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THE SPIRITUAL

CHRISTIAN UNITY

PROPHECY

 

A Book of Prophecy of the Scripture,

by Tim Warlick

 

Introduction

 

Miracles for unity in Jesus:

in His holiness and His love for all believers

God works miracles to answer prayers of believers whose primary purpose in life is to unite with Jesus in two things:

    1. The holiness in Jesus given by God's grace in His love equally to all believers, regardless of Christian faith group or denomination; and,

    2. The self-sacrificial love in Jesus given by God's grace in His love equally for all believers, regardless of Christian faith group or denomination.

 

God wants us believers to unite in those two things because holiness and love are the very substance of the one Spirit of God, in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all of whom we can only know by knowing Jesus Christ is God, and by seeing in Jesus the perfect holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers that Jesus is.

 

God is love, and God is the only one holy in all His ways and all His works.  Seeking to have personal holiness like Jesus had on this earth and to have in ourselves the same self-sacrificial love as our Savior's love for all believers in Jesus are the two characteristics of Jesus God wants most for us believers to emulate so the world may believe Jesus was sent by God and is truly living in the hearts of us believers now. 

 

That holiness and love of Jesus is not just some sweet-sounding, conceptual notion of what we might like for God to be.  Nor is that love and holiness a philosophical approach to a higher good which we might use to find agreement together on an intellectual basis, any more than Jesus is just another philosopher of life with some nice ideas to consider. 

 

That absolute holiness in which only Jesus was able to live out His life in perfection, of all men, ever, in the history of mankind, and that self-sacrificial love of God, given beyond measure in His unmerited grace to us, which we saw in the whole life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, like no other man, to become one with God in all power in heaven and earth, is now a very real and present spirit that once lived as a man with us humans on earth, and is now given by God to be the Spirit of truth living in us believers, all, in the name of Jesus.

“8 See to it that no-one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fulness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fulness in Christ, who is the Head over every power and authority.” (Col 2:8-10 NIV)
“the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (Joh 14:17 NIV)

That Spirit is God's Spirit: God's perfectly holy and living, eternal, one Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all repentant believers.  That same Spirit is in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit who is in all us repentant believers if we seek by faith in Jesus to live in His holiness and His self-sacrificial love for all other believers, of every Christian denomination and Christian faith group.

 

Why do I say here, 'if we live in self-sacrificial love for all other believers'? 

 

Don't ask me.  Ask Jesus why He would say that all men would know we follow Him, but only "if" we obey His new command. 

 

Didn't He know we would?  Or did He instead know how hard it would be for us to get around to obeying it again, "if" we love one another, and "if" we do what He commands.

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (Joh 13:35 NIV)
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” ( Joh 15:12-14 NIV)

That big "if" of our obedience to the new command of Jesus is the central question answered in the scripture shown in this document.  And the answer that is presented in scripture here that results from our obedience is the glory of God to work miracles given by Jesus to all us believers to make us one in the Spirit of Jesus so the world will know we follow the one Christ sent by God.

 

Personal holiness is simply the result of the gospel message of salvation from our sins by God's undeserved, lavish blessing in His grace to us believers in Jesus.  God gives us the free gift of being imputed with the perfect and absolute holiness of Christ, himself, which we could never accomplish on our own by obedience to the law, which condemns all sinners, which we are.  Instead, God credits righteousness to us who believe in the one, good God who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 

 

At the same time as we are credited with God's holiness by faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins in repentance, God gives His Spirit to live in us to lead us and help us learn to obey His commands for holiness, which we obey out of our love we have for God in return for God's wonderful grace in His love to us all in the Father's self-sacrifice of His perfectly holy Son, Jesus.

 

Personal holiness is, by definition in the very name of the Holy Spirit, and is essential to describe God's Spirit sent to be in us in the name of Jesus; the Holy Spirit who sanctifies and sets us apart from the world as Jesus was set apart in His perfect obedience to God. As the name implies, the Holy Spirit is in us only if we truly seek to live in Christ's Spirit of perfect holiness.

“23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth."” (Joh 4:23-24 NIV)

“17 ¶ Sanctify 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.” (Joh 17:17-19 NIV)

As a matter of definition, the phrase used here in this document for Christian unity among “all Christian denominations and faith groups” most certainly includes all believers, both lay persons and leaders, from top to bottom, in those denominations and faith groups, including Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestants. If you infer any meaning in this document to oppose the direction of such leaders within their own Christian faith groups, or that their members should not seek the guidance of their leadership to confirm or deny the scriptural interpretations shown here, then you need to re-read it because that meaning is wrong, and the opposite of what is intended and said here. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

The intent here in this document is always to show scriptures with meaning about the one Spirit of God given to us all in the name of Jesus that all Christian denominations and faith groups already believe is fundamental to first teach new believers coming in from out of the world to learn about Christ.  That way, we who already believe in Him can become as little children of God to one another believers; children who agree to accept each other as children of God in the Spirit of Jesus who is in us all on the basis of our shared, most fundamental belief in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins in repentance.

“3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” (Mt 18:3-5 NIV)

“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."” (Mt 18:20 NIV)
“45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."” (Lu 24:45-49 NIV)
“the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (Joh 14:17 NIV)

Uniting in the holiness and love for all repentant believers that God is in Jesus, we show the world how in each of our different Christian denominations and Christian faith groups, we all gladly welcome as a sister or brother in Christ any person who has the same, child-like understanding as new believers in Jesus have.  We show the world we agree that each believing brother and sister can then freely choose for themselves which Christian denomination or Christian faith group where they want to worship God in the name of Jesus, where each is convinced in their own mind of the best understanding of doctrines and practices of worship, such as the form and meaning of water baptism and related issues such as justification, and others, without judgment against believers in any other Christian faith group.

“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling-block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” (Ro 14:13 NIV)

In this way, in our love for one another in faith of Jesus, faith that His one Spirit of love and holiness is in us all, the world may believe with us all that God really is love, in the Holy One, Jesus.  We show the world we welcome among us the one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers that is the Spirit of Jesus, Himself, in all who will believe Him to be in themselves; and the world can see His Spirit as the Spirit of the Savior of the world, not just in what we say, but in what we do in this world among all those who belong to Christ.

“They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world."” (Joh 4:42 NIV)

“12 No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 ¶ And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.” (1Jo 4:12-14 NIV)
“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.” (Joh 17:21 NIV)


I’m well aware that in all three of the referenced Christian faith groups some will find problems with the meaning about some scriptures shown here for Christian unity in holiness and love for all believers, and some others will oppose it vehemently.  But in each of the three Christian faith groups or denominations there are sizeable numbers of believers, both lay members and leaders, who officially and formally teach their agreement that members of other Christian, ecclesial bodies, outside of their own Christian faith group, may be included in eternity with Jesus in heaven.

 

It is prayerfully hoped and intended in this document that our shared, eternal unity in Jesus, in which all true believers agree we trust only God to determine for us by His grace and loving forgiveness for each of us, combined with our own loving forgiveness for one another believers, is enough to enable the Holy Spirit in us to lead us together in this life to agree to let the world believe with us all in the truth in what Jesus did and has become, in His crucifixion and resurrection to all power now in heaven and earth to give eternal life to all who will believe it so in Jesus.

 

Because we all teach Jesus first and foremost in this way, Jesus is not the lowest common denominator of what makes us all Christian, but by declaring our Christian unity in Him in this way, uniting in His blood given on the cross for us all, from which He is now raised up to the right hand of God in heaven, we make Jesus, Himself, the highest common denominator of us all in whom the world can see we now agree, thus enabling the world to begin to believe with us that God sent him to give eternal life to all who will believe it so in Him.

 

We believers are all called by God to testify to the world that in Jesus we all see the One Light who is the Truth on earth of the holiness and love for all believers that is in in our Father in heaven, and the light of our Savior's one Spirit is the greatest common denominator that we all see among ourselves as the light of God's presence in the Holy Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers which God gives to live in each of us in the name of Jesus.

“44 ¶ Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no-one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (Joh 12:44-46 NIV)
“9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (Joh 1:9-13 NIV)
“15 ¶ Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD. 16 They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. 17 For you are their glory and strength, and by your favour you exalt our horn. 18 Indeed, our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.” (Ps 89:15-18 NIV)

“But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Joh 14:26 NIV)
“the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (Joh 14:17 NIV)

By showing the world that God's one Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers in Jesus is the one light of God's presence we all see within ourselves and in one another as repentant believers, we thus declare and testify to the world that the Father has sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world who we all agree together purifies us all the same way from sin by the blood of Jesus; all seen to be purified for the very reason that we love one another, and walk in fellowship together in the light of God's eternal holiness and love for all believers who have faith in the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins in repentance.

“5 ¶ This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1Jo 1:5-7 NIV)
“14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Mt 5:14-16 NIV)

“22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1Pe 1:22-23 NIV)
“12 No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 ¶ And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.” (1Jo 4:12-14 NIV)
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."” (Joh 13:35 NIV)

As a matter of further definition in this document, whenever the word "believer" is used, it means here to include holiness and means the same thing it always meant to Jesus because according to Him, the believer believes in the name of Jesus for repentance and forgiveness of sins, as Jesus taught will be preached by His apostles and disciples from the very beginning.

“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lu 24:45-47 NIV)

Our unearned share in God's grace to us of being credited with the absolute holiness of Jesus causes us to respond to God for freely giving His grace in His love to us in Jesus by loving Him back in our obedience, making every effort to be holy, so we can let God's loving discipline for sin teach us to learn to be holy as Jesus is holy.

“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord.” (Heb 12:14 NIV)

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” (Eph 5:3 NIV)

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no-one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (1Th 4:3-7 NIV)
“Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.” (Heb 12:10 NIV)
“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."” (1Pe 1:15-16 NIV)

 

The Bible tells us many of the first believers had numerous problems falling back into various forms of sin, but the apostles consistently made it clear that seeking personal holiness is required. Unity in anything less is unity with the world, and while in the world, Jesus says we must instead be set apart and sanctified from it; in the world but never of it.  Today some Christian faith groups have begun to officially waiver on their formally approved teachings on the issue of personal holiness, but we believers still need to be holy as Jesus is holy, and we especially need to learn to have self-sacrificial love for all believers as Jesus did.

Self-sacrificial love for all believers is simply the result in us believers of the new commandment of Jesus which, if obeyed, shows the world the same godly Spirit of love is in us believers as was in Jesus, whom the Father sent to earth filled with the Father's own self-sacrificial love for the world.  Jesus showed us God's self-sacrificial love in His whole, perfect life lived in His Father's will leading Him to death on the cross, and the Father raised Him back to life by the Father's love for Jesus' obedience in sacrificing Himself as commanded, in order to give eternal life to all who would believe that God gave such astounding, self-sacrificial love from Himself to the world that way in His Son.

 

Above all the things Jesus said, Jesus stressed the importance of His command to us to love all believers with our lives laid down for them all, calling it the only one that is Jesus' own commandment and calling it the new commandment.  The question for today's church, the body of Christ in the world today is, do we hear the commands of Jesus? 

 

Do we now hear Jesus command us to continue to be holy? And did we ever, in living memory, hear or have ears to hear, His new  command for how to love all believers, of every Christian denomination and Christian faith group?

 

 

The "new" in Jesus' new commandment

“"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (Joh 13:34 NIV)

So why is Jesus' commandment new?  The Bible says Jesus fulfills the old law, both the first most important commandment of the old law, to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and at the same time Jesus fulfills the second most important commandment of the law as well, to love our neighbor as ourselves.

 

Regarding the old law Jesus said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Mt 7:12 NIV). Notice Jesus makes a point that this is the old Law and the Prophets, not His new commandment about brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

Jesus' statement here is about the second most important part of the old law, the part that deals with neighbors, and it sums up how we are to live our lives in this world, how the law says we must treat all others in this world.  We must "do to others what you would have them do to you", and it applies equally now to all others, all our neighbors in the world, whether the other is a believer or unbeliever.  It still applies as a minimum way to treat all others in this world, but that is not the new commandment of Jesus, which Jesus explained specifically elsewhere to His disciples means loving brothers in Christ even more than neighbors.

 

And even this second most important command of the old law, the part about neighbors in the world, was changed in a new way by Jesus. It did not remain the same for us believers as it was in the old law. According to Jesus, 'neighbors' now includes enemies.

“43 ¶ "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:43-48 NIV)

So we believers must love our enemies and pray for their persecution of us, that it will be overcome by our heavenly Father's perfect, self-sacrificial love offered to the world in Jesus.  This is important if we are to ever have hope that our enemy will someday see the love of Jesus through us believers and so repent and be saved in Him. 

 

For that reason Jesus says we are to love and greet more than just our brothers in this world. But that doesn't mean we stop loving our brothers, or don't love our brothers in Christ more than our neighbors, and more than our own self, as Jesus commanded us.  We are to love our brethren in Christ with our lives laid down for every one of them, for all believers.

 

Regarding that statement of Jesus about the old law in Mt 7:12 quoted above, "in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you", the apostle Paul put that part of the old law in the context of Jesus' new commandment when Paul wrote that the entire law is now summed up in the single command to love our neighbor, but only if we love our neighbor in the world enough to show our neighbor we serve one another believers in love and holiness, which is the new commandment of Jesus.

 

A lot of us believers have misinterpreted the scripture in Galatians Chapter 5 where Paul wrote this, "the entire law is summed up in a single command". 

 

We've wrongly often interpreted it to mean all we have to do now is love brothers in Christ the same as we love our neighbors, which by the old law would mean loving both neighbors and brothers in Christ the same as we love ourselves. That's a sad error of interpretation; sad that so many of us believers don't seem to know the difference.

 

That interpretation is not true.  We still have to love our sisters and brothers in Christ more than our neighbors: to love all believers with each our own life laid down for them all. That's the law; the new law; Jesus' own new commandment.

 

Look here again at those verses by Paul in Galations Chapter 5 that are so often misinterpreted by believers, and be sure to see how verse 13 talks about brothers in Christ in order to introduce verse 14 about neighbors, which means everyone is our neighbor, including both believers in Christ and unbelievers who are not.  Note both the holiness and the brotherly love that Paul said in verse 13 is to exist among believers serving in love our "one another" brothers in Christ:

"13 ¶ You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbour as yourself." (Ga 5:13-14 NIV).

 

Think about this in comparison to the parable of the good Samaritan about how to treat neighbors, where Jesus says I must love my neighbor in this world as myself, even if I regard him as an unbeliever and an enemy, like the Jews regarded the Samaritans.  Jesus says even if I regard the neighbor as my unbelieving enemy, if I see my neighbor after being beaten by evil men and left for dead on the side of the road, I'll help him and pick him up, get him to a safe place, and use my money to help care for him as best I can.  Jesus says I would be right to love my neighbor that way, the same as my love for myself, the same as I would hope others would do for me if I was in that position.

 

But if God wants us to love brothers in Christ at the same level we love our neighbors in this world, then instead of the example of the 'good Samaritan', why didn't Jesus give us a parable that says we should look for the opportunity to jump in between the evil men and our neighbor so the evil men can beat us to death instead of our neighbor, with us taking our neighbor's place? 

 

That's what Jesus did for us in order to take the beating and death that was intended for us believers.  He jumped in between us and the evil men that would kill our souls, take our money and our lives if they can, keeping us subservient to evil until the day we die, and send us to final destruction in Hell, which we may well deserve for the evil we have, ourselves, done in this life.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (Joh 10:10 NIV)

But instead of the justice we deserve for our sins, Jesus shows us the mercy and undeserved grace of the self-sacrificial love of God given to us in Himself on the cross and in His resurrection, so he could pay for our sins with His own blood, loving us into repentance in His grace to us, and giving eternal life to all who will believe it so.  He didn't love us merely "as" He loved Himself or equal to how He loved Himself.  He loved us more than Himself, more than His own life. 

 

If you're a believer, are you not a child of God now, yourself, and is Jesus not your eldest brother, whose example you are to live by?

 

The command to love our neighbors does not fulfill the law unless we also obey the new command of Jesus to serve and love all our brethren in Christ self-sacrificially, as Jesus did for all us believers.  That self-sacrificial love for our sisters and brothers in Christ is what Jesus called His new commandment; it's how Jesus fulfilled the old law with the new part about loving God by having great love for all our siblings in Christ, as Jesus' love was great for us believers. 

 

Is it possible we believers see Jesus on the cross, and know He is resurrected to all power in heaven and earth, and really not see the difference between His love and a neighbor in the world? 

 

 

Loving 'as' we love ourselves is not loving 'more' than we love ourselves

"13 ¶ You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbour as yourself." (Ga 5:13-14 NIV)

 

Paul did not say that to fulfill the entire law, all we have to do is obey the second most important command, to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, while ignoring the new command of Jesus to lay down our lives to serve all believers in love, and consequently while thus ignoring the first most important command, to love God, which we do by obeying Jesus, the sum of which would be total nonsense. But that's exactly how many believers have consistently misinterpreted this scripture by Paul. 

 

Here's the really ironic thing, considering how many believers interpret it wrong that way.  Paul said just the opposite. What could possibly cause us to interpret that the new command, "love your brother" is really saying the same as the old command "love your neighbor"?  Paul certainly did not say that.  It's almost as if we don't want to love our brethren in Christ in any new way Jesus commanded it, especially if it is to include believers in every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

What Paul clearly said in this scripture is that the single command to love your neighbor as yourself sums up the entire law, but only if you realize that your freedom in Christ is not to indulge the former, sinful nature you had before repentance, but instead you now must obey both the command to be holy and also obey the new command of Jesus to serve one another believers in love. 

 

Paul is emphasizing the fact that our neighbors see us believers from the outside looking in at our behavior to one another within the Christian community to see what life looks like among the people who belong to Christ.

 

Paul is making the point that we can only truly claim to love our neighbor in this world if we love our neighbor enough to show them we have repented of our sins done in our former, sinful nature we had before repentance, when we were previously without holiness and without love for all other believers. 

 

This is actually the same central point of both the prayer of Jesus for Christian unity and His new commandment, so the world may know that God sent Jesus. 

 

The world will know God sent Jesus by the way they see believers act to one another, and by the power of the Holy Spirit which God chooses to show in Jesus' name.  And scriptures say God chooses to show a lot of His glory in the name of Jesus: all the same glory Jesus showed in the miracles He worked as a man here on earth, and now in even greater miracles than Jesus did then.

 

Paul says in the context that will be shown below for that referenced quote in Galations Chapter 5, that now instead of that sinful nature of our past, we must show our neighbors in the world that we serve one another believers with self-sacrificial love by crucifying our former evil nature in ourselves that we used to show to the world.  Now instead, we need to show the world we are reborn in a new Spirit God gives us, now bearing for one another all the fruit of the Spirit of self-sacrificial love and holiness that is the crop produced from the Spirit living in each of us believers and bearing fruit as from those who belong to Christ.

 

Paul is referring to the fact that if we truly are led by the Spirit, we believers serve all other believers in the self-sacrificial love we see in Jesus, by having His love for all believers in ourselves as He commanded.  We serve by loving one another believers who belong to Christ by our own self-sacrificial crucifixion of that former, sinful nature that used to be in us causing us to commit all kinds of personal unholy acts, and especially because that former, sinful nature let us "become conceited, provoking and envying each other" believers, instead of serving all believers in love.

 

So by writing "14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbour as yourself."", Paul is saying if we really love our neighbors in the world, meaning all men, all people in the world, we'll help the world believe God sent Jesus to show the world what God's self-sacrificial love looks like both in Himself and among people who belong to Christ.  We'll make sure the world sees us believers united in the holiness Christ gave us to live in among ourselves, and make sure they also see us believers united in the same self-sacrificial love for all believers Christ had for us, which love we now do among ourselves to "serve one another in love".

 

Now look at the context that follows Paul's comments quoted above about fulfilling the entire law.  This whole scripture from Chapter 5 of Paul's letter to the Galatians is about the love and holiness among believers we should show to our neighbors in the world, and is in complete agreement with both the new command of Jesus and His prayer for Christian unity in love and holiness that Jesus said would certainly allow the world to believe God sent Jesus to be His holiness and self-sacrificial love given to the world. 

 

Notice the acts that are typical of our former sinful nature that Paul lists here for us so we could see the details of that more general quote in verse 13 above, so there is no confusion in what Paul meant.  Some are clearly sins against holiness.  And some are clearly sins against the love of other believers.  Every one of them Paul lists here fits into one or both of those two categories of sin.

 

The need for showing the world both holiness and love of one another believers is seen throughout this scripture, as it is also seen throughout the prayer of Jesus for Christian unity and His new command.

“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Ga 5:18-26 NIV)

“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.” (Joh 17:21 NIV)
“And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1Jo 4:21 NIV)
 “"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."” (Joh 13:34-35 NIV)

 

It's important to note here that the two commands to be holy and love all believers are both included in the one, new commandment of Jesus.  The apostle John refers to both as one command of Jesus because the ‘be holy’ part is an understood requirement of what it means, "to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ", because it means to believe in His name for the gift of repentance and forgiveness of sins any time Jesus or John say something referring to all believers, like “one another”.

“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” (1Jo 3:23 NIV)
 

Though Jesus says His new commandment is part of the first most important command of the old law, to love God, yet it is still true that the second most important commandment of the old law, love your neighbor as yourself, even your enemies as Jesus would have it, remains important in it's own right for us to remember.  We do also need to show the world we love them as ourselves in how we treat them directly, because we believers are here to win over the world into the love of God in Jesus, not condemn it, and tomorrow's new believer could be any of today's unbelieving neighbors in the world, even our enemies. 

 

So there is a sense in which if we love all our neighbors in this world, we will have loved, at least as much as we love ourselves, all those who are believers now as well as unbelievers now who will become believers in the future.  For unbelievers, loving them as ourselves is the fruit of the Spirit we offer to them for the time being, for the time we are now neighbors with them in this world, for as long as we're in it.  If the fruit and seed of that Spirit we offer the unbelievers takes root in their hearts and they nurture it, it becomes fruit that lasts. 

 

That temporary love we offer while we're here with neighbors on earth, loving them as ourselves, is a good introduction to the even greater, self-sacrificial love we have for all believers now and forever, which is God's love for all believers, the fruit of the Spirit that lasts among us believers into eternity as one in His eternal, one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers in Jesus.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (Joh 15:16 NIV)

If on the other hand, some in the world still don't believe even when they do see the holiness and self-sacrificial love of God in our Christian unity in Jesus; even after seeing us loving our neighbors in the world as ourselves, including our enemies; and after seeing us loving all our sisters and brothers in Christ, regardless of Christian denomination or faith group; and even after seeing us with our lives laid down in the self-sacrificial love that Jesus commanded us to have for all believers, then at least we did our part in God's plan to show them by our own actions what the holiness and love of God looks like in Jesus and among us believers.

 

 

Christian unity in Jesus: don't rush the kids into all doctrine

Start the world of unbelievers on milk, and welcome the little ones who only believe 

 

In other scripture relative to the two most important commandments of the old law, the apostle John emphasized the fact that Jesus, Himself, commanded us to make His new commandment fulfill the first commandment of the old law, to love God. If you love God you obey Jesus' new commandment.  John said that we are commanded to make our love for all believers every bit as important as it is to love God, Himself, not just secondary like loving all our neighbors in the world, though we do that, too, and Jesus fulfilled that, too.

 

By contrast to loving neighbors, loving all our brothers and sisters in Christ with each our own life laid down for them is a higher level than loving our neighbors in the world as we love ourselves.  That's what we believers have often been missing in the past as far as having the glory of Jesus to work miracles are concerned for the purpose that all us believers may be one.  We have sometimes loved all people in the world as we love ourselves, and in so doing thought to ourselves we've fulfilled the new commandment of Jesus, while yet refusing to love our own brothers and sisters in Christ with our lives laid down for them, especially if they come from a different Christian faith group or denomination. 

