Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Keiko Holmes: Forgive Your Enemies

Keiko Holmes will be speaking at ICCS on the last Sunday of this month, June 28. The service starts at 10:30. Please bring your friends.



Sunday, June 14, 2009

Building On The Gospel

Here is the short answer...
Baring with one another in Love.
We have love for each other.
Forgive each other.

Jesus’ prayer is for us to be ONE as the Father and the Son is ONE.
One in Design: we look like this…not the same but diverse.
One in Purpose: mission that we do
John 17:1-26 (Please read this passage before moving on to the sermon.)

So where are we in this passage? How can this be true of our lives and our Church? Why did He pray this way? Does this mean that this is reality: we can be one in Him? Or is there some other meaning? Let’s explore this teaching this morning.

What we have just read is the most extensive and deeply profound personal prayer of the Lord Jesus. A while before, at the funeral of His friend Lazarus, Jesus made it clear that He really did not NEED to express prayer because He and the Father were already ONE. He did pray then to teach the followers and us. It was to benefit us. (11:41-42). The same is true here in John 17. To teach us what it is to be in union with God, the Father, Jesus prayed. He was about to exit this world. His death is soon coming. He was letting His Followers know of His prayer for them.

If you were to attend the death of a very wealthy man, and you knew that he was going to give you some very important information as to where to find his hidden riches, would you listen intently? He would be sharing the bank address, the pin number, the combination to the vault, and the details of how to unravel the directions. I think you’d listen well.

You can also believe that Jesus wants you to know and remember His prayer for you because of how Jesus prayed in this prayer. It is usually known as the High Priestly Prayer. Reading in Hebrews and see what the role of a High Priest is and you will see that His is the perfect One to make such a prayer—on our behalf. He really comes boldly before the Throne of Grace: our example of how it is to be done.

We also can see the relationship of the Father to His Son and the Glory They both have in common. The Father ‘gives’ (used 13 times in this passage), as He is the center or source of all that is in the God Head. Jesus singles out the special gift His Father had given to the Followers, that is eternal life that is found in Jesus. Jesus then is the One who reveals the Father to the World. As the Giver He gives His disciples the Father’s Word, gives His Glory and gives Eternal Life that is based in the Father to begin with.

Have you ever been someplace where there is an echo? It can be really weird, hearing your voice coming back to you…even on Skype or on the phone but esp. in nature. Helloooooooo. This is is is so so so cool cool…

Here we have echoes coming from the lips of Jesus. Me in You and You in Me… In the Father… in the Son…

This prayer has an outline. Do you think Jesus was thinking of an outline when He said this? I think so.
1. A petition for the glorification of the Father and the Son (vv. 1-5),
1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You. 2 For You granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those You have given Him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. 4 I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave Me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began.

2. after which He prays for the disciples gathered around Him, first describing their situation (vv. 6-10)
6 "I have revealed You to those whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours; You gave them to Me and they have obeyed Your Word. 7 Now they know that everything You have given Me comes from You. 8 For I gave them the words You gave Me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 All I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine. And glory has come to Me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your Name—the Name You gave Me—so that they may be one as We are one.

and then…
3. praying that they be protected and be sanctified by God (vv. 11-19).
11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your Name—the Name You gave Me—so that they may be one as We are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that Name You gave Me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of My joy within them. 14 I have given them Your Word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify [set apart] them by The Truth; Your Word is Truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

4. Jesus then prays for all who will become believers through the witness of the 11, (and the Church that follows.) ...that they may share in the Divine Oneness (v. 20-24).
20 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. 22 I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one: 23 I in them and You in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. 24 "Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.

5. He concludes with a summary of His past and future Work (vv. 25-26).
25 Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You, and they know that You have sent Me. 26 I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them."

Jesus covers time from the Creation to the Cross. It is all part of who He is and what He had done in the World. His Work. And on the basis of that completed Work, He can now ask His Father that WE could be unified with His Father the same way He is. Oneness found in that relationship.

Jesus had begun His prayer with the relationship between the Father and the Son (John 5:19-23). The oneness-yet-distinctness continues here as Jesus speaks in a very intimate way with His Father. This is the way we can talk with God. Close; Sure. Boldly; Confidently. Built on a relationship already set in place by His finished Work on the Cross. He dies so that we can be forgiven. He paid the price; the full price for our Salvation. THAT is the Gospel!

The Gospel is the Plan of God that comes out our experiences. Our response is our responsibility. Our responsibility is to live out this Gospel, the transformed life, in all clarity, in all honesty and with all the Grace of God that He willingly gives to us who believe.

As we look to the new year, this building the Body of Christ is on His heart as well. He will help us—as we look to Him and surrender our hands and hearts to His Will for us in His Son, Jesus. Do you believe this?

Next Sunday is our regular Covered Dish Sunday (3rd Sunday of each month-plan to share a meal with the Fellowship. Bring some food or drink along with you or buy it next door at the Seiyu store.) This is also the last Sunday Pastor Stan and his family will be at ICCS for the year.
Next week is ALSO Father's Day.
MEN: Wear an Hawaiian shirt!
All neck ties will be taken and made into head bands!
Come celebrate the Lord together.
Faith and Pastor Stan will be sharing from the Word of God.