2331. Christ’s Pastoral Prayer For His People

by Charles H. Spurgeon on October 20, 2017

No. 2331-39:505. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, September 1, 1889, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, October 22, 1893.

I pray for them: I do not pray for the world, but for those whom you have given to me; for they are yours. And all mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I am glorified in them. {Joh 17:9,10}

1. To begin with, I remark that our Lord Jesus pleads for his own people. When he puts on his priestly breast-plate, it is for the tribes whose names are there. When he presents the atoning sacrifice, it is for Israel whom God has chosen; and he utters this great truth, which some regard as narrow, but which we adore, “I pray for them: I do not pray for the world.” The point to which I want to call your attention to is this, the reason why Christ does not pray for the world, but for his people. He puts it, “For they are yours,” as if they were all the dearer to him because they were the Father’s: “I pray for them: I do not pray for the world, but for those whom you have given to me, for they are yours.” We might have half thought that Jesus would have said, “They are mine, and therefore I pray for them.” It would have been true; but there would not have been the beauty of truth about it which we have here. He loves us all the better, and he prays for us all the more fervently, because we are the Father’s. Such is his love for his Father, that our being the Father’s sheds on us an extra halo of beauty. Because we belong to the Father, therefore the Saviour pleads for us with all the greater earnestness at the throne of heavenly grace.

2. But this leads us on to remember that our Lord had undertaken suretyship engagements on account of his people; he undertook to preserve the Father’s gift: “Those whom you gave to me I have kept, and none of them is lost.” He looked at the sheep of his pasture as belonging to his Father, and the Father had put them into his charge, saying to him, “From your hand I will require them.” As Jacob kept his uncle’s flocks, by day the heat devoured him, and at night the frost but he was more careful over them because they were Laban’s than if they had been his own; he was to turn in an account of all the sheep committed to him, and he did so, and he lost none of Laban’s sheep; but his care over them was partly accounted for by the fact that they did not belong to him, but belonged to his uncle Laban.

3. Understand this twofold reason, then, for Christ’s pastoral prayer for his people. He first prays for them because they belong to the Father, and therefore have a unique value in his eye; and next, because they belong to the Father, he is under suretyship engagements to deliver them all to the Father in that last great day when the sheep shall pass under the rod of him who counts them. Now you see where I am bringing you tonight. I am not going to preach at this time to the world any more than Christ on this occasion prayed for the world; but I am going to preach to his own people as he in this intercessory prayer pleaded for them. I trust that they will all follow me, step by step, through this great theme; and I pray the Lord that, in these deep central truths of the gospel we may find real refreshment for our souls tonight.

4. I. In calling your attention to my text, I want you to notice, first, THE INTENSITY OF THE SENSE OF PROPERTY WHICH CHRIST HAS IN HIS PEOPLE.

5. Here are six words describing Christ’s property in those who are saved: “Those whom you have given to me” — (that is one); “for they are yours. And all mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I am glorified in them.” There are certain people so precious to Christ that they are marked all over with special markings that they belong to him; as I have known a man to write his name in a book which he has greatly valued, and then he has turned over some pages, and he has written his name again; and as we have sometimes known people, when they have highly valued a thing, to put their mark, their seal, their stamp, here, there, and almost everywhere on it. So, notice in my text how the Lord seems to have the seal in his hand, and he stamps it all over his particular possession: “They are yours. And all mine are yours, and yours are mine.” It is all possessive pronouns, to show that God looks on his people as his portion, his possession, his property. “ ‘They shall be mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘in that day when I make up my jewels.’ ” Every man has something or other which he values above the rest of his estate; and here the Lord, by so often reiterating the words which indicate possession, proves that he values his people above everything. Let us show that we appreciate this privilege of being set apart for God; and let each one of us say to him —

    Take my poor heart, and let it be
    For ever closed to all but thee!
    Seal thou my breast, and let me wear
    That pledge of love for ever there.