 

There's a difference in loving brothers and sisters in Christ compared to neighbors in the world, and Jesus showed us that difference in His whole self-sacrificial life laid down to make believers out of the world.

 

How did we ever miss that part about the higher level of loving all believers self-sacrificially to include those in every Christian denomination and faith group?  I think it essentially happened because we believers let too much of the world influence our thinking about our differences in beliefs about doctrine, about theology of the nature and structure of the Christian church, and all too often throughout history, our differences about the distinctly worldly influences of materialism, geo-politics, nationalism, and militarism.

 

For one personal example of nationalism, it's good to have pride in your own country, and I have pride that I and all my 4 brothers served in the U.S. military, in which my eldest brother was critically wounded in Germany during WWII and carried the scars on his face for the rest of his life.

 

I thank God for the sacrifices the military makes to keep my country free and defeat evil such as in that war.  But that doesn't mean I want to pretend that patriotism is the same as Christianity, or that being Christian means everything my own government does is either good or a matter of godly virtue.

 

Believers all over the world have national pride in their own countries and there is no way I would let the political, geo-political, or military conduct of governments separate me from spiritual unity with believers in the holiness and love that is in Jesus, including believers of every Christian denomination and faith group, regardless of the country they live in, or service in the armed forces.

 

Jesus, Himself, well recognized that soldiers can have great faith in Him and still serve their country, even the government of a country as corrupt and decadent as the ancient Roman Empire.

“8 The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it." 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” (Mt 8:8-10 NIV)

But whatever has kept us believers apart historically, and right up to the present day in the body of Christ on earth, becoming more and more separated over time into all of our differing Christian faith groups, we were each over-zealous about our own group's doctrine of theology and beliefs.  We promoted all our own, best doctrine, not our most important doctrine of the finished work of Jesus, in what Jesus did on the cross for all believers, of every Christian denomination and faith group. 

 

Instead, we were all trying to do what made sense to us, to serve the world and serve believers outside our own faith group by showing them all the best doctrine we could find and understand, while yet unwilling to admit to each other or declare to the world our common, equally shared purification from all sin washed in the blood of Jesus by showing the world we walk together in fellowship as one in Him as He is in the light: in the light of His eternal, one Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers, of every Christian denomination and faith group. 

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1Jo 1:7 NIV)


It may be that we do have doctrine all the other believers would do well to learn from us, and it's likely our own Christian faith group needs to learn from other believers. No part of the body is without importance to serve the whole, and the Holy Spirit does speak through each to one another.

 

But the world needs to hear and be fed first, the milk of the gospel from all of us believers about the love and salvation of God in Jesus, not the meat of all our other, best doctrine.  We should try hard together to hear God's word on this with ears to hear, and let the Holy Spirit remind us of everything Jesus has said to us about fulfilling the first most important commandment of God, to love God the best we can, with all the power a person has of our own, in all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, in obeying the new commandment of Jesus, with the total, self-sacrificial love Jesus had for all believers.

 

 

All believers in Jesus of the Bible agree God saves all repentant believers

We all also know that Jesus commanded all believers to be baptized with water

This document has been written to emphasize scriptures showing that God works miracles for Christian unity of all believers. The intent here is to encourage faith for Christian unity among those praying together for it who are believers already. Since the intended audience for this is believers who live their lives in faith and obedience to Jesus, it has been generally assumed here that such readers will have, for the most part, already received some form of water baptism.

Otherwise, if you are a believer reading this and have not yet been baptized, it's important to note that you need to find a Christian faith group and be baptized because it is commanded by Jesus to do so. "19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."" (Mt 28:19-20 NIV)

For the vast majority of believers comprising Christian denominations and faith groups, including Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestants, there is general agreement among us in three things as believers in Jesus:

1. That we are saved only by the grace of God through living our lives with faith in God's forgiveness of our sins in repentance, which grace and forgiveness we all regard as the undeserved gift of God in giving the blood of Jesus for us all , for which we are all grateful and love God now and forever; and

2. That we are born again in the Holy Spirit that Jesus gives us all through faith in His name, faith that He does now live in us, and that His Spirit in each of us leads us to love God in return by obeying His commands to quit sinning but instead do good works in our lives, living holy lives with love for all in the world, including our enemies, and most especially with love for all our sisters and brothers in Christ; and

3. That some form of water baptism is commanded by Jesus to be done for all new, adult believers.


In short, all believers who recognize the Bible as the word of God can agree that God saves all who truly believe in Jesus, and that believers choose to quit sinning but do good works in holiness and love for all in the world, especially loving all believers, and that Jesus commanded all new, adult believers to be baptized with water.

Regarding the third point, baptism of new adult believers, however, there are several other conditions and issues related to baptism on which we believers don't yet agree. For the purpose of achieving Christian unity now, we need to focus on accepting all believers on the basis of the first two listed points, while we learn to forgive one another for our differences on water baptism, and other such issues. 

 

The world needs to hear and begin to believe with us all that we already agree at least that Jesus gives us God's holiness and God's love for all who believe in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins in repentance; and that just as God forgives all us believers by His grace  which we can never deserve, we then show God's self-sacrificial love to each other because we forgive one another believers for our differences on water baptism and such related issues, in order for all the people of the world to know that they can have every hope of pleasing God by becoming new believers who live their lives in obedience to God in Christ.

Because Jesus commanded water baptism, and it is widely practiced throughout Christianity, water baptism serves as an excellent intended goal for seeking as much Christian unity as possible on that subject among all those Christian faith groups who can readily find mutual agreement in such unity of all baptized believers. Where it helps us unite, seeking Christian unity of all baptized believers is laudable and should be greatly encouraged among any and all Christian faith groups who can receive it.

But for the rest of Christianity, there are many variances between Christian faith groups in the practice and teaching of the form of water baptism and it's meaning, whether as sacrament or ordnance, as well as the particulars of how and when baptism fits into the detailed description and timing of God's justification of us. Many of these differences may remain doctrinal issues on which Christians cannot agree together for some considerable time into the foreseeable future. As a result, our complete agreement on all of these issues may have to be left for the theologians to eventually resolve to the satisfaction of all Christians, if and when possible in the future.

Although these issues on baptism and justification are all important issues that deserve to be studied and discussed among believers so we can learn from one another, yet none of them is more important than showing the world that God sent Jesus to save us all, which Jesus said the world would know when we believers unite in Him, as He is one in the Father.  And Jesus and the Father are most assuredley one in the one Spirit of God in the holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers we see in Jesus and in one another believers.

All such issues as these disagreements on baptism and justification have a common source of agreement in the law of God for which God gives us the clear, legal basis to unite in as one in Jesus: the new law of Jesus which is to offer forgiveness in self-sacrificial love to all believers from ourselves to one another, including those in all Christian denominations and faith groups, as Jesus gave forgiveness in self-sacrificial love to all of us in the first place.

""A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (Joh 13:34 NIV)

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." (Joh 15:9 NIV)

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." (Joh 15:12 NIV)

"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." (Joh 17:23 NIV)

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-" (Eph 2:8 NIV)

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Eph 4:32 NIV)

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins," (Col 2:13 NIV)

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." (Col 3:13 NIV)

"23 "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 "The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27 The servant's master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go. 28 "But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow-servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' He demanded. 29 "His fellow-servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' 30 "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow-servant just as I had on you?' 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."" (Mt 18:23-35 NIV)


For now, without full agreement among all believers in the form and details of water baptism, and without complete concurrence on issues such as justification of believers, only the Holy Spirit working in us believers can enable all believers in Jesus to lovingly forgive one another now, or to forego judgment on such important doctrinal differences as water baptism and justification, so we can start praying together now, with faith that God does now give us the miracle of Christian unity of all believers.

Only by us believers loving and forgiving one another for our differences in issues such as water baptism or in justification, loving one another in the same, one Spirit of love and forgiveness Jesus gives to each of us by His unmerited grace to us believers, all, can we join our hearts together in praying now, with all faith, the same prayer Jesus prayed in John 17, that we may now all be made one in His eternal, one Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers.

This love and forgiveness among believers for one another, along with the holiness Jesus gives us all equally by His great grace, is the same basis of Christian unity chosen by a Catholic priest and myself, a Protestant lay person, working in agreement with other believers from various Christian faith groups, to be used as the central, uniting focus for a website to pray together for such miracles for Christian unity of all believers, called the Spiritual Christian Unity Worldwide Prayer Group, at www.SpiritualChristianUnity.org .

Starting with the key principles laid out by the team of believers from various Christian faith groups, the Catholic priest and I worked hard to show there the many scriptures which we believe, hope, and fervently pray can be found consistent with the beliefs and teachings of all Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Christian faith groups.

It is worth quoting here from that website the pertinent discussion, shown copied below under the following three subtitles, explaining how we believe love and forgiveness for one another believers in different Christian faith groups, with regard to all our differences in doctrines such as water baptism, can enable us to pray together that we may be spiritually united as one in Christ's one Spirit of love and forgiveness for all believers, as the Spirit of Christ leads us every day to be one in the holiness and love for all believers that exists in Jesus.
 

 

Love and forgiveness for one another believers is the one Spirit of Christ in us all

(Copied here from www.SpiritualChristianUnity.org )

 

Jesus loved us all, and died for us all, while we were yet in our sins. So in honor to the life He laid down for us, we believers agree in our prayers here together, that we do, each, lay down for one another our pride, if any, in being given by God to know a truth other believers have not yet found, and which we continue to believe and teach in our own group as requirements for salvation and eternal life, without relinquishing our beliefs, but acknowledging our differences with respect for one another through faith in the name of Jesus. On this basis, we agree in all our words and prayers expressed here, to love and forgive all other believers in Jesus, forgiving what may be their errors regarding issues where we differ on the requirements for salvation and eternal life in Jesus. If your group, for example, teaches that some form of water baptism is required for salvation and eternal life, we humbly ask you to forgive those who teach no such requirement. If your group teaches that nothing more than faith is required for salvation and eternal life, then we humbly ask you to forgive those who add something like water baptism, knowing that they also, most certainly, require faith in Christ. We could go on and on, with dozens of such examples.

 

We simply ask here that all who believe to repentance in Jesus unite in love with all others who so believe, as loving sisters and brothers together in Christ, forgiving one another for all the rest, as Jesus forgives us all for every sin we ever did. We believers do not agree here together in water baptism as to the form it should take or when it should be done. Yet we believe together that there is a spiritual kind of baptism that is required of every believer throughout our lives, so we start here with the baptism in which we can all agree.
 

 

Daily baptism in death to sin, born again, in one Spirit of holiness and love in Jesus

(Copied here from www.SpiritualChristianUnity.org )

No Christian faith group teaches the need to be baptized with water every day, but we all hear Jesus call us to each take up our own cross, and spiritually follow Him daily in His baptism in death: to die to ourselves and to sin, die every day to our lusts for the things of this world, and be raised with Him daily to walk in newness of spirit.

“Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” (Lu 9:22-25 AV)

“saying, "The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." Then he said to them all, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?” (Lu 9:22-25 NRSV)

We believers are to, by and through the Spirit, constantly mortify and put to death the sinful deeds of the body, emerging from that baptism in death to sin and self, daily baptized into life in His Spirit, who leads all the children of God.

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Ro 8:13-14 AV)

"for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God." (Ro 8:13-14 NRSV)

"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:" (Col 3:5-6 AV)

"Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient." (Col 3:5-6 NRSV)

As believers in Christ, we are all called every day to die to the flesh, and arise alive in the Spirit, with our minds constantly renewed and fixed on the things of the Spirit of Christ who is in us all.  Though the body is dead because of sin, we spiritually walk daily in newness of life, in the same, one Spirit who is life because of righteousness.

“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Ro 8:5-10 AV)

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Ro 8:5-10 NRSV)

That's the daily baptism in death to sin to which Jesus calls all believers to join with Him.  If you’re not a believer already, that’s not all you need to learn about baptism, but it’s where you need to start.  Faith in what Jesus did on the cross to give us a way out of sin is where we all started, and that’s all we’re trying to show here. You can go to church to learn more about baptism. We’re just trying to help you here get started believing in Jesus, not finish the job.

If you're not a believer yet, then our mission here to you, is our mission in ourselves as believers, and God's mission in us all: we're trying here to help you start believing in the Jesus who died, and now lives again, living right now in all power and authority in heaven and on earth, in order to give us all to be spiritually born again through His eternal word, the gospel, into an eternal, personal relationship with Jesus, and with all who believe in His name for remission of our sins in repentance; born again into His one Spirit, who is both the Spirit of holiness, and also the Spirit of fervent brotherly love; love together eternally as equal sisters and brothers in Christ, for all who find holiness in the gospel, good news of Jesus.

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." (1Pe 1:13-16 AV)

"Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."" (1Pe 1:13-16 NRSV) 

"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." (1Pe 1:22-25 AV)

"Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. For "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever." That word is the good news that was announced to you." (1Pe 1:22-25 NRSV)

 

 

Our daily baptism is in death to sins against holiness or against love for all believers

Daily born again in holiness, forgiveness and mutual love for all believers in Christ

(Copied here from www.SpiritualChristianUnity.org )

He calls us all, both believers and those trying to believe, to come as one together in and into the body of Christ, therein to undergo daily baptism in death to our sinful lusts of the flesh, including death to our former lusts which caused wars, fightings, conflicts, and disputes among the various Christian faith groups. Together here in Christ, we die daily to all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander of believers who happen to be in a Christian denomination or group other than our own.

We spiritually come together here setting all our hope on the grace soon to be revealed in Christ Jesus, as obedient children called by our Father to be holy, newly born again with hearts purified in repentance, and all obeying the truth so that we have genuine mutual love for one another in the body of Christ, seeking as the younger to serve all the others.  We come in service to the whole household of God, to be built together as one on the living, Chief Cornerstone, as lively stones in His spiritual house; a house where whoever believes in Him will not be ashamed to stand, serving one another there as a holy priesthood to one another, and offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

"Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded." (1Pe 2:1-6 AV)

"Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: "See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."" (1Pe 2:1-6 NRSV)

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (Jas 4:1 AV)

"Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you?" (Jas 4:1 NRSV)

"And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." (Lu 22:24-26 AV)

"A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves." (Lu 22:24-26 NRSV)

With this spiritual unity in brotherly love and holiness together in Jesus as our basis, we will allow no post here that calls into question any teaching regarding additional requirements for salvation and eternal life, one way or the other, or calls into question any other doctrine or teaching, of any Christian group.  We leave the teaching of all other doctrine for the denominations, non-denominations, churches, ecclesial communities, and congregations of Christians everywhere to believe and teach as they feel led by the Lord, allowing each to worship in the manner they judge correct, and to which each person is fully persuaded and convinced in his or her own mind.

“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5 AV)

“Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds.” (Romans 14:5 NRSV)

We only seek agreement here in that gospel, good news in which all Christians already agree, which is that our salvation and eternal life are shared together in common by us all in Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and Him risen, and Him living both in heaven, and as one Spirit in the love, forgiveness, and repentance in the hearts of all Christians, and us in Him.

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 AV)

“Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NRSV)

 

In this Christian unity, we believers come as one, "to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant,

and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." (Heb 12:24 NIV)

 

The foregoing three separately subtitled quotations stated above, as copied from the referenced Spiritual Christian Unity Worldwide Prayer Group website, show some of the scriptural commonalities that a Catholic priest and a Protestant layman (myself) believe we Christians already share and hold in a common understanding, enabling us to pray together for spiritual Christian unity by walking in love and mutual forgiveness for all repentant believers, showing the world our agreement together in the holiness God gives us all equally by His grace in His self-sacrificial love for all believers.

"5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." (2Jo 1:5-6 NIV)

In one of the great joys of my life, I worked with the referenced priest for many months on this goal for Christian unity, during which time neither one of us ever once tried to correct the other's Biblical beliefs or doctrines. It was never our job to correct one another's beliefs, but rather to find scriptures that show our oneness in the Spirit of Jesus, that the world may believe with us that Christ offers forgiveness for all the sins of the world.

Our purpose in that Prayer Group, as well as my purpose in this document, is only to encourage and support the spiritual Christian unity of all believers in the one Spirit of Christ in order to enable all us believers to pray together for it with faith that God gives us the miracle of spiritual Christian unity now. Whether or not that spiritual Christian unity ever leads to other kinds of union between separated Christian churches is left wholly for God to decide and for the Holy Spirit in us to lead, and is not otherwise addressed either in that prayer group or in this document.

Nothing in this document is in any way intended to hinder or put a stumbling block in the way of any two or more separated churches from finding and agreeing to unite in ways other than spiritual Christian unity, as long as it is consistent with the holiness and love of Christ for all believers, and both sides are mutually agreed to unite in any such way as they may all see fit. Whether such union of Christian faith groups in agreement is deemed by the participating groups to be ecclesiastical, organic, organizational, structural, or corporate, or however they mutually regard it to be, any increase in Christian unity would be good for them to show the world their agreement in, and would not be a matter for those of any outside Christian faith group, which is not involved in such unity, to impede in any way.

We believers should never consider it our job to dictate correction specifically to the beliefs, doctrines, or official teachings of those who are either members in, or among the leadership of, any other Christian faith group outside our own, as long as their doctrines or teachings do not conflict with the fact that God freely gives His holiness by God's grace to all who have faith in Jesus for the remission of our sins in repentance, and that we believers are all commanded to love one another believers as Christ loves us.

In seeking our sisters and brothers in Christ with whom to unite as opposed to identifying false or deceptive persons to avoid, God gives us each to choose to believe Jesus completely when He says, "By their fruit you will recognise them". By these words of Jesus, if we see that the fruit of the Spirit is there in holiness and love for all believers, then we can regard them as are our brothers and sisters in Christ already, whose worship of our Lord in doctrinal differences, such as the specifics of water baptism, we are not given to judge or correct.

Jesus says we are to simply look for the fruit of the Spirit as referenced repeatedly here in this document, the same fruit where the apostle Paul tells us we can see the actions and attitudes that typify holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers in Jesus, in order to identify all whom we are to most happily receive as our sisters and brothers in Christ.

Seeing the holiness and love of all believers as fruits of the Spirit Jesus said to look for, we know we can forgive those in other Christian faith groups for what we believe may be their doctrinal errors; and we can thus, as the Holy Spirit leads us, choose to forgo any judgment regarding their beliefs, doctrines, or teachings that they believe they offer as the best worship to our Lord Jesus.

This is the same holiness and love for all believers that the apostle John said the children of God always do, and anyone who does not do, we can know are children of the devil.

"10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. 11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous." (1Jo 3:10-12 NIV)

So what righteous action of Abel did Cain murder him for?

Abel's righteous action for which Cain hated him, to the point of Cain murdering his own brother, was Abel's righteous act of faith in worship: Cain hated Abel because Abel simply thought in his own heart he was offering the best worship he could think of to God.  That thought that Abel had is exactly the offering in the righteousness of faith God wanted to receive from the hearts of both Abel and Cain so they would be equally in right-standing with God.

Abel gave God his best by offering a sacrifice to God of the best fruit of Abel's own work as a shepherd, namely the fat portions of the first-born of Abel's flock.

"But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favour on Abel and his offering," (Ge 4:4 NIV)

Abel had faith it would be viewed by God with favor simply because Abel looked into his own heart and believed it was the best Able had to offer.

By contrast, the Bible doesn't say specifically just what "some of the fruits of the soil" it was that Cain sacrificed as his own worship offering to God.

"In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD." (Ge 4:3 NIV)

But whatever fruit of the soil it was, the New Testament book of Hebrews makes it clear that unlike Abel, Cain had no faith he was offering God the best worship Cain had to give.
"but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast." (Ge 4:5 NIV)

"By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead." (Heb 11:4 NIV)

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Heb 11:6 NIV)

God makes it clear in Genesis that instead of Cain being angry at both Abel and God, Cain just needed to do the right thing, which in this case would be simply offering to God the best worship Cain has to give, so Cain would be right in his heart with God.

"6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."" (Ge 4:6-7 NIV)

But instead of Cain focusing on his own heart, and his need to have faith in his own offering to God, Cain chose rather to sin against his brother to the point of murdering him, simply because Cain did not want to offer God a sacrifice that would be considered by God as being equal with Abel's offering, only just as righteous, and just as accepted with God as Abel's worship offering was.

How many times and how many ways have we believers in Christ been angry, like Cain was, against our brothers and sisters in some other Christian faith group for the worship they offer to God that is different from our own? How often have we tried to show the world how foolish those other believers are for not uniting with us in our form of worship of God?

Jesus compared this to murder in Matthew, Chapter 5 by saying that simply being angry with another brother or sister in Christ makes us subject to judgment, and calling another believer a fool puts us in danger of being consumed in the fire of hell as much as murder will. Note that when Jesus speaks here, shown below, of "anyone who is angry with his brother" in verse 22, along with the references to a "brother" in verses 23 and 24, Jesus uses the Greek word for a brother or sister (adelphos), which refers here to any fellow disciple, whether man or woman, which would include any believer, of any Christian denomination or faith group.

Notice that Jesus says here we believers shouldn't try to offer our own gift of worship at the altar of God until we have first reconciled with our brother in Christ whom we have offended. Jesus also says we should quit treating one another believers as our legal adversaries before God but rather settle their grievance against us quickly in this life so we won't have to pay the full price of offences against brethren in Christ when God judges us all.

"21 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' Will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 25 "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny." (Mt 5:21-26 NIV)

Similarly, Paul reminds us in Romans not to judge other believers as our inferiors because God's judgment seat is waiting for us all.

"10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 11 It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling-block or obstacle in your brother's way." (Ro 14:10-13 NIV)

Unlike Cain, we can never set ourselves up as judge of the worship that other brothers and sisters in Christ offer in Christian faith groups outside our own. We've got to realize God doesn't judge our worship as a man does. God judges our hearts in the value of our faith in knowing in our own hearts that we've each offered Him the best worship we know how.

It's the spirit inside of us that bears the outward fruit from our hearts God is interested in. He wants to know that we offer to Him and to the world, fruit grown from the eternal, one Spirit of love and holiness He, Himself, has given us to live in our hearts.

"23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth."" (Joh 4:23-24 NIV)

God never had the remotest intention of eating the physical fruit or fat meat portions offered by Cain or Abel, about which He could care less. But like the worship in faith God wanted from both Cain and Abel, He wants from us believers today only our best love, to know that in each of our own minds we offer our worship to God having full faith in each, our own hearts, that it is the best worship we can conceive of, offered with the most love we have to give Him back, even though it's only an infinitesimally small fraction of His love for us.

If we believers each, in our separate Christian faith groups, find what worship we each have faith for, and are convinced in our own minds is the best worship to God we can offer, then who are we to judge the faith of our Lord's servant in some Christian faith group other than our own, about the worship that they are fully convinced is the best they can offer to God?

"4 Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." (Ro 14:4-5 NIV)

Does each of us consider our own Christian denomination or Christian faith group to be the best church, offering the best worship we can think of to God?

Of course we do! That's the worship God wants us to offer Him from our hearts, the very best worship we each separately believe we have to offer Him!

God wouldn't have it any other way, and neither should we, both within our own Christian faith group and also in Christian faith groups outside our own, as long as each is fully persuaded to offer their worship in faith of Christ, to the glory of His one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers in Jesus. Unlike Cain, we don't hate our brother for having faith in his worship that is different from our worship, but we keep our hearts focused on looking only to our own faith for our own worship.

This really is the heart of the dichotomy in the issue of Christian unity:

    1) the fact that we each must worship God with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul in our own Christian faith group, where "Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind", convinced that we each offer the best worship in love to God we can give Him; and yet,

    2) the fact that we also must each love and forgive one another believers, all, in all other Christian faith groups outside our own, as Christ loved us, forgiving us while we were yet in our sins, and loving us with His life laid down for us all.

