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May 22, 2022 7:00 pm
In recent days we have been inspired as we have heard of Ukrainian believers are brothers and sisters in Christ, singing hymns of faith as they express their persevering faith, hope and confidence in God, he will indeed hold us fast. They sing in of God is supplied every believer. Wonderful means of grace to sustain us in the darkest and the most threatening times and circumstances. Every believer in Jesus Christ, has been granted direct access to the throne of grace, that we may go there boldly and obtain mercy and find grace and when in times of need. But besides the personal prayers of believers pray we have the prayers of others were brothers and sisters in Christ were admonished to pray for one another that bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.
So we intercede for one another over in chapter 6 of Ephesians, Paul is giving instructions concerning spiritual armor and when he gets done with describing the armor in verse 18 he speaks about the critical importance of praying for all the saints need to read Paul's letters frequently. You find him appealing to the churches that is writing to pray for us, pray for us. Pray for me in various specific needs attached to those appeals with the intercession of believers for each other is an essential element of the church's spiritual life, but other Christians are not the only ones who are interceding on behalf of believer Romans chapter 8 verse 26 tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. We feel our weakness. Dolly yes we feel are human frailty, not knowing how to pray what the pray what the will of God is, he helps us in our weakness, interceding for us with what groanings too deep for words yet beyond all of that, there is yet another praying for us. None other than the one seated at the right hand of God the father, the Lord Jesus Christ to the writer of Hebrews tells us ever lives to make intercession for his people. Hebrews 7 verse 25 song drawn this morning to this high priestly prayer. Prayer that is recorded in John chapter 17 and what we want to concentrate on this morning is verse 15 will look at a few verses surrounding that.
But we are mainly concerned concerned with verse 15 and Jesus prayed this to his father. I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one. You probably are familiar somewhat with this prayer that there are three major divisions in it.
Verses one through five. Jesus is praying for himself and particularly his own glory. But then, beginning at verse 16 running through verse 19.
These praying for his apostles. First and foremost and then when you get to verse 20 that prayer is expanded and there's an inclusion and it it includes Christ prayer for all believers. But back to verse 15 as we look at this verse together. I have five questions that I want to raisin try and answer question number one for home did Christ pray question number two for what did Christ pray question number three.
What is meant to be kept from the evil one. Question number four what is meant by two qualifying statements that we find in verse 11 and in verse 12, and let me read those for you so that you understand what I'm making reference to you see the same emphasis on Christ praying that the father would keep his own, but verse 11.
Now I am not no longer in the world, but these are in the world and I come to you. Holy father keep through your name, keep through your name those whom you have given me verse 12 while I was with them in the world. I Them in your name those whom you gave me. I have kept so there's two qualifying phrases. There in verse 11 your name to be kept in your name and in verse 12, to be kept in or Through your name, verse 11, and then to be kept in your name. Verse 12 and one final question what bearing what bearing does this truth.
What bearing should this truth have upon us. In other words, what's the application so five questions of the text question number one for home for home did Christ pray verse 15 I do not pray that you should take them out of the world.
He first tells us who is not praying for notice with me. Verse nine he says. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world price prayer is not for the whole world price. Prayer is for a particular group of people and as we read the context here it is for those who were given to him by the father. Now there's an awful lot of thrilling theology here that we could go off on. Who are these ones when were they given to him by the father and wouldn't have time for that. This morning babe.
Perhaps another time, but for hundred Christ, pray he prayed for those that the father gave to him.
The immediate context here is for those 11 apostles now we must familiarize ourselves with the language of Scripture because too many Christians have a very simplistic thought her mind and in some respects erroneous thought when it comes to the work of Christ and on behalf of home did he do this work member talking to a young man for quite a while. He was wrestling with the doctrines of grace and he called me one day. He said this is really big is in and I said on a big is it. He said well I always thought Christ died for everybody. I said okay we couldn't Salina well if he did. We saying Jesus paid it all and of Jesus paid it all, then why are people in hell he's got it. He's got it.