6. I call your attention, next, to the fact that, while there are these six expressions here, they are all applied to the Lord’s own people. “Mine” (that is, the saints) are yours (that is, the saints); “and yours” (that is, the saints) “are mine” (that is, the saints). These broad-arrows {a} of the King of kings are all stamped on his people. While the marks of possession are numerous, they are all put on one object. What, does God not care for anything else? I answer, No; as compared with his own people, he cares for nothing else. “The Lord’s portion is his people: Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” Does God not have other things? Ah, what is there that he does not have? The silver and the gold are his, and the cattle on a thousand hills. All things are of God; of him, and by him, and through him, and to him are all things; yet he does not value them in comparison with his people. You know how you, dearly beloved, value your children much more than you do anything else. If there were a fire in your house tonight, and you could only carry one thing out of it, mother, would you hesitate a moment concerning what that one thing should be? You would carry your babe, and let everything else go up in the flames; and it is so with God. He cares for his people beyond everything else. He is the Lord God of Israel, and in Israel he has set his name, and there he takes his delight. There he rests in his love, and he rejoices over her with singing.

7. I want you to notice these different points, not because I can fully explain them all to you; but if I can only give you some of these great truths to think about, and to help you to have communion with Christ tonight, I shall have done well. I want you to remark yet further, concerning these notes of possession, that they occur in the private exchange between the Father and the Son. It is in our Lord’s prayer, when he is in the inner sanctuary speaking with the Father, that we have these words, “All mine are yours, and yours are mine.” It is not to you and to me that he is talking now; the Son of God is speaking with the Father when they are in very close communion with each other. Now, what does this say to me except that the Father and the Son greatly value believers? What people talk about when they are alone, not what they say in the market, not what they talk about in the midst of the confused crowd, but what they say when they are in private, that lays bare their heart. Here is the Son speaking to the Father, not about thrones and royalties, nor cherubim and seraphim, but about poor men and women, in those days mostly fishermen and peasant folk, who believed in him. They are talking about these people, and the Son is taking his own solace with the Father in their secret privacy by talking about these precious jewels, these dear ones that are their unique treasure. You have no idea how much God loves you. Dear brother, dear sister, you have never yet had half an idea, or the fraction of an idea, of how precious you are to Christ. You think, because you are so imperfect, and you fall so much below your own ideal, that, therefore, he does not love you much; you think that he cannot do so. Have you ever measured the depth of Christ’s agony in Gethsemane, and of his death on Calvary? If you have tried to do so, you will be quite sure that, apart from anything in you or about you, he loves you with a love that surpasses knowledge. Believe it. “But I do not love him as I should,” I think I hear you say. No, and you never will unless you first know his love for you. Believe it; believe it to the highest degree, that he so loves you that, when there is no one who can commune with him except the Father, even then their conversation is about their mutual estimate of you, how much they love you: “All mine are yours, and yours are mine.”

8. Only one other thought under this point, and I only present it and leave it with you, for I cannot expound it tonight. All that Jesus says is about all his people, for he says, “All mine are yours, and yours are mine.” These high, secret talks are not about some few saints who have reached a “higher life,” but about all of us who belong to him. Jesus bears all of us on his heart, and he speaks of us all to the Father: “All mine are yours.” “That poor woman who could never serve her Lord except by patient endurance, she is mine,” says Jesus. “She is yours, great Father.” “That poor girl, newly converted, whose only spiritual life was spent on a sick-bed, and then she exhaled to heaven, like a dewdrop of the morning, she is mine, and she is yours. That poor child of mine, who often stumbles, who never brought much credit to the sacred name, he is mine, and he is yours. All mine are yours.” I seem as if I heard a silver bell ringing out; the very tones of the words are like the music from the harps of angels: “Mine, —— yours; yours, —— mine.” May such sweet risings and fallings of heavenly melodies charm all our ears!

9. I think that I have said enough to show you the intensity of the sense of property which Christ has in his people: “All mine are yours, and yours are mine.”


11. First, let me say that Jesus loves us because we belong to the Father. Think over that truth. “My Father has chosen them, my Father loves them; therefore,” says Jesus, “I love them, and I lay down my life for them, and I will take my life again for them, and live throughout eternity for them. They are dear to me because they are dear to my Father.” Have you not often loved another person for the sake of a third one on whom all your heart was set? There is an old proverb, and I cannot help quoting it just now; it is, “Love me, love my dog.” It is as if the Lord Jesus so loved the Father that even such poor dogs as we are get loved by him for his Father’s sake. To the eyes of Jesus we are radiant with beauty because God has loved us.