So instead of hating our brethren in separate Christian faith groups for having faith in their own worship like Cain hated his brother, Abel, for having faith in his own worship, instead we love and forgive one another brothers and sisters in Christ who are in Christian faith groups outside our own just as the Lord loved and forgave us all. Thus we rejoice together with them all, spiritually together as one in Christ's one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers.

 

We love and forgive one another believers as the Lord loved and forgave us all.

"12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." (Col 3:12-15 NIV)

This is the spiritual unity in Christ's holiness, love, and forgiveness for all believers, that God gives us, all, every legal right in the law of God to unite in, rejoicing together starting now in this life, in the joy of what I believe is the same unity that has been called by many Protestants, of most every kind, our "unity in diversity", and what Pope Francis has also rightly called our "reconciled diversity" and our "unity without uniformity".

This is the same spiritual unity in Jesus of all believers that the evangelicals such as members of the Southern Baptist Convention, other Baptists, and many, many other evangelical faith groups have always taught. The SBC has also recently acknowledged the membership of our Baptist charismatic brothers and sisters in Christ who speak in tongues.

 

Some of our charismatic brothers and sisters in Christ such as the Pentecostal churches and Assemblies of God, as well as other charismatic Christian faith groups, have long agreed in the spiritual unity of all believers in Christ, and have especially taught that the kind of love and spiritual Christian unity the first believers had for one another at Pentecost was the primary reason the Holy Spirit came on them with power then, and is still available to all us believers today, which is exactly the point of this whole document.

Whether Pentecostal or evangelical, charismatic or other Protestant, or Catholic, or Orthodox, the common thing we believers share in all our various doctrines about baptism, or justification, and any other such issue on which we believers don't exactly agree with one another, is that all our differences have been determined by each of our separated Christian denominations and faith groups with the full intent of our hearts to offer to God the very best worship we can think of. 

 

God sees that faith in the hearts of every one of us, and it is that faith in our hearts on which God looks with favor in our various offerings of worship to Him.

No matter what doctrinal differences in the worship we believers each offer in our love to God in our separate Christian faith groups, our love for God is infinitely smaller than His love for us believers. But God wants us to come to Him in faith that we each give our love in our worship to Him with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul, in the greatest way possible for any one to love any friend of Jesus who obeys the commands of Jesus as per God's plan for all believers: loving with our lives laid down for all the brethren, in love and forgiveness for all believers, as Jesus loved and forgave us all.

 

By this self-sacrificial love for all repentant believers we know we do what pleases God and He gives us whatever we pray for.

“And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1Jo 4:21 NIV)

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1Jo 3:16 NIV)

“9 ¶ "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:9-14 NIV)

“23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."” (Mr 11:23-25 NIV)

“21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 ¶ And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1Jo 3:21-24 NIV)

 

 

WWJD? - What would Jesus do to make believers out of the world?

He'd lay His life down for them and look for the fruit of that same Spirit of self-sacrificial love for one another to be living in all believers

 

As an example of those who sometimes call themselves Christian but do not love all believers, you can see this opposite-of-love attitude at work in the formal teaching of sects who say that only their faith group is saved at all, such as Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses. All of us believers not in their sect are out, and they say they alone are in Christ. 

 

We do not reject them from believing with us.  They reject us already. We do not have to regard their lack of love for all believers as being any true fruit of the Spirit, if they actually believe those formal teachings and thus deny the Holy Spirit we know to be in others.

 

We believers don't hate anyone, and we certainly don't hate such sectarians, some of whom live with good moral standards, but we can't accept people as if they are brethren in Christ who reject other believers.  By doing so, such sectarians force us to choose, and we must choose believers who love all other believers as our sisters and brothers in Christ.

 

Christ made that choice for us a long time ago when He laid His life down for them all and commanded us so.

“If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1Jo 4:20-21 NIV)
 

Instead we can love those sectarians as neighbors in the world, neighbors who happen to believe in a man they say was named 'Jesus', whom they pointedly tell us we don't know and doesn't know us as his. In that we can agree with them: their Jesus is not anything like ours in very important ways, they serve a different God than ours, like lots of other neighbors we have in the world, with all of whom we try to live in peace. 

 

The best thing we can do for them as neighbors is do like Paul was explaining in detail in Galations Chapter 5, make sure they can see from their self-imposed viewpoint of exclusion from us, on the outside looking in at us believers, what our Christian unity in holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers looks like in those who are truly "led by the Spirit' and "who belong to Christ Jesus".

“By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (Mt 7:16 NIV)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Ga 5:22-23 NIV)
“And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1Jo 4:21 NIV)

 

Those referenced sectarians are wrong to say they are saved and we are not, and though they may not say that outright in their TV commercials or handouts, at least they are otherwise generally forthright and unequivocal in teaching plainly that they reject us and set themselves apart from all us believers in Christ who are not in their sect.  They don't hide among us and try to divide us from within so they can get us away from the One Shepherd and then devour us like wolves. 

 

Jesus says there will be false prophets among us believers that are like that. A false prophet is anyone who claims to bring a message from God that would lead us away from being all together spiritually in the one flock of Jesus.    

 

They will claim to be Christians like all believers, while seeking only to divide us further into following false prophets who want to lead us away from uniting in Jesus for their own selfish ends, which means they will fight against anything that appears to be unity in the One Shepherd, uniting in His holiness, and His love for all believers, including believers in all Christian denominations and faith groups.

 

Jesus says we have to be especially careful of these, but He says there is a simple way we can spot them. 

 

Jesus said we are to use the "fruit" a person produces as a certain indication of what sort of spirit is inside of them producing that fruit. We can use the fruit to know one from the other, whether holy and loving brethren in the Spirit of Christ are among us, or wolves in sheep's clothing hiding among us who would destroy us.

 

A wolf always goes after stragglers and the weak, or lost lambs that have strayed away, so he hides in the darkness and looks to get them away from oneness in the self-sacrificial love of the Good Shepherd, who would otherwise not let the wolf harm the sheep.  If the wolf can get a sheep away from being one in the Good Shepherd's self-sacrificial love for all believers, they are dead meat.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (Joh 10:10-11 NIV)

Jesus said that the fruit born on the outside where we can see it, the fruit of whatever spirit is inside the person, is our only means of positive identification that is valid for use in recognizing false prophets.  Those hiding wolves are the ones who would lead us away from obeying Jesus' command to follow Him as one, as opposed to true believers who live and love among us as fellow sheep in His one flock, who hear and follow together the voice of the One Shepherd commanding us to unite in Himself.  So even though we can't see inside hearts, Jesus says we have nothing to fear from wolves, because the fruit makes it obvious what's inside the heart.

 

Jesus said to look carefully at that fruit they produce from their spirit in order to recognise them, whether bad fruit or good, which is comparable to when Paul listed the details that are typical of both kinds of fruit, both bad and good, in those acts and behaviors of relationships among believers one to another, as quoted earlier in Galations (Ga 5:18-26 & 22-26 NIV).  Just as Jesus said we could know them by their fruits, Paul similarly said those sins that are typical of our former sinful nature are "obvious", including obvious sins against holiness, as well as obvious sins against loving our brothers in Christ.

 

There are several other such lists in the New Testament of typical sins to avoid, all of which lists are also valid, and all of which agree with the types of sins in Paul's letter to the Galatians.

 

So to recognize false prophets by their fruits as Jesus said, look for fruits that are shown in the Bible as typical, like the kind that Paul listed specifically that are the opposite of fruits of the Spirit of God, including "hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy", and sins including being "conceited, provoking and envying each other", all with the result that "those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God". 

 

Notice again the good fruit is grown by the Spirit in those who belong to Christ because of their self-sacrificial crucifixion of their own, former sinful nature, which Jesus said we need to do every day if we choose to follow Him.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Ga 5:22-26 NIV)

"Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." (Lu 9:23-24 NIV)
“"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.” (Mt 7:15-20 NIV)

Jesus said we must certainly judge the bad "fruit" from the good to avoid false prophets among us who would divide us believers further from one another, and mislead us away from unity in Jesus.  But the Bible also makes it clear we're not here to judge the Spirit of any believer as to their worthiness relative to us as servants of God.

“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Ro 14:4 NIV)
“You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: "‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’" So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling-block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” (Ro 14:10-13 NIV)

So if the Holy Spirit whom God sends to live within us in Jesus' name bears only the good "fruit of the Spirit", how could we possibly describe seeking that Spirit without seeking His perfect holiness and His self-sacrificial love for all believers? Jesus spoke of His Spirit all the time, He spoke of it in His new commandment, and He spoke of it in His prayer for Christian unity, because getting His Spirit of holiness and love for all believers, into all us believers, was the constant, central motivation of His life on earth, and the purpose for everything Jesus was sent by the Father to do and say in the world. 

 

God's perfect holiness and self-sacrificial love for all who will believe it in Jesus, is the Holy Spirit sent to live in us believers, in the name of Jesus.

 

Jesus says God is a spirit, and the apostle John says God is love.  God has a lot of things, like power, majesty, and glory, but the Spirit of love is not just what God has, but what God is.  God is the Spirit who is love, and Holy is His name.

 

The only way we know what kind of love the Spirit of God is, is by looking at the perfect, sinless, holy life of Jesus, and seeing Him go to the cross filled with God's Spirit of self-sacrificial love because of Jesus' obedience to the command to Him coming from the self-sacrificial Spirit of love in the Father, so that Jesus could then be resurrected to life again by the Father's love for Him for His obedience to the Father's command in laying down His perfect life to pay for our sins, and be given all power in heaven and earth, giving us believers eternal life in Him. 

 

We believers are supposed to look at the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and see the perfect holiness of God there on the cross in the self-sacrificial love of God for all who will believe it so.

 

Do we believers want the world to believe it so, too? Do we really see the Spirit of God's perfect holiness and self-sacrificial love in Jesus on the cross? 

“Jesus answered: "Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (Joh 14:9 NIV)

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2Co 5:18-19 NIV)

The only way a God, who is love, could send His Son through such a horrible death in the world is because He must have staggering, overwhelming, self-sacrificial love for all who would believe it so, which is why the Father commanded Jesus to let evil men kill Him that way, and why Jesus commanded us to love all who would believe it so, with a love like Jesus had for them all, with our own lives laid down for them all, the same way He did. 

 

This is all done by God's Holy Spirit of self-sacrificial love that is in God, and that is now in us believers who believe it so in Jesus' name and thus obey the command of Jesus to lay down our own lives for all believers, so the world will know they, too, can have eternal life in that love simply by believing it so, as seen in the self-sacrificial love of God that Jesus was sent to the world to show. 

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (Joh 17:3 NIV)

“"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Joh 3:16 NIV)


 

Old law greatest command = Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength

New Command fulfills old greatest command = Love God: obey command for greatest, self-sacrificial love for all believers we know of - only in Jesus

 

We believers need to look at ourselves and make sure we don't fall into the same kind of destructive thinking against Christian unity of all believers as some of the sectarians do.  If we, ourselves, have failed to love all believers self-sacrificially, of every Christian denomination and faith group, and most of us believers have done just that in one way or another in the past, then we have failed to love God fully as He commanded us to. This is exactly the kind of thing Jesus was praying about for Christian unity when He spoke of our need to "be brought to complete unity" so the world may believe. 

 

Jesus and the apostle John both made it clear that the world won't see the love of God in Jesus unless they see the love of all believers in us for one another. Jesus further makes it clear that to love Jesus as being God in man on earth, always means obeying Jesus by loving all believers self-sacrificially, loving them all with our lives laid down for them, as Jesus did.  Our self-sacrifice is in the vast majority of cases spiritual, not physical like Jesus' was, but it is commanded to us by Jesus, Himself, and is critical to being led by the Spirit He gives us in His name as we live our lives in this world, while not of it.

 

Jesus showed us the greatest love we believers can have, and should have, when He laid down His life for all of us believers. We prove to Jesus we return  His greatest love for us believers if we obey His command to love all believers the same way He has, with love great enough to lay down our own lives for all other believers as He did.

"And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1Jo 4:21 NIV)

“If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” (1Jo 4:20 NIV)
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me..."” (Joh 14:21 NIV)

“"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (Joh 13:34 NIV)

 

The new command of Jesus fulfills God's first most important command of the law by commanding us believers to love all other believers with the greatest love we can, by each of us believers laying down our own life for all other believers, as Jesus loved us. 

 

This level of love is our obedience to Jesus which shows we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength by loving all believers with the greatest love we know of, which we see only in Jesus, including self-sacrificial love for all believers in every Christian denomination and group.

 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:12-14 NIV)
“"If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (Joh 14:15 NIV)

“"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mr 12:29-30 NIV)

So love and holiness are both part of the two most important commands of our obedience to God, and self-sacrificial love for all believers, in particular, is the new command specifically given by Jesus as part of the first most important command of the old law, to love God.  Those two key facets of the Spirit of God in Jesus, both His holiness and His love for all believers, are given to us believers in Jesus to unite in by God's stunning grace which we cannot earn.

 

Christ's holiness credited to all believers and Christ's love for all believers are both freely given to us, without our deserving either one, which we receive only by God's loving grace which the apostle John said makes us desire to please God by responding with our love to God by being obedient to His commandments to seek to live united in holiness and in love for all believers. 

 

In these verses from 1 John, notice the holiness that we are credited with because we believe in the name of Jesus to atone for our sins so that we will not sin, but learn to repent of them; and also notice the love of all believers in these verses.  Also notice that because we obey and want to do what pleases Him, God gives us whatever we ask if we keep His commandments to believe in Jesus to atone for our sins and love one another believers as He loved us, which He commanded.
“1 ¶ My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 ¶ We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.” (1Jo 2:1-3 NIV)
“18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 ¶ whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 ¶ And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” (1Jo 3:18-23 NIV)
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1Jo 3:16 NIV)

 

 

So why did the apostle John say we "ought" to lay down our lives for our brothers, not 'must'?

And how did Jesus command it?
 

When the apostle John said we "ought" to lay down our lives for our brothers he used a word that Strong's Concordance says means, "to owe
1a) to owe money, be in debt for
1a1) that which is due, the debt
2) metaph. the goodwill due"

There is a completely separate word that John did not use here, a word that is a synonym for "ought", but has a much stronger meaning, much closer to 'must', that means, "a necessity of law and command, of duty, equity
1e) necessity established by the counsel and decree of God, especially by that purpose of his which relates to the salvation of men by the intervention of Christ and which is disclosed in the Old Testament prophecies
1e1) concerning what Christ was destined finally to undergo, his sufferings, death, resurrection, ascension

 

But John did not use that stronger synonym for 'ought' that means 'must' when John referred to laying down our lives for all believers because this part of the command to love all our brothers in Christ, the part about self-sacrificial love for all believers, is an option in matter of degree we choose to love, not a matter of our salvation.

 

Of course we must love our brother in Christ some.  If we hate our brother in Christ, or don't love all believers in other Christian denominations at all, then we don't love God at all, and that truly is a matter of not being saved at all.

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1Jo 4:8 NIV)

“20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1Jo 4:20-21 NIV)
 

To lay down our lives for all believers is a matter of loving in greater degree that does not involve our salvation, but something John says we "ought" to do.  It's the debt or goodwill we owe Jesus for what He did for us, which we can in no way pay back or ever deserve; in a very real sense, it's the least we can do. 

 

We can never pay Jesus back for His astounding grace in humbling Himself, laying down His power in heaven to come here and die for us, but we can at least love our brother in Christ whom we have seen, as a small token of our love for God, whom we have not seen, in return for His love in giving us Jesus, so Jesus could give Himself for us all.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1Jo 3:16 NIV)

 

So why did Jesus say it both ways?

 

One time He said we must love all believers as He loved us, without giving us a specific example of how He loved us.

“34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."” (Joh 13:34-35 NIV)
 

Another time He said we would be His friends if we love all believers as He loved us, and this time, He does give us a specific example of how He loved us: with His life laid down for all believers.   
“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:12-14 NIV)

 

He didn't exactly say it was Himself, specifically, to lay down His life for His friends, because He hadn't done it yet.  But now we believers are supposed to know He has, so the real question we should ask ourselves is this.  How can some Christians today still fail to see He's speaking of Himself, how He loved, to show how we should love each other the same way as He has loved all us believers?

 

 

Love doesn't need a command, love wants to please

Love wills to do God's will, wants to love the way Jesus loves

 

Jesus said it two different ways because He want us to choose our level of love we want to have for God.  It's the same reason He says "if you love one another", and "if you do what I command".

 

Is it a command or a choice?  If you know it's God's will for you to love all believers according to the new command of Jesus, but you choose not to love all believers at all, then you die without God.  But do you have to effectively lay down your life for all believers or not?

 

The answer is in what Jesus said about it. Love is willing to do God's will.  Love wants to love the greatest way Jesus showed us a person can love.

 

It’s a command we can only obey if we love God enough to want to do it, not because He forces each of us to lay down our life for them all or anyone takes our life from us, but we lay our life down of our own free will, given with thankfulness and love for our dear Father, wanting to return to God His immeasurable, eternal, unmerited love for all us believers He gave us in Jesus with the very best we can give Him back. 

 

Laying down our life for all believers as Jesus did is a command coming from God, but when it is love coming back from man, our love for God wills it to be so as God wills it, loving with our life laid down for all believers of our own accord, like the loving Son, Jesus did.

“17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life— only to take it up again. 18 No-one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."” (Joh 10:17-18 NIV)
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."” (Mt 26:39 NIV)
“So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.” (Mt 26:44 NIV)

 

No matter how hard it is, God wants us to choose to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, in the greatest way possible, which Jesus said is to lay down our lives for all believers like He did.  And for a lot of us believers, loving all other believers in every Christian denomination and Christian faith group will be the hardest thing we ever did.  It's part of how we define the love of God in our own hearts, and in the hearts and minds of every believer in our own Christian faith group.

“Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (Joh 15:13 NIV)

 

For a lot of us believers, Christian unity will mean humbling ourselves in things that have given all of us in our own, particular Christian faith group, a spiritual pride over all other believers outside our own faith group for a long time in the past.  And letting go of that pride will take a lot of prayer and strength that only the Holy Spirit in us can give us in order to make known to us all the believers in other Christian denominations and faith groups that belong to the Father, and that Jesus truly calls "mine".

 “13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” (Joh 16:13-15 NIV)
“All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.” (Joh 17:10 NIV)
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:” (Joh 17:22 NIV)

Jesus wants us to choose to love all believers in all Christian denominations and faith groups like He loved them all, with our lives laid down for them all, in the greatest way Jesus showed possible. 

 

So He calls us friends for obeying His command to love all believers with self-sacrificial love, which makes us friends who know the Father's plan to bear fruit of His one, eternal Spirit of holiness and love that lasts into eternity, so the Father can now give us in this life whatever we ask in the name of Jesus, to make us one in His one,  eternal Spirit of holiness and love for all believers.
“15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.” (Joh 15:15-17 NIV)

 

If we choose to lovingly lay down our lives in love for all believers as He wills, as God's obedient, loving children would; and if we ask for the fullness of the Holy Spirit to be given to us in the name of the Spirit of holiness and love for all the children of God, which is the Spirit Jesus was dying to give all of God's children, how much more Holy Spirit could we possibly know He will give us? 

 

He will give us all the Holy Spirit Jesus had; given to us in His same fullness so we can work greater miracles to glorify God in the Son now risen in all power in heaven and earth.

“"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.” (Joh 17:13 NIV)
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (Joh 16:24 NIV)

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"” (Lu 11:13 NIV)

“12 ¶ I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:12-14 NIV)

 

Why we used to not see with our own eyes miracles like those Jesus did as a man:

We needed holiness and love for all believers,

And needed faith that having both pleased God

Those scriptures in 1 John 3:18-23 quoted earlier mean that we can set our hearts at rest in God's presence as we pray before God having the sure and certain confidence we will receive what we ask because we believe on the name of God's Son, Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of our sins in repentance, and love one another, as He gave us commandment. 

“18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 ¶ whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 ¶ And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” (1Jo 3:18-23 NIV)

 

That would really be one of our greatest possible joys, wouldn't if, if we could really believe it?  John says that that confidence we receive what we pray for is produced in our hearts as the result of our loving response to God's grace to all believers in giving us Jesus when we obey Him in our love to do what pleases Him.

 

That joy of receiving anything we ask because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him comes from being in God's presence, not just by being somewhere around God, but by the very presence of the Holy Spirit actually living in us, sent to us in the name of Jesus, leading each of us into all truth which is in Jesus, into God's perfect holiness and the love of God for all believers we see only in Jesus, for believers in every Christian denomination and faith group.

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (Joh 16:13 NIV)

We believers all know this should be believable to us because we know God's grace gives us our salvation in Jesus, in His life, and death, and resurrection, given for all believers to unite in believing.  God's grace in His love causes us to respond by choosing obedience to His commands to us, to seek holiness in our own lives, the way Jesus lived without sin, and to have brotherly love for all believers in our own hearts, the way Jesus did, and the way God did in Jesus as a man on this earth. 

 

But in the past, in some very important ways, most all of us believers had yet to fully obey Jesus.

 

Those scriptures quoted above in 1 John say that the combination of our obedience to believe what God's Son did for us all to give us forgiveness of our sins in repentance, along with our obedience to have love for all who so believe, gives us the confidence that means we receive anything we ask of God. 

 

Yet without Christian unity that includes both of those characteristics of God we see in Christ, without both Christian unity in Christ's gift to us of being credited with the holiness in the life Jesus lived on this earth, as well as Christian unity in loving all believers with the kind of love for all believers Jesus lived throughout His whole life on this earth, without both of those, few if any of us believers can honestly claim that God shows that we do in fact receive all we ask Him in prayer; and without both of those, not one of us believers can prove any of us works greater miracles than Jesus, even though Jesus plainly said anyone would if we have faith in Him.
““12 ¶ I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. 15 ¶ "If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (Joh 14:12-15 NIV)


By saying "I tell you the truth", Jesus stressed it's actually true, meaning we need to try hard to really believe it. He knew we'd have trouble believing it. Yet too many of us believers still don't believe it, for a variety of reasons.

 

 

Some of us failed to be holy

 

Some of us believers know in our hearts that we fail the holiness command.  Some of us fall away from repentance, continue to sin either in public, or in secret while putting up the outward appearance of repentance.  Some of us believers, having tried to repent and failed, often many times in the past, just give up on our own repentance and simply decide to go along with the world as it waxes more and more evil in worldly sins like greed and sexual immorality, etc.

 

Some congregations and some whole Christian denominations have in some ways effectively given up the same way.  Some Christian faith groups sin by officially and formally declaring various forms of immoral behavior are no longer a sin, such as, for one currently prominent example, sex acts outside of marriage that is only between a man and a woman.  In so doing, these brethren in Christ wrongly choose to deny repentance and remission of sins that Jesus commands, and replace it with non-repentance and redefinition of sins, so the world will like it. 

 

They need to remember that no matter what man's law says, we believers still have to avoid going the way of the world instead of God's way.  God doesn't need man's laws to enforce His laws.  Even if man's laws change, God's laws still remain to be obeyed by us believers, and God will be with us believers in defying any laws of man that seek to oppose His.

 

In this case of believers beginning to turn back to sin or approve of sin without repentance, whether one believer or many, if a brother or sister in Christ sins, we try to help restore them gently in our brotherly and sisterly love for all believers in Christ, not to condemn, as we look for sin inside ourselves and pray for all such mistaken brothers and sisters to realize their sins and repent, like we all need to do in own lives.
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Ga 6:1 NIV)

 

Though we forgive and seek to gently restore such brethren who have fallen back into sin, holiness is a command not an option. Jesus commands us to have faith in His name for what He did on the cross and in His resurrection for us all in order for us to walk and live in His loving grace to us in the free gift of forgiveness of our sins in repentance.

