who God makes His possession will go where He is
  • In heaven we will see the glory of the Godhead
  • Love has always existed in The self-existent GODHEAD

25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

  • Praying in recognition of The Father…
  • Acknowledging that this sin infected world cannot know Who God is
  • Christ identifies those God gives Him as knowing God as He does (human)
  • Christ in coming declared exactly who God is…’His Name’ is love! [essence]
  • Christ prays that that God’s pure love would be in HIS surrendered disciples
  • He prays that HE Himself will be in those redeemed people!

Those redeemed people, based on Scripture, are those who have surrendered their life to the Lordship of Jesus the Christ.

And in doing so become one with their Lord, sharing in bits of the perfect unity Christ, The Father and The Spirit have.


Christ prays that His followers would unite around Traditional Biblical Truth. Traditionally interpreted Scripture stands in opposition to all other worldviews. We unite around different ideals resulting in a different orientation to God / Jesus Christ.

Christ prays that we would unite around a mission of interacting with secular culture under God’s protection. His otherworldliness comes from The Truth of who He is. Our unity around His Truth gives us otherworldliness.
Christ prays we would unite around the belief that HE transforms us to be sent on HIS gospel mission through HIS sacrifice. We unite in the belief that the Biblical Gospel was given through the Apostolic Church.
Christ prays our belief in Scripture creates shared values, standards and principles that we unite around. Our unity around the Biblical Christ proves He is God.
Christ prays that HIS glory comes to us through HIS indwelling Spirit, enabling our unity ‘In Christ’. This unity proves God came as Jesus of Nazareth to bring His unconditional love to us, as one of us.
Christ prays that those who belong to HIM will spend eternity united with the glory of the self-existent Triune Godhead! Christ has revealed who God truly is and His love unites His followers forever!


In what specific areas of your life are you tempted to conform to the world around you instead of uniting with Christ’s followers around Biblical truth?

How comfortable are you with being ‘Otherworldly’ to the popular culture? What is your level of confidence that God will protect you if you live fully for Him?

How has God changed you since surrendering your life to Christ that makes you a more Christ-like ambassador?

What level of priority do you place upon being united with the leadership and membership of this Body?

Partnering 4 What Matters

What really matters? Eternal Things. Spiritual Awakenings…Biblical Salvation. The best thing that can happen in this world is someone receiving Eternal Life in Christ. How does WE get in on as much of what really matters as possible?

WE PARTNER! With organizations and individuals who declare the Biblical Gospel. And we do it in a Biblical way: understanding the need for both going AND Sending. Two sides of the partnership coin: those who go and those who send. It is normative for ALL Biblical Christians to be involved in some level of both.

Going and Sending: Romans 10:13-15 (NLT)

For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” [Joel 2:32] But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” [Isiah 52:7]

  • People truly confessing Christ as Lord is the goal all Biblical Mission
  • In order for that to happen, God uses people to declare the Biblical Gospel
  • People believe / God moves because they are told the truth about Christ
  • God’s plan found in Scripture is for ALL Believers to GO (Matthew 28) & SEND
  • There is nothing more beautiful… NOTHING BETTER
  • You & I get to be a part of it! As individuals & as Christ’s Spirit Indwelt Body


  • Vocational Ministry; Serving a Gospel Declaring Body or Organization
  • Serving & Supporting Your Church; A Gospel Declaring Organization
  • Serving & Supporting Other Gospel Declaring Organizations / People

Normal / Biblical Christian practice seen in Scripture: We are all called to go & send.

Let’s open up God Word and What HE has to say…

Gospel Partnership Is Not Optional: 1 Corinthians 9:7-14 (ESV)

7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? 8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” [Deuteronomy 25:4]

  • God’s will and ways are demonstrated in all aspects of life
  • The sustaining of work comes from the work itself / enjoying the ‘fruits of labor’
  • God’s Word points out this principal and God’s creation reinforces the principal

Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does He not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.

  • We are all designed to share in what is accomplished in the work we do
  • Sin alienates people from the fruit of their labor (slavery / Industrialization)
  • In a life connected to God we reconnect with the results of our work

11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.

  • Some ‘Goer’ was part of YOU believing in a Biblical relationship with Christ
  • Those who do such ‘spiritual sowing’ should at least be provided for materially
  • Paul is voicing the principal that He and others will do the work no matter what
  • Support from the Body is a right all Gospel workers have, but don’t demand
  • We, the Body of Christ, should demand the provision of Gospel workers!