12. Now turn that thought around the other way, the Father loves us because we belong to Christ. At first, the Father’s love in election was sovereign and self-contained; but now, today, since he has given us over to Christ, he takes an even greater delight in us. “They are my Son’s sheep,” he says; “he bought them with his blood.” Better still, “That is my Son’s spouse,” he says, “that is my Son’s bride. I love her for his sake.” There was that first love which came fresh from the Father’s heart, but now, through this one channel of love for Jesus, the Father pours a double flood of love on us for his dear Son’s sake. He sees the blood of Jesus sprinkled on us; he remembers the sign, and for the sake of his beloved Son he prizes us beyond all price. Jesus loves us because we belong to the Father, and the Father loves us because we belong to Jesus.

13. Now come even closer to the central thought of the text, “All mine are yours.” All who are the Son’s are the Father’s. Do we belong to Jesus? Then we belong to the Father. Have I been washed in the precious blood? Can I sing tonight —

    The dying thief rejoiced to see
       That fountain in his day;
    And there have I, though vile as he,
       Washed all my sins away?

Then, by redemption I belong to Christ; but at the same time I may be sure that I belong to the Father: “All mine are yours.” Are you trusting in Christ? Then you are one of God’s elect. That high and deep mystery of predestination need trouble no man’s heart if he is a believer in Christ. If you believe in Christ, Christ has redeemed you, and the Father chose you from before the foundation of the world. Rest happy in that firm belief, “All mine are yours.” How often have I met people puzzling themselves about election! They want to know if they are elect. No man can come to the Father but by Christ; no man can come to election except through redemption. If you have come to Christ, and are his redeemed, it is certain beyond all doubt that you were chosen by God, and are the Father’s elect. “All mine are yours.”

14. So, if I am bought by Christ’s precious blood, I am not to sit down, and say how grateful I am to Christ as though he were apart from the Father, and more loving and more tender than the Father. No, no; I belong to the Father if I belong to Christ; and I have for the Father the same gratitude, the same love, and I would render the same service as if it were for Jesus; for Jesus puts it, “All mine are yours.”

15. If, tonight, also, I am a servant of Christ, if, because he bought me, I try to serve him, then I am a servant of the Father if I am a servant of the Son. “All mine, whatever position they occupy, belong to you, great Father,” and they have all the privileges which come to those who belong to the Father. I hope that I do not weary you; I cannot make these things entertaining to the careless, I do not try to do so; but you who love my Lord, and his truth, ought to rejoice tonight to think that, in being the property of Christ, you are assured that you are the property of the Father. “All mine are yours.”

    With Christ our Lord we share our part
    In the affections of his heart;
    Nor shall our souls be thence removed
    Till he forgets his first-beloved.

16. But now you have to look at the other part of it: “and yours are mine.” All who are the Father’s are the Son’s. If you belong to the Father, you belong to the Son. If you are elect, and so the Father’s, you are redeemed, and so the Son’s. If you are adopted, and so the Father’s, you are justified in Christ, and so you are the Son’s. If you are regenerated, and so are begotten by the Father, yet still your life is dependent on the Son. Remember that, while one biblical metaphor describes us as children who each have a life within himself, another equally valid metaphor represents us as branches of the Vine, which die unless they continue united to the stem. “All yours are mine.” If you are the Father’s, you must be Christ’s. If your life is given to you by the Father, it still depends entirely on the Son.

17. What a wonderful mixture all this is! The Father and the Son are one, and we are one with the Father and with the Son. A mystical union is established between us and the Father, by reason of our union with the Son, and the Son’s union with the Father. See to what a glorious height our humanity has risen through Christ. By the grace of God, you who were like stones in the brook are made sons of God. Lifted out of your dead materialism, you are elevated into a spiritual life, and you are united to God. You have no idea tonight of what God has already done for you, and truly it does not yet appear what you shall be. A Christian man is the noblest work of God. Here God has reached the fulness of his power and his grace, in making us to be one with his own dear Son, and so bringing us into union and communion with himself. Oh, if the words that I speak could convey to you the fulness of their own meaning, you might spring to your feet, electrified with holy joy to think of this, that we should be Christ’s, and the Father’s, and that we should be thought worthy to be the object of intricate transactions and inter-communions of the dearest kind between the Father and the Son! We, even we, who are only dust and ashes at our very best, are favoured as angels never were; therefore let all praise be ascribed to sovereign grace!

18. III. And now I shall only detain you a few minutes longer while I speak on the third part of our subject, that is, THE GLORY OF CHRIST: “And I am glorified in them.” I must confess that, while the former part of my subject was very deep, this third part seems to me to be even deeper, “I am glorified in them.”