God doesn't play double jeopardy if his justice is satisfied in the death of Jesus Christ, God would be unjust to require payment for sin from the center because he received payment for the sinner from his son so people say, well, Jesus died for everyone. We need to understand what the Bible says in place of that general generic language.
So the question is for home did Jesus die.
He died for those whom the father gave to him. That's what the language of John chapter 17 tells us, but what else will he died for his sheep. John chapter 10 verse 11, he died for his people. Matthew chapter 1 in verse 21 acts chapter 20 verse 28. He died for the church he died for the children of God. He died for his sons.
He died for his brother and he died for the many new see how rich the language is and how broad ideas as opposed to what Jesus died for the will is a sense in which Jesus did die for the world as long as that is understood in its context.
What is meant by the world but most people when they hear the world they mean Jesus died for everybody. Every person, every that ever lived. No, no, we couldn't have a didn't, so this just an aside.
Stop by thought.
This is a good place to speak to that Christ prayed for any praise for those who will believe not. Those who have believed notice with me below backup because I want to. Jesus is praying for those that the father gave to him. Well it's obvious to us that that is not just these 11 apostles.
What about Mary what about Martha what about Zaki is what about Lazarus. What about Mary Magdalene. What about the mother Jesus. What about the 70 did he sent out 2 x 2.
What about those who were gathered in the upper room so just in the immediate context we know that those the father gave to him includes far more than just 11 right. If you have any question about that verse 20 settles it. Jesus says in verse 20.
I do not pray for these alone who were these alone.
Well, it is those 11 apostles less well. 11. Judas is excluded. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word and I've thought about that phraseology for those also for those who will believe Christ prayed for and praise praise for those who will believe not.not those who have believed now that seems like splitting hairs, but I want to think about this with you for a moment. Christ has in mind each and every member of his church each and every one given to him by the father, whether they were in the faith, or out of the faith, whether they existed or had yet to exist. If you are one of the elect of God, chosen before the foundations of the world given to the father given to the son by the father. Jesus prayed for you before you ever walked this is amazing is Manasseh language of verse 20.
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.
Sometimes we entertain thoughts that God was only dealing with us.
Salvific lady in the time since around our conversion know if you were and are the elect of God, God was dealing with you from the beginning of your conception he had thoughts of you in eternity past. That's why even your attempts to kill yourself. You couldn't even those times were you thought your life was going to be taken because of this that or the other couldn't.
Why, because God had intentions for you to come to Christ, so you were invincible even though you didn't know that it's a pretty astounding thing to think about what that's for whom Christ prayed for, but for what did he pray for, what did he pray will again like verse nine were Christ told us who we doesn't pray for before he tells us who we is going to pray for. Here he tells us what he did not pray for concerning them first before he tells us what he did pray for them. What is that for what did he pray verse 15 I do not pray that you should take them out of the world. Jesus himself was going to be taken out of the world he was leaving but is apostles were staying. We must not miss the importance of this contrast and I brought with me the words of a commentator that I thought was thrilling. It thrilled me when I read about it.
He speaking about this contrast between Christ being taken out of the world and his followers staying in remaining in the world. Listen to what he says about Christ.
This is sees putting words in the mouth of Christ as he is praying to the father I come to thy presence where there is fullness of joy and to the right hand where there are pleasures forevermore. I come to where the river of the water of life flows from the throne of God. But these these are in the wilderness I come were no enemy can follow me were no temptation shall assail me were no wariness can distress me, but these these are in the world I come to reap the trophies of my great victory. I come to grasp the scepter where the crown and to ascend the throne. I have been weary here, but I shall soon be weary no longer the way has been rough in thorny, but it is all over my haven is almost reach, yet these. These are to remain in the world so hearing that reminds us of this contrast. What about these disciples. What was their experience with their experience was that they'd been with Christ. They were saddened.
Their lives were unsettled with the prospect that Jesus was leaving them there purpose. There perseverance their protection was dependent upon Christ's presence with them.
And as long as Christ was with them.
There was a measure of security, but he was leaving and they were staying now in God's timing, they would be leaving this world as well. And one day we will be leaving this world, but until that day. We are to remain while they were in the world.
