Prayer Matters (Three Remarkable Gifts)

Sunday, February 5, 2017


Three Remarkable Gifts


John 17:2, 3 ~ “… since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”


The idea of giving is important in this prayer – in fact, in all the Gospel of John. “Give” in one form or another is used seventeen times in our Lord’s prayer and seventy-six times in the Gospel of John.


Learning to give and to receive is an important part of life. John Donne said “No man is an island …” and he is right, we must depend on each other and we need each other. Most of all, we need God!


Three gifts are mentioned in John 17:2 and understanding these gifts will help us better understand God’s great plan of salvation and how we fit into it.
  1. The Father gave the Son authority
    1. Authority is the right to act, to exercise power.
      1. If a burglar carrying a gun enters the house, he has power but no authority.
      2. If the police enter after being called, he has both power and authority.
      3. Someone gave the police the authority to act.
    2. God the Father gives Jesus Christ the authority to do what He did on earth.
      1. The Father gave the Son the authority to die and be raised again.
      2. John 10:17, 18 ~ “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
      3. The death of Christ was not an accident, it was an appointment. It was not a mistake, it was planned.
      4. The death of Christ was the willing offering of the Son of God on the cross for the sins of the world.
      5. Jesus Christ is the only one the Father has authorized to be the Savior of the World. Anyone else who claims this authority is a liar.
    3. The Father also gave the Son the authority to judge.
      1. John 5:26, 27 ~ “For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.”
      2. He is both Savior and Judge and the two go together.
      3. Those who will not receive Him as Savior must face Him as Judge.
  2. The Father gives people to the Son
    1. Two lines of truth run parallel in the Bible: one, that God has chosen His elect from eternity and two, that these elect have made a responsible decision to trust Christ.
      1. John 6:37 ~ “All that the Father gives me will come to me [that’s divine election], and whoever comes to me [that’s human responsibility] I will never cast out.”
      2. If we deny divine election, then we make salvation the work of man.
      3. If we deny human responsibility, then we make man less man and more robot.
      4. Divine sovereignty ~ Jonah 2:9 ~ “Salvation belongs to the Lord”
      5. Human Responsibility ~ Isaiah 55:6 ~ “See the Lord while He may be found”
    2. There are five special blessings that belong to those who have been given to the Son by the Father.
      1. Eternal life
      2. The knowledge of the Father
      3. Christ’s intercession on their behalf
      4. Divine protection in this world
      5. Eternal glory
  3. The Son gives eternal life to those who are given to Him
    1. The word life is used thirty-six times in the Gospel of John.
    2. John wrote his Gospel so that sinners might trust Christ and receive eternal life.
    3. What is eternal life? Certainly it is more than extended life-living forever, because even the lost will live forever, separated from God.
    4. Eternal life is not endless time; it is God’s own life shared with us now. It’s not quantity of time but a quality of experience. In fact, eternal life cannot be affected by time.
    5. Like the eternal God who gives eternal life, this gift is beyond time and outside of time. When you have eternal life, you have the life God wants for you, here and now and forever.
    6. Consider the characteristics of this gift of eternal life.
      1. Most Expensive Gift – cost Jesus Christ His life
      2. Eternal Gift – gets better and better as the years move on
      3. Essential Gift – everybody needs it and suitable for everyone
      4. Expressive Gift – given as the expression of the Father’s great love for us!
      5. Exclusive Gift – must be given to the Son by the Father and receive the Son given by the Father
Next Sermon in the Series ~ The Dynamics of Discipleship
Pastor Andy Lambert

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