13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

  • The pattern was put forth in the Old Testament Temple system
  • The means to provide for them came from the thing that served (Temple)
  • Now ‘The Temple’ is US, The Body of Christ, His Spirit making us a temple
  • Those who dedicate their life to Biblically serving God are to be provided for
  • So now ‘The Church’ materially, spiritually and relationally is to Send & Support

Partnership Is Discipleship: Philippians 1:3-6 & 9-11 (NASB)

3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

  • Paul positively reinforces a Biblical orientation regarding Gospel partnerships
  • The Philippians have intentionally and consistently partnered to spread Christ
  • This partnering is God’s work growing in the Philippians church [their maturity]
  • Once this kind of growth as disciples begins it continues until completeness
  • Gospel Partnership = Biblical Discipleship

Context: V 7 & 8: How much Paul personally loves the Philippians

9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

  • Interacting with those who propagate Christ’s Gospel grows us as disciples
  • The exposure to sold out followers of Christ shows us what really matters
  • Partnering for the Gospel grows us in the results of our salvation
  • Gospel partnering grows our dependence on Christ, bringing max glory to God

The Reward of Supporting: Philippians 4:15-17 (Mounce)

15 And you Philippians know that in the beginning of my gospel ministry, when I left Macedonia, no church joined with me in giving and receiving but you only. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent something more than once for my need. 17 Not that I seek the gift; rather, I seek the interest that accrues to your account.

  • Paul sites a specific instance of the Philippine church partnering with him
  • He wants to encourage them (and us) to keep them partnering for the Gospel
  • The gain we get from partnering in spreading Christ is more eternal impact

Jesus @ Matthew 6:19-21


It is essential for Jesus Christ’s Body to partner with others to spread the Biblical Gospel. We have a mandate to send and support those who are reaching people that we cannot.

There is a Biblical commission for the Body of Christ to financially support workers called to vocational ministry, locally and overseas. (Acts 1:8)

Through direct participation in Gospel Partnerships, members of Christ’s Body grow to maturity as disciples of Jesus and glorify the Triune God. Gospel Partnership = Biblical Discipleship.

Actively blessing Gospel missionaries and missions outside our local church is a way to ‘store up treasure in heaven’, accruing eternal rewards. The Body doing what matters.


In regards to sharing the Biblical Gospel, are you going, are you sending or both? If not, how can you change that?

What are some specific ways YOU can bless those who have sacrificed to serve the Gospel?

Do you see the support of Gospel Ministries outside this church as an essential part of your growth as a biblical follower of Christ?

What really matters in this life? What are you doing to store up treasure in heaven? What might do additionally?

Romans 8:31-38 ‘Eternal Security of Believers’

EASTER SUNDAY! One of the two most significant events in human history! We have so much to celebrate: THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST! We have been given the chance to have an eternal relationship with our creator. The glories and riches of such a relationship are being celebrated today.

All other relationships are subject to change…but not the love of God in Christ Jesus! Jim Elliot, an American missionary who was martyred in the 1956, is famous for saying: “No one is a fool for giving up what cannot be kept, to gain what cannot be lost!” I hope one of two things happens for you today:

#1: You’re encouraged by God’s Word recognizing what you have cannot be lost

#2: You give up what you can’t keep (your life) & surrender to what you cannot lose (Eternal Life in Christ)

Romans 8:31-38 (NLT)

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?

  • What are the wonderful things?
  • There are ten just in the first 30 verses of Romans 8

10 Wonderful things we have in ‘The Crucified & Risen Christ’ (Romans 8:1-30)

We are no longer commended by sin if we belong to Christ.

Surrendered to Christ we are freed from the power of sin and death.

God ended sin’s control over us by sacrificing His Son.

When we let God’s Sprit control our minds we have life and peace.

If Christ lives in us, our bodies can die and we will live eternally by God’s Spirit.

If we are led by the Spirit of God we are children of God.

As God’s adopted children we are heirs with Christ; in glory AND suffering.

We have been indwelt with God’s spirit as a foretaste of eternity, giving us hope.

God’s Spirit leads us in prayer and into harmony with His will.

We have been called by Christ and therefore we have right standing with God.

If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?

  • Are you convinced that God is for you?
  • The sacrifice of His own Son…what could be more personal, more intense?
  • What more could be offered? What could pay what we could never afford?
  • It is the ultimate act of love [Prefigured by Abraham’s willing to give his son]

33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

  • The Devil / Satan is the accuser of the brethren… do not doubt that he dares to!
  • Our position with God is not something we can do, only God can redeem us
  • Through the sacrificial death, victorious Resurrection and ongoing ministry
  • We are beyond the reach of any condemnation or accusation regarding sin!

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) Ps. 44:22

  • There is no doubt it can ‘feel’ like we are somehow separated from God’s love
  • Our lot in sharing everything with Christ in eternity is we share in hard stuff too
  • But our present circumstances do not dictate our eternal destiny!

37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

  • The truth is, none of those things, no matter how we may ‘feel’ stop the victory
  • Everything the world, our flesh and the devil can throw at us changes nothing
  • Overwhelming victory! Eternal life with the eternal God…do you realize this?