They'd had this incredible benefit of Christ's presence and protection. But he was going away and they would be without and they would face the danger, the hostility, the opposition and the onslaught of the evil one and so shall we.
We have enemies we have enemies within.
We have enemies without your member Peter Peter in his post though all fail you, not me.
I won't live. Chapter 22 verse 31 records these words of Jesus to Peter. He called Simon he said Simon. Simon indeed. Satan has asked for you that he might sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith should not fail.
And when you have returned strengthen your brethren. Not if you return. But when you return.
Satan had a desire to sift Peter to get Ed Peter but you notice what Jesus said Satan has asked for you and the fact that the the narrative tells us that Satan didn't get after Peter tells us what tells us that Jesus gave Satan access to Peter and he would have had access to Peter unless Jesus allowed it in and the question is will it wait a minute here I thought the promise here was verse 15 that you should not take them out of the world with you you should keep them from the evil one. It doesn't sound like Peter was kept from the evil one. Here's where I think we really need help. We value our temporal life more than we value our spiritual life. Let me explain what I mean when we hear the promise that will be kept and protected. We first most often think in the physical realm that means God not to let anything happen to me.
I'm not going to be killed are not going to be martyred in mud to be fed the lines of not women were to get that idea to be kept means to be kept in the most important area of your life to be Spiritually. Jesus didn't keep Peter from Satan's onslaught from Peter sifting but he kept his faith. He says I am prayed for you that your faith should not fail. And when you have returned. He was guaranteeing that he would return that is faith what God fail because he would be kept by Jesus. Now, by God's design when he saves us. He does not take us out of this world. He leaves us in this world. Why, because he has worked for us to do that we must know and he will help us. He will equip us. He will direct as he will lead us in accomplishing that which he has assigned for us.
He will leave us in the world because he has work that he wants to do in us, and it can only be done while were in this world because we are not suited. We are not fitted.
We are not prepared for heavenly habitation. God has work to do in us sanctifying work in us to prepare us for glory.
And that's why it's necessary for us to remain in this world.
I think it helps us, sometimes when we read this, we think well there seems to be some failure in this prayer because we look around and there's not a lot of people don't seem to be, but from the evil one does not mean that God won't grant access to the evil one to deal in our lives to work in our lives. We ask why would why would God allow Satan have access to Peter's life well because he needed his self-sufficiency stripped from him he needed to grow in dependence upon God and not upon himself.
He needed to grow in understanding the schemes of the evil one. He was going to be a chief messenger for the church.
It was Peter who said beware of the evil one. The devil runs about like a roaring lion. Where did you get that idea.
He learned he experienced it.
Therefore, he could admonish the church so there were a lot of things that Peter needed to learn, know we've all failed. None of us are blameless.
Although were told that we will be presented, blameless, and we say will wait a minute how we going to be presented blameless. I'm not blameless you're not blameless. We've all failed sand stumbled, fail the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord in the early fall, he shall not be utterly cast down. What were going to be presented blameless because were going to be presented in the perfect perfections of Christ. That's how were going to be blameless so it's similar idea. I believe this is what is meant to be kept from the evil one. Not that no evil or hardship or trial or threat or assault should come near us, but that when they do, by God's design. We will be kept in the way our faith will not suffer shipwreck.
We will persevere regardless of what comes not because were so strong, but because he is so strong, so we've considered for whom Christ prayed we considered for what he prayed we've considered what it means to be kept from the evil one. Let's think about these qualifying statements in verse 11 Christ says he's praying to the father keep through your name those whom you have given me. What is it mean to be kept through your name. What is it mean in verse 12, to be kept in your name to phrases Through your name kept in your name while what is the name of God.
We've see that phrase the name of God.
It speaks of God's attribute. So to be protected through the name is to be protected by the one who is represented by that name. The one who saw her. No one was all-knowing. The one who's wise, the one who is compassionate and anything else that can be said of God be Through the name board about being kept in the name board.
I have not to have this idea that God is somehow distant and when we get in trouble the gods going to come on a rescue mission and intervene in though this idea of being kept in the name is that we are in Christ. Christ is our fortress.
