CHRIST’S PRAYER FOR HIS CHURCH
Preacher Ken Wimer
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in US: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me (John 17:20-21)
THE OBJECTS OF CHRIST’S PRAYER– verse 20:
Our LORD Jesus never has nor ever will pray for the salvation of any other than the Father gave Him from eternity, (John 17:9). To pray generally for the salvation of all sinners without exception is to pray contrary to the will of God the Father, and His Son, the LORD Jesus. When He prayed in the garden on the eve of His death as the Substitute for those the Father had given Him, it wasn’t just for the disciples who were with Him at His death, but for all who would believe on Him by their preaching and testimony, (Ephesians 2:20).
THE OBJECTIVE OF CHRIST’S PRAYER– verses 21-23:
ONENESS WITH THE FATHER AND THE SON- verse 21: Some say that this is not possible until the final glorification of His church at the end of time, but according to Ephesians 1:10 and 2:15, by the death of the LORD Jesus, God the Father has reconciled into ONE body every elect sinner, not only to Himself, but with each other. That can only mean that when the Spirit of grace reveals Christ in the sinner’s heart, there is a oneness of faith, love and hope that is given to that sinner that unites him/her to the body of Christ, and there is agreement in all matters pertaining to God as Father, Christ as Redeemer and Justifier, and salvation by the grace of God alone, apart from any work of man. This prayer has been fulfilled.
ONENESS IN THE GLORY OF THE FATHER AND THE SON- verse 22: Contrary to popular opinion there are not degrees of glory or holiness in God’s children. There is One Savior who is all the glory of the Father and His people that Christ redeemed. They all share the same righteousness and hope of glory, and one standing before God in holiness, imputed to their spiritual account when Christ died, (Romans 4:25; Romans 5:1). ‘Therefore, being justified, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ.’ All the glory of God is in the work that the LORD Jesus finished, and that glory belongs to each one for whom Christ died in being justified, sanctified, and reconciled once for all upon completion of His work at Calvary, (Hebrews 10:10-14).
ONENESS IN THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST- verse 23: “I in them and Thou in Me…” What a wonderful effect of the work of Christ that the Father and the Son should be pleased to dwell in His redeemed people (the true church), by His Spirit of grace. ‘Made perfect in one…’ The word ‘perfect’ means to be complete, lacking nothing, or fulfilled in ONE: one God, one Savior, one salvation, one hope, one righteousness, one glory, one faith, one love…. This is truly a work of God, more phenomenal even than the creation of the heavens and earth, for they shall pass away, but this work of uniting fallen sinners in ONE Savior to the Father is the one way that HE has purposed to demonstrate to the world His great glory in sending His Son into the world. “THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW THAT THOU HAST SENT ME, AND HAST LOVED THEM, AS THOU HAST LOVED ME.’