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Truth and Scripture #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
September 28, 2022 8:00 am

Truth and Scripture #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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We must be relying on Christ relying on the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us were all is vain because only God can do the work through his word that is necessary to advance his kingdom in the hearts of men. Hello, and welcome again to the truth pulpit with Don green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. I bill right today.

Don takes an in-depth look at how growth in the life of the believer can only come through the faithful study and reading of God's holy word and on Scripture really does have a sanctifying effect on those who embrace it. God's word brings growth is not right for bill. The Bible talks about itself in those terms in relationship to true believers that the word of God is essential for a true Christian to grow in grace, you know, my friend reminds me of what the apostle Peter said in his first letter. Chapter 2. He said that we need to be like newborn babies longing for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation. We need to turn from sin and set our hearts on God's word is what were going to do today and every day that you listen to us here on the truth pulpit. Thank you, Don and Fred. Let's join Don now as he continues teaching God's people. God's work is part one of a message called truth in Scripture from the truthful, what I want to do here is restart and if you want to just make this the first point in your notes of your note taker.

I simply want to look at the background of this text. The background of this text because it will help us understand the and properly interpret the primary text that we are going to look at this text that I just read is part of the high priestly prayer.

What Jesus prayed on the eve of his crucifixion as he committed his disciples to God the father and looking forward to the time where he would be absent from them after he departed from this world and he also commits himself to the work of redemption that he is about to accomplish on the cross and he sets himself apart to what the father appointed for him to do. It's a moment in time that is fraught with eternal implications and everything about the incarnation and all of the events of Jesus's life and in his miraculous conception in the virgin birth and his perfect life in his life of ministry and miraculous works and powerful teaching was all moving to this culmination point.

So this passage throbs with with redemptive significance and in the moment is just filled with such intensity that you remember that it was in this time that the Jesus was praying with such fervency that drops of blood came from his four head as we read elsewhere in Scripture.

This is the moment which Jesus had been uniquely appointed for what is about to do in the work that he would do on the cross is to open up the way to open the path to clear the road for men to be able to have access to a holy God.

That is the work that he is about to do. But as he does this work at the time has come where his disciples will have to face the world without his physical presence in you read that in you see where that is in Jesus's mind.

In verse 11. Here in chapter 17.

Leading up into it.

We read on verse nine, Jesus praying for his disciples in a tax that is fraught with significance for the doctrine of particular redemption. Jesus says in verse nine I ask on their behalf. I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom you have given me sees not praying for the world in general is praying for the disciples that the father had given to them.

Those that were chosen before the foundation of the world and uniquely, and particularly praying for that circle of disciples that were with him on the eve of his crucifixion. Now Jesus honestly beseeching the father knowing the work that he is about to do and knowing the hard road and even the future martyrdom that lie ahead for 11 of the those 12 apostles. Jesus says in verse nine I ask on their behalf. I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom you have given me, for they are yours and all things that are mine are yours and yours are mine and I have been glorified in them. But what he says in verse 11 he speaks as though is he uses the past tense to refer to the certainty of his coming departure. He says in verse 11. I am no longer in the world and yet they themselves are in the world and I come to you. Holy father keep them in your name. The name which you have given me, that they may be one even as we are.

Jesus recognizes the key transition that is in place as he is praying his time the appointed time with his disciples has come to an end is public ministry is over and now he will go to the cross. He will go to the tomb. He will be he will be resurrected and shortly thereafter he will ascend into heaven.

What this disciples had known in the prior three years of his time with them. All of that day by day walking with him and interacting with him and and traveling with him, and even ministering with them. It's done now something different in the redemptive plan of God is coming to pass. And so what Jesus is doing. Recognizing that he will no longer physically be present to care for the disciples what he is doing in this prayer is he is committing them into the omnipotent hands of God the father to care for them to keep them and to protect them as he departs. He asks God to keep them.

In other words, father. I'm asking you to guard these I'm asking you to guide them to direct them and to have your hand upon them because father they are in the midst of a hostile environment that will seek their destruction, even as the world has is now about to destroy me, Jesus says, in essence, he says, God protect these that you have given to me that they might be able to continue on and they need the protection of God himself. They need that they need supernatural protection in the hours that lie ahead because of the threats to their security.

Look at verse 14 with me. Remember, this is the background to the text that were looking at here today. Jesus says it will go back to verse 13 just the intimacy of this prayer I want to just ask you to step back from a moment and just recognize that this is God the son speaking to God the father, we are on the holiest of ground in Scripture.

When we when we read this passage this is the mind of God the son communicating with the mind of God the father.