Christ is a very present help in time of trouble. He is with us so like the Calvary coming from a distance to come on a rescue mission. No were protected because in the name that's encouraging to me. Proverbs chapter 18 in verse 10 says the name of the Lord is a strong tower the righteous run to it and are safe. Christ is our strong tower. He is our fortress. He's the one that we run to and then the question what we do with this. How does this help us. What we learn from this well. I trust that it's a it's a source of encouragement to you. It's it's a time to be reminded that God is going to equip us to fight against fear and anxiety. And I never growing climate of fear and anxiety. There's many things to be afraid of.
It seems in our day as opposition to those who stand for Christ grows greater and greater were not on our own.
Christ is going to keep us is to strengthen our confidence.
The question is here. This is Christ praying to his father.
Question for you.
Shall God the father fail to hear the Savior's prayer.
Is it possible for the prayer and the prayers of the Lord Jesus Christ to be ineffectual you sable, absolutely not. What about your prayers.
How effectual are your prayers times not very effectual wise that will because we pray. Selfish prayers we pray outside will of God. We pray with such limited knowledge and understanding and such a small amount of wisdom.
All those things contribute to our praying. Sometimes, often ineffectually, but none of that could be true of Christ.
If Christ is praying to the father.
Jesus said in John chapter 4. The father always hears me not doesn't mean the father only always hears him know the father is always responding to the prayers of his son because his prayers are effectual. You want to be encouraged that you have brothers and sisters praying for you that God directs and leads us in our praying for one another we grows a body that way but boy how encouraged we are to be that the second person of the God.
It is praying for us. He's interceding for us. Now sometimes we wonder why in the company.
My one that father is given to the sun.
How I know for certain how can I be confident. What do I look to what are the what is the biblical evidence that I can draw comfort from two to take ownership of this insight.
I'm in this company will look with me, Jesus is going to speak about these ones that the father gave to him and what characterizes their lives, knows what he says in verse six, I have manifested your name to the men you have given me out of the world they were yours. You gave them to me and they have kept your word. They have kept your word. They haven't disregard your word they've held to your word. They haven't always walked in obedience to your work, but they have a desire to keep your word. That's one of the evidences notice verse eight he says, for I have given to them the words which you have given me what they do with those words, notice what Jesus is saying he sang to the father you gave me words and those words you gave me. I gave to them. What did they do with those words. Notice again verse eight for I have given to them the words which you gave me and they have received them. They have received them. So how can we test ourselves will very simple. Have you received the words that God the father gave the sun the word of God.
Do you affirm I do you agree with it. Have you received it and more the point this morning. Have you received the word that was has been preached to you this morning. Does your heart resonate with this. Does your heart go. Yes, a man I love this. I need this or use it in their gonna this is just religious talk. I don't need this.
I don't want this.
Your heart's response to the word of God tells you whether you have a legitimate claim to this promise that you will be From the evil one. John tells us in chapter 1 Jesus came unto his own and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them he gave the power to become the children of God, even to those who believe on his name, who were what who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Those of received Christ are those who have been born of God. Too many people of been born of the flesh, born of the will of man, born of something other than born of God. But if you been born of God, the life of God is in you and you have received the word of God. Paul tells us that the natural man receive not the things of the spirit because the foolishness to him so so much hinges on you examining your life in relation to these two points.
Have you received the word of Christ is the spirit of God giving you a heart to receive the word of God, the words of Christ and his desire in your heart to keep the word to walk in obedience to again not perfectly but that's the desire of your heart most days I would be.
That would explain why you're here today not some other place on a golf course somewhere. Not that it's ever wrong to be on a golf course. Even on Sunday you're on vacation. I guess of God is undertaken to keep us know the one more thing I want to point out to you.
There's a transfer going on here Jesus is praying to the father.
He's telling the father that he has kept those whom the father has given to him, but he's leaving the world and what is Jesus now doing Jesus is praying to the father for the father to keep them. Which is it why, why would Jesus be asking the father to keep them.