"46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." (Lu 24:46-47 NIV)


Believing in Jesus as the Christ who suffered and rose from the dead to give us repentance and forgiveness of sins, along with our obedience to have love for all who so believe, are two essentials of obedience to give us the confidence that means we receive anything we ask of God, as stated in those scriptures shown here earlier in 1 John, and to know that we are given to work greater miracles than Jesus did as a man, anything we ask in His name, as shown earlier in John 14. 

 

The apostle Paul defined that message of Christ's death and resurrection by which God's grace gives the free gift to us of forgiveness of our sins in repentance as being the "gospel", good news message that is taught first and foremost to all believers.  Paul says if we remember that gospel message, it proves that our salvation is true and we haven't believed in vain. Contrary to what some say, the gospel is not a complete interpretation of all the other, lesser doctrines in the Bible such that they all must be first understood in order to begin to be believers in Jesus.

 

It is of first importance to our eternal salvation that Christ died for our sins and was raised to life again, so we believers know we are given to choose to spiritually die to our sins, and be raised to new life in Jesus, in whom is God's grace in His love for the world.

"1 ¶ Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,ť" (1Co 15:1-4 NIV)

 

 

Some of us failed to love all believers

 

On the other hand, some of us believers correctly manage to repent and seek to live our lives in the holiness of Jesus as commanded, but even when doing a good job seeking to live in holiness, we often fall short of obeying Jesus' command to love all believers with our lives laid down for them because some of us fail to include all believers outside of our own Christian denomination or faith group.

 

To some extent, most all of us believers have fallen into this error of thinking, at one time or another, to one extent or another, that our own Christian faith group's doctrine puts us above other believers.

 

Such a holiness-focused Christian faith group may behave in some moral and holy ways that are much to be admired.  Yet for some such groups, holiness is stressed without the teaching of self-sacrificial love that includes all repentant believers as brethren in Christ regardless of Christian denomination or faith group.  Such Christian faith groups tend to define a holiness only they have, because of some doctrine that they believe only they correctly understand, a doctrine beyond the blood and resurrection of Christ. 

 

They love anyone, as an equal brother or sister in Christ, but only provided they will agree with their faith group in some interpretation of other, lesser important doctrines than Christ's death and resurrection for our sins to give us eternal life. Such Christian faith groups who define a holiness only their Christian faith group can have that is denied to other believers, thus trade away equality in the holiness of Jesus that Jesus gives us all by His grace which none of us has earned, and instead they get to keep and enjoy their pride in their own special knowledge of their own holiness, just like the Pharisees did.

 

 

Some of us just had no faith Christian unity in holiness and love pleased God enough to have confidence to believe for miracles

 

Of course one huge reason for why most all of us believers don't believe we get anything we ask in Jesus' name, and the biggest reason we don't, by faith, work greater miracles than Jesus did, is because we haven't seen it with our own eyes happening in the past. If that's the case, that's our fault, not His. Some of us believers will never believe in the certain promise of miracles in Jesus' name today, or in miracles today greater than Jesus did when He was a man, until God shows us a sign by doing them through the faith of someone else.

 

But as for those outside the body of Christ, for this wicked generation all around us in the world today, God knows, some will never believe even with a sign. 

 

But that's not our problem, it's God's, as long as we believers are making every effort to obey His command to be one in His eternal, one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers in every Christian denomination and faith group, whom we believers all see in Jesus. 

 

That oneness in Jesus is how the world may know God sent Jesus, and God surely wants every one of them that will.

 

Except as we believers unite in Jesus in His holiness and His love of all believers, we have to admit we have no reason to expect to see with our own eyes anyone working the miracles that Jesus promised would be greater than the miracles He worked when He was a man in this world. 

 

We have to admit we don't see those greater miracles happening because every one of us believers has either failed to obey both of those two commandments of Jesus, to both seek to be holy through faith in His name for forgiveness of our sins, and also to love all believers with our lives laid down for them.  Or if we ever did obey both things, we didn't have any faith that God would actually work the miracles in His name, which He promised to work because of our loving response to His grace which we do by obeying His commanded holiness and love for all believers.

 

 

Don't look for miracles - Look for a mustard seed

 

Jesus says only God can provide validation of testimony confirming it by miracles together with the self-sacrificial love for all believers Jesus showed in His life.  In Jesus' case, the miracles prove God was and is in Jesus, the One working the miracles, and prove that the Father sent Jesus with the Father's love for Jesus and for the world, in every work Jesus did in the world.

“31 ¶ "If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. 32 There is another who testifies in my favour, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.” (Joh 5:31-32 NIV)
“"I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.” (Joh 5:36 NIV)
“19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.” (Joh 5:19-20 NIV)
“10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” (Joh 14:10-11 NIV)

 

It's important to remember that the message of the love of God given to the world in Jesus must always, always go together with the miracles in order to be real miracles and have God's purpose in love. Without the message of self-sacrificial love for all the members of the body of Christ, the miracles would have no meaning.

 

So we believers must love one another, including in our love all believers, to have hope God will work miracles in service to the whole body of Christ that we may be completely in unity.

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1Co 12:27 NIV)

“12 ¶ Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Col 3:12-14 NIV)
“"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."” (Mr 9:37 NIV)

“But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.” (1Co 12:31 NIV)
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1Co 13:2 NIV)

“21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 ¶ And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1Jo 3:21-24 NIV)

And just as clearly, Jesus tells us we have to have faith in God beforehand to do a miracle if we expect God to actually make it happen.

“He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."” (Mt 17:20 NIV)

 

So how can we possibly have even a tiny mustard seed of faith if that's what it takes to do miracles? 

  

When Jesus told us how, He put it in a parable that ensures only those with ears to hear would hear it. 

 

Jesus hid the key to doing miracles in His name in a parable that He knows our hearts will not hear without self-sacrificial love for all believers, of all Christian denominations and Christian faith groups.  Jesus hid the key to miracles in a parable that centers around the idea of us believers admitting to ourselves we still haven't obeyed Him in everything He commanded us to do. He hid it in a parable that means if we don't have faith enough to work miracles in his name, then it's our fault, not His, and we have to finish what He told us to do first. 

 

It's our fault for not being careful how we hear the seed of His word of faith for miracles, and we need to look at our own obedience more closely, and see where we've failed to do what He commanded.

“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Lu 8:15 NIV)

“Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."” (Lu 8:18 NIV)

“He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, "‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’” (Lu 8:10 NIV)

 

We didn't hear because we didn't want to consider the idea that we believers might have left some part of His will yet undone.  We didn't want to think about the possibility that's what was keeping our faith weak, so we didn't think about ourselves as if the parable actually applies to us.  We prefer to think we've known and accomplished all His commands already, so we're the greatest and best group of believers, especially those in our own Christian denomination, Christian faith group, or even in our own local Christian congregation or home church. 

 

Most of us believers have chosen in the past to think it's hard to compete with all those other Christian faith groups or denominations unless we do claim to know it all better than they do.  We thought we might lose some members to the competition, and that would obviously lead to them failing to understand our better doctrines that make us better than all those other believers.

 

So what was it we failed to hear properly from Jesus about Christian unity and miracles?

 

If Jesus actually believed His own words, as preposterous as they seem to our worldly sensibilities, if He correctly thought we need only a mustard seed of faith to move mountains, if He really and truly expects us believers to do otherwise impossible miracles, even greater than He worked when He was here on earth as a man, why didn't He tell us how we are to go about it?

 

He did.

 

The apostles asked Him how, and He told them in a parable, and if you haven't heard it before, hear it now, and consider now if you might either need to reconsider repentance from sins, and/or if you might possibly be one who has never obeyed the command of Jesus to love all believers with one's own life laid down for them all, including believers in all Christian denominations and faith groups. 

 

Then consider how our obedience in those two ways, as our loving response to God's grace in Christ to all believers, gives us confidence before God that we receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 

 

 

The mustard seed = the word of faith for miracles:

the parable Jesus gave to any believer who'll hear it

 

Jesus said if you want faith at least as large as a tiny mustard seed, make sure you've first served Jesus in anything you know He would want.

 

If you know Jesus wants it, don't make him spell it out for you in every detail.  Use your head to do what He's already commanded. If it's dinner time, serve Him first, don't wait for Him to make it an order again since you know in advance you have a standing order for how to serve Him, which is by serving all the other servants of His the way He serves them, serving all believers including believers in every Christian denomination and faith group with your life laid down for them all. 

 

Since you know it is your job as a servant to Jesus for you to serve Him the dinner he asked you for first; and if the dinner you want is a serving of miracles at God's hand, then don't expect to sit down to the dinner you want until after He's been satisfied in the commands He's already given you.

 

Not real complicated.

 

In other words, Jesus says the minimum faith we need for miracles is a very small thing. If we don't have even such tiny faith, then our big need is not miracles, but first to look harder inwardly for how we must be failing to obey what Jesus has already commanded.

“5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" 6 He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. 7 "Suppose one of you had a servant ploughing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’"” (Lu 17:5-10 NIV)

 

Notice the last part of that scripture quote.  Doing everything Jesus commanded you to do has nothing to do with proving you have done anything to make yourself a more worthy servant than all the other servants of God, including believers of every Christian denomination and faith group. 

 

If you to think that you need to prove your Christian faith group more worthy or superior to the others it means you don't think all repentant believers are really credited equally by God to have the absolute righteousness of Jesus, Himself, which righteousness none of us can actually deserve by a totally sinless life. But instead of that equality in Jesus with all repentant believers, you prefer to think your other doctrine makes you better.

“42 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."” (Mr 10:42-45 NIV)

 


The
mustard seed of faith Jesus wants us to find for miracles:
Self-sacrificial love as servants to all believers,

of every Christian denomination and faith group

 

For further consideration of how much Jesus wants each of us believers to find our mustard seed of faith in Christian unity in holiness and love to be given in His kind of self-sacrificial loving service to all other believers outside our own Christian faith group, notice in the scripture shown just above that Jesus gives Himself as the example of how we should serve all believers.  He reminds us that His service to all believers is to serve them in self-sacrificial love for all believers, whom Jesus served by paying on the cross for the sins of us all.  Jesus used this theme of each believer being like Him, a servant who serves all the other servant believers, stating it repeatedly so we would see it in multiple parables, that can be understood by all believers who seek unity in love and holiness with all believers in every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

As such, we see the promise to be blessed in Christ is the same to all believers who obey His commands to seek to live in His holiness and to love all believers self-sacrificially like He did. We believe the scandal of Christian disunity has gone on far too long. 

 

We believe the day is upon us when it will be good for all of us believers to make of ourselves servants who feed all the other servants with the fruit of the Spirit in the love and holiness Christ gives to all us believers equally.

 

“42 The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.” (Lu 12:42-43 NIV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Ga 5:22-26 NIV)
“For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (Lu 22:27 NIV)

 

We believe it's the proper time now in the body of Christ on earth, that all of us believers be served with the allowance of solid spiritual food that God wants us to have now, which is in the word of faith in scriptures that show that Christ's Spirit in us does now lead us out of worldly jealousy, quarreling, and divisions among believers of different Christian denominations and faith groups. 

“1 ¶ Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?” (1Co 3:1-4 NIV)

 

All of us repentant believers who love self-sacrificially and serve all other repentant believers in order to promote our unity in Christ's holiness, and unity in Christ's love for all believers, also consider such union in Jesus with all believers to be His wedding to His bride, the Church.  As such, we are asking Jesus to come forth spiritually now before His wedding is complete, to show the world that we are His disciples, which He said we should ask, and which Jesus promised He would prove, by showing the glory Jesus already gave us to make us one in Himself, united in His love and holiness, giving us whatever we ask in the name of Jesus. 

 

We are like the servants of Jesus who eagerly await His wedding, and so remain dressed and ready for service, waiting for our Master to return from the wedding banquet where Jesus is the Groom, because we know it will be good for those servants, good for all us obedient believers together loving and serving one another, whom the Master finds watching when He comes.

 

Prior to the wedding of Jesus to His bride, the Church, when the wedding is to be done according to the traditional Jewish wedding customs, the banquet for the Groom takes place just before the wedding and apart from the bride.  Following Jewish marriage tradition further, His servants follow where their Master, the Groom, leads in the procession to go to the bride, and before the wedding, His servants and attendants treat Him like a King, dressing Him so He doesn't have to dress himself, in preparation to proceed with the wedding to His bride, which in this case is the Church. 

 

We work as equal and unworthy servants simply obeying His new commandment, by working together as one for unity in His love and holiness in His bride as He commanded us to please Him, and by us asking God for miracles to show the glory Jesus said in His prayer for Christian unity was the glory He already gave us believers, all, specifically for the purpose that we may be one in God.

“35 "Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.” (Lu 12:35-37 NIV)

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:” (Joh 17:22 NIV)

“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. "If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (Joh 14:14-15 NIV)
“"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (Joh 13:34 NIV)

 

 

Jesus promises the Father will give whatever we ask in His name

If fruit of the Spirit born from mustard seed faith lasts in His eternal love for all believers

 

So when you finally find a way to love all believers with your life laid down for them all as Jesus commanded, don't think it makes you above all the other servants of God, who are all believers themselves.  If you've finally done everything God commands you to do, it means you are an unworthy servant because you have only done your duty: you've done the minimum Jesus told all believers to do, by self-sacrificially loving and serving all other believers.


This kind of love is the part most of us believers really don't want to hear.  The idea that we need to serve all believers with our lives laid down, serving believers in all those other Christian denominations and faith groups outside our own, does not appeal to man's logic. 

 

How can that possibly promote our own Christian faith group?  What a silly idea that is among men!  Ask any salesperson or advertising executive.  You don't get anywhere by serving the competition, if your goal is to increase membership in your own Christian denomination or faith group. 

 

But what about Christ's Christian faith group, the whole body of Christ in the world today? That's exactly the difference Jesus was talking about when He said, "But you are not to be like that."  The kingdom of God in Jesus cannot and will not work like those of worldly kings and princes.  God won't have it.

 

If you've done all the commands of Jesus, you can only expect what any other obedient servant receives at the Master's hand.  We receive wonderful things in the kingdom of Jesus, including the eternal salvation of our very souls in Christ, but these astounding, free gifts are still equally received by all repentant believers. 

 

You and the members of your Christian denomination, or your Christian faith group or congregation, are simply equal to all other servants of God, not better among all repentant believers, and not greater.

“24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (Lu 22:24-27 NIV)
 

We believers have to quit trying to build God's kingdom man's way, and build it God's way, instead.  Quit trying to prove our Christian denomination or faith group should be considered to be greatest, and instead prove we can be equal: equal in obeying everything Jesus commanded, especially the new command of Jesus to have self-sacrificial, other-believer-serving type of love, brotherly love for all other believers in Christ, loving and serving every one of them, including believers in all Christian denominations and Christian faith groups outside our own.

 

That's the part of God's will we believers have often left undone in the past.  So the mustard seed of faith that most of us believers have failed to find in the past, which is the mustard seed of faith we need in order to work miracles in the name of Jesus, to make us all one in the name of Jesus, is the doing of anything we can think of to do in self-sacrificial love for all believers, no matter how small it may seem to be. 

 

Even the tiniest mustard seed of faith will be greatly blessed by God if it lets us have faith that we've done all we can think of to give highest priority in each of our lives to promote unity of believers in Jesus, to promote our unity in learning together to obediently live in His holiness, and obediently love and serve all other believers.

 

If we've done all we can think of to do God's will for Christian unity then we've made it our highest priority, and that's all God asks, no matter how small it appears.  Our God is a God of priorities.  He gives us priorities in commandments, and He knows we have other issues to deal with in life, like making a living, etc.

 

But He insists we prioritize our love for God and our obedience to the will of Jesus as King in His kingdom on earth, where we obey His new command to love one another as He loved us, and obey His commanded righteousness, making those commands our first priority in order to know without a doubt we have His guarantee of help with meeting our needs in this life.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Mt 6:33 NIV) 

 

God commands all us believers to do our part in the Christian unity of all believers.  God holds each of us responsible only for doing our own part to serve all the other parts of His body, whether the other believers do their part now or not.
 

If you obey God's command to unite with Jesus in His Holiness and in His self-sacrificial love for all believers, no force in heaven or earth, or below can stop you.  Because God wills it, and because the command is to each of us, your part in Christian unity depends only on you finding your own tiny mustard seed of faith, then planting and nurturing it properly. 

 

Plant it in your own heart that you know is made noble and good by the presence there of the Spirit of Jesus because you have purified your heart in obeying the true commands of Jesus to both seek to live in His holiness and to have the same kind of sincere love Jesus had for all believers, recognizing them all as being your brethren in Christ, including all those outside your own Christian denomination or faith group. 

 

Depend on God to provide the increase without the slightest thought for how small that mustard seed really is, and nurture that mustard seed you planted in your heart by loving all believers deeply in your heart, living and walking each day in new life in Jesus, born again in seeking Christ's own holiness, and born again in having Christ's own self-sacrificial love for all believers, persevering until you produce from your new life in Jesus a crop of fruit of the Spirit that remains, living eternally in the word of God. 

 

Then God will give you all in the name of Jesus.

“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Lu 8:15 NIV)

“22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1Pe 1:22-23 NIV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Ga 5:22-23 NIV)

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (Joh 15:16 NIV)

 

 

God's will for miracles by unity in Jesus,

in His holiness and His love for all believers:

Start seeing the commanded love for all believers in His prayer for Christian unity of all believers

 

So if that self-sacrificial love for all other repentant believers, regardless of which Christian denomination or Christian faith group, is really the part of God's will we believers have most often left undone in the past, then where in the Bible did God show us that's His will?

 

The prayer of Jesus for Christian unity in John 17 is the best place to start seeing that the unity Jesus wants to be in us is unity in both holiness and love for all believers. To start with, Jesus spent most of this prayer speaking about love for all believers without mentioning holiness overtly.  Jesus said He was praying for all who believe the message of His apostles and first disciples so He knew holiness would certainly be a fundamental focus of the gospel message they would preach from the beginning.  For Jesus, to believe "in His name" is defined by belief in His death and resurrection to give the believer forgiveness of sins in repentance.

“He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lu 24:46-47 NIV)

 

To answer the question at hand about the self-sacrificial love we've mostly left undone in the past, the focus is kept here on the love like Jesus did in His prayer for unity, assuming that God's commanded holiness is understood by all believers by definition.  Like Jesus, we'll focus on the self-sacrificial love we are to have for all other repentant believers, of every Christian denomination and Christian faith group, including those outside our own, and how lack of that kind of love has kept us from having the faith in Him that Jesus said we believers all will have to work miracles in His name.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (Joh 14:12 NIV)

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:13-14 NIV)
 

Christian unity in Jesus is simple to understand, really, making it easy to see in the prayer of Jesus for Christian unity. The hard part is not to understand it, but more often to actually do the spiritual self-sacrifice that's necessary to perform God's love for all the other believers, in laying down our spiritual pride in our own Christian faith group's doctrine beyond the cross and resurrection of Christ to give us all eternal life together in God's self-sacrificial Spirit.

Christian unity is unity in God's one, eternal self-sacrificial Spirit of love for all repentant believers, Whom we only know because we see that same Spirit of self-sacrificial love in Jesus, in his death and resurrection forever in all power in heaven and earth.

We know for a fact that God's one, eternal Spirit of self-sacrificial love for whomever in the world will believe in Jesus, is in the Father, because Jesus says so. That's God's love for believers that existed before the world began, and remains into eternity.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (Joh 3:16 NIV)

We know that same one, eternal Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers is in Jesus, Himself, because the Father commanded it so.

"No-one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." (Joh 10:18 NIV)

And most importantly for Christian unity in Jesus, we know that same one, eternal Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers in Jesus, is in all of us believers who love all other believers, because Jesus commanded it so.

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command." (Joh 15:12-14 NIV)

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'" (Mr 12:29-30 NIV)

"And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1Jo 4:21 NIV)

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." (1Jo 3:16 NIV)

As the apostle John writes, that's how we know what love is, because we see God's self-sacrifice of His Son for us, so we know that's what kind of love His one, eternal Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers is. So loving all believers the same way He did, we know God lives in us and we live in Him, because He has given us His one Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers, making His love complete in us.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit." (1Jo 4:10-13 NIV)

Inside each believer is that person's spirit, along with the Holy Spirit sent in Jesus' name, which is God's one, self-sacrificial Spirit of love for all believers in the name of Jesus.

"But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (Joh 14:26 NIV)

Inside each believer who remains obedient to the words of Jesus, remembering everything He has said to us, is no longer two spirits, but one in spirit with Jesus, in God's Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers.

 "But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit." (1Co 6:17 NIV)

"We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit." (1Jo 4:13 NIV)

This choice to keep ourselves in the one Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers requires us to daily choose to sacrifice the former sinful nature of ourselves we had before repentance, to make sure we remain in one spirit with the Lord.

"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires." (Ga 5:24 NIV)

"Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." (Lu 9:23-24 NIV)

If a believer sins, he chooses to return to that former sinful nature. Until or unless the believer repents and is restored, he remains not unified with the Lord in one Spirit.

"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted." (Ga 6:1 NIV)

During the time the believer chooses to remain in sin, the believer chooses to not remain in Jesus, and not to allow Jesus to remain in the believer, so no power can remain in the believer to show the world the fruit of the Spirit showing the believer to be the disciple of Jesus. If the believer chooses not to be restored and not remain in Jesus, he will be discarded and wither without life in Jesus, then be burned up in the fire.

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." (Joh 15:4-8 NIV)

 

Jesus says that to remain in Him, we have to remain in His love by obeying His commandments.

“9 ¶ "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” (Joh 15:9-10 NIV)

So the overall meaning of Jesus' prayer for unity in John 17, in addition to our unity in holiness by belief in His name, is to also obey His commands to love all believers, so we remain in Jesus in His love.  By doing so we, remain in our unity in the self-sacrificial love of God for sending His Son to earth to die and be resurrected, which is the same self-sacrificial love that led Jesus to lay down His life knowing He had been authorized to take it up again resurrected, and which is the same self-sacrificial love for every believer, that Jesus commands to be inside each of us believers in His new command to lay down our lives for one another. 

 

God is a spirit, and God is love.  In His prayer for unity, Jesus is referring to the one type of love the Spirit of God is, in the Father, in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit given to us in the name of Jesus, all of Whom are one in the Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers. For the purpose of uniting us believers in that same one, eternal Spirit of God's holiness and God's self-sacrificial love for all believers, the Father gave Jesus the glory to work miracles as a man on earth, and Jesus has given us believers the same glory, for the same purpose, in the same one Spirit.

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:” (Joh 17:22 NIV)

 

 

Parts of Jesus' prayer for Christian unity:

Overview of the Spirit in two places, and two times

 

People on earth are in one place, physically. But if the Holy Spirit of God is in them in Jesus' name, the Holy Spirit is in two places which Jesus is talking about here in His prayer for unity. Being united in the Holy Spirit includes spiritually being in both places, in the believer on earth and in God in heaven. And of course, the Holy Spirit, who is in us believers here on earth, is one in the Triune God, in which the three are one: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, all of whom are at the same time in the believer on earth and are also in heaven.

 

What Jesus is showing in His prayer about oneness in the Spirit of God regarding location in heaven and earth is that God in heaven is the source of all love, authority, and power.  By contrast here on earth, believers have God in themselves in the Holy Spirit sent to them in Jesus' name to live in their hearts, where God gives direction to believer's earthly actions, and God does His works through the believer who is submitted to God's will.  God works God's heavenly power and love through the believer on earth to accomplish God's will and plan for the world, which is to unite all believers now and forever in God's love and holiness in Jesus.  Jesus also tells us that if we obey His words, both He and the Father come and make their home with us in our hearts. 

