Christ’s Teaching on Election? John 17:1-11

Text:  (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;)

Romans 9:11.

          Therefore (a conclusion) hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth (hardens and continues to harden) (margin: makes stubborn).

Romans 9:18.

God morning, Divinely elected Christian!  You and I are saved and Eternally secure today because of a choice Almighty God made in Eternity - (before the foundation of this world) - to redeem us from our vile sins.  God alone is God.  God alone chose whom He would save out of the entire world, and whom He would refuse to save from their sins.  At all times, God alone is Sovereign in the choices He makes.  He speaks, and who can stay His hand?

But our God is in the Heavens; He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.          (Psalm 115:3)

IN Whom (Christ Jesus) also we (the elect) have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh ALL THINGS after the counsel of His own will; that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.  (Ephesians 1:11-12)

Oh yes, beloved Christian friend, God alone is God - and His Sovereign will is perfect and all things are done according to His own perfect will.  Amen.  And praise His Holy Name!

Christs prayer in John chapter 17 clearly reveals the full Sovereignty of Almighty God in two distinct aspects: God the Fathers Divine Election in Eternity of souls to save; and God the Sons power to grant Eternal life to all the Father has graciously given Him to save. Hallelujah!  What Eternal grace!

John 17 lifts the veil off Eternity and shows mere mortals such as we things that took place in Eternity - ‘…before the world was…’  What a revelation!

And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.  (V.5)

Gods Choice: (V.2)  Verse two of our selected Bible reading for today clearly sets forth the truth that the Lord, our Father in Heaven, made an Eternal choice to save particular souls and to give those chosen souls to His dear Son, Christ Jesus, that He might save them, in time, by His Sacrifice on the Cross.

“…that He (God the Son) should give Eternal life to as many as Thou (God the Father) hast given Him. (John 17:2)

Election: This choice of souls by God the Father, made in Eternity, is repeatedly taught in Scriptures.  For example, see verses 2; 6; 7; 9; 11; 12; 24; of John 17:)

I have manifested Thy Name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy Word.  (John 17:6)

That a Divine choice was made is further evidenced in verse nine of our selected Bible passage:

I pray for them (those the Father chose to save); I pray NOT for the world (those whom the Father chose not to save!), but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.  And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them (the redeemed souls).  (John 17:9-10)

God is Sovereign in all things and especially in the choices He makes!

Gods Power:  In Eternity, God the Father gave God the Son all power to save the souls of those whom God the Father had chosen (elected) to give Him to save.  Verse two again proves this fact:  As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He (Christ Jesus) should give Eternal life to as many as Thou (God the Father) hast given Him.  (John 17:2) 

This power to save and to keep for all Eternity is taught even earlier in Johns Gospel account:

But as many as received Him (Christ Jesus), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (trust) on His Name; which were born, not of blood (natural human blood), nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (supernatural birth). (John 1:12-13)

All that the Father hath given Me shall come unto Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out (Christ has power to keep us!).  (John 6:37)

Thought:  God has the power to make Eternal choice of whom to save, and whom not to save!  If God had not this power, He would not be Supreme God.

Peace in the Midst of Tribulations! John 16:30-33

Text:  These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33.

 Good morning, troubled Christian!  Day by day you and I are sorely troubled.  We are troubled by the world and the state of the world all around us.  We are troubled by the Devil, and all the hordes of Hell in the Spiritual realm that hate us with a deep and deadly hatred.  We are troubled by our own too often treacherous flesh - our weaknesses, faults and failings - the ’…thorns we are often given by God in order to keep us humble.  All Christians worth our ’…salt…’ should necessarily be similarly troubled Christians.  Fact.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecutionbut continue thou in the things which thou has learned and hast been assured of, knowing of Whom thou hast learned them…”  (2 Timothy 3:12;14)

Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come.  He shall glorify Me (Christ Jesus); for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.  (John 16:13)

When we Christians look at our daily and constant troubling and persecutions in a positive manner - then we can gain great assurance that we are indeed the children of God, and seeking to live lives that are faithful to Him and to the spreading of the Gospel of Salvation in Christ alone.

The world, the flesh, and the Devil only take time to trouble genuine Christians!  False professors are seldom troubled, they pose no threat to Satans plans.  Our persecutions, trials, and troubles prove the reality of our faith!  We are either in the great Spiritual Battle or out of it!

