Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How Christ Inherits the People of God (Jn. 17:6-11)

This is my personal summary of Rev Dr Stephen Tong's sermon on 28 April 2013 in STEMI Expository Preaching at True Way Presbyterian Church Singapore. It was preached in Chinese with English translation

Passage: John 17:6-11

This passage is the prayer of the Shepherd, the only Mediator accepted by God.  Christ prayed before God for the believers.  Among all God has created, in millions of constellations, there is only one focal point where humanity lives, that is the earth.  Among all the creation, only humans are made in the image of God.  And the focal point of all humanity is the people saved by Christ, the Church.  Among the church, the focal point is the reformed people who truly understand and obey God.

“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.  Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.”  (Jn. 17:6-7)

This seems to be a strange verse.  Where did the believers come from?  On one hand, it says  they came from the world.  On the other hand they were given by the Father.  Did they come from the world or from the Father?  Who is the Christian?  Where does he come from?  A Christian is a person created by God, redeemed and chosen by God.  We were created by God so we belong to God.  But through Adam we fell, so we became part of the fallen world.  Then we also belong to God through the salvation by Christ.  Rev 5 said the saints were purchased by the blood of the Lamb. 

The Father gave the saints to Christ.  Christ gave the saints eternal life.  Before Christ gave them eternal life, Christ must first accomplished salvation and had victory over Satan.  Christ did not take this for granted what He had received.  He paid a price for it.  We can see this principle running through the Bible.  From the life of Abraham, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Jesus Christ Himself and the Apostle Paul, the principle is consistent.  What God has promised and given, we cannot take for granted. 

Many rich people do not understand this.  They give all their money to their children.  The children inherit without struggles.  They end up quarreling and killing one another for money.  Those who only live off inheritance have tendency to become selfish and lazy.  The first generation earn money hard, the second generation spend money hard, the third generation beg money hard.  Many people do not understand the relationship between wealth and strife.

God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham.  The land belonged to Abraham through God’s promise, yet when Sarah died, Abraham paid for the piece of land with an expensive price to bury her.  The Israelites still need to fight Canaanites to inherit the Promised Land.  When David was about to build the temple, he also paid market price for the land although he was king. 

Then we come to Jesus Christ in the New Testament.  What did God give to Jesus as His inheritance?  He gave the people of all nations as His inheritance.  All that was given to Jesus, He purchased them with His blood.  What Abraham, Moses and David did were more fully manifested in Jesus. 

Though the Son of God, Jesus did not have special privilege and was perfected through obedience.  We need to be reminded how you belong to Jesus.  We need to remind ourselves how we become Christ’s.  By giving His life to serve us, to die for us that we become His.

The Cross comes first, then the crown.  Suffering comes before glory.  Death comes before resurrection.  This is the principle we need to learn from Jesus Christ.  This is how we obtain our inheritance.


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