Bible Study from Calvary Chapel Newberg

with Tom Fuller

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The Real Lord\'s Prayer

John 17:1-26

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When someone communicates to us a need in their life, we as Christians have an automatic response. We say, ?I?m praying for you.? Now that is a fine response if we actually do it. Many times what we really mean is ?I?d like to pray for you, lifting you up to the Father, but in reality I?m going to walk away from here and forget we even had this conversation.?

 

Now, I am as guilty of that as the next person. Yes, we need to follow up and really pray for them. I?d encourage us to, instead of saying we will pray, to stop right then and there and say ?can we pray now?? Or how about those emails we get? I know some very special people who respond to email troubles not with a nice sounding platitude but with a heartfelt prayer, put down in bits and bytes.

 

We have two basic problems with prayer: format and will. It takes an act of the will to determine to pray for someone. It is a decision not to do something else or think something else. Our problem is that we think that we need to rev up to prayer, like warming up your car before you drive away on a winter?s morning. We expect our prayers to be fully formed flowery language as they spoke in 1615 England. We think that God will understand us better if we pray more eloquently.

 

Prayer should be instant and conversational. Paul says, ?Pray without ceasing? (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Never stop praying but never start with thinking your fancy language is impressive to God. Remember that it is your heart praying, not your words.

 

Prayer was so important to Jesus. The synoptic gospels give us several occasions when Jesus went away to pray, or spent all night praying ({bible}Matt 14:23{/bible}, Mark 6:46, Luke 6:12, Luke 9:28, Matt 26:36). But other than the Lord?s prayer (Matthew 6:9) which was really Jesus teaching us to pray, and the prayer outside of the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:41) we don?t see many examples of Jesus praying.

 

But here in chapter 17, the entire thing is Jesus praying. It teaches us about what is important to Jesus, and what is important to Him about us! Though it is not a script for how all prayers should be said, it provides us with a blueprint for that conversation with God.

 

Chapter 17 is broken up into three parts: 1-5 Jesus prayer for himself, 6-19 prayer for the disciples, 20-26 prayer for all believers present and future

 

1 - 5 Prayer for Himself

 

Accomplish Your goal of showing who you are to the universe (1)

Jesus did that by His death, burial, and then resurrection

 

 

Accomplish Your goal of giving life to a dead world (2)

Jesus central purpose was to glorify God by imparting life to humans

 

Eternity isn?t a time or place, it?s a person (3)

 

Eternal life is not just existing forever and it?s not just going to heaven. It is a relationship with a Person that lasts forever. We all exist forever; only those that rely on Jesus and love him will ?live? forever in God?s presence. Life without God is not life?it is death.

 

Nothing can stop God?s work (4)

 

Jesus has not gone to the cross yet, but it is a foregone conclusion that this last step will be accomplished. Jesus speaks of the work of salvation as if it has already been done. And if you belong to Him His work through you is a foregone conclusion too.

 

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

There is glory beyond the struggle (5)

 

Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

Jesus gave up a tremendous amount to come be with us on earth. He is looking forward to returning to that place of extraordinary glory with the Father. For us, there is one glory here, another in heaven?and going through the struggle here is worth it for the joy set before us there.

 

6 - 19 Prayer for the disciples

 

Belief that Jesus really is from the Father (6 ? 8)

 

Have you ever heard the term ?chain of evidence?? It?s a legal concept. When police collect evidence at a crime scene they have to catalog exactly where it goes and who has it to make sure it hasn?t gotten tainted along the way. You get a feeling by this part of the prayer that there is a ?chain of ownership? that passes from the Father to Jesus. The chain is communicated through the words of Jesus. As we ?receive? them we become part of that chain flowing from the Father to Jesus to us and then back to the Father.

 

Did you know that you belonged to God the Father from eternity past? It?s not that God somehow knew you would become a Christian; it?s not foreknowledge of an event but actual knowledge. He knew you and you belonged to Him. How does that work exactly? I don?t know. But there is a chain, and our ?receiving? the words is part of it, but the chain begins and ends with the Father.

 

Belonging to Someone really special, forever! (9 ? 13)

 

There is a great distinction between those ?in the world? who do not entrust themselves to Jesus, and the disciples, or apprentices of Jesus. You are God?s possession and His glory is poured into your lives and as you are transformed into His likeness people will see that!

 

This belonging is not a passive thing, like God ?branded? you and set you loose into the corral. Jesus ?guarded? his disciples while He was on earth and lost none except Judas, whom God already knew would betray Him.

 

But when Jesus leaves them He sends the Holy Spirit to keep watch over us. It is such a joy to know we belong to God, have an incredible oneness with Him and are kept safe until we can be with Him in person.

 

Separated from the World & Protected from the Evil One (14 - 16)

 

When you belong to God, you no longer belong to the world system. As we?ve talked about, this causes the world to hate you. You are born into a different kingdom and are now foreigners here.

 

But right now we live in a foreign land. You have a work visa here that expires when you die or at the rapture. Jesus doesn?t ask the Father to immediately remove us?otherwise how would anyone come to know Him if they just disappeared at conversion?

 

What Jesus prays is to ?keep them from the evil one.? This echoes the words of the Lord?s prayer ?lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.? The enemy will try every trick in the book to keep you from being effective as a witness for Jesus of the new life you have. He will use temptation (from within) and attack (from without). Our prayer should be for protection from those attacks.

 

Purpose beyond ourselves (sanctified, 17-19)

 

Sanctify is a real ?churchy? kind of word. It means to be set apart for a specific task. Our task is to enjoy a wonderful relationship with the Father and so be transformed into his image and let that transformation process be evident in your life so that others will see the life and want it too!

 

That can?t happen until Jesus set Himself to the task of dieing for us on the cross. Then He sends us out into the world as His ambassadors.

 

20 - 26 Prayer for all believers present and future

 

Transformation to reflect God?s glory & attract lost souls to God?s love (20 ? 23)

 

The entire body of Christ exists through the testimony of those who have come to know Jesus. The Apostles saw Him, and heard Him, then wrote down what He told them to write. That has been passed down to others who received that truth and told others about it. You came to Jesus because of someone else?s testimony.

 

The real end of all this is in verse 21 and 23 ?that the world may believe that you sent me.?

 

Destined to be with Jesus in absolute glory for eternity (24)

 

Being with Jesus in God?s dimension is the single most wonderful thing you could ever want. In this fallen world, we simply have no concept how good God is. Jesus knows that this is the ultimate fulfillment for the human soul. And as you belong to the Father you will be with the Father. That?s worth celebrating!

 

Filled with unfathomable love (25 ? 26)

 

Do you know what real love is? Here love is usually based on what you mean to someone else, what you give to someone else that is then returned. Love is reflective. But with God love is a real, tangible thing that doesn?t depend on us but is given to us without cost.

 

And it?s found in the name of Jesus. Knowing Him allows you to come into the inner fellowship of the Trinity.

 

Lessons

 

In the end it is all about knowing, experiencing, and communicating the love and fellowship of belonging to the Father?which comes through the declaration of the word of Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God and the way to that new life.

 

I just want to leave you with one final thought: Jesus prayed for you. He still does.

 

Romans 8:26-29 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29

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