The moment Christs disciples showed full assurance of Christs Deity; that He was indeed the God the Son; that He was indeed the omniscient (all-knowing) God; that He had come to the world in bodily form to suffer and die for our sins - that is when they needed to be taught about the ’…tribulation…’ every true Christian believer MUST face. 

Forewarned is forearmed.  Get ready, Christian!  Bad times are coming to Christs church!  Are YOU willing to suffer for the Christ of God?

And whosoever doth not bear his/her cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he/she have sufficient to finish it?  (Luke 14:27-28)

The moment that you and I reach a maturity of Christian assurance of Salvation in Christ alone - through His Cross alone; washed in His precious Blood alone; and all by His free grace alone - we come immediately to the attention of Satan, the world, and the weakness of our own natural flesh.

Furthermore, the moment that we dare stand up for Christ in service; begin to teach others His teachings on Eternal Salvation; begin to be fervent witnesses for Him and win precious souls - we are bound to receive the full blasting of the pit of Hell!  Satan hates genuine serving Christians!  The world detests all serving saints! Our own treacherous flesh is in league with our Satanic enemies!

Yet, take heart, troubled Christian!  Todays Bible reading in our Journey In Johns Gospel teaches us a wonderful truth to hold onto, especially in the midst of such promised and inevitable tribulations:  the Lord Jesus promises, In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  Hallelujah!  We are not alone in all our troubles!  The Lord is right here with us, to watch over us; to shelter us; to protect us; and to bring us safely through ALL our daily tribulations.  Wow!  This paints a very different picture!  Bring it on, Satan!  Our Lord has overcome ALL troubles!  Victory in Christ!

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may be found in Christnot having mine own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.  (Philippians 3:8-9)

Today selected Bible passage reassures us of Christs deep inner peace, even in the face of sore trials, testing, and tribulations.  His promise always stands!

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  (John 14:27)

Thought:  No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper…” (Isaiah 54:17)

‘…Plain Speaking…’ Christians? John 16:25-29

Text:  Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Colossians 4:6.

Good morning, plain-speaking Christian!   You and I call a spade a spade; we do not refer to this vital tool as a manual excavation implement!  Therefore, when you and I preach the Gospel; and seek to teach the Holy Word of God - our hearers are left in no doubt at all as to what we are communicating to them.  Gods truth, and nothing but Gods truth.

 We preach a Heaven thats Holy and a Hell thats hot!  Sinners, repent!

Receive or reject Salvation in Christ Jesus and Him Crucified?  What will it be, Heaven or Hell?  There is only One Way of Eternal Salvation - Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living Lord God.  Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.  Whosoever shall not call upon the Name of the Lord shall not be saved!  What will you do with this Man called Jesus Christ?

Such forthright, plain-speaking, does not sit comfortably in the minds of those who have - for two or three decades or more - embraced and promoted the Politically Correct agenda throughout the civilized world - an agenda that is intrinsically anti-Christian. 

To the politically correct brigade, plain-speaking, Bible-believing Christians are anathema!  The prophetic and inspired Word of the apostle Paul in his second epistle to Timothy are openly fulfilled before our very eyes today.

Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn from the truth, and shall be turned into fables.        (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

When the Son of God, Christ Jesus, came unto His first Century disciples, the truths He had come to teach, concerning the Lord Gods only way of Eternal Salvation from sin, were much too profound for their minds to immediately grasp. 

Therefore, the Lord Jesus used many parables, earthly stories with Heavenly meanings, to set forth Gods truth in a manner that could be more easily communicated to His hearers, and more easily grasped by them. 

Christ spoke to His followers in parables and in the wisdom of simplified proverbs.  Babies have always to be spoon-fed, before they learn to feed themselves properly.  Spiritual babes must also be fed with ‘…the milk of Gods Word…’  We have all got to learn to walk, before we can begin to run.

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto Spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. (1 Corinthians 3:1-2)

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the Word of righteousness; for he/she is a babe.  But strong meat (Christian doctrine) belongeth to them that are of full age (mature in faith), even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  (Hebrews 5:12-14)

The Lord Jesus had to, painstakingly, teach His initial disciples the wonder of His Incarnation - God in bodily form - as a babe in Bethlehem, before they could grasp the fact that He was indeed God, and the Messiah Saviour promised in prophecy throughout the Old Testament Scriptures.