 

But it is only by God in us that any power of God is worked through us.  The power is never our own. 

 

From our perspective as believers on earth, our part is to love, trust, and obey God's direction in our hearts, and let God's power and love work through us on earth to the world by His fabulous mercy and grace to us all in Christ Jesus.  Not real complicated. 

 

With regard to miracles, yes, God works miracles through believers on earth, and gives us by His grace the free gift of His Holy Spirit to be in us here with power.  But God in heaven is the source of all power and glory, in heaven and on earth.  The source is never the person on earth. 

 

We believers are not God, and we are not the source of His power, and the glory Jesus has given to us, is the glory in miracles worked in the name of Jesus, to glorify God in the Son, showing the world He is now risen to all power in heaven and earth.

 

If we are alive at all in Jesus, we are His tools, and if we want Him to work miracles through us, we have to humbly both believe we are obedient, as well as actually be obedient, to all His will as best we know how, including His will for us to love all believers with our lives laid down for all of them, including all repentant believers in every Christian denomination and faith group. 

 

We believers can be saved while yet not fully understanding His will or fully obeying it.  But unless we do fully understand and obey His will for uniting all believers in His holiness and love for all believers, we won't remain in His power, and we can do nothing through the power of the Holy Spirit in us to work miracles in His name.

“"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (Joh 15:5 NIV)

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (Joh 15:7-8 NIV)

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."” (Joh 13:35 NIV)
“47 "That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. 49 "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Lu 12:47-49 NIV)

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:21 NIV)
“"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (Joh 13:34 NIV)

That oneness and unity Jesus prays for includes oneness with God in both places, heaven and earth: oneness in His One Spirit, the Spirit in which the three are one, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, both in heaven and in all believers on earth, and then eventually when the dead in Christ arise, forever together in heaven.  This careful look at wording is not straining over gnats, but rather simply pointing out the words Jesus used in His prayer for unity that imply location, as well as time, past, present, and future to help us understand it, and see the meaning of references to the believer living on earth, in whom the Spirit of God is both on earth in the believer and at the same time in heaven.  This helps to understand for example these words of Jesus in His prayer for unity when He talks about 'what is', at the time He's saying the prayer, which is understood in the present tense of phrases like, "I am", as compared to a phrase such as "may be", which Jesus uses to talk about the possible future that Jesus is praying for after believers receive the Holy Spirit in power in His name.

 

Unless Jesus notes otherwise, such as with phrases like "on that day", whenever Jesus simply says "I am" or "where I am", He's speaking of where He is at the time He is speaking, a man walking the earth with His Father in Him, the Spirit of God in Him, and at the same time in His Father in heaven, in the Spirit of God.  Jesus uses this idea generally to let us know we can be just like Him, people with the Spirit of God in us in His name, with His Spirit saying and doing through us all the things His Spirit says and does, including working miracles to glorify the Father in the Son.

 

At the time of the prayer for unity, Jesus is a perfect man on earth.  But when Jesus was still a man, He said His Father is greater and Jesus is going to Him. After the prayer and after His death, resurrection, and appearances to many believers, Jesus will ascend to heaven in His immortal, glorified body, to be with and in the Father, seated at the Father's right hand in all of God's power in heaven and earth.  In His glorified body in heaven, Jesus continues now to remain, as always, in the one Spirit of God, together with the Holy Spirit and the Father.

 

All three also are in the obedient believer, as one Spirit in both places, being both in heaven and in the believers' hearts on earth, after the Holy Spirit is given in power to the disciples in Jerusalem at the first Pentecost after Jesus' ascension.

“"You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (Joh 14:28 NIV)

“Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (Joh 14:23 NIV)

 

 

 

 

 

Parts of Jesus' prayer for Christian unity:

Start seeing the Christian unity in His holiness and His love for all believers shown in His prayer for Christian unity 

 

Start by considering the scriptures of the prayer of Jesus for Christian unity in John 17 where Jesus leaves no room for doubt that the Christian unity Jesus prays for includes all believers, of every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

20 Ҧ "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.

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."” (Joh 17:20-26 NIV)

 

Now look at the same scripture of the prayer of Jesus for Christian unity in each part. 

 

The individual parts below show His prayer is generally about God’s plan for believers to use the same glory Jesus had to work miracles, even greater than Jesus did as a man here, to make us one in His Spirit, if we obey His command to have the same Spirit in us that Jesus had and the Father had: the one, eternal Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers. 

 

Jesus gave the power to use His glory to work miracles in His name to His apostles and first disciples when Jesus was still present with them as a man who was one with His Father, God in heaven. That same power given them was later made available to us believers again, and continues to be so up to this present day, for the purpose of making us one in His one Spirit when it was given to us after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension at Pentecost when the power and the glory of the Holy Spirit fell on all believers present. 

 

When that power to work miracles was given at Pentecost, Jesus was present again with those apostles and first disciples, not in body this time, but in the Spirit that was given them through faith in his name, and He is still present with and in every one of us believers today with that same power to make us one in His name, in His holiness and love for all believers.

 

The idea most of us have in the past missed seeing in this prayer of Jesus for Christian unity, is that if we believers now correctly have in our understanding, and obey, the new command of Jesus to love all believers as Jesus loved us all, including believers in every Christian denomination and faith group, then we believers have every reason to believe that both this prayer of Jesus applies to us today, along with the power of the Holy Spirit in God’s glory given to believers to work such miracles that also still applies to all us believers today, to work even greater miracles than Jesus worked as a man here on earth. 

 

God’s plan is to make all us believers one in the Spirit Jesus showed to the world, using His glory Jesus gave us to work miracles for that purpose, so that the world may know that God sent Jesus to be God’s perfect holiness and God’s absolute, self-sacrificial love for all believers to unite in, forever, and that His Spirit of holiness and love for all believers is freely given by the overwhelming grace of God to live in whoever will believe it so in the name of Jesus.

 

 

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,” (Joh 17:20 NIV) 

Meaning: 

“My prayer is not for my eleven apostles and first disciples alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message in the Bible of your one, eternal Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers that is in you, Father; the same one Spirit that you sent in me to show the world, and the same one Spirit I gave to all believers as their part in your plan for them to show your one Spirit to the world, in the one body of Christ in the world united in the holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers found only in our one, eternal Spirit living in each believer, who gives them life forever united in us, in you and I, Father, to whoever will believe it so in my name.”

“not for them alone” means not only for my 11 apostles and other first disciples alone, but all who will ever believe in Jesus through their message as inspired by the Holy Spirit and reported in the Bible.

 

“message” is the gospel, good news, message of how God gave us his self-sacrificial love in Jesus, and His holiness, for us believers to unite in now and forever as our part in His plan for Christian unity in Jesus so the world may believe now that God sent Jesus to be God’s self-sacrificial love for the world and thus join us in eternal life together as one in Him.

“"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Joh 3:16 NIV)

 

 

God’s plan for His one Spirit of holiness and love in the Father

(Joh 17:20, continued)

 

Here’s their message of the gospel, good news of how the one, eternal Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers that is in the Father in heaven fits into God’s plan for the world:

“"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Joh 3:16 NIV)

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:4-7 NIV)

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2Co 5:18-19 NIV)

 

 

God’s plan for His one Spirit of holiness and love in the Son

(Joh 17:20, continued)

 

Here’s their message of the gospel, good news of how the one, eternal Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers that is fathered and commanded by the Father to be in His Son He sent to the world fits into God’s plan for the world:

 “"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Mt 11:27 NIV)

“16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life— only to take it up again. 18 No-one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."” (Joh 10:16-18 NIV)

 “1 ¶ Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1Co 15:1-4 NIV)

 “46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lu 24:46-47 NIV)

“12 ¶ giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fulness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—” (Col 1:12-22 NIV)

 

 

God’s plan for His one Spirit of holiness and love in all believers

(Joh 17:20, continued)

 

Here’s their message of the gospel, good news of how the one, eternal Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers that is sent in the name of Jesus, and that is commanded by Jesus to be in each of us believers fits into God’s plan for the world to unite all believers in love for one another.  We believers now become as one in that same Spirit we know He has given us all, living now in Him and He in us, together in a Christian unity of mutual love and holiness by which we show we have seen, and do testify to the world, Jesus was sent by the Father to be the Savior of the world so the world may believe it so, too.

“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.” (Joh 15:12-17 NIV)

 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Eph 1:4-6 NIV)

“9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfilment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Eph 1:9-10 NIV)

 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1Jo 3:16 NIV)

“10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 ¶ And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.” (1Jo 4:10-14 NIV)

  
 

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.” (Joh 17:21 NIV)

 

(Joh 17:21) Meaning, short version:

“that all of them may be one, Father,”

‘that all believers of every Christian denomination and faith group may be one, Father, in your eternal Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers,’

 

“just as you are in me”

‘just as you are in me now here on earth in that same Spirit doing and saying through me everything I do and say on earth,’

 

“and I am in you.”

‘and I am in you now, Father, who are love, that same Spirit of self-sacrificial love in heaven where you hear and give me everything I ask to unite all believers in your holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers in the name of Jesus.’

 

“May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

‘May they also be in us there in heaven in that same Spirit of our love, where you and I both hear and give them everything they ask in my name so that the world may believe that you have sent me to be God’s one, eternal Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love given to live in whoever in the world will believe it so in my name.’

 

 

(Joh 17:21) Meaning, with details:

“that all of them may be one, Father,”

‘that all believers of every Christian denomination and faith group may be one, Father, in your eternal Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers,’

 

“just as you are in me”

‘just as you are that same, one Spirit who is in me doing everything I do and say on earth to show the world your holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers, may they be one in your same Spirit in them doing everything they do and say on earth for the same purpose,’

 

“and I am in you.”

‘and (that all of them may be one just as) I am one in you who are the God who is love, Father, one in you who are self-sacrificial love for all believers who seek holiness through faith in the name of Jesus, and (just as) I am one in your love for them and for me, because you love me for obeying your commands to be holy and to lay down my life for all believers, may they be one in your love for them and for me because they obey our commands to be holy and lay down their own lives for all believers.’

 

“May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

‘May they also be in us there in heaven after I am glorified in you, in the God who is love, because our one Spirit is our self-sacrificial love for all believers who seek God’s holiness through faith in the name of Jesus, and they are one in our love for all believers when they obey our commands to be holy and lay down their lives for all believers, may they be one in our love in heaven where you and I both hear and give them everything they ask in my name so that the world may believe that you have sent me to be God’s one, eternal Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love given to live in whoever in the world will believe it so in my name.’

 

 

 

Different times and places in prayer verse 21 for Christian unity

(Joh 17:21, continued)

 

Jesus says phrases like “you are…and I am” with reference to the current time Jesus is praying, at which time Jesus is a man on earth with the Father’s one, eternal Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers living in Him on earth because by the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus was born with His Father’s Spirit in Him, and anointed with the Holy Spirit in Him as a man on earth, and the spirit of the man in Him was the perfectly holy Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, so in Him was the fulness of the Deity.

“For in Christ all the fulness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fulness in Christ, who is the Head over every power and authority.” (Col 2:9-10 NIV)

“how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (Ac 10:38 NIV)

 

 

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in power

(Joh 17:21, continued)

 

By contrast, when Jesus wants to show He is not speaking specifically or only of the situation that was current at the time when Jesus is speaking, such as when praying His prayer for unity, Jesus uses such phrases here as “May they also be in us”, indicating a future time, which in this case, in His prayer for Christian unity, refers to any time starting after the Holy Spirit is given in power to the apostles and first disciples gathered in Jerusalem on the first Day of Pentecost after His ascension. 

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.” (Ac 1:8-9 NIV)

 

That predicted outpouring of the Spirit on believers first took place 50 days after His resurrection.  During the first 40 days after His resurrection Jesus received His glorified body and was seen by many.  On the 40th day after His resurrection, His ascension took place when He ascended to be glorified in and with His Father in the glory Jesus had with the Father before the world was. Then the believers prayed for ten days together before the day of Pentecost when the promised coming of the Holy Spirit in power was given.

 

Starting at that first Pentecost after His ascension, and to this day, the Holy Spirit is given in power to be in all believers in the name of Jesus, and by the power of the Holy Spirit in us believers, we’re given to be spiritually in heaven in both the Father and Son in their love for all believers, because God is love, such as shown in this scripture, “may they also be in us”.

 

This is characteristic of how timing applies as Jesus speaks in various places in the Bible, as He often shifts back and forth between past examples, to the day in which He is speaking, and/or a possible future that “may be”.  We can know He is speaking of all believers including us today when He uses phrases like “May they be”, and “If you love one another”, “If you do what I command”, or phrases like “whoever believes”, and “anyone who has faith”.

 

With regard to the idea of the oneness that Jesus had as a man on earth with His Father as in His prayer for unity, Jesus speaks of this oneness specifically two places in scripture, in John Chapters 10 and 14, speaking of Jesus being in the Father and the Father in Him, such as Jesus was one with the Father throughout His life and ministry, and at the time of His prayer for Christian unity, and in both these scriptures it is with regard to working miracles.  The miracles made it hard for us to understand this oneness of the man, Jesus, with the Father simply because we believers have seen so few miracles with our own eyes. 

 

But we believers need to realize that’s only because we had failed so miserably, for so long in the past to either have and/or fully obey His commands to be holy and to love all believers with our lives laid down for them all, including believers of every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

The scriptures of oneness with the Father in John 10 will be discussed later in this document in the part of Jesus’ prayer for unity shown under the heading of verse (Joh 17:25 NIV). 

 

But first we’ll start here with verse John 17:21 where Jesus prays for us to have this oneness Jesus had with the Father, and compare that to what Jesus said on this subject of oneness with the Father in discussions between Jesus and His disciples as seen in these following scriptures in John 14.

 

 

John 14 -

Jesus One with the Father in heaven and on earth => miracles

Tells disciples: that oneness is evidence for those who don’t yet believe

(Joh 17:21, continued) 

 

Here in John Chapter 14, Jesus says the idea of the Father in Jesus and Jesus in the Father means that the words you hear from Jesus are not His but His Father’s words, and the works you see Him do as a man in the world are not works done by Jesus but works done by His Father who is living in Jesus, as Jesus is living in the Father.

“Jesus answered: "Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” (Joh 14:9-11 NIV)

 

Notice that Jesus says miracles are done on earth by the Father as evidence for the fact that Jesus is in the Father and the Father in Jesus.  The apostles don’t see the Father with their eyes, because the Father is hidden in Jesus doing the Father’s works.  The Father is also hidden in heaven giving Jesus whatever He asks for because Jesus obeys the Father’s commands, for which obedience the Father loves Jesus, so Jesus is in His Father’s love; Jesus is one with God in heaven in His Father’s self-sacrificial love for all believers. 

 

Since they do see the man, Jesus, here on earth, Jesus states His hidden oneness with the Father in terms of what they can see: that the Jesus they see on earth has the Father living in Him on earth doing the works they see. The evidence of this oneness with the Father is the miracles that are shown to help make believers out of the world.

 

It must be noted here they are definitely not miracles to help believers sort out who believes and who doesn’t.

 

This God-gifted ability to work miracles is not a test Jesus is giving us to use to determine whether the Holy Spirit is in a person.  The correct test for that was stated by Jesus to be the fruit of the Spirit, as detailed by the apostle Paul and as explained previously in this document. 

 

Even if they are false brethren who manage to fool themselves about being approved of God by appearing to work miracles in Jesus’ name, still as long as we see the fruits of the Spirit in them, Jesus says we can safely leave them for the Lord’s judgment.

 

The Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of defending Himself, without our help, but in His own power against those who would blaspheme the Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” (Ga 5:22-24 NIV)

“By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them. "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Mt 7:16-23 NIV)

“"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No-one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,” (Mr 9:39 NIV)

 

 

Spiritual gifts and miracles only matter in love for all believers

Miracles with love show Jesus one with God does matter to the world

(Joh 17:21, continued) 

 

The miracles are shown also by the apostles as not being an identity test of believers because the apostles tell us that the Holy Spirit works diverse gifts through members of the body of Christ on earth.  They tell us miracles are not only not a test of discipleship, they are not even the greatest gift. No gift of the Spirit is any good without love, and compared to miracles and all the other gifts of the Spirit, love is the most excellent way.

 

“Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?” (1Co 12:29 NIV)

“But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.” (1Co 12:31 NIV)

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1Co 13:2 NIV)

 

The miracles are meaningless without the holy love Jesus commanded us to have for all believers because that love was His purpose on earth, and the Father’s purpose before the world was, and before it was commanded by Jesus to be our purpose as believers.  And because God is love, love is more excellent than all the other gifts of the Spirit. 

 

Jesus said God is a spirit and the apostle John said God is love, which means love is the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God is love. Because God is love, whom we know only in Jesus, who, Himself, is God’s self-sacrificial love for all believers who seek God’s holiness through faith in Jesus, then that love must come with any miracles that are truly of God. 

 

But the apostles make it clear not every believer works miracles continually, nor are miracle workers any greater than any other believer in the name of Jesus, as all parts serve the body.

 

Even though not all believers work miracles, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all want to see God’s glory in miracles to be done for Christian unity, and we shouldn’t work hard to learn how to believe for them.  Jesus says they show evidence that the world may believe. 

 

Christian faith groups have come up with many explanations why the miracles among us believers weren’t as frequent, as great as, or even greater than when Jesus worked them.  Some have mistakenly said we shouldn’t want miracles anymore because it’s wrong to seek signs from God, but that’s a misreading of the scripture.

“As the crowds increased, Jesus said, "This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” (Lu 11:29 NIV)

 

Jesus said it’s wrong to need signs before we will believe, like the Jews in His day, and it is blessed to believe before miracles are seen.

“Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."” (Joh 20:29 NIV)

 

He also said we must believe in advance if we ever hope to see miracles in His name, and He often told us to believe in them and ask for them with full faith that we’ll receive what we ask for.  There is no Biblical support for any position otherwise, and this whole document explains throughout that the glory of miracles is specifically promised by Jesus expressly for His stated purpose of Christian unity of all believers.

“While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher any more?" Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don’t be afraid; just believe."” (Mr 5:35-36 NIV)

 “"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mr 11:22-24 NIV)

 

We believers need to grow up into Him who is the head, quit making excuses for the miracles we didn’t see with our own eyes in the past, and take Jesus at His word.  Since Jesus says:

1.     the miracles He did are evidence to help the world believe Jesus is one with God, and

2.     since He also says that God’s purpose for Christian unity is so the world may believe, and

3.     since Jesus gave us the same glory God gave Him to work miracles on earth to make us one so that the world may believe, (as will be shown in this document in verse 22 of Jesus’ prayer for Christian unity)…

 

Then we believers should make every effort to hear Jesus with ears to hear what He says here in John 14. 

 

Because as soon as Jesus spoke of His oneness with the Father, saying “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves”, He immediately followed it with “I tell you the truth…”, meaning we need to try hard to believe what follows.

 

 

Jesus tells truth of His miracles by His oneness with the Father 

Any believer in it will do greater after Holy Spirit sent in power

(Joh 17:21, continued)

 

What follows Jesus’ “I tell you the truth…” here, is the fact that it is now easier to work great miracles than it was for Jesus when He was a man. 

 

Jesus said that after He’s gone to be with the Father, which includes up to this present day, that it would now become easier to work great miracles than it was when He was a man on earth, so much easier that anyone who has faith in Him, faith that He is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus, would by that faith in Jesus be able to work even greater miracles than Jesus did as a man:

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:11-14 NIV)

 

 

Obey commands, be holy and love all believers self-sacrificially =

Know Jesus is in us believers, with the Father and Holy Spirit

(Joh 17:21, continued) 

 

And as if that isn’t enough to be given anything we ask in Jesus’ name because we know He’s now one with the Father in heaven who is greater than Jesus was as a man on earth, and we’re now being given to work even greater miracles than He worked here as a man, what follows next in John Chapter 14 is the promise that Jesus will make sure we know Jesus is in us to make it all happen, giving us the same oneness with the Father that Jesus had as a man on earth when He worked His miracles here.

 

As Jesus says here, and many times elsewhere in the Bible, miracles from prayer depend on our knowing what His commands are and obeying them.

 

First among the commands that Jesus always has in mind is His new command to be holy and His new command to love all believers with our lives laid down for them. 

 

I want to remind the reader here again that the two commands to be holy and love all believers are both included in the one, new commandment of Jesus, as noted in the beginning of this document in the section titled "Loving 'as' we love ourselves is not loving 'more' than we love ourselves". 

 

The apostle John refers to both as one command of Jesus because the ‘be holy’ part is an understood requirement of what it means, "to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ": it means to believe in His name for the gift of repentance and forgiveness of sins any time Jesus and John say something referring to all believers, like “one another”.

“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” (1Jo 3:23 NIV)

 

He came into the world to live, die, and live again delivering that message of His free gift of repentance and forgiveness of sins to give us eternal life, and that new command to love one another who believe in it, so He thought and spoke of it often. 

 

Here Jesus assures us that before long, the day will certainly come to each of us believers, if we just love Him enough to have and obey His commands to be holy and love all believers with self-sacrificial love as He loved them, including believers in all Christian denominations and faith groups; that on that very day we believe, we will see Jesus living in us now on earth so we can live in Him spiritually now in heaven, as one in the Father.  

 

Jesus promises when we obey His new command to love all believers, as He loves all of us believers, we will see Jesus there in our hearts because He, Himself, is that Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers living in us by our obedience to His new command.

“Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” (Joh 14:19 NIV)

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:21 NIV)

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (Joh 15:12-15 NIV)

 

That one Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers is Jesus in us, whom we see living in us, because we obey His commands to be holy and love all believers with each our own life laid down for them all, of every Christian denomination and faith group, just like Jesus loved us believers, all. 

 

Jesus says the Counselor, or Spirit of truth, or Holy Spirit, which is also the Spirit of Jesus because Jesus, the man, who lives with His disciples at the time He speaks, will come to be in all believers, as Jesus tells those present with Him, “he lives with you”, and “will be in you”.  The Spirit of Jesus will be in all us believers the same way as it first started to be so after the Holy Spirit was sent in power to be in us by the Father after Jesus’ ascension.  That Spirit is also the Spirit of the Father since Jesus just said He and the Father are one doing the Father’s works by Jesus, and “I will not leave you as orphans”, and yet again is Jesus, Himself, “I will come to you.” 

 

It should be obvious that Jesus talks this way because the three are one in the one Spirit of God, and they all are in us believers when we obey His commands to be holy and have self-sacrificial love for all believers, which is the one new commandment of Jesus, Himself.

“"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (Joh 14:15-18 NIV)

 

 

“On that day” in John 14:20: oneness in the Father and Jesus

Obey commands, be holy and love all believers self-sacrificially =

“You will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me” =

May they also be in us”

=>Miracles so the world may believe

(Joh 17:21, continued)

 

There in our hearts that very day in which we both have and obey His commands, Jesus promises us that as sure as He is in us by our obedience to His commands, He will for that reason reveal Himself to each of us so that we will realize without a doubt that Jesus is in His Father in heaven, and each of us is there in heaven in Jesus, because God is love, and we’re there in God’s love because we obey their new command to lay down our lives in love for all believers,  and we're there in heaven where they both can hear and give us anything we ask in the name of Jesus who is in us on earth as the Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers. 

 

Since on that day we realize we are in the same oneness in His Father that Jesus had when He was a man working miracles on earth as evidence God sent Him, one in the Father in His self-sacrificial love for all believers, that is how we realize for certain we truly are in the name of Jesus on that day because we are in Jesus in the Father, and Jesus is in us.

 

So starting on that day we know Jesus thus gives us anything we ask in His name as evidence that the world may believe God sent Jesus.

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” (Joh 14:11 NIV)
“On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (Joh 14:20 NIV)

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:21 NIV)

“12 ¶ I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:12-14 NIV)

It’s important to look at the context of scripture in John Chapter 14 to remember and understand for certain all the things that you can make happen “On that day” referenced in John 14:20 by obeying the commands of Jesus.

