Wednesday, February 08, 2012

John 17 17 to 26

17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 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.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 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.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Key Observation:
It is the unfathomable plan of God to use fallible humans to spread His Word.

The word in Greek transliterated to English is agiazon. It literally means to hallow or to cleanse for consecration. Not that I allow Jesus to sanctify me—rather it is something that is done upon conversion, and is different from the commands to come out and be separate. Today churches often do not talk enough about what it means to be separate, to be a city upon the hill. But this verse makes it plain that sanctification is initiated by God, and completed by Jesus.

I think of the great things that God has done for me. What does He expect in return? I find out from my study of grace, that there is nothing that I can do that will add to this sanctification, for it is a completed work. When Jesus cried out, ‘It is finished’, it was indeed complete. The finished work consisted of forgiveness of all of my sin, and my sins to come. Paul says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8) No condemnation. None whatsoever. Grace is free, without purchase.

But that does not mean He does not expect something, if I will but realize what He has done for me. Our nature is to be renewed by the fruits of the Spirit, and we are to no longer live according to the sin nature, but rather are to be controlled by the Spirit, who clothes us in the very fruit of God, giving us love, joy, peace, and patience. These are the things that are to mark me as a Christian, my sanctification is submission to God that He might work in and through me on a daily basis.

“We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer,” asks Paul? (Romans 6) Paul teaches us that we are co-heirs with Christ, and heirs of God. (Romans 8) If you have not yet gotten to the place where you can exclaim with Paul, “I am the chief of sinners”, then perhaps you do not yet see yourself as God does. In His sight all of our righteousness is as nothing, and the glaring inconsistencies and sins and weaknesses of our life permeate everything. Knowing that, and then realizing just how much God does love you should send eternal chills up your spine. Some saints, realizing that, have suffered martyrdom, willing following the Lord in His sufferings, because they knew grace. Can I afford to realize any less? This one life I have; let me be wiser and expend it more righteously, living day to day with thanksgiving in my heart to my God.

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

1. Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free,
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

2. Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned,
Saved to the uttermost;
Chains have been torn asunder,
Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

3. Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power,
Making him God's dear child,
Purchasing peace and heaven,
For all eternity;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All sufficient grace for even me;
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
O magnify the precious Name of Jesus,
Praise His Name!

Lyrics: Haldor Lillenas

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