However, once they began to grasp Christs teachings; once He had imparted, as it were, a foundation course in theology to the disciples - then, and only then, could the Lord Jesus reveal the deeper truths of His Crucifixion and His Resurrection to glory.  He was then able to speak to them in ’…plain speech.

Definition of Theology:  Theo: Denoting God.  -Ology: Science, or knowledge.  Thus theology - knowledge of God.  Without Bible-based 'knowledge of God' and His dealings with sinful mankind, no one could ever be saved!

Christ Jesus came to make the Sacrifice of Atonement for our sins on the Cross; and to teach us Gods only way of Eternal Salvation - through Him.

Seeing then we have such hope (of Salvation in Christ Jesus), we use great plainness of speech…”  (2 Corinthians 3:12)

Let us, latter-day Christians, seek to use great plainness of speech, as we preach the Gospel and teach others about the wonders of the Living Lord.

Thought:  Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…’ - such profound, yet simply understood TRUTH.

The Power of Prayer John 16:23-24

Text: Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My Name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

John 16:24.

Good morning, praying Christian!  At a time when the Prayer Meeting is the worst attended gathering in the universal, evangelical, Christian church - you do well to be found in the private place of fervent prayer.  God loves to hear and to answer the prayerful petitions of His faithful Christian people.

Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.  (Jeremiah 33:3)

In the above context of this verse from the prophet Jeremiah we have, as it were, Gods telephone number - we call unto Him in prayer, and he promises to answer us via His Word revealed in our Bibles.  Gods Number: J:33:3  (Jeremiah 33:3)

This is a wonderful two way Spiritual fellowship between the redeemed Christian and our Holy Lord God, and all through the Cross of His Son, Christ Jesus, and His onetime Atonement Sacrifice for our sins. 

If we ask our Father for anything in His precious Name; the Father in Heaven promises to ’…answer (us) and show (us) great and mighty things, which (we) knoweth not.  Hallelujah! What a gracious promise from God!  Thank you, Lord God in Heaven,  Amen.                (2 Corinthians 1:19-20) 

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you;  for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be openedIf ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask him?       (Matthew 7:7;11)

Our two verse Bible reading for today reemphasizes a vital promise of God repeated many times in Holy Scripture - that the Lord God in Heaven will answer our prayers to Him, and will unleash His Almighty power in response.  Having such power at the point of our feeble tongues - how can we neglect being in the place of fervent prayer? 

There is very real power in the prayers of Blood-bought Christians!  Pray now!

The prayer-life of any professing Christian is a good indicator to that person of the love he/she has for the Lord God.  We always desire to be with the one we love - right?  Therefore, IF we really love the Lord God, then we will deeply desire to be in His Presence; to fellowship with him in prayer; and to talk to Him of the longings within our hearts.

On the other hand, IF we do not desire to spend time in prayer to the Living Lord God, then it is also a good indication of the lack of Spiritual desire in our hearts.  Who wants to spend time in the presence of someone one does not personally know?  Who really seeks to share their inner thoughts; emotions and desires with perfect strangers?

How is YOUR daily prayer-life, professing Christian?  Do YOU love the Lord?  Do YOU long to spend time in His Holy Presence?

Someone once wrote, The praying Christian is a powerful Christian.  No prayer-life?  No power!  No power?  No usefulness!  No usefulness to God?  Not much point in practicing a dead, loveless 'religion.

True Christianity involves having a three-way relationship which is healthy, vibrant, and alive.  We commune regularly with God in prayer, and He communes regularly with us through His Word.  Having communed with the Lord God, we are more inspired to commune with those of ’…like precious faith…’ in Christ Jesus - we are filled with Gods Spirit in order to share the love, truth, and light of the Lord God Jehovah.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.  (Matthew 5:16)

A new commandment I (Christ Jesus) give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.  (John 13:34-35)

Furthermore, true Christianity is inspired and commanded to ‘…go the extra mile…’ in loving, not only those who love us, but to love even our enemies who ridicule us and seek to harm us, who slander us, and ‘…despitefully use us…’  That is true revolutionary Christian love!  (Matthew 5:38-48)

Thought:  We only receive the necessary power to love like Christ when we seek to spend time in His Presence; time, in faithful and fervent prayer.  Let us retire to our prayer-closets immediately.