“15 ¶ "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 ¶ I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:15-21 NIV)

 

Look carefully in that context to see all the things that you make happen by what you choose to do with your life, starting “On that day”.

 

1.     First thing you do “On that day” is, you choose to have and understand correctly that God commands you to be holy as Jesus is holy and to obey the command to love one another by finding some little way to lay down you life in love for all believers, in all Christian denominations and Christian faith groups, so you will know you have a mustard seed of faith to believe Jesus will work miracles just because you are doing all He has commanded you to do, like any other obedient servant of Jesus does.

A.   “21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me…”

B.   “15 ¶ "If you love me, you will obey what I command.

“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:12-14 NIV).

C.   “15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."” (1Pe 1:15-16 NIV).

2.     Good, now your part’s started, by obeying the commands of Jesus to be holy and by loving all believers with your life laid down for them, as Jesus loved all of us.  Make sure you take up your cross of self-sacrifice for all believers in some form every day so you continue to obey His commands, and do that little thing that gives you mustard seed of faith in love for all believers.  Now Jesus can do His part that He loves to do for all of the obedient children of God, all of which things He says He will do starting “On that day”.

A.   “He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

B.   “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor … the Spirit of truth…he …will be in you”

C.   “¶ I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you”

D.   “you will see me”,  meaning you’ll see Jesus living in you and know He is resurrected to life now in the Father in heaven

E.    “On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

 

All of those things happen starting “On that day” described in John 14:20.  On that day you know Jesus is in the Father in heaven, and you are spiritually in Jesus there in the Father in heaven, and Jesus is in you here on earth when you obey the commands to be Holy as Jesus is Holy, and to love on another, as Jesus loved us, with His life laid down for all believers in all Christian denominations and faith groups.  That knowledge means you also know you can ask anything in the name of Jesus and God will give it to you, and that tiny mustard seed of faith by the little thing you have done to obey will cause you to believe it with certainty.

 

Knowing you’re in God now and for eternity, and receive anything you pray for in this life, is the greatest joy you could ever ask for in this life, because by it you know you are in the presence of God now living in you by faith in Jesus, as you live and breathe, and you can add that joy to the knowledge that your name is written in heaven to live in even greater joy as one with God in His glory in heaven.  From that joy in His presence in you, you receive all the other joys in Jesus, such as the peace that Jesus gives, being protected from all evil, and knowing all your physical needs are met in this life.

 

If you take up that cross of self-sacrifice for all believers every day, now you can remain in Jesus and have continuing faith in Jesus that He was telling you the truth when He said, “I tell you the truth…”, because you know you are right there in heaven in Jesus who is in the Father, in all power in heaven and earth, and Jesus will do anything you ask in the name of Jesus so the Son may bring glory to the Father because Jesus said so, saying “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

“11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 ¶ I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:11-14 NIV)

 

That realization is the fact that we believers are one in both Jesus and in the Father in heaven, because:

1.     Jesus says “I am in my Father, and you are in me”;

2.     We’re in them both because we are in their self-sacrificial love for all believers, because God is love, and they both love us for obeying their command to love one another believers self-sacrificially;

3.     We’re in them both because we are there in heaven in the God who is love whom we know only by looking at the holiness and self-sacrificial love of God for all believers which love we know we see in Jesus;

4.     We’re in them both, realizing we are in the love that is God in heaven where we get anything we ask for in the name of Jesus as evidence to the world that Jesus is now one with Father God in all power in heaven and earth…

 

Then we can also realize this: that realization in John 14:20 is the exact same thing Jesus prayed for to bring about Christian unity “so the world may believe” that the Father sent Jesus, as in the latter part of the prayer verse, John 17:21, when Jesus prays “…May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me”.

 

Jesus plainly says He and the Father both hear us in heaven and give us anything we ask for in the name of Jesus.  If we know God only by His holiness and His love we see that He sent to the world in Jesus, how can we not believe?

“In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (Joh 16:23 NIV)

“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:14 NIV)

 

 

Greater miracles now show greater Jesus: no man working miracles

But Jesus now alive again with God in all power in heaven and earth

(Joh 17:21, continued)

 

Those greater miracles Jesus promises are now given because Jesus told us that when He has ascended, He is going to His Father who is greater than the man, Jesus, on earth.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (Joh 14:12 NIV)

“"You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (Joh 14:28 NIV)

 

So why would there come greater miracles than Jesus worked as a man?

 

Because Jesus is now greater because He is no longer man but is in heaven in His glorified body, and also glorified with the glory of God Jesus had with the Father before the world began.  Because Jesus is now greater, the miracles we are given to work are greater, because the name of Jesus deserves to be glorified even more now for the God in heaven that He has now become. 

 

The miracles were always given to glorify God in heaven, not glorify man.

 

This is all part of God’s plan.  First Jesus comes to earth and does miracles to gather all the sheep the Father gave Him at that time: the 11 apostles and the first believers.  Now we believers who believe their message in the Bible about Jesus are given the glory to work even greater miracles so the world may believe God sent Him.

 

Even the fact that we believers have been so long spiritually separated from one another was part of God’s plan to make us realize how much we need Him in us all as His love for all believers, in every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

We believers lost track of that gift of the glory Jesus gave us to make us one somewhere during the time between that Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was first given in power up to now.  In the recent decades we have begun more and more to move spiritually closer to one another among many of our various Christian denominations and Christian faith groups seeking Christian unity.

 

To look back now and point the finger of blame at any other group of us believers other than our own group and other than each our own selves, without looking inwardly at ourselves for our own failures in our own group for that gap in Christian unity in our past, would be totally counterproductive to unity, and a gross offense against the apostle’s urging that we believers must never presume to judge another man’s servant or claim that we are not all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God.

“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Ro 14:4 NIV)

 

To find someone else to blame in our past would only prove that we are still hard-headed and we still miss the point entirely that God wants us all to learn about each, our own fault for failing to obey Him in Christian unity.  We all, all of us believers, in every Christian denomination and faith group had the same Bible, and the same opportunity to use the glory of God that Jesus gave us to make us one, but we did not use it.  We all, eventually fell short of that glory of God, every one of us. 

 

The truth is, all of us believers had our own hands in it, and we are all equally to blame for our own part in keeping ourselves spiritually apart from all believers in other Christian denominations and faith groups, each in our own way and time, and thus for failing God in what has been correctly called the ‘scandal of Christian disunity’. 

 

I believe it was a gradual process in which we believers each sought to promote what we thought was the best doctrine that would serve the whole body of Christ. But by keeping our attention on details of our doctrinal and theological differences, little by little we let our focus drift off of the nature of the Spirit of God that has always, and will always, exist in the holiness and self-sacrificial love we see only in Christ, Himself, given equally to all believers in all Christian denominations and faith groups to unite in.

 

Now the Lord, by the Holy Spirit calling to mind the memory of things that Jesus said about Christian unity, is simply helping us remember that the time has come to show the world that His Spirit is the thing we must keep our eyes fixed on, so we can fulfill our assignment to let the world see Him, too. 

 

We believers, all, must let God’s Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers speak and act through us to all other believers, becoming like Zerubbabels to one another, helping by His Spirit to rebuild ourselves living stones in God’s house of His Spirit, hearing the same, one Holy Spirit calling out to us all, and through us all to one another, to lead us together into the one Spirit who is Truth, who is holiness and love for all believers as one in Jesus.

“23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth."” (Joh 4:23-24 NIV)

“6 So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. 7 "What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’" 8 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. 10 "Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb-line in the hand of Zerubbabel. "(These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range throughout the earth.)"” (Zec 4:6-10 NIV)

“4 ¶ As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."” (1Pe 2:4-6 NIV)

 

That’s why we are now given the glory to work even greater miracles than Jesus did, to let the world know His Spirit is not the spirit of just a man anymore, but is now certainly the one Spirit of God in heaven, which, in turn, lets the world know the Spirit of God was in Jesus all along. 

 

Believers working miracles in the name of Jesus now means the Jesus of Nazareth who was a man who lived on earth, but who is the source of miracles now being done on earth by many believers in the body of Christ, that same Jesus, must now in fact be truly raised up by God to life eternal, the true Christ, to be with and in God in heaven, beyond the reach of man, no longer letting evil men beat and kill the child of God, but Jesus is now eager to demonstrate His overwhelming power over evil men to fulfill His promises to God’s children in Christ who know why God gave the sacrifice of His perfect, eldest child that way, to give us His Spirit to live in us. 

 

Because we realize we believers on earth are now already one with the Father in Jesus by obeying His commands to seek to be holy and love all believers, as Jesus did when He was a man here on earth, we show the world we know why God sent Him to give us His holiness and love, so we could live with God eternally, and now that Jesus is greater, we show the world God helps us believers now more than ever in this life, so evil men no longer have any power over us to oppress us and steal from us the peace God has given us.

 

We know as long as we seek, first in importance in our lives, God’s righteousness and God’s kingdom in holiness and love for all believers, then all things we need in this life are guaranteed us by God, He truly delivers us from all evil, and God works any miracle it takes to make His promises come true to His children in Christ.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Mt 6:33 NIV)

“1 ¶ Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’" 6 And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"” (Lu 18:1-8 NIV)

“He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” (Lu 17:6 NIV)
“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’"” (Lu 17:10 NIV)
“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” (Joh 14:10 NIV)

“On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (Joh 14:20 NIV)

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:21 NIV)

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (Joh 15:12-15 NIV)

“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.” (Joh 17:21 NIV)

 

So God wants very much to show His power now on earth to bring about justice for His chosen ones, by now working greater miracles through us believers who claim the name of Jesus to let the world know Jesus is now greater, displaying on earth an even greater power than the man, Jesus.  God wants the world to see Jesus is now alive and well, and in all power both in heaven and earth, and especially here in us who believe in His name to be the name of the very holiness and love of God, Himself, for all who will believe it so, and there’s nothing the world can do to stop more in the world from seeing it and believing with us.

 

The working of greater miracles in the name of Jesus, now that He has ascended to the Father, lets the world see that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, with and in the Father, given all power in heaven and in earth, having now become even greater than Jesus, the man, was.  It lets the world have reason to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was telling the truth when He said that He, Himself, has eternal life with God to give to all who will believe in Him, because He’s there in God living it now. 

 

To work miracles in Jesus’ name to glorify Jesus as the Son now that He has ascended, glorifies the Father by showing that to God, two things are most important: both the absolute holiness and also the atoning, self-sacrificial love of both the Father and of the Son that the Father sent to the world only in Jesus, are what matters to God. 

 

Those are not man’s ideas, and were always God’s; just like the power and glory of miracles shown on this earth, were always, and remain always God’s, and continue to be so to this day, never our own.

 

 

Christian unity is in God’s holiness and God’s love

That the world may believe His holiness and His love sent in Jesus, not ours

(Joh 17:21, continued)

 

In this Christian unity in holiness and love, the holiness we unite in is not our own, but His perfect holiness with which we believers are freely credited to have, credited by the bloody price Jesus paid for each of us equally.  The love we unite in is not our own, but God’s perfect, self-sacrificial love for all believers, of every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

Our holiness is filthy rags compared to His.

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” (Isa 64:6 NIV)

 

Our fatherly love is evil compared to His.

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Mt 7:11 NIV)

 

In this Christian unity, we don’t believe it is our love for God that is great, or the love for God in our particular Christian denomination or faith group that is greater than the others, or even our love for one another believers is anything special since we are only doing what we’re told after a long time of disobedience.

 

But the absolute love and unmerited grace of God for all His children in Christ is greater than we can imagine and is such a glorious, unearned outpouring of mercy and kindness to us, we know we can always depend on it no matter what the world does.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1Jo 4:10 NIV)

 

We don’t believe we’re special among believers, we only believe we are believers, and that makes us believers, all and equally, the very special children of God by faith in the one, eternal Spirit of God’s holiness and self-sacrificial love given in the same absolute and overwhelming measure to anyone who will believe in Jesus.

 

Christian unity is not about proving the love and holiness of us believers, or how great we believers are, but about proving the grace of God’s glory, and power, and holiness, and self-sacrificial love for all believers that God, Himself, has given and still freely offers by His grace now to sinners like us who will believe that God gives Himself self-sacrificially to all believers in Jesus, in every Christian denomination and faith group, so the world may believe in Him with us all.

“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.” (Ro 3:22-27 NIV)

 

 

22 “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:” (Joh 17:22 NIV)
Meaning:

‘I already gave them the same glory to work miracles you gave me to work miracles as a man here on earth, to use again any time after the Holy Spirit is given to them in power, for the purpose that they may be one as you and I are one now at the time of my prayer in using that glory to work miracles for Christian unity in holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers that the world may believe, after I ascend, that I am one with You in heaven and in the hearts of all believers in my name.’

 

God gave Jesus glory to work miracles

Jesus gave it to us

(Joh 17:22, continued)

 

In His prayer for Christian unity, Jesus made that point explained in the previous verse 21 about us believers being what Jesus calls "in us", as part of the future "May they...be" that Jesus is praying for to take place after Jesus' ascension and after the Holy Spirit is poured out in power. 

“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.” (Joh 17:21 NIV)

 

That "in us" He's praying for means Jesus wants us believers while physically on earth, after we receive the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus, to realize we are then spiritually in both the Father and Son in heaven, as one there in their love for all believers by our obedience to the Father and Son’s command to us to love one another self-sacrificially, as Jesus has loved all us believers, where they hear us in heaven and give us miracles we ask for to make us all one in that one Spirit of holiness and love. 

 

Jesus then prayed this next verse 22 which is a hugely important part for miracles about how Jesus already gave us the glory God gave Jesus to work miracles as a man on earth.

"(Joh 17:22) I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:"

 

The "I have given" part means Jesus is referring to what Jesus did before His prayer, same as the "you gave me" part refers to what the Father did before Jesus' prayer. The "may be one" is a future that Jesus is praying for after the Holy Spirit is given in power, and the "as we are one" is how Jesus and the Father are one at the time of Jesus' prayer, one man on earth spiritually one with the Father in heaven as was just referenced in verse 21.

 

This glory verse 22 is one of the most important parts of the prayer of Jesus we believers often miss, like that parable of the mustard seed of faith for miracles explained earlier in this document.  We believers have explained away this glory as being most any glory that is not the working of miracles for the purpose of Christian unity of all believers, of every Christian denomination and faith group.  Again, it’s almost as if we don’t want to believe in a glory that would produce either miracles we rarely see, or a glory that Jesus said was given to us for the purpose to somehow make us one with all those other believers who don’t agree in the best doctrine we think we know is only found in our own Christian denomination or faith group.

 

If we believers really believe our own Christian faith group has done the complete will of God already, then we don't really have ears to hear about what we haven't done, and we don't much want to believe Jesus actually already gave us the glory the Father gave Jesus to work miracles on earth for the purpose of uniting all believers as one in Jesus, in His holiness and in His self-sacrificial love for all believers including those outside our own Christian faith group.  If that's true, then we believers would have a lot of trouble explaining why we've had that glory available to us all along and not made use of it unless we admit it's each our own fault and not His.

 

We don't need excuses to explain it away anymore, we need the glory Jesus gave us to make us one in Him. Since Jesus gave that glory for Christian unity to us before His prayer, then of course it couldn't be the glory Jesus had as one with the Father before the foundation of the world.  For one thing, Jesus was there with the Father. We believers were not. 

 

The Father foreknew we would come to exist of course, and He knew each of us believers would believe and be part of His plan for showing the world His self-sacrificial love in Jesus, but we believers of course did not exist before God made us from the dust of the earth, so Jesus could not have given it to us then. 

 

Besides, the apostle John says in the beginning Jesus was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  It would make no sense to suggest the Word who was God already, had to be given glory by God at that point before the beginning of the world.

 

It’s been hard for us to explain having the glory of miracles like Jesus did then as a man when we weren’t showing it much ourselves, and it's also been hard to explain because it couldn't be the glory Jesus had with the Father before the foundation of the world. So a lot of us believers agreed on the idea this glory Jesus says He gave us must be the glory that God would give Jesus after His ascension, which Jesus said was the same glory Jesus had with God before the world began.

 

By that interpretation, Jesus was just saying we'd be together with Jesus in His glory later in heaven, when the Father glorified Jesus in the Father's presence after the ascension, which is all quite true later.  When the dead in Christ arise, we truly will be with Jesus in His glory in heaven.  But that’s not what's prayed here by Jesus.  Verse 22 is not verse 5.

“And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (Joh 17:5 NIV)

 

That's not what Jesus, the man, said at this point in His prayer verse 22.  Jesus hadn't been crucified yet, or been resurrected, or ascended to the Father yet.  Jesus at the time of His prayer for unity had not yet been given that glory Jesus said He had with the Father before the world was, so that could not be the glory Jesus spoke of in His prayer for unity that He said He gave us already, which Jesus said he gave us after the Father gave it to Him.

 

In a similar way, when Jesus said in His prayer He already gave it to us, Jesus could not have been speaking of the glory of his new, immortal, glorified body, because at the time of His prayer, prior to His death and resurrection, He had not been given that yet either, and we believers had certainly not received such glorified, eternal bodies yet.

 

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans that that particular glorification of our freedom from decay, along with all of creation, with all believers together in Jesus in heaven would take place only when the dead in Christ arise.

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Ro 8:16-18 NIV)

“that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Ro 8:21 NIV)

 

So since Jesus said at the time of His prayer for unity He already gave His glory to us, Jesus must have been speaking of the glory God gave Jesus to work miracles on this earth that the world may believe the Father sent Him as God’s self-sacrificial love to all who will believe it so.  That glory was well in evidence in the ministry life of Jesus when He walked the earth with His apostles and first disciples, and was still in evidence in the apostles and first disciples after the Holy Spirit was first given in power.

 

We can read throughout the four gospels, and Acts, of that glory to work miracles God gave Jesus, and Jesus then gave to, and sent out with, the apostles and the first disciples, and that same glory to work miracles is still equally authorized to us believers today to make us believers all one in Jesus so the world will know God sent Him.
“This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” (Joh 2:11 NIV)

“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."” (Lu 10:17 NIV)

“"What are we going to do with these men?" they asked. "Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it.” (Ac 4:16 NIV)

“Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.” (Ac 6:8 NIV)

“When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said.” (Ac 8:6 NIV)

 

By mentioning this glory to work miracles here in verse 22 in His prayer for Christian unity, Jesus is just reminding that that same glory to work miracles has been given to more than just the apostles and first believers.  Remember, the prayer is for all believers, ever, including us today who believe their message. 

 

Jesus gave us the glory to work miracles which the Father gave to Him, and for the same reason that the Father gave it to Jesus, to show that the Father's Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers was in Jesus as a man sent by God to the earth then, and is now in us believers on earth because we now obey the command of Jesus to lay down our lives in love for all believers as Jesus laid down His life in love for all believers, of every Christian denomination and faith group, showing to the world that it was God that sent Jesus to make God known to us and give us His Spirit, and Jesus is now with the Father at His side, in all power in heaven and earth.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Joh 1:14 NIV)

“No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” (Joh 1:18 NIV)
 

Jesus, Himself, said that's why God gave Jesus the "glory" of miracles like raising Lazarus from the dead, to show God sent Him.

 

Lazarus' sister, Martha, was as confused then as most of us believers today have been confused in the past, about what glory Jesus meant to use and when, whether some later glory in heaven, or glory to work miracles now in this life, that the world may believe God sent Jesus here, to lay down His life here, to give eternal life to all who will believe it so.

 

 

God's glory raised Lazarus then, works miracles by believers now

Shows the world God sent Jesus to make us one in God

(Joh 17:22, continued)

 

God's purpose for Jesus working miracles when He was a man on earth was to enable the world to believe that God sent Jesus here in order to show God's self-sacrificial holiness and love given in Jesus to the world.  The miracles show that that holy love of God for the world was sent here in Jesus with God's power.

 

This purpose of God for working miracles through the man, Jesus, is shown in a great miracle He did to raise His dead friend, Lazarus.  Jesus had discussions with Martha, the sister of Lazarus, which are identical in the most important ways to this present-day discussion here of whether the glory of God is available to believers in Jesus right now to work miracles on earth as Jesus did, or only later in heaven.

 

Like a lot of us believers today, Martha also didn't have ears to hear Jesus speak of using the glory of God to work great miracles on earth at that time.  We believers should all readily identify with her doubts.  She sounds a lot like us.

“20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." 23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" 27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."” (Joh 11:20-27 NIV)

Martha starts by saying she knows Jesus could have kept her brother alive and God would still give Jesus whatever He asked even now that Lazarus was dead.  It sounds full of faith in Jesus, the way we all like to sound to others.

 

But when Jesus plainly says Lazarus will rise back to life, Martha immediately interprets that to mean only later in the resurrection of the dead at the last day.  Martha is like a lot of us believers today. 

 

Martha is quite willing to acknowledge that on an intellectual level she has a firm and unshakeable belief that Jesus raises the dead to life in newly glorified, immortal bodies, in some far-off, next life that neither Martha nor any other human being has ever seen with their own eyes.  But when Jesus invites her to believe He will really resurrect the body of Lazarus to life today, right now, before her very eyes, she has to choose which time to use to interpret Jesus' statement. 

 

Does He mean now in real life, or later in some unseen, future life? 

 

Jesus deliberately stated it to Martha that way so she would have to choose how to interpret it.  He knew it could be taken either way.  Jesus likes to give all His friends and disciples the opportunity to think about how we hear His word…with ears to hear, or no? He gives us believers the same opportunity today to think about the words of Jesus regarding His glory to work miracles for Christian unity in His love and His holiness to all believers, including those in every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

Martha certainly loved her brother and wanted him back alive with her again, but did Jesus really have such great love for Lazarus? Since Martha told Jesus she knew "if you had been here, my brother would not have died", she must have now been wondering if Jesus loved Lazarus much at all, otherwise, why did He not come before now and keep him from dying? Some of the unbelieving Jews who watched all this wondered exactly the same thing out loud.

“34 "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" 37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"” (Joh 11:34-37 NIV)

So before raising Lazarus back to life Jesus explains why He was about to do so.  Jesus explained it to Martha; Jesus explained it to the Jews there who wondered; Jesus explained it to all the people who were standing by; and in so saying, explained it effectively to all believers in the world today who have ears to hear their message of the prayer of Jesus for Lazarus: "I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."

“41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."” (Joh 11:41-44 NIV)


 

Martha didn’t hear God’s promise of glory to see miracles in this life

Are our ears for His glory in this life as one in Jesus any better now?

(Joh 17:22, continued)

 

Do we believers have ears to hear the words of Jesus in His promise to Martha then to show God's glory in miracles?  Do we have ears to hear the words of Jesus in His promise to show God's glory in miracles to unify the body of Christ now in Christ's holiness and love given to all believers?

 

Don’t these verses sound to us at least a bit like promises, too?

“In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (Joh 16:23 NIV)

“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:14 NIV)

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:” (Joh 17:22 NIV)

 

Or do we prefer like Martha, to choose any answer that doubts the love of Jesus for all believers, and doubts the promise of Jesus to show the glory of God to work miracles here and now for all believers in His name? 

13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:13-14 NIV)

“In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (Joh 16:23 NIV)

 

Do we choose, rather, the interpretation of the words of Jesus that shows that we do not believe or know anything about whether or not Jesus has any plan at all for how to show the world the glory of God to work miracles for His purpose in sending Jesus here? 

 

Are we friends of Jesus?  Do we really know our Master’s business here on earth?  He’s in the fruit business; and He put His Spirit in us to produce eternal fruit of the Spirit. 

 

Do we know the eternal, holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers, of every Christian denomination and faith group, for which Jesus died and was resurrected to show us God’s Spirit in Himself, which Spirit He gives to live in us believers?  Is there any other way we know the one Spirit of God?

