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This Is Eternal Life

(Jesus Prayer for His Church, Part 2)

(John 17:2-3)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
This morning, we saw
The first request Jesus made
In His prayer for us:
That the Father might glorify Him
That He might give Him strength
To take the path of suffering and death
So that He might glorify the Father
By vindicating His justice
And at the same time
Provide the basis on which
He could justify us
While we were still far less than perfect
And bring us to heaven.

B. Preview.
This evening, we see the reason Jesus gives
Why the Father should hear and answer Him:
Because He has already given Him the authority
Which brings with it the glory and honor

Of being the One who would give
The blessings of His work
The blessing of eternal life
To those the Father had given Him.

Jesus also goes on to describe

What this blessing is
That the Father has given Him
The privilege of giving:
A relationship with the Father and the Son.

These are the two things well look at this evening.

II. Sermon.
A. First, Jesus bases His request to the Father
To give Him the strength to complete His work
On that honor He has already given to Him:
To be the Giver of eternal life.
He says in verses 1-2, Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son
may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all
whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.

Why should the Father hear and answer Jesus request?

He should because He loves His Son.
He should because Jesus is worthy.
But he should also do this
Because of the honor and authority

He had already promised Him

That He promised Him in eternity,
Before the world was created,
In the everlasting councils of God
To be the One who would give eternal life
The benefits of the work
He was completing for His Fathers honor,
The very work He has been asking the Father
For the strength to complete
To those the Father has given to Him.
This was part of Jesus reward.

The authority He promised Jesus

In this eternal agreement
Extends far beyond this particular honor
To be the Giver of eternal life
It extends to the whole creation.

He was to be given control of the universe,

Sovereignty over all the angels and demons
Including Satan
Over all the creatures of this world,
Over natural occurrences,
Even all the events that take place.

He was to have control over all things

So that He might govern and dispose them all,
That He might cause them all to work together
For His good ends and purposes for His church.

Thats what Jesus meant when He said to His disciples

In Matthew 28:18, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Thats what Isaiah was referring to
When He wrote in 9:6-7, For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will
be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David
and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and
righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts
will accomplish this.
And what the author to the Hebrews had in mind
When he wrote regarding Jesus in 1:3, And He is the radiance of His glory and the
exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His
Jesus is not only the One
Who holds all things up in existence,
He bears all things along
According to Gods plan
He is in control of history itself.

In Jesus request, He points particularly

To the authority His Father has given Him
Over the souls and bodies of men

Over all Jews and Gentiles,

Those the Father has chosen
As well as those He hasnt,
To do with them as He wills.

Even more specifically,

He points to that authority
The Father has given Him
To grant eternal life
To those He has chosen
To the elect.

Well look a little more closely

At what this eternal life is in a moment.
But we at least need to understand
That He has authority
Over the eternal destination
Of every man, woman and child in the world
To give or not to give
The forgiveness of sins,
His perfect righteousness,
And a title to heaven.
Jesus is the only way to heaven.

He said in John 14:6, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the
Father but through Me.

But we also need to see

That this authority is not divorced from His Fathers will:
He has been given authority
To give this life
To those the Father has given Him
And only to them.

Who are they?

They are those the Father has chosen,
That Hes determined to give to His Son
Those who are His by covenant,
Those the Father promised Him for His work,
As the reward for all Hes done
As we saw in Isaiah 53.

If you have trusted Jesus

And turned from your sins,
You are one of them.
If you have,
Then the following descriptions
Of these chosen
Describe you.

You are called in the Bible

His people,
The sons (and daughters) of the living God (Rom. 9:25-26),
The elect (Matt. 24:22, 24),
The Lords sheep,
Those for whom He laid down His life (John 10).
You are:
His branches,
Engrafted into Him to bear His fruit (John 15:1),
His body (Eph. 4:12),
His bride (John 3:29),
And the temple He built
To offer up spiritual sacrifices
Of praise and thanksgiving (2 Cor. 6:16).

Jesus has been given the privilege

Of giving the life He earned
By laying down His life,
To whom He wills,
And He wills to give it to you:
That you might be His spouse,
His treasure,
That He might save you,

That He might enjoy you,
And you Him,
That He might care for you,
That He might make sure
That you arrive in heaven,
And that nothing in heaven or earth
Will ever separate you from His love (Rom. 8:38-39).

This is the honor the Father had already given Him,

And on the basis of this privilege
He prays the Father would strengthen Him
To carry out the work necessary
To bring us to glory.

B. But what exactly is this life the Father has given Him the privilege of bestowing?
Its more than what we usually think of:

Its more than merely a better condition of life.

We were looking forward to an eternity of torment,
But He has given us an eternity of blessing:
There will be no pain, no sickness, or suffering;
But only perfect love, perfect happiness
In the presence of God and of the Lamb,
The company and companionship
Of our brothers and sisters in the Lord

Who have been made perfect,

And the holy elect angels.

Its more than merely a length or duration of life:

Living for countless eons of time
In this world of perfect love and happiness.
It includes these things,
But its more than these things.

Eternal life is a relationship that Jesus gives

With the Father and Himself
One that involves more than knowing about them
Its one that involves knowing them.
He says in verse 3, This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true
God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

What Jesus speaks of here

Is so much more than simply
Knowing about God.

There are many things

You can learn about God
By walking in the woods
Or at night under the stars;
By looking through a microscope or telescope,

Or even by examining yourself
Your body, your mind, your soul.
Everyone has so much information about God
That they have no excuse for not believing in Him.
Paul writes in Romans 1:20, For since the creation of the world His invisible
attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being
understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Even though thats true,
Most dont know Him.

You can attend a church week after week and year after year,
Go to a Bible college or seminary,
Study for years and learn a great deal about God
But still not know Him.
There are many people who have,
Who have even devoted their lives
To studying His Word,
To writing books and commentaries,
Who dont know Him.

We do need to know some things about Him,

Before we can come to know Him.

Jesus is speaking here of a personal relationship

That we can have with the Father and the Son.

RC Sproul describes this difference
As the different ways in which
A political analyst knows the president
And a gardener at the White House.

A political analyst studies the president

To know his life and character,
His background and education,
And his policies;
While the gardener often speaks with him,
And knows him on a first name basis.
Both men can be said to know him,
But between the two
Only the gardener has a relationship with him.

What does it mean to know the Father and the Son?

It means many things.
Perhaps the final verses of this prayer
Summarize what Jesus has in mind:
In verses 25 and 26, we read, O righteous Father, although the world has not
known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me;
and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the
love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.
It has to do with an intimacy with the Father and the Son
That comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit,
That we might be, in a very real sense, one with them.


He says in verse 21, That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and
I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You
sent Me.
Well see more about this
As the prayer unfolds.