19. If Christ had said, “I will glorify them,” I could have understood it. If he had said, “I am pleased with them,” I might have set it down to his great kindness to them; but when he says, “I am glorified in them,” it is very wonderful. The sun can be reflected, but you need proper objects to act as reflectors; and the brighter they are, the better they will reflect. You and I do not seem to have the power of reflecting Christ’s glory; we scatter the glorious rays that shine on us; we spoil, we ruin so much of the good that falls on us. Yet Christ says that he is glorified in us. Take these words home, dear friend, to yourself, and think that the Lord Jesus met you tonight, and as you went out of the Tabernacle, said to you, “You are mine, you are my Father’s; and I am glorified in you.” I dare not say that it would be a proud moment for you; but I dare to say that there would be more in it to make you feel exalted for him to say, “I am glorified in you,” than if you could have all the honours that all the kings can bestow on all men in the world. I think that I could say, “Lord, now let you your servant depart in peace, according to your word,” if he would only say to me, “I am glorified in your ministry.” I hope that he is; I believe that he is; but, oh, for an assuring word, if not spoken to us personally, yet spoken to his Father about us, as in our text, “I am glorified in them!”

20. How can this be? Well, it is a very wide subject. Christ is glorified in his people in many ways. He is glorified by saving such sinners, taking these people, so sinful, so lost, so unworthy. When the Lord lays hold on a drunkard, a thief, an adulterer, when he arrests one who has been guilty of blasphemy, whose very heart is reeking with evil thoughts, when he picks up the far-off one, the abandoned, the dissolute, the fallen, as he often does, and when he says, “These shall be mine; I will wash these in my blood; I will use these to speak my word,” oh, then, he is glorified in them! Read the lives of many great sinners who have afterwards become great saints, and you will see how they have tried to glorify him, not only she who washed his feet with her tears, but many others like her. Oh, how they have loved to praise him! Eyes have wept tears, lips have spoken words, but hearts have felt what neither eyes nor lips could speak, of adoring gratitude to him. “I am glorified in them.” Great sinners, Christ is glorified in you. Some of you Pharisees, if you were to be converted, would not bring Christ such glory as he gets through saving tax collectors and prostitutes. Even if you struggled into heaven, it would be with very little music for him on the road, certainly no tears and no ointment for his feet, and no wiping them with the hairs of your head. You are too respectable ever to do that; but when he saves great sinners, he can truly say, “I am glorified in them,” and each of them can sing, —

    It passeth praises, that dear love of thine,
    My Jesus, Saviour: yet this heart of mine
    Would sing that love, so full, so rich, so free,
    Which brings a rebel sinner, such as me,
                               Nigh unto God.

21. And Christ is glorified by the perseverance which he shows in the matter of their salvation. See how he begins to save, and the man resists. He follows up his kind endeavour, and the man rebels. He hunts him, pursues him, dogs his footsteps. He will have the man, and the man will not have him. But the Lord, without violating the free will of man, which he never does, yet at length brings the one who was most unwilling to lie at his feet, and he who hated most begins to love, and he who was most stout-hearted bows the knee in lowliest humility. It is wonderful how persevering the Lord is in the salvation of a sinner; indeed, and in the salvation of his own, for you would have broken loose long ago if your great Shepherd had not penned you up within the fold. Many of you would have turned aside, and have lost yourselves, if it had not been for constraints of sovereign grace which have kept you to this day, and will not let you go. Christ is glorified in you. Oh, when you once get to heaven, when the angels know all that you were, and all that you tried to be, when the whole story of almighty, infinite grace is told, as it will be told, then Christ will be glorified in you!

22. Beloved, we actively glorify Christ when we display Christian graces. You who are loving, forgiving, tender-hearted, gentle, meek, self-sacrificing, you glorify him; he is glorified in you. You who are upright, and who will not be moved from your integrity, you who can despise the sinner’s gold, and will not sell your conscience for it, you who are bold and brave for Christ, you who can bear and suffer for his name’s sake, all your graces come from him. Just as all the flowers are bred and begotten by the sun, so all that is in you that is good comes from Christ, the Sun of righteousness; and therefore he is glorified in you.