“15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.” (Joh 15:15-17 NIV)

 

His plan and purpose is to unite us believers in His holiness and His self-sacrificial love for all believers.

“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:12-14 NIV)

 

That was the purpose that Jesus said His glory was given to enable believers to fulfill God's purpose in Christian unity, and it’s the same purpose the Father had for showing His self-sacrificial love to the world in Jesus on the cross, and it’s the same purpose of which Jesus spoke when He raised Lazarus, as Jesus prayed aloud to His Father in heaven in advance of resurrecting Lazarus, "that they may believe that you sent me."
“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:” (Joh 17:21-22 NIV)

“39 "Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days." 40 Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"” (Joh 11:39-40 NIV)

“I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."” (Joh 11:42 NIV)

 

If we believers never believe the glory to work miracles to make us one to show the world who sent Jesus, how will we answer the question Jesus asked Martha?

“Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"” (Joh 11:40 NIV)

 

Jesus said several times in the Bible the miracles He worked show that God sent Him. That same fact, that God sent Jesus, is shown the same through disciples today that ask and receive miracles in His name, by the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus sent to live in their hearts in His name, to show the world God sent Jesus to deliver God's self-sacrificial love for all believers in the name of Jesus.

“"I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.” (Joh 5:36 NIV)
13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:13-14 NIV)

“But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Joh 14:26 NIV)
“In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (Joh 16:23 NIV)

"26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” (Joh 16:26-27 NIV)

 

The prayer of Jesus for unity says we have been given the glory of God to work miracles to make us one in God allowing the world to know that God sent Jesus.

“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.” (Joh 17:21 NIV)
“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.” (Joh 17:23 NIV)

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:” (Joh 17:22 NIV)
 

As seen in the scriptures listed above, Jesus said in His prayer for unity which He prayed at that time just before His willing crucifixion, that He had then already given us believers the glory to work miracles for the express purpose of us believers becoming one together in God.  Jesus also said in His prayer for unity that that same glory He gave us believers to work miracles for Christian unity had previously been given to Him by the Father.  And Jesus said elsewhere in the Bible, in places where Jesus was working miracles, that the glory to work those miracles when He was a man on earth was given to Him in order to show to the world that God sent Him.

 

 

Their message lets us know the glory of God’s holiness and love in Jesus

We unite to let the world know His glory with us

(Joh 17:22, continued)

 

So was the working of miracles by Jesus how the world would come to know it was God's Son showing them the self-sacrificial love of God at the very time when they saw Jesus on that cross?  No.  Jesus asked His Father to forgive them at that time precisely because they didn't know what they were doing. 

 

A few knew, of course.  They agitated the crowd to make sure He was put up there. But most of the crowd didn't know, and the world had no idea God's son was killed there.

 

The assignment to unite all believers in Christ has been given to us believers today to give the world the opportunity once more to know God sent Jesus here for that purpose in Christian unity.  It's up to us repentant believers to make the world believe in that kind of self-sacrificial love from God to us in Jesus on the cross, by letting the world see that self-sacrificial love from us to one another because we are united together in it. 

 

God's glory to work miracles as done by Jesus and His apostles and first disciples gave evidence that Jesus was sent by God to show God's self-sacrificial love to the world so the apostles could believe, so as many disciples as possible who were there could believe, so every sheep the Father gave Jesus at that time could believe, and so the rest of us believers even today could eventually hear and believe their message about the Christ, so we could believe, and unite in God's self-sacrificial love in Jesus now to let the world believe.

 

We're the ones Jesus was talking about in His prayer who he said, "will believe in me their through their message", and we’re the only ones now who can let the world believe now God sent Jesus.

“"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,” (Joh 17:20 NIV)

And if we believers today truly, truly believe Jesus, then we know we have been given that same glory to work miracles that Jesus used to work His miracles, and even greater.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (Joh 14:12 NIV)

As the prayer of Jesus for Christian unity is now being fulfilled in us believers today it is because we believers finally know that that Christian unity is God's plan for us to accomplish now, that we are the ones to unite in believing and refreshing the memory of that message to the world, making it a reality they must deal with today; so that the world will have to consider the real possibility God sent Jesus to the earth and to the cross for all our sins and theirs.

 

The sheep the Father gave Jesus that are alive today will hear and follow the One Good Shepherd’s voice, if the Spirit of the One Good Shepherd who lays down His life for all the sheep, calls to them from the body of Christ on earth today, because we are one on earth in Jesus and in the Father in heaven, who are both one in God’s love: one in their holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers, including any of the world who will come to believe it so with us all, together in the name of Jesus.  

 

We know now we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us and the glory to work miracles Jesus gave us, to reveal to the world God's astounding grace in giving to all believers, whoever will believe it, the free gift of God's holiness and God's self-sacrificial love in Jesus for all us believers now and in the future to unite in His one Spirit.

 

In His prayer for Christian unity, where Jesus said "(Joh 17:22) I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:", Jesus is telling us God gave the glory to work miracles to all us believers for the express purpose to make all believers to be united as one in God, including all believers of every Christian denomination and faith group. 

 

All of us believers have been long given, by Jesus Himself, the same glory Jesus had on this earth to work His miracles in His Father's name, and that glory is still given us to work miracles in Jesus' name by the power of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus said the Father will send to each of us believers to be in us in the name of Jesus.

“But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Joh 14:26 NIV)

“the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (Joh 14:17 NIV)

On the subject of using God's glory to work miracles in order to make all believers one in God's love and holiness given to all believers, Jesus gives us believers the opportunity to believe God's word or not, with whatever kind of ears we choose to hear.  To do that, we would do well to consider carefully how we hear the words of Jesus, and pray the Holy Spirit to help us recall everything Jesus said to us about what Jesus has already given us that we may be one in His one, eternal Spirit of holiness and love for all believers, of every Christian denomination and faith group. 

 

Let’s start together in His Spirit in recalling these.

“But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Joh 14:26 NIV)

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (Joh 14:12 NIV)

"(Joh 17:22) I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:"

“Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"” (Joh 11:40 NIV)

 

 

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.” (Joh 17:23 NIV)
Meaning:

‘I in them on earth and you in me, as you, Father, are in me now as a man on earth doing all I say and do on earth, including working the miracles by the glory you gave me to glorify you, may both of us be in each believer, both of us in our one Spirit in them on earth working the miracles to glorify you, Father, in the Son, by the glory I gave them to make them one to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them for laying down their lives for all believers in obedience to my new command to them, even as you have loved me for laying down my whole life for all believers in obedience to your command to me.  May they be brought to complete unity in our one Spirit, so complete they have the full measure of the Holy Spirit in them as I do as a man, giving them the same fullness of joy I had being in the presence of God living in me as a man, and so complete it includes every single, little, believer who has been now committed by you, Father, to see God revealed in this life as one Spirit in Jesus in their own hearts, living in every believer who has and obeys the commands to be holy and love all believers in every Christian denomination and Christian faith group, that the world may believe you sent me to live in each of them as I now live in every member of the body of Christ on earth, as your Spirit of holiness and love for all believers who lives in anyone who will believe it so in my name.'

 

 

“I in them and you in me.”

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

Recall the previous verse 22 ended with a colon.

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:"

 

The "as we are one: I in them and you in me.", refers to the time Jesus is praying. For Jesus as a man on earth, that's effectively the same as all the time He spent during His ministry, because throughout that time Jesus was a man on earth filled with the Holy Spirit, and spiritually one with His Father in heaven.

“how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (Ac 10:38 NIV)

In the previous verse 22, Jesus said He already gave us the glory the Father gave Him, to work miracles for the purpose that, anytime after we receive the Holy Spirit in power, we believers may now, today be one, as He and the Father were one at the time Jesus was praying for Christian unity. 

 

Here in verse 23, Jesus next gives us an equivalent description of that unity which we now have with the Father, that is the same as the unity Jesus, the man, had with the Father at the time of His prayer when He said “I in them and you in me”.

 

The similarity to “I in them and you in me” then when Jesus was a man, means now both Jesus and the Father are now in each believer on earth, because inside each believer is Jesus, and inside Jesus is the Father, because we know they are one.  This equivalence to how the Father was in Jesus as a man is shown in John 14 where Jesus says the Father is living inside of Jesus while He was a man on earth, saying the Father’s own words through Jesus, and doing the Father’s own works through Jesus, including the miracles.

“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” (Joh 14:10-11 NIV)

 

So if we only know God by how we know Jesus, and if we really know Jesus by the words, and works, and miracles Jesus said and did here as a man, we have from that time on, already known the Father and seen the Father as well as Jesus, by the Father’s own words, works, and miracles He has said and done here on earth as a man in Jesus.

“Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (Joh 14:6-9 NIV)

 

This means we do know exactly what a man would do on earth with the Spirit of Jesus in the man, and we also know exactly what a man would do on earth with the Spirit of the Father in the man, because either way, the man would say and do the exact same things, because they are one Spirit, and the man would say and do exactly the same words and works with either in the man, because we have seen both when we have seen what Jesus said and did here.

 

So since we know what Jesus and the Father would each do in a man, then if both were in a man on earth at the same time, they would do exactly the same, but the miracles would be greater after the Holy Spirit was given to us believers in power in order to show that Jesus is now greater than He was, now one in the Father, given all power in heaven and earth.  

 

Jesus also says both Jesus and the Father are in each believer on earth, because we obey the teaching of Jesus, which like all the words of Jesus, are also the Father’s own words of teaching to us.

“Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (Joh 14:23-24 NIV)

 

We believers who have and obey the teaching of Jesus know that the teaching of Jesus includes first to be holy by believing in Jesus for our salvation from sin in God’s wonderful grace of the gift of repentance and remission of sins by His blood, and at the same time and same highest priority, equivalent to loving God, Himself, we have the command to obey Jesus’ own, new commandment to love all who so believe with our lives laid down for them all.

 

Any way you look at it, the commands to both seek to be holy as Jesus is holy, and to love all believers self-sacrificially as Jesus loved all believers, encompass all of His teachings for how to unite with other believers in His holiness and love for all believers, as Jesus loved us all.

“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” (1Jo 3:23 NIV)

“"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (Joh 13:34 NIV)

 

We also know that those words of Jesus’ new command are the words of the Father’s same new command to us, by the Father speaking and doing the words and works that Jesus says and does on the earth, so any command from Jesus obviously comes from both the Father and the Son.

 

The net effect of “I in them and you in me”, is that now both Jesus is in us, and the Father is in us, so both are inside the hearts of us believers now, by and with the Holy Spirit given in power in the name of Jesus, with both of them saying and doing the same works in us and through us in the world, including working the miracles through us in the name of Jesus by the glory Jesus gave us to make us believers all one in the one, eternal Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love we see and know only through Jesus, as one in His one Spirit of love for the believers in every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

 

“…May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me…”

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

There are two kinds of complete unity in God’s one Spirit of holiness and love in which we believers can unite in this world: individual, personal unity in the Spirit, and corporate, or whole "body of Christ" unity in the Spirit. 

 

1.     Individual or personal unity in the Spirit - Complete unity that is complete in the greatest possible degree of fullness of the Holy Spirit that God will give to the extent we each can believe He will give it to us as our loving Father, to live in each of us believers here on earth, which varies among brethren in Christ.

“Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them” (Ac 6:3 NIV)

 

2.     Corporate or whole "body of Christ" unity in the Spirit - Complete unity that is complete by including every person committed by the Father to the Son, who come to know the Father in the Son as revealed to them by the Son, and thus receive the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ, including all those who are non-believers in the world now, but who will come to believe when we believers become one so the world may believe God sent Jesus.

“"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Mt 11:27 NIV)

  

Jesus says God wants "complete unity" both ways in Christian unity.

 

 

"complete unity" individually = filled with Holy Spirit = complete joy

The fullness of joy results from knowing we’re in the presence of God in us

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

To understand individual or personal, complete unity in the Spirit in John 17:23, we have to understand first what Jesus calls His 'complete joy' or 'full measure of my joy', that results from being given the fullness of the Holy Spirit, all three of which (complete unity in the Spirit, complete joy, full measure of my joy) are given to all believers who ask for them and obey the command to be holy and have self-sacrificial love for all believers, of every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

This complete, full measure of the joy Jesus had, helps us to realize that God desires tremendously for us all to be completely full of His Spirit, simply by obeying Him and believing He wants to give it to us in fullness.

 

For each believer in the earth today, complete unity of the in the Spirit of God comes with being filled with the Holy Spirit, which results in the most complete joy we can have in this life of being already in the presence of God living within us, and is a foretaste of the greater joy we'll have with God in the next life when the dead in Christ awake.

 

This latter is the coming joy with God in heaven that was set before Jesus, that would come to Him after His ascension to the Father to be glorified with the glory He had with the Father before the world began.  At that time Jesus was given to pour out His Spirit on all believers starting at Pentecost.

 

The apostle Luke tells in Acts that David was referring to Jesus when he said in the psalm that He had gladness, rejoicing and hope because He looked forward to being in the presence of God.

“"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” (Ac 2:22 NIV)
“25 David said about him: "‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, 27 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’” (Ac 2:25-28 NIV)

 

 

"complete unity" individually = filled with Holy Spirit

Filling a person with joy in God's presence living in us begins in this life

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

In the Acts scriptures shown above, Luke quotes the psalm and affirms that David was talking about Jesus. But it's good to look at the scripture closely, and see part of it in the Psalms.

 

As often happens in the Psalms, it's not only about Jesus, it's also the words of Jesus.  Realize that the words of the “Holy One”, are the words of the only Holy One of Israel, the only perfect Holy One ever, the Christ who came to the world in Jesus of Nazareth

 

It's clear that the joy set before Jesus in the next life is what enabled Him to endure the cross. 

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:2 NIV)
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Ps 16:11 NIV)

 

But also notice the joy Jesus says He has in this life in the Psalms, because Jesus is the Holy One who has set the LORD always before Him in this life, at Jesus' right hand in His earthly body, and He will not be shaken, but His heart is glad and tongue rejoices, and His body rests secure, all in this life, knowing the even greater eternal pleasures that are ahead in the next life.

 

So it’s Jesus, Himself, speaking through David in the Psalm, who tells us that God, Himself, will fill Jesus with joy in the presence of God first in this life and even greater in the next. And we know that God filled Jesus with that joy in God's presence not only when He ascended to the Father, but starting before that when Jesus was a man, by God being with and in Jesus on earth, speaking the words Jesus spoke, and doing the things Jesus did, including the miracles, by being in God's presence actually living in Jesus on earth as one, God in Jesus, and Jesus in God; and not just joy for a moment on earth, but joy both now and even greater joy into eternity, and in the case of Jesus, glorified with the glory Jesus had with the Father before the world was.

 

Jesus had the joy of being one with God both in this life and continuing up to His death on the cross, which He endured for the joy set before Him, to be resurrected in the next life in God's presence, seated at God's right hand. And if we loved Jesus we would be happy for Him to go to that joy, because we would know that that joy of being with God in heaven, who is greater than any man, is the greatest joy there is in eternity.

“"You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (Joh 14:28 NIV)

So if there is any thing in this life with which God fills us with joy in this life, it's being in the presence of God by His Spirit living in us now, one with the Father and Jesus in this life, as assurance for even greater joy in the life to come with God in His glory.

“13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Eph 1:13-14 NIV)
 

And any evidence we see in this life of the glory Jesus gave us to work miracles in the name of Jesus, gives us believers the same fullness of joy in this life that Jesus had when He saw God working miracles for believers through His name on earth, giving believers proof that their names are written in heaven where all believers will know joy to the fullest in the next life eternally one with God in heaven.

“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."” (Lu 10:17 NIV)
“20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." 21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. 22 "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no-one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." 23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” (Lu 10:20-23 NIV)

That’s our eternal life that we believers all have to look forward to with joy now by letting God fill us with joy in this life by knowing that our eyes are also now as Jesus said, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see”, blessed now to see miracles by the glory Jesus gave us to make us one in God here, in God's presence of His Spirit living in us in this life, in the love and holiness we see only in Jesus, knowing the overwhelming eternal pleasures we will enjoy being in heaven with God through living now with all our faith in Jesus.

 

 

"complete unity" individually = filled with Holy Spirit

Jesus says God fills us with joy when God's presence lives in us

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

Jesus says in His prayer for Christian unity that our eternal joy of being in the presence of God begins now, in this life already, by having the knowledge now we are one in God, here and now already in this life.

 

In verse 4 of John Chapter 17, Jesus told us in His prayer for Christian unity He completed the work His Father gave Him to do on earth by giving eternal life to all those first disciples, including the 11 apostles God had given Him.

 

Jesus said He gave them that eternal life when He gave them the knowledge that they know the Father in heaven as the only true God by knowing the Father in Jesus Christ whom the Father sent.

“1 ¶ After Jesus said this, he looked towards 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.” (Joh 17:1-4 NIV)

 

Recall from the previous sections of this document all the ways Jesus assured us we believes today are given to be in the presence of God's Spirit living in us in this life.

 

Recall the part about verse John 17:21 showing the list of all the things that happen “On that day” when Jesus gave you to know your oneness with Him in the Father, as stated in John 14:20. 

A.   “He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

B.   “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor … the Spirit of truth…he …will be in you”

C.   “¶ I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you”

D.   “you will see me”,  meaning you’ll see Jesus living in you and know He is resurrected to life now in the Father in heaven

E.    “On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

 

Jesus promised in John 14:20 that Jesus certainly gives you to realize that you are one with the Father when you obey His commands to seek to be holy as Jesus is Holy and love all believers self-sacrificially, as Jesus did when He was a man.

“20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:20-21 NIV)

 

Jesus makes it clear that anytime after the Holy Spirit is given in power at the first Pentecost after His resurrection, on that very day when we know we’re one in the Father, whenever it takes place for each believer today who believes their message of the resurrection of Jesus and the pouring out of the Spirit He gave us believers, all, He will do the same for all believers today on that day we realize we are one with the Father if we just ask Jesus to give us the fullness of His one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers.

 

Just for clarity, here, Jesus obviously had the fullness of the Godhead in Himself when He was here on earth.  He always was and is God; we believers are not.

“9 For in Christ all the fulness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fulness in Christ, who is the Head over every power and authority.” (Col 2:9-10 NIV)

 

But that doesn't mean we can't be filled with the Holy Spirit by God. In fact, Jesus promised God will give the fullness of the Holy Spirit to live in each one of us if we just ask Him for it, knowing the one Spirit of holiness and love He has for all believers, knowing that He died and was resurrected to give us all His same, one Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers. 

 

Just as Jesus assures us we will realize we’re one with the Father on that day, Jesus also promises to give us the full measure of the Holy Spirit that can be in a person on earth, so that we can have the "full measure of my joy" as Jesus called it, that Jesus had here as a man.  Starting on that day, all we have to do is ask Him for the fullness of His Holy Spirit to be in us and we receive it.

 

 

"complete unity" individually = filled with Holy Spirit = complete joy

The fullness of the Holy Spirit God will give each believer

The 'complete/ full measure joy' promises of Jesus

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

Our joy made complete, or "full measure of my joy" as Jesus calls it in His prayer for Christian unity, is the joy that comes in the presence of God in this life, as a foretaste of even greater joy in the next.  This complete, full measure of joy in God's presence in this life occurs when the Holy Spirit lives in each, our own heart, filling our heart completely, by being given the fullness of the Holy Spirit, such as was given to the first believers gathered at Pentecost, and such as given to Jesus in His life as a man, and as shown below, is given to all believers. 

 

Jesus really wants to give us this greatest joy in this life that He had if we'll just pray for it understanding how much He loves all His children, in every Christian denomination and faith group. That's why He repeated it three different times, one of which was in His prayer for Christian unity in John 17, where He said this joy was the very purpose He was saying these things in His prayer before going to be with the Father in heaven.  

 

Love, joy, and peace are the most important fruits of the Spirit because God is self-sacrificial love for all believers; and God's presence by His Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers that we have in our hearts is the greatest joy we can have in this life; and that love for one another, together with our greatest joy in Christ in us, produces peace in our hearts individually, as well as peace in shared love and holiness between all brothers and sisters in Christ which the world can look in from the outside and see among those who belong to Christ, that the world may believe God sent Him.

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Ga 5:22-26 NIV)
“34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."” (Joh 13:34-35 NIV)

 

 

 

 

Three key scriptures for 'complete/full measure of my joy'

Joy as one in His love is personal "complete unity" in the Spirit

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

1.     “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (Joh 16:24 NIV)

2.     “"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.” (Joh 17:13 NIV)

3.      “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (Joh 15:11 NIV)

 

 

Now look at the list below for each of these three, numbered, 'complete/full measure of my joy' scriptures to be discussed in detail (along with reference scriptures), all three of which show that kind of joy in this life comes in our oneness in the presence of His Spirit living in us.

 

Understanding three key 'complete/full measure of my joy' scriptures

1.     “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (Joh 16:24 NIV)

Jesus promises us complete joy in filling us with the Holy Spirit

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

In this first of three listed 'complete/full measure of my joy' scriptures, Jesus says we can have the same full joy He had as a man in this life if we just believe it and ask for it in his name. 

 

He says it becomes available to us beginning on the day we know plainly of the Father; which begins on the day we believers first receive the Holy Spirit; which also, as noted earlier in John 14, is the day Jesus promised we would realize we are one with and in the Father, as Jesus the man was one with the Father.  Starting from that day and from then on we can ask anything in His name and we will receive it, including the fullness of the Holy Spirit living in us, all of which first became available to us on the first Pentecost after Jesus' ascension.

 

Note that the "on that day" as noted earlier in John 14, is the same day as referred to in this John 16 passage as "in that day".  This first listed joy scripture is mostly self explanatory remembering what's already been covered in this document about our oneness in the Father if we obey the commands to be holy and love all believers. 

 

The only thing we need to add is an understanding of what it means to pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit 'in the name' of Jesus, as will be shown below in the context of each of the three such listed joy scriptures.

 

To understand this first key, joy scripture, we need to see it together with the second listed key, "full measure of my joy" scripture that appears in John Chapter 17 in Jesus' prayer for Christian unity, to see how important the name of Jesus is to having the Holy Spirit who is sent to us to live in us in the name of Jesus.

 

The Holy Spirit sent to live in us in His name comes with the protection of that name.

“But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Joh 14:26 NIV)
“"When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.” (Joh 15:26 NIV)

The scripture below in Jesus' prayer in John 17 gives a good description of the protection that is given to each member in the body of Christ in the name of Jesus to protect believers after Jesus' ascension. After the ascension of Jesus to the Father, now the name of Jesus is no longer the name of a man on earth.  Instead, the name God gave to the man, Jesus of Nazareth, who is the Christ, is now available to be used on earth by the body of Christ here, and is given to us believers by God to unite in as one body in His Spirit of Christ here on earth, for our protection from evil so that we believers can overcome all evil in His name and serve God with joy knowing that evil cannot harm us.

“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.” (Joh 17:11-15 NIV)

 

Another great joy we have in the Holy Spirit that is related to the protection from evil in this life, is the knowledge that we have all our physical needs met in this life such as food, clothing, and housing, because we keep it our first priority in life to seek first God's kingdom in complete and continual obedience to Jesus as King in our own hearts by obeying His commanded holiness and love for all believers.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Mt 6:33 NIV)

Adding the above John 17 description of the protection in the name of Jesus along with the above assurance God gives that all our physical needs are met, together with scriptures already covered in this document about what happens starting anytime after that first Pentecost after the ascension when we realize our oneness in the Father, along with this first of three 'complete/full measure of my joy' scriptures shown in context below, gives the following list of things that give us complete joy in being filled with the Holy Spirit.