There is an in intra-Trinitarian communication taking place here of the holiest kind, and I remember before I was a Christian. I remember specifically reading John 17, and not being able to understand it. I read this and it made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever will no wonder, how could the mind of a dead center. Read the that communication between God the father and God the son, and have any idea what is being said and so these are holy matters, and if this does not make sense to you. It may well be because your's still dead in your trespasses and sins. Jesus comes in verse 13 he says, now I come to you. Speaking to the father in these things I speak in the world so that they may have my joy made full and themselves.

I have given them your word in the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world, Jesus speaking to his father and rehearsing what the father already knows is that that the disciples are about to be sent out into a world environment that hates them and among unsaved men who will hate them just as they hated Christ and as they speak for Christ. The hatred that the world has for Christ himself will be transferred to them. The anger against Christ. The rejection of Christ, the humiliation of Christ would be transferred to the disciples as well. They would be imprisoned. They would one day be murdered in for the sake of their faithfulness to Christ and Jesus and and beyond beyond the though that horizontal aspect of the world environment. You see Jesus saying in verse 15 keep them from the evil one. The world is being motivated and that horizontal affliction and opposition comes because there is a spiritual dynamic from the adversary to their souls. They have a supernatural enemy in Satan, a supernatural enemy and the legion of demons that are under his command, and Jesus knowing all of this in ways far transcend our ability to understand, mindful that Satan prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour and that he has strength, it is too great for the disciples to resist, as Peter would find out soon after this, and is three denials with curses Jesus out of his love for his disciples, which by extension applies to those of us that are in Christ. You see the love and the genuine care and concern. The Christ has for his disciples as he asks God the the omnipotent, sovereign of the universe east asks God the father.

Exercise your care and protect them from that which they are being sent into because these invisible but very real spiritual forces will seek to destroy them and would destroy them apart from supernatural keeping. And so is Peter's denials would soon show these men were not up to the task in their own strength.

Peter was the head of the band Peter was in a sense, representative of the other disciples who all left Jesus and fled. And so we see that for time for a moment, God allowed their sin and their fear to manifest themselves so that it could be shown that the strength of the power of their ministry and their fidelity to Christ did not come from human strength or from human ability. How foolish it is to uphold Peter as so-called the first pope and head of the church.

Peter denied Christ with curses.

It could never be about the man Peter himself and Peter was just the representative of the others, who all Scripture tells us it elsewhere fled.

So we see by the way that it played out in a few short hours after Jesus prayed this way if there was going to be any advance in the kingdom of God. If these disciples were going to succeed in carrying out the great commission. The Jesus would later give to them if the keys of the kingdom were being given to them to proclaim them to men against hostile demonic forces and they are going to need supernatural help in order to do it, love it, it's the same for us today. There is no strength or power in a man who stands in the pulpit or in an evangelist who stands on the street corner. There is no power in you as you try to witness desperately to your families. We must understand that we need supernatural help for the advance of the gospel for the advance of our evangelism or it will not happen at all. We will fall of our own accord and the forces against us would shred us to pieces. There are people who would like to have us go on in our voices silenced.

This is just the nature of the environment in which we live, and so as we see these words of Jesus in this background, we see that the disciples themselves had no ability to carry it out, and it should also be an admonishment to you and me and our love for Christ. Our testimony for Christ in the ministry of whatever the Lord is given to us that we must be relying on Christ relying on the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us or all is vain all the effort is wasted because only God can do the work through his word that is necessary to advance his kingdom in the hearts of men. And that's why Scripture calls on people to pray for their pastors and for their elders and calls on pastors and elders to pray for their people. So Jesus gives us by his example and by his prayer. Here we see Jesus interceding for them so that their faith would not fail a beloved, if ever, for a moment, God withdrew his sustaining hand from our souls. If ever for a moment.

For a moment, he withdrew his preserving power from your soul. You would fall he would be lost forever.

It's not just that we needed Christ to die for us at Calvary is not just that we needed the spirit of God to work in our hearts and to give us new life at the moment of our conversion we need the ongoing work of the triune God to preserve and keep us because we cannot keep ourselves. What a ridiculous thought to think that you're saved and then you keep yourself by works just a total absence of understanding in that mindset of of of the frailty of our flesh, the remnants of sinful disposition in our hearts and the hostile forces that are arrayed against us as Ephesians 60 clearly says in so Jesus intercedes for his disciples and and he goes on to say that in verse 20, but understand that when Jesus was praying for the disciples on the eve of his crucifixion.