23. But, beloved, God’s people have glorified Christ in many other ways. When they make him the object of all their trust, they glorify him, when they say, “Though I am the chief of sinners, yet I trust him; though my mind is dark, and though my temptations abound, I believe that he can save to the uttermost, I do trust him.” Christ is more glorified by a sinner’s humble faith than by a seraph’s loudest song. If you believe, you glorify him. Child of God, are you tonight very dark, and dull, and heavy? Do you feel half-dead, spiritually? Come to your Lord’s feet, and kiss them, and believe that he can save, indeed, that he has saved you, even you; and so you will glorify his holy name. “Oh!” said a believer, the other day, “I know whom I have believed; Christ is mine.” “Ah!” said another, “that is presumption.” Beloved, it is nothing of the kind; it is not presumption for a child to acknowledge his own father; it might be pride for him to be ashamed of his father; it is certainly great alienation from his father if he is ashamed to acknowledge him. “I know whom I have believed.” Happy state of heart, to be absolutely sure that you are resting on Christ, that he is your Saviour, that you believe in him, for Jesus said, “He who believes in me has everlasting life.” I believe in him, and I have everlasting life. “He who believes in him is not condemned.” I believe in him, and I am not condemned. Make sure work of this, not only by signs and evidences, but do even better; make the one sign and the one evidence to be this, “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; I, a sinner, accept his great sacrifice, and I am saved.”

24. Especially, I think that God’s people glorify Christ by a cheerful attitude. If you go around moaning and mourning, pining and complaining, you bring no honour to his name; but if, when you fast, you do not appear to men to fast, if you can wear a cheerful countenance, even when your heart is heavy, and if, above all, you can rally your spirit out of its depths, and begin to bless God when the cupboard is empty, and friends are few, then you will indeed glorify Christ.

25. Many are the ways in which this good work may be done; let us try to do it. “I am glorified in them,” says Christ; that is, by their bold confession of Christ. Do I address myself to any here who love Christ, but who have never acknowledged it? Come out, and come out very soon. He deserves to have all the glory that you can give him. If he has healed you, do not be like the nine who forgot that Christ had healed their leprosy. Come and praise the name of the great Healer, and let others know what Christ can do. I am afraid that there are a great many here tonight who hope that they are Christians, but they have never said so. What are you ashamed of? Ashamed of your Lord? I am afraid that you do not, after all, love him. Now, at this time, at this particular crisis of the history of the Church and the world, if we do not publicly take sides with Christ, we shall really be against him. The time is come now when we cannot afford to have fence-sitters. You must be for him or for his enemies; and tonight he asks you if you are really his, to say it. Come forward, unite yourself with his people, and let it be seen by your life and conversation that you do belong to Christ. If not, how can it be true, “I am glorified in them?” Is Christ glorified in a non-confessing people, a people who hope to go slinking into heaven by the by-roads or across the fields, but dare not come into the King’s highway, and travel with the King’s subjects, and admit that they belong to him?

26. Lastly, I think that Christ is glorified in his people by their efforts to extend his kingdom. What efforts are you making? There is a great deal of force in a church like this; but I am afraid that there is a great deal of wasted steam, wasted power here. The tendency is, so often, to leave everything to be done by the minister, or else by one or two leading people; but please beloved, if you are Christ’s, and if you belong to the Father, if, unworthy though you are, you are claimed with a double ownership by the Father and the Son, to try to be of use to them. Let it be seen by your winning others to Christ that he is glorified in you. I believe that, by diligent attendance to even the smallest Sunday School class, Christ is glorified in you. By that private conversation in your own room, by that letter which you dropped into the post with many a prayer, by anything that you have done with a pure motive, trusting in God in order to glorify Christ, he is glorified in you. Do not mistaken my meaning with regard to serving the Lord. I think it extremely wrong when I hear exhortations made to young people, “Quit your service as domestics, and come out into spiritual work. Business men, leave your shops. Workmen, give up your trades. You cannot serve Christ in that calling, come away from it altogether.” I dare to say that nothing will be more pestilent than such advice as that. There are men called by the grace of God to separate themselves from every earthly occupation, and they have special gifts for the work of the ministry; but ever to imagine that the majority of Christian people cannot serve God in their daily calling, is to think altogether contrary to the mind of the Spirit of God. If you are a servant, remain a servant. If you are a waiter, go on with your waiting. If you are a tradesman, go on with your trade. Let every man remain in the calling into which he is called, unless he has some special call from God to devote himself to the ministry. Go on with your employment, dear Christian people, and do not imagine that you are to turn into hermits, or monks, or nuns. You would not glorify God if you did that. Soldiers of Christ are to fight the battle out where they are. To leave the field, and shut yourselves up alone, would be to render it impossible that you should get the victory. The work of God is as holy and acceptable in domestic service, or in trade, as any service that can be rendered in the pulpit, or even by the foreign missionary. We thank God for the men especially called and set apart for his own work; but we know that they would do nothing unless the salt of our holy faith should permeate the daily life of other Christians. You godly mothers, you are the glory of the Church of Christ. You hard-working men and women, who endure patiently “as seeing him who is invisible,” are the crown and glory of the Church of God. You who do not shirk your daily labour, but stand manfully to it, obeying Christ in it, are proving what the Christian religion was meant to do. We can, if we are truly priests to God, make our everyday garments into vestments, our meals into sacraments, and our houses into temples for God’s worship. Our very beds will be within the veil, and our innermost thoughts will be as a sweet incense perpetually rising up to the Most High. Do not dream that there is anything about any honest calling that degrades a man, or hinders him in glorifying God; but sanctify it all, until the bells on the horses shall ring out, “Holiness to the Lord,” and the pots in your houses shall be as holy as the vessels of the sanctuary.