What's Jesus getting ready to do is getting ready to go to the cross and bear the weight of the sand of the world on his shoulders to face the onslaught of the evil devil, and all he could throw at him. So for period of time. This is how important critical. This was to Jesus.
He's bracing father. I kept these ones you gave to me, but now holy father keep them keep in frown along well for little while I go to the cross and finish the work you gave me to do. There's a lot of mystery in this prayer Jesus is praying to the father about his own glory. And he says in verse four I glorified you on the earth. I have finished the work which you have given me to do. I finish the work you've given me to do in Bend Calvary. So what sense could Jesus say I finished the work you gave me to do. That's a legitimate question right.
The only answer I got is that it was settled in the eternal decrees that there was no way it couldn't happen. It was as if it was already done. Same reason why you read in Romans chapter 8 about this great chain of salvation, and it goes from it goes from chosen in justified in skip sanctification just goes to glorification you say wait a minute. The biggest part of our Christian experiences living between conversion and glorification is nothing even mentioned there. While it is mentioned conformity to Christ likeness. But you don't see the word sanctification. Why will if you been justified is absolute guarantee you're going to be glorified. There's no way you can't happen right in the same way Jesus said, his face like flint to go to Calvary Jerusalem to die. Jesus said it, he settled he settled in the gardening, not my will but thine be done. So church Saints of God. Those of you who are timid.
Those of you are who are fearful and you know what I hear often I don't hear a lot of fear being expressed by believers for themselves. But what I hear a lot of is fear and anxiety being expressed by believers for their offspring and we say well I'm 60 years old and things are going bad and going from bad to worse and going very rapidly.
I'm concerned about my children. I'm concerned about my grandchildren will of God can keep you can keep your children can keep your grandchildren is running.
Is there any weakness in his ability to keep on winning the left. This we need to believe this. If it's true for us. It's true for our children. It's true for our grandchildren. Now I don't know what life's going to be like for my children.
20 years from now on, my grandchildren, 30, 40 years from now if Lord Terry's is coming. But does that invalidate the promise of the Bible does know know I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one. You're here today you're here because God is kept you got is kept you in the way you say. Well if you only knew how close I've been yet can join the.
The psalmist in Psalm 73 says what I said when I saw the prosperity of the wicked, my foot almost slip right is just not the prosperity the wicked little causes the almost slip there's lots of dangers, toils and snares right but in the good to be safe.
And Jesus is in a good to be secure in Christ is in a good to have an assurance that's rooted in the word of God is not rooted in my sentiment. My hope so. I think I'm saved up hope I'm saved up hope I'll make it someday. I'm ever talking to a man who who was rooted and grounded in the reformed faith. I talk to him one day and he said he's well-liked I don't have. I don't have a settled assurance I which I did ask why not plan on what I might do is you don't know what you might do what I know he will my own heart. I know the temptations and assault that I don't know where I might end up where I might not go to brother you're looking in the wrong place you looking with the final lots of insecurity to find lots of fear for final exit out look to Christ look to the promises of the Scriptures. That's our hope so, regardless of what comes. You see what we've seen on Facebook will be seen by video of Ukrainian Christians praying and singing.
I don't know what the future holds that could be us five years 10 years 20 years from now and how you to be singing in the face of fear for your own life.
Fear for the life of your children, your grandchildren unit was saying he will hold me fast. Yes you will because you give you grace to do it just like he's given them grace to do it.
Let us pray father how we thank you that you're the elf and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Salvation is of the Lord from the very beginning to the end. You're the first and the last you've begun a good work in us will continue it until the day of Jesus Christ strengthen your church, strengthen the timid believer that's in our midst. Today's full of fear and anxiety and worry whose nights are interrupted. Their sleep is not good because they worry they wake they've thoughts are running racing all made a run in race to Christ and the promises he made for his people. How we thank you that we have a covenant keeping God that the promises of Christ are yet he and a man that there is no way that someone could fail to keep those whom the father is given to him. Not one single failure possible.
Ever thank you that were kept for time and for eternity cause us to rejoice in this glorious truth. Today I pray in Jesus name, amen