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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for John 17:23

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Intro. The main petition of Jesus for His church is that they might be one. Twice He repeated the request, "That they might be one in Us" and "That they might be one even as We are one."
I. HE THEN EXPLAINED THIS UNITY. "I IN THEM, AND YOU IN ME."
A. In chapter 14, He has said, "In that day you will know that I am in the Father and you are in Me and I am in you."
1. In 1Jo 1, He wrote, "And these things write we unto you that you might have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ."
2. That is to say, we not only have fellowship or communion or oneness with each other, but also this same oneness with the Father and the Son.
a. In the New Testament this meant a common sharing of all things.
b. I share with you all that I have, and you share with me.
c. The amazing thing is that God will join in this sharing with us.
3. "I in them."
a. Paul speaks of "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
b. For the Ephesians, Paul prayed, "That Christ might dwell in your hearts through faith."
B. Who is it that has this fellowship?
1. Jesus said in John 6:56, "He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood dwelleth in Me."
2. 1Jo 4:15: Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him and he in God."
3. 1Jo 4:16: "And we have known and believed that love that God hath to us. He who dwells in love dwells in God and God in him."
II. "THAT THEY MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE." THE WORD PERFECT MEANS COMPLETE OR FULLY MATURED.
A. You are not complete in yourself.
1. None of us liveth unto himself.
a. You cannot be complete by yourself.
b. We need each other and we all need God to be complete.
2. Paul speaks of the body of Christ in 1Cr 12 of its inter-relationship, and inter-dependence.
1Cr 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.
1Cr 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1Cr 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.
1Cr 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Cr 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Cr 12:17 If the whole body [were] an eye, where [were] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling?
1Cr 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
1Cr 12:19 And if they were all one member, where [were] the body?
1Cr 12:20 But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.
1Cr 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1Cr 12:22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
1Cr 12:23 And those [members] of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [parts] have more abundant comeliness.
1Cr 12:24 For our comely [parts] have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that [part] which lacked:
1Cr 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another.
1Cr 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
1Cr 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
B. The grasping of this principle is a sign of true maturity in Christ.
C. Conversely, the failure to grasp this truth is a sign of spiritual immaturity.
1. There are always those who are seeking to divide the body of Christ. What a paradox, they claim to have a corner on truth but in seeking to prove the truth, they divide the body.
2. I think that Jesus is more interested that you walk in love than that you be dogmatically correct. For you are wrong even when you are right, if you have not love.
a. The love that suffers long and is kind, that envies not nor vaunts itself. The love that thinks no evil, that believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
b. The love that is kind and tender-hearted forgiving one even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven us.
3. Some are more interested in persuading people to their particular doctrinal position than they are winning the lost.
4. They spend their lives arguing for the rightness of their position.
5. If they truly have the truth, they do not have to defend it.
6. The scriptures exhort us to speak the truth in love.
7. There are reasons why the 5-point Calvanists are not really evangelical.
a. If grace is irresistible, and the atonement is limited to only the chosen, and the human will has no part in the decision, then why even try to convert the lost? If they are ordained to be saved, they will be saved. Let's spend our time arguing and proving our position to the ignorant members of the body who must share our position on this vital truth in order to be eternally secure.
b. I believe that a man is eternally secure in Christ whether he believes it or not. Why argue about it and divide the body?
c. Again, if by my insistence upon my having the only true understanding of the truth, I divide the body of Christ, I am wrong when I am right.
d. It was the prayer of Jesus that we be one.
III. "AND THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW THAT HTOU HAS SENT ME."
A. This should be the true witness of the church to the world.
1. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and was sent by God into the world to reveal God to man, and to redeem man from the power of darkness, and to give eternal life to all who believe in Him.
2. This witness we declare verbally. 1Jo 4:14: "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world."
3. This truth we demonstrate to the world by our oneness.
B. That we may know that Thou hast loved them as Thou has loved Me.
1. How much do you think the Father loves the Son?
a. More than once He seemed to be so proud that He bragged on Him. He declared, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Sort of a "That's My Boy."
b. Do you think that you can fathom His love for His Son?
2. How much do you think that God loves you?
a. As much as He loves His only begotten Son.
b. That's how much Jesus loves you, too. "As the Father loveth Me, so have I loved you."
3. What do you think it would take to separate you from the love of God?
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
C. Paul's prayer for the Ephesians was that they may be rooted and grounded in love and be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, length, depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.
D. The past few days God has been revealing to me His love. I feel that if He shows anymore I will burst.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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