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

  • He is convinced…How did Paul become convinced of this truth? [He lived it]
  • Living or dying / Non human beings / present or future concerns
  • Hell has power…but not over your surrendered relationship with Christ
  • If you belong to God Satan and his demons cannot change that

39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • This is really good news! If you give your life up you are Christ’s FOREVER
  • It has been argued that we can separate ourselves from God
  • But are we not included in ‘All Creation’?
  • This means today, tomorrow, FOREVER
  • We go back to the ultimate act of love revealed in the God-man Jesus Christ

I’d gladly lose me to find you. I’d gladly give up all I got. To catch you I’m gonna run and never stop. I’d pay any price just to win you. Surrender my good life for bad. To find you I’m gonna drown an unsung man. I’d call that a bargain. The best I ever had! ~ Bargain by The Who


All the wonderful things Christ did by dying in our place and by rising from the dead, give us ample reason to surrender our life to His Lordship.

All who surrender their life to Christ are free of accusation and commendation because of Christ’s sacrificial death, bodily resurrection and heavenly intersession.

In the troubles of this life a believer may feel apart from God’s love, but the truth of Scripture is that none of that effects our position with God, no matter how we feel.

Those who surrender their life to Christ have SO MANY wonderful things…and they are all permanent and irrevocable. This is known as ‘Eternal Security’.

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”~ John 10:28-30 NIV


Remember to count your blessings ‘In Christ’. Search God’s word for all the things you have as His bought and paid for possession.

Don’t let the Devil accuse or condemn you, if you have surrendered your life to Christ’s Lordship. If you have not…

Apply the promises of God’s Word to your situation when you face adversity. Don’t give in to how you feel, live based on what you know to be true.

Trust Christ Jesus to give you assurance of your salvation by His indwelling Spirit. If you do not have that security, surrender your life to Christ TODAY!

Malachi 4:1-6

How does the message of Malachi’s prophecy connect to the story of Christ?

The Prophecy of Malachi is part how Scripture reveals what God is all about

He is a God of perfection, purity and holiness who desires a relationship with US!

He is a God who warns US of the consequences for continued rebellion against Him

He is a God who judges US, making distinctions based on His perfect standards.

He is a God who punishes and rewards US based on HIS perfect justice

Most importantly, He is a God who comes to US! (riding on the colt of a donkey)

Last Week: Malachi 3:16-18

Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up My treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

Malachi 4:1-6

1 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all.

  • Day of Judgement is mentioned yet again (3rd time) Repetition…TAKE NOTE!
  • The theme of an impending Judgement is found throughout scripture (28 direct)
  • This imaginary speaks of absolute & total destruction of those opposed to God

2 “But for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.

  • If judged as wicked you face a certain fate, if found to fear God, another
  • Those who fear Yahweh’s Name (If you know Him you fear HIM)
  • This is a clear illusion to the Resurrection of the Messiah (Christ Jesus)
  • The healing is spiritual healing… the return of ‘Shalom’ that was in the Garden
  • The recognition of this healing is an experience of joyful freedom

3 On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

  • When God brings Judgement, those who fear His name join Him
  • Part of being a child of God is YOU join in the family business
  • That business is now the propagation of the Gospel… then it will be punishment
  • Those who surrender their life to Christ will be part of ‘Heaven’s Army’

4 “Remember to obey the Law of Moses, My servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai for all Israel.

  • God delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai
  • The Ten Commandments are the foundation of a right relationship with God
  • Jesus Christ’s Body has always observed of the Ten Commandments

5 “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. 6 His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

  • Elijah represents the entirety of God prophetic message to His people
  • That prophetic message has always included a call to repentance
  • That prophetic message has always included a warning about judgment day
  • God is constantly calling all people to turn their hearts to their heavenly Father

Mount of Transfiguration: Jesus meeting with Moses & Elijah represents the unity between Christ and ‘The Law & The Prophets’ (O.T.) Last 3 verses of prophecy before Christ


V. 1: Judgement is coming…there are only two results of the judgement. Those judged as the arrogant and wicked will face total annihilation, there is no partial penalty.

V. 2: The fate of those judged to fear God’s name will experience absolute healing (from sin’s effect) resulting in absolute freedom.

V. 3: On judgement day, God’s actions will result in those who fear His name joining Him in the punishment of the wicked.

V. 4: God provides guidance for those who wish to be numbered among those who ‘fear his Name’. Ten Commandments = Basics on how to relate to God and mankind.

V. 5: There will be a return of Elijah before Christ’s second coming. John the Baptist was the figurative Elijah that came before the initial advent of The Messiah, this time is before ‘Final Judgement’.

V. 6: The preaching of this Elijah will turn those who fear God to repentance and restoration of relationships. Those who don’t respond will experience His wrath.


In what ways does your life reflect your fearing of God’s name? How might that improve?

Have you experienced ‘Joyful Freedom’ in Christ? If so what does that look like?

How might joining in God’s work now prepare you for joining His work on Judgement Day?

How well do you understand God’s messages found in the law and the prophets / Old Testament?