27. Now, I want us to come to the communion table tonight, so that even here Christ may be glorified in us. Ah, you may sit at the Lord’s table wearing a fine dress or a diamond ring, and you may think that you are someone of importance, but you are not! Ah, you may come to the Lord’s table, and say, “Here is an experienced Christian man who knows a thing or two.” You are not glorifying Christ that way; you are only a nobody. But if you come tonight saying, “Lord, I am hungry, you can feed me”; that is glorifying him. If you come saying, “Lord, I have no merit, and no worthiness, I come because you have died for me, and I trust you,” you are glorifying him. He glorifies Christ most who takes most from him, and who then gives most back to him. Come, empty pitcher, come and be filled; and, when you are filled, pour it all out at the dear feet of him who filled you. Come, trembler, come and let him touch you with his strengthening hand, and then go out and work, and use the strength which he has given you. I fear that I have not led you where I wanted to bring you, close to my Lord and to the Father, yet I have done my best. May the Lord forgive my feebleness and wandering, and yet bless you for his dear name’s sake! Amen.

{a} Broad Arrow: The arrowhead-shaped mark, used by the British Board of Ordnance, and placed on government supplies. OED.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Joh 17}

1, 2. Jesus spoke these words and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour is come; glorify your Son, so that your Son also may glorify you: since you have given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given to him.

Here the doctrines of a general and a particular redemption sweetly blend “Since you have given him power over all flesh,” they are all under Christ’s mediatorial government by virtue of his matchless sacrifice; but the object in view is specifically the gift of everlasting life to the chosen people: “that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given to him.”

3. And this is eternal life, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

No man has eternal life, then, who is in ignorance of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ; but once to know God, and to know Christ, is sure evidence that we possess a life that can never die: “This is eternal life.”

4-6. I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do. And now, oh Father, glorify me together with yourself with the glory which I had with you before the world was. I have revealed your name to the men whom you gave to me out of the world: yours they were, and you gave them to me; and they have kept your word.

Is that not sweetly put on the part of our divine Lord? These chosen men had been poor creatures at the very best; very forgetful and very erring; yet their Lord brings no charges against them but he says to his Father, “They have kept your word.”

7. Now they have known that all things whatever you have given to me are from you.

“They have learned to link the Father and the Son; they know that though I am the channel of all blessing, yet you, oh my Father, are the fountain from which it flows.”

    Jesus, we bless thy Father’s name!
    Thy God and ours are both the same;
    What heavenly blessings from his throne
    Flow down to sinners through his Son!

8. For I have given to them the words which you gave to me; and they have received them, and have surely known that I came out from you, and they have believed that you sent me.

He is looking at them in contrast with the world which utterly rejected him; in contrast with that world, the disciples had received and known Christ. Oh, what a blessed distinction the grace of God makes between men! We were all blind by nature; and now that we see, it is because the sacred finger of Christ has touched our eyes, and opened them. Let him have all the glory for it; yet let us note how well he speaks of his people: “For I have given to them the words which you gave to me; and they have received them, and have surely known that I came out from you, and they have believed that you sent me.”

9, 10. I pray for them: I do not pray for the world, but for those whom you have given to me; for they are yours. And all mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I am glorified in them.

Oh, the blessed union of interests between Christ and the Father! How surely do we belong to the Father if we in very deed belong to Christ, and so what a holy unity is established!

11. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given to me, so that they may be one, as we are.

Here is a prayer, then, for the preservation and the unity of the people of God; two very necessary petitions. Oh that they might be fulfilled in us, that we might be kept, and kept even to the end, and then kept in living union with all the people of God, and with the Father and with the Son!

12, 13. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name: those whom you gave to me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled. And now I come to you; and these things I speak in the world, so that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

In this wondrous prayer, note the special intent of the words of Christ; not only that we might have joy, but that we might have Christ’s joy, and not merely have a little of it, but might have it fulfilled in ourselves.

14-16. I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Jesus repeats twice this most special and important fact, which we must never forget: “They are not of the world.” Let us never live as if we were of the world; but where such a vivid distinction has been made, may God grant that there may be an equal distinction in our lives! Now comes the prayer for sanctification.

17, 18. Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, even so I have also sent them into the world.

Christ was the great Missionary, the Messiah, the Sent One; we are the minor missionaries, sent out into the world to accomplish the Father’s will and purpose.

19, 20. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither do I pray for these only, but for those also who shall believe in me through their word;

That shows that Christ’s prayer also embraces us who have been brought to believe in him through the word which the apostles declared. Christ, with prescient eye, looked on every one of us who believe in him, and prayed for each one of us as much as he did for John, and Peter, and James.

21, 22. That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave to me I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

Unity is the glory of the Church of Christ. It shall be the very crown of the Church of the living God; and when she puts it on, then the wondering world will acknowledge and accept her Lord.

23. I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them as you have loved me.

Wonderful words! How shall we dive into their depths? To think that the Father should have loved us even as he loved his only-begotten Son; oh, the heights and depths of this wondrous love!

24, 25. Father, I will that they also, whom you have given to me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given to me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world. Oh righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.

You notice the division that there is here. There are two parties; there is the world, and there is the Church; what is it that separates them? Read these two clauses: “The world has not known you”: “These have known that you have sent me.” What stands between? “But I have known you.” It is Christ himself, coming in between the two parties, like the cloudy-fiery pillar, black with darkness to the Egyptians, but bright with light to the Israelites. Oh, to have Christ between you and the world! It is the best form of separation: “I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.”

26. And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it

I read it to you as it stands. Our good translators were always afraid of using a word too often, for fear of falling into tautology; so for what they considered the beauty of the language they used the word “declared” instead of “made known”; but why should they have done so? Who were they that they should have wanted to improve on Christ’s words? It should be the same word all through: “The world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. And I have made your name known to them, and will make it known”:

26. That the love by which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Oh, that this love may be in us, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Adoption — Adoption” 728}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Union to Christ — The Reign Of Grace” 760}

The Christian, Privileges, Adoption
728 — Adoption
1 Behold what wondrous grace
      The Father hath bestow’d
   On sinners of a mortal race,
      To call them sons of God!
2 ‘Tis no surprising thing,
      That we should be unknown:
   The Jewish world knew not their King,
      God’s everlasting Son.
3 Nor doth it yet appear
      How great we must be made,
   But when we see our saviour here,
      We shall be like our Head.
4 A hope so much divine
      May trials well endure,
   May purge our souls from sense and sin,
      As Christ the Lord is pure.
5 If in my Father’s love,
      I share a filial part,
   Send down thy Spirit, like a dove.
      To rest upon my heart.
6 We would no longer lie
      Like slaves beneath the throne;
   My faith shall Abba Father cry,
      And thou the kindred own.
                        Isaac Watts, 1709.

The Christian, Privileges, Union to Christ
760 — The Reign Of Grace <8.7.4.>
1 Sovereign grace o’er sin abounding,
      Ransom’d souls the tidings swell;
   ‘Tis a deep that knows no sounding,
      Who its breadth or length can tell?
         On its glories
      Let my soul for ever dwell.
2 What from Christ my soul shall sever,
      Bound by everlasting bands?
   Once in him, in him for ever;
      Thus thewy’ eternal covenant stands;
         None shall pluck me
      From the Strength of Israel’s hands.
3 Heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus,
      Long ere time its race begun;
   To his name eternal praises!
      Oh! what wonders love hath done!
         One with Jesus,
      By eternal union one.
4 On such love, my soul, still ponder,
      Love so great, so rich, so free;
   Say, whilst lost in holy wonder,
      Why, oh Lord, such love to me?
      Grace shall reign eternally.
                              John Kent, 1827.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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