 

When we believers on earth now ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus, as the apostles and first disciples did at Pentecost after Jesus' ascension, we are certain to be filled with the Holy Spirit, giving us complete joy in this life these several, principle ways, among others:


Here's the context of this first listed key, joy scripture in John Chapter 16, and some related scriptures.

1.    
“23 ¶...I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. 25 "Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 ¶ I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father."” (Joh 16:23b-28 NIV)

“20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:20-21 NIV)

“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:12-14 NIV)
 

Now, we know our Father will give us whatever we ask in Jesus' name, and we know we're in that name by obedience to the new command of Jesus to be holy and love all believers self sacrificially, so that we can now ask with complete confidence for anything in His name including the fullness of the Holy Spirit we know is given us in His name, which we know is the presence of God in our hearts that will make our joy complete in this life and the next. 

 

So to increase our faith in the promise of Jesus to fill us with the Holy Spirit by praying for the fullness of the Holy Spirit like the apostles and first believers first did "on that day" and "in that day", we can add even more parables and scriptures below, which all have greater meaning because we now seek unity in the eternal one Spirit of God in holiness and love for all believers, in every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

As you read the second parable below, remember you are the friend of Jesus, the One who calls you His friend because you know your part in the Father's plan to unite all believers in holiness and love in Jesus.  So you're asking your dear friend, Jesus, who regards you as His loving friend for your obedience to His commands of holiness and love, who is now one with the Father in all power in heaven and earth, to fill you with the Holy Spirit so you can carry out your part in God's plan for the world as Jesus commanded you to do in His new commandment, and work greater miracles than He did because He said anyone who has faith in Him will so the world may believe God sent Him. 

 

And you're asking not so much for the loan of three loaves of ordinary bread, but you are praying to be filled with the Holy Spirit which is the part of the Trinity that God loans as a good faith deposit to all believers while yet in this life, "a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance" in the next, given to you now in the name of Jesus who is "the bread of life" in whose name you pray and know you have life, and you're asking for the Holy Spirit in the fullness Jesus promised would be given to anyone that asks in His name to make your joy in this life complete in His presence in you.

“35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."” (Joh 6:35-40 NIV)
“44 "No-one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 No-one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life.” (Joh 6:44-48 NIV)
“13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Eph 1:13-14 NIV)

“23 ...I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (Joh 16:23b-24 NIV)

As you pray, remember that you are asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father, by miracles showing God's Son sent to the world is now in the Father in heaven, given all power in heaven and earth, eagerly willing and powerfully able to give that bread of life to anyone who will believe it so in the name of Jesus.

 

Remember that when you ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to work miracles like Jesus did, it is because you want to show the miracles as evidence to non-believers so the world may believe that God sent Jesus, just like Jesus did his miracles and promised He would do through any of us who have faith in Him, so more people will come out of the world to become God's children by faith in Jesus, to be gathered in one flock with one Shepherd, to be together with all God's children, resting in God's house in His protection.

“11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 ¶ I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (Joh 14:11-13 NIV)

 

Also remember as you pray that God does not have all His children at home with Him yet, not all are resting in His protection with Him yet.  Jesus still has other sheep in this world, children the Father has committed to Jesus, but are yet to be gathered to Him, unbelievers now who are yet to believe, as more and more believers of the body of Christ become one in God's Spirit of holiness and love for all believers, "that the world may believe".

“"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no-one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."” (Lu 10:22 NIV)
“I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (Joh 10:16 NIV)
“"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,” (Joh 17:20 NIV)

“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.” (Joh 17:21 NIV)

When you pray for the Holy Spirit in fullness, let the Holy Spirit, Himself, call to your memory these things Jesus has said, and the other scriptures, and the parable above along with the parable below; think of Jesus on the cross, and resurrected in all power.

 

As you pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit, think about how wonderful a Father our God must be, so full and overflowing with grace and self-sacrificial love for all believers that He would have His perfect Son endure that cross to be raised up to all power in heaven and earth, just to give His Spirit to live in us who believe it so in Jesus.

 

You know you're saved, that isn't the question for receiving miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit.  You know you believe in Jesus as God's holiness and love for all believers freely given to you by your faith in Jesus for the gift of repentance and forgiveness of sins.  You know your salvation is not in question, but you want to be filled with His Spirit just so you can do more in return for His self-sacrificial love for you, more to glorify the Father in glorifying the name of the Son, in whose name you pray, so the world may believe.

 

Then remember that mustard seed of faith you planted in your own heart.  The tiny seed of faith that may come from doing any small part of His will that you have left undone in the past.

 

It could be any humbling of yourself, of your spiritual pride over other believers in other Christian faith groups, or it could be any miniscule self-sacrifice you know you've done to rid yourself of any of the sins against holiness or sins against the love of all believers in every Christian denomination like those sins Paul listed in Galatians Chapter 5 as typical. 

 

It could be planted in your heart from any slightest act bearing fruits of the Spirit you've done in holiness and love to serve all believers in every Christian denomination and faith group; any of the typically positive fruit of the Spirit shown in Galatians 5, the love, joy, and peace, etc., that you know you've offered for the benefit of all believers in every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

It doesn't matter how small it is, it's your mustard seed God told you to find in God's holiness and love for all believers, in every Christian denomination and group, in that love that has been left undone by so many of us for so long.  Don't let anyone or anything take it away from you.  It's between you and God. 

 

He commanded His new commandment and you obeyed. So the only important thing is that you see that mustard seed in your heart as the best thing you know to do for His will in Christian unity, because then He will see it there, too, and love you for trying, in obedience to Him. 

 

God doesn't really need anything from any of us. We're the ones that need to learn to live in His love, from which all blessings flow forever.

 

Jesus laid down all His power to go through the self-sacrifice of that cross to show you His love, and now He has all that power back.  It's your love in return to Him, and your trust and faith in His love that you show to Him by seeking Him that He cares about.

“9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"” (Lu 11:9-13 NIV)

If it's a tiny mustard seed of faith for Christian unity, it's God's problem to make it something big if He wants to, not yours.  You're job is to trust Him, and patiently continue to remain in Him, in his holiness and love for all believers, having faith that He knows your heart, every thought you ever have, how you've made His kingdom and righteousness your first priority, and no one can convince you otherwise.

 

You're not asking for something because you're better than other believers. You're asking for the fullness of the Holy Spirit with the full measure of His joy and peace in Christ to be given to you in this life because Jesus told you to ask for it, and you are just one more of His obedient servants that seeks to be holy as He is holy, while obeying His new commandment to love all believers and ask for the fullness of His Spirit. 

 

You're doing only what you've been told to do.

 

In seeking the Holy Spirit, are you not seeking God, Himself, to be in you in the name of Jesus, in the same holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers you see only in Jesus, in whom God says is the only way to seek God?

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Heb 11:6 NIV)
“The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him."” (Joh 8:29 NIV)
“21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 ¶ And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1Jo 3:21-24 NIV)

Now ask yourself this: if you can see that mustard seed of faith you obediently planted to obey His command for having His holiness and love for all believers in your heart already, knowing the kind of self-sacrificial love God suffered to put it there in you, then how much more fullness of the Holy Spirit will your loving Father in heaven give you just to let you know that you are one of His obedient servants?

 

Not a great servant.  A servant.

 

Not the One great, only begotten child of God.  One of the children of the one, good, great God, all of us freely credited with the holiness of His perfect First-born, the Christ.

 

If you're a believer, God thinks you have the holiness of Christ.  Will you agree with God?

 

How much power and glory in that Spirit Jesus said He already gave to all believers to make all believers one in that same Spirit, will God now give to you so that you can now work miracles even greater than Jesus worked, in miracles to be seen by the world to glorify the Father in glorifying the risen Son in whose name you pray, so that the world may believe God sent Jesus!

“5 Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7 "Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"” (Lu 11:5-13 NIV)

“"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Joh 3:16 NIV)
“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:” (Joh 17:21-22 NIV)

 

Understanding three key 'complete/full measure of my joy' scriptures

2.     “"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.” (Joh 17:13 NIV)

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

In this second of three listed 'complete/full measure of my joy' scriptures, Jesus is speaking His prayer for Christian unity when Jesus tells us that the reason He says these things while He's still in this world is so that all believers may have the full measure of joy within themselves in this life, that Jesus had within Himself as a man in this life.  We believers all need to learn that this "full measure" of Jesus' joy, as well as the personal, "complete unity" of each believer with God, comes from being in God's presence living in our own hearts in this life, filled with the Holy Spirit, who is living in us as God's eternal, one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers in every Christian denomination and faith group.

2.     “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.” (Joh 17:11-16 NIV)

 

All Christians agree this is the prayer of Jesus for Christian unity, but there is little agreement as to what is the "full measure of my joy" Jesus is talking about here when He says "I say these things".

 

Jesus makes it hard to miss what "these things" are Jesus is referring to in this prayer.  Three separate times in the space of thirteen consecutive verses in His prayer for Christian unity, from verse 11 to 23 of John Chapter 17, Jesus refers to all believers becoming one or being brought to complete unity (made perfect in one).  So Christian unity is obviously the focus of "these things" Jesus is referring to in His prayer, as most all Christians would agree. 

 

Jesus speaks specifically of Christian unity of all believers three times in His prayer when He says "I say these things".

  1. “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.” (Joh 17:11 NIV)
  2. “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.” (Joh 17:21 NIV)
  3. “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.” (Joh 17:22-23 NIV)

Now notice in each of these three times Jesus refers to Christian unity in His prayer, Jesus says it is Christian unity in the Spirit of God either in the Father, in Jesus, or in them both (in the Trinity with the Holy Spirit).

Quite a few Christians overlook this fact and try to suggest we Christians must unite in something other than God's own Spirit, but it's hard to miss if you look in His prayer for Christian unity.  This is really important to remember when seeking Christian unity.

It is spiritual Christian unity Jesus prays for, unity in the one Spirit of God.

The fact that each of these three verses, along with all the other verses in Jesus' prayer all are shown to refer to our unity in God's eternal, one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers given to us in Jesus, is of course the subject of this whole section on "Parts of Jesus' Prayer for Christian Unity" within this document. 

But we must remember above all that these three scriptures in His prayer for Christian unity state plainly and simply God wants unity in His own, one Spirit.

  1. “...one as we are one.” (Joh 17:11 NIV)
  2. “...one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us...” (Joh 17:21 NIV)
  3. “...that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity....” (Joh 17:22b-17:23a NIV)

So Christian unity in the Spirit of God in each of us believers is clearly the focus of "these things" Jesus is praying for in His prayer for Christian unity, and the reference to joy is because our oneness in the Spirit of God gives us joy in the presence of God in us, and us in Him, first in this life, and even more joy in the next. Jesus is saying all these things in this prayer for Christian unity because He knows the world is going to hate us for not being of the world, and in His absence from the earth as a man, for us to overcome the hatred of the world we are given the full measure of the same joy He had as a man of continuously being in God's presence by His Spirit living in us in fullness of the Holy Spirit now, and all the joys that come with that Spirit in His name including our protection from all evil, and the guarantee of even more joy with Him in heaven.

“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.” (Joh 17:13-15 NIV)

This means
in this particular, "full measure of my joy" scripture of John 17:13, that Jesus is telling us about the extent of the fullness in which the Holy Spirit will be given to us, when Jesus ascends to be with the Father, and then the Holy Spirit is sent in power to be in the apostles and first disciples in the name of Jesus starting at the Day of Pentecost, and anytime from that day forward, to any and all believers who will ask for it starting on that day.

 

Jesus is saying that God will not only give us the Holy Spirit in power, but give us the full measure of the same joy Jesus had in being in the presence of God living in Jesus as a man, by giving us the full measure of the Holy Spirit to live within us in our hearts that was given with power to Jesus when He was a man here on earth.

"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." (Joh 17:13 NIV)

"I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."" (Lu 24:49 NIV)

"8 I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." (Ps 16:8-11 NIV)

"20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:20-21 NIV)

 

This "full measure of my joy" scripture in the prayer of Jesus for Christian unity, by which Jesus promises to give any believer who asks for it the same, full measure of the Holy Spirit Jesus had as a man on earth, is in full agreement with the promise Jesus made that any of us who have faith in Jesus will work even greater miracles than Jesus did, because Jesus is going to the Father so God wants to glorify the Father in the name of the Son with even greater miracles than Jesus did as a man, to show the world that Jesus is now with God in all power in heaven and earth, so that the world may believe that Jesus was sent here by God.

“11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 ¶ I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.

14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. 15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command." (Joh 14:11-15 NIV)

 

And the only condition that Jesus placed on us believers receiving the full measure of the Holy Spirit Jesus had as a man by anyone who prays for it is the requirement that has been shown over and over throughout this document for receiving the Holy Spirit, which starting on Pentecost after the ascension of Jesus, became available for all believers on any day we start to obey the commands of Jesus to seek to be one with Him in the one Spirit of His holiness and His self-sacrificial love for all believers, including believers in every Christian denomination and faith group.

"20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."" (Joh 14:20-21 NIV)

"12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command." (Joh 15:12-14 NIV) "14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."" (1Pe 1:14-16 NIV) 


 

Understanding three key 'complete/full measure of my joy' scriptures

3.      “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (Joh 15:11 NIV)

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

In this third and last of three 'complete/full measure of my joy' scriptures, the subject here again is us believers being given God's Spirit living in us in this life, just as it was the subject in the first two listed joy scriptures, because Jesus says both His full joy and our full joy, is being in the presence of God by being one with the Spirit of God living in each, our own heart, starting in this life, and even more joy in the next life. 

 

Here in John 15, our oneness with God's Spirit living in us, and us living in His Spirit, is shown with the metaphor of the vine, branches, and fruit of the Spirit, making it clear that God's Spirit is God's love, so that the passage culminates in God's command to love: the new command of Jesus to lay down our lives in love for all believers.

 

Here's the whole scripture passage from John Chapter 15 to be explained here below this passage.

“1 ¶ "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 ¶ "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. 18 ¶ "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them what no-one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfil what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ 26 ¶ "When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.” (Joh 15:1-26 NIV)

 

Jesus is the vine flowing with God's holiness and love for all believers

Branches pruned in God's discipline for self-sacrifice bear Fruit in Him

 

Jesus is the true vine of God’s holiness and love for all believers.  God looks for the sign of seed-bearing life in each branch in that vine, the living fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of His Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers, to be growing in every living branch. 

“1 ¶ "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (Joh 15:1-2 NIV)
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Ga 5:22-23 NIV)

 

If we choose to not be holy or love all believers, and therefor not to remain in Jesus, then God eventually cuts off any totally unfruitful branch if we are obstinate and unwilling to repent.  If that happens then we have no living fruit in us, God cuts us off entirely and we are eventually thrown into the fire and burned up.  As a result, the godly branches that remain in Jesus produce even more fruit, not burdened by the unfruitful branch.

 

If we choose to remain in Jesus, God helps us by pruning the partly fruitful branches, correcting our errors, to help us produce more fruit of His Spirit. 

 

For each of us believers, that pruning process involves our willing cooperation in daily self-sacrifice of that sinful nature we each crucify within ourselves, while God helps us in our daily efforts to sanctify ourselves by lovingly disciplining all the children He loves as His own.

“19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Ga 5:19-21 NIV)
“24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Ga 5:24-26 NIV)
“4 ¶ In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.” (Heb 12:4-10 NIV)

The
apostles and first disciples of Jesus were made clean and pruned of unfruitful branches in themselves by the word Jesus had spoken to them, including the word of God’s gift of repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name.

“You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” (Joh 15:3 NIV)

“From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."” (Mt 4:17 NIV)

“34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."” (Joh 13:34-35 NIV)
 

The first disciples had for the most part been fruitful in bearing fruit of the Spirit of God’s love and holiness in Jesus for the world to see, showing the glory Jesus gave them to receive the miracles they prayed for in Jesus’ name. 

“17 ¶ The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." 18 He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Lu 10:17-19 NIV)
 

Earlier, prior to this discussion in John Chapter 15 of branches, the only exception to fruitfulness, the one, totally unfruitful branch among His apostles up to that time, Judas Iscariot, had, himself, been cut off by the word of God in Jesus.

“Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.” (Joh 13:26 NIV)

“As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.” (Joh 13:30 NIV)

 

 

Choose to remain in Jesus => Jesus chooses to remain in believer

=>you are the branch that bears much fruit of the Spirit

 

Starting in John 15:4, Jesus now uses the vine and branches to show that it is the believer’s choice to remain in Jesus. It is something the believer must choose to do.  If the believer chooses to remain in Jesus, Jesus promises that He will remain in the believer.  The believer chooses to remain in Jesus when the believer chooses to obey the commands of Jesus to be holy and love all believers self-sacrificially.

“4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” (Joh 15:4-6 NIV)

 

Jesus is the vine, the living source of God’s holiness and God’s love for all believers who are the branches in Jesus, branches that bear the fruit of the Spirit fed holiness and love only from the one Vine.  Apart from Jesus as that living source of God’s holiness and God’s love for all believers, we branches can bear no fruit of the Spirit, we can do nothing a branch should do, so apart from Jesus, we're eventually gathered and thrown in the fire to be burned up.

 

 

Quick Summary of Meanings in Vine Parable (Joh 15:7-17)

 

Choose to remain in Jesus 

=>Jesus chooses to remain in believer

=>you are the branch that bears much fruit of the Spirit

 

Choose His words of command to remain in us

=>receive any thing we pray in Jesus' name for God's glory

 

Choose to remain in His love

=>you are the branch that bears much fruit of the Spirit

=>you bear eternal fruit to Father's glory in the Son whose name we claim to follow

=>shows world we are His disciples following in the name of true Son of God

 

All are true by choosing to obey commands be holy and love all believers, in every Christian denomination and faith group:

Choose to remain in Jesus = choose His words of command to remain in us = choose to remain in His love

 

Having started in verses 4-6 by referring to how Jesus will remain in us if we choose to remain in Jesus and bear fruit of the Spirit, next, starting in verse 7, He now says if we remain in Him, which we do by making the choice for His words of command to remain in us, meaning His words remain in us as commands we keep and do, then we get whatever we pray for that glorifies the Father in the Son by bearing much fruit to show the world we are disciples of the one Jesus who was sent to the world by God. 

7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (Joh 15:7-8 NIV)

 

 

Choose to remain in Jesus = choose His words of command to remain in us

 

Jesus makes it clear when He says "remain in my words", He's talking about His words of command to us which He discussed in verses 9, and 12 through 14, so remaining in Jesus, Himself, is equal to choosing for His words of command to remain in us. 

 

As the Father has loved Jesus for obeying the command to be holy and lay down His whole life for all believers, Jesus loves us for seeking to be holy as He is holy, and loving all believers with our lives laid down for them all, as Jesus has loved us all.  (As defined elsewhere in, and used throughout, this document, the requirement for us to seek to live in the perfect holiness of Christ here is understood by Jesus to be the very definition of what it means to be a believer, or disciple, or follower in the name of Jesus at all.)

“"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (Joh 15:9 NIV)

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life— only to take it up again.” (Joh 10:17 NIV)
“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:12-14 NIV)

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:21 NIV)

“15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."” (1Pe 1:15-16 NIV)

 

 

Choose His words of command to remain in us

=> receive anything believers pray in Jesus' name for God's glory

 

If we choose to remain in Jesus and His words of command remain in us to be holy and love all believers self-sacrificially, we believers can ask whatever we wish, and it will be given us. This glorifies the Father in the Son, because it shows the Son whose name we claim to follow as disciples, is One with His Father in heaven now, risen and in all power in heaven and earth, with power to give us any miracles we wish to do in His name, for God's glory.

 

The very act of letting the world see that we receive whatever we wish united in prayer together as one in the name of Jesus to glorify the Father is, itself, how we believers bear much fruit of the Spirit of God who lives in us, showing ourselves to the world to be the disciples who follow Him together united as one in His one Spirit, in the one Jesus who was sent by God to give His Spirit of holiness and  love to all who will believe it so in the name of Jesus.

“7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (Joh 15:7-8 NIV)

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (Joh 14:13 NIV)

“34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."” (Joh 13:34-35 NIV)
“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.” (Joh 17:21 NIV)

 

 

Choose His words of command to remain in us = Choose to remain in His love

 

Having made it clear that choosing to remain in Jesus, Himself, is equal to choosing to remain in His words of command, and as a result, that we show ourselves as in verses 7-8 to be His disciples by bearing much fruit of the Spirit given by God to us in power and glory to work in whatever miracles we wish to receive to glorify the Father in the Son, now starting in John 15:9, Jesus shifts the reference once again to one more, most important, identical analogy to choosing to remain in the vine, and choosing to remain in Jesus, Himself, and choosing His words of command to remain in us, which is that He now calls this same choice by us our choice to remain in His love.

 

“"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (Joh 15:9 NIV)

In doing so, Jesus has equated being in Himself with being in His love, which could only be because God is love, and God is in His self-sacrificial love for all believers.

 

He made this point here that He, Himself, and His love, and our obedience to His commands are all equal because He's about to define for us in verses 9 through 17 what His one, new command to us is, and how it fits into God's powerful plan for uniting all His children in His one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers, now in this life.

 

His command is self-sacrificial love, with our lives laid down for all repentant believers, in every Christian denomination and faith group, just like His life was.

 

“9 ¶ "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:9-14 NIV)

 

The Father has loved Jesus for His obedience in laying down His whole life for all believers and Jesus has loved us for our obedience for the same reason, and as a result of our obedience together with Jesus, we are all buried with Him and raised up to be with Him in heavenly places, in Jesus, in love, in His self-sacrificial love for all believers.

“4 ¶ But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” (Eph 2:4-6 NIV)

 

God is love, and God is in His self-sacrificial love for all believers, in every Christian denomination and faith group, and when we obey His commands to love as He loves, loving all believers with our lives laid down for them all, we are complete in God's love, complete in God Himself, who is love.

“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.” (1Jo 2:3 NIV)
“But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:” (1Jo 2:5 NIV)
“7 ¶ Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1Jo 4:7-12 NIV)

Jesus shows Himself to us, and shows His oneness with God to us, showing us how to be complete in His love, how we can be complete in the one Spirit of God, Himself, in His self-sacrificial love for all believers.  We believers become the friends of Jesus who love Him with the greatest kind of love we can, when we see Jesus, Himself, in His self-sacrificial love for all believers and we then join Him in His greatest love, by laying down our lives with Him in it, as our part in His plan for the world. 

“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:12-14 NIV)
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:21 NIV)

 

It's not our love; it's not our idea. It's His love and His idea, and we are being given the overflowing grace of God to be allowed to join Him completely in it, joining in His eternal, one Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers, in every Christian denomination and faith group.

“9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1Jo 4:9-10 NIV)
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1Jo 3:16 NIV)

 

As shown in all three of these three listed 'complete/full measure of my joy' scriptures, having the complete joy of living with the fullness of God's Holy Spirit in us is the greatest, most complete joy we are given by God to have in this life, knowing that we are living here in the presence of God living in ourselves, and us in Him in heaven, guaranteed to live in even more joy with Him when the dead in Christ arise and we join Him in heaven.

 

In this last listed of the three such joy scriptures, Jesus shows Himself plainly to us in His self-sacrificial love to us, showing us how we can be completely one with Him in His self-sacrificial love for all believers, showing us how we, too, like Jesus was as a man, can be, to the fullest extent as believers on earth possibly can be, living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit God sends to live in us in the name of Jesus, by choosing to be completely one in God who is self-sacrificial love for all believers, so that we can be living now in this life, in the same, complete joy Jesus gives us all in the fullness of His Holy Spirit in us.

“9 ¶ "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (Joh 15:9-11 NIV)

 

Now we believers must remain completely one in Jesus, one in His one Spirit of love for all believers, continually keeping in step with the Spirit, taking up each, our own self-sacrificial cross for unity in Jesus every day, remaining continually obedient together as one