John 17* Christ's prayer for himself. (1-5) His prayer for hisdisciples. (6-10) His prayer. (11-26)1-5 Our Lord prayed as a man, and as the Mediator of hispeople; yet he spoke with majesty and authority, as one with andequal to the Father. Eternal life could not be given tobelievers, unless Christ, their Surety, both glorified theFather, and was glorified of him. This is the sinner's way toeternal life, and when this knowledge shall be made perfect,holiness and happiness will be fully enjoyed. The holiness andhappiness of the redeemed, are especially that glory of Christ,and of his Father, which was the joy set before him, for whichhe endured the cross and despised the shame; this glory was theend of the sorrow of his soul, and in obtaining it he was fullysatisfied. Thus we are taught that our glorifying God is neededas an evidence of our interest in Christ, through whom eternallife is God's free gift.#6-10. Christ prays for those that are his. Thou gavest them me,as sheep to the shepherd, to be kept; as a patient to thephysician, to be cured; as children to a tutor, to be taught:thus he will deliver up his charge. It is a great satisfactionto us, in our reliance upon Christ, that he, all he is and has,and all he said and did, all he is doing and will do, are ofGod. Christ offered this prayer for his people alone asbelievers; not for the world at large. Yet no one who desires tocome to the Father, and is conscious that he is unworthy to comein his own name, need be discouraged by the Saviour'sdeclaration, for he is both able and willing to save to theuttermost, all that come unto God by him. Earnest convictionsand desires, are hopeful tokens of a work already wrought in aman; they begin to evidence that he has been chosen untosalvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief ofthe truth. They are thine; wilt thou not provide for thine own?Wilt thou not secure them? Observe the foundation on which thisplea is grounded, All mine are thine, and thine are mine. Thisspeaks the Father and Son to be one. All mine are thine. The Sonowns none for his, that are not devoted to the service of theFather. 11-16 Christ does not pray that they might be rich and great inthe world, but that they might be kept from sin, strengthenedfor their duty, and brought safe to heaven. The prosperity ofthe soul is the best prosperity. He pleaded with his holyFather, that he would keep them by his power and for his glory,that they might be united in affection and labours, evenaccording to the union of the Father and the Son. He did notpray that his disciples should be removed out of the world, thatthey might escape the rage of men, for they had a great work todo for the glory of God, and the benefit of mankind. But heprayed that the Father would keep them from the evil, from beingcorrupted by the world, the remains of sin in their hearts, andfrom the power and craft of Satan. So that they might passthrough the world as through an enemy's country, as he had done.They are not left here to pursue the same objects as the menaround them, but to glorify God, and to serve their generation.The Spirit of God in true Christians is opposed to the spirit ofthe world. 17-19 Christ next prayed for the disciples, that they might notonly be kept from evil, but made good. It is the prayer of Jesusfor all that are his, that they may be made holy. Even disciplesmust pray for sanctifying grace. The means of giving this graceis, "through thy truth, thy word is truth." Sanctify them, setthem apart for thyself and thy service. Own them in the office;let thy hand go with them. Jesus entirely devoted himself to hisundertaking, and all the parts of it, especially the offering uphimself without spot unto God, by the eternal Spirit. The realholiness of all true Christians is the fruit of Christ's death,by which the gift of the Holy Ghost was purchased; he gavehimself for his church, to sanctify it. If our views have notthis effect on us, they are not Divine truth, or we do notreceive them by a living and a working faith, but as merenotions. 20-23 Our Lord especially prayed, that all believers might beas one body under one head, animated by one soul, by their unionwith Christ and the Father in him, through the Holy Spiritdwelling in them. The more they dispute about lesser things, themore they throw doubts upon Christianity. Let us endeavour tokeep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, praying thatall believers may be more and more united in one mind and onejudgment. Thus shall we convince the world of the truth andexcellence of our religion, and find more sweet communion withGod and his saints. 24-26 Christ, as one with the Father, claimed on behalf of allthat had been given to him, and should in due time believe onhim, that they should be brought to heaven; and that there thewhole company of the redeemed might behold his glory as theirbeloved Friend and Brother, and therein find happiness. He haddeclared and would further declare the name or character of God,by his doctrine and his Spirit, that, being one with him, thelove of the Father to him might abide with them also. Thus,being joined to Him by one Spirit, they might be filled with allthe fulness of God, and enjoy a blessedness of which we can formno right idea in our present state.
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