Beloved. This is so this is so powerfully encouraging and so greatly strengthening to us today to understand that Jesus had in mind all of his future disciples as well. He had us in mind as he was praying this way as well because he says in verse 20. I do not ask on behalf of these alone. In other words, I'm not only asking for the circle of 11 that is around me now that Judas has departed, he says, but, for he says I am also praying for those also who will believe in me through their word. In other words, Jesus says the apostles are going to lay the foundation for the church and father as people over the centuries come into the kingdom of God as they enter into the family of God through the word of the apostles. Father, I want you to understand on praying for them as well. He's praying for all the future church in this not just corporately but individually we are all the beneficiaries of what Christ is prayed here in verse 20.

It's amazing to think about.

You get a sense of the selflessness, the love and the omniscient mind of our Lord is about to go to the cross and suffer eternal pains at the at the hands of the father and during the wrath of God against our sins against him in the midst of that his mind is not on his own suffering, but his mind is on the well-being of those a God given to him. What a wonderful Savior. What a magnificent Lord, not just that he accomplished redemption for us, but that this is his heart toward us. This is no cold matter of mathematics and and the mere rearrangement of people's eternal destinies.

The heart of Christ is in this the love of Christ is motivating this prayer as he is a praise and not just in the circle of time in front of him.

But Lord, for the sake of all who would come one day to believe. If you're a Christian, beloved understand you. Come to believe through the word of the apostles is through the testimony of the New Testament writers that we know about Christ and his work is rightly interpreted to us and we see the. The accomplishment of redemption in the life and work of Christ, the person of Christ, and it was in through the Scriptures that we saw the call in response to the gospel to repent and believe in, so we believe through that word so we just see the the eternal scope of what we are considering here today in our text. Jesus is asking the father to use his word to set his disciples apart so that they might ultimately be with Christ in glory. Jesus loves his people. Jesus loves those for whom he died. And it is his desire. It is the will of the triune God that the people for whom Christ died would all be with him one day in glory because he loves us is gone to prepare a place for us and he's gonna prepare a place for us.

Scripture says will come back for us so this this passage is just is just quivering and pulsating with with the eternal purposes of of of God which are nothing but good for his people, even as he leads us through the wicked world in which we live. So with that background, let's look at our second point here. The prayer for sanctification. The prayer for sanctification.

As we look at this key key moment, look at how Jesus prays there in verse 17 where he says, sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth.

He's asking God the father to do something to the subjects of his prayer those for whom he is praying.

He is asking God to do something to them on their behalf that they cannot do on their own in the world that he uses is sanctify sanctify them, not at this crucial moment heal them of their physical afflictions. It's far, far beyond that, he says, to sanctify them. We often think of sanctification as the process by which we become more holy in our Christian lives, and that is a proper understanding of sanctification in the right context, but that's not the context here. He's not asking God to make them more holy in what he is praying right here sanctification that aspect that progressive aspect of sanctification is an important part of redemption. But in this context it is not the primary focus that Jesus has in mind at all. The Greek verb that underlies this translation hottie also it means to set something apart for the realm of God. In other words, set it apart for sacred use. Jesus is asking the father to set his disciples apart for God and for the purposes of his kingdom the idea of Jesus's prayer here is that God would produce a people that are devoted exclusively to loving him to obeying him and even to hating the things that God hates as we have seen so often in the songs see that the fiery imprecations of the Psalms is because the psalmist is so devoted to the purposes of God that he hates what God hates in our week of feminine age.

So many people react against that and want nothing to do with that kind of militant attitude and militant praying and everything wants to be neutered and castrated away from the from that kind of virility of faith will beloved it for going to love God and and were going to be were going to be his emissaries, his ambassadors and isn't it obvious that the one that is identified with God, and is identified with his son going to have something of a love for what God loves in a hatred for what God hates Jesus as sanctify them and set them apart for your own purposes. As we said they do not have the strength to do it on their own and Jesus recognizes that the world and Satan conspire to thwart the noble plan of God. And so Jesus here in verse 17 Jesus is securing their safety. He is securing our safety with this appeal to his father in the context it's easy to see that Jesus is not talking here about their progressive growth in obedience because as you read in the immediately following context. Jesus applies the verb sanctify to himself located here in verse 17 through 19 again.

Jesus says sanctify them in the truth.

Your word is truth. Now in verse 18 he says as you sent me into the world. I have also sent them into the world is drawing an analogy between the disciples in Christ himself. God the father, you sent me. Christ says into the world. Now I am sending them into the world.

In like manner. So what does he say there in verse 19 he says for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth Don green bringing our study today to a close friend that's all the time we have for today here on the truth pulpit next time. Our teacher will bring us the second half of today's lesson. Meanwhile, if you'd like to hear this message again or share it with a friend or loved one. Just go to the truth. Once you there you'll find all of Don's teaching as well as other helpful resources and information about this Bible teaching ministry again. That's the truth.

I'm Bill Wright, inviting you to join us again next time when Don green continues teaching God's people.

God's word from the truth

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