Friday, February 01, 2019

The Vision (2.1.19): That they may be made perfect in one

Image: Winter sunset, North Garden, Virginia, January 2019
Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on John 17:20-26.
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one: and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me (John 17:23).
In Christ’s High Priestly Prayer the Lord Jesus prays for the unity of his future disciples. The prayer continues in v. 23 with Christ saying, “I in them….” Christ dwells within believers. How does he do this? By means of the Spirit. Compare:
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Christ continues: “and thou in me.” The Father was in the incarnate Christ so that he might make the Father known (cf. John 1:8; 14:9).
Think of it: If the Father is in Christ, and Christ is in us, then this means that the Father is in us, through the Son.
What is the goal? “That they may be made perfect [teleo: to be mature] in one.” (v. 23b).
He adds another purpose at the end of v. 23: witness to the world: “and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved me, as thou hast loved me” (cf. v. 21).  That last part is a reminder that the only way sinful yet redeemed men share in the love of the Father is by being united to his beloved Son. A perfect God must have a perfect object of his love. He may only rightly love himself. Thus, we are loved only because we are in Christ, and we can only have true unity if we are in Christ.
May the Lord make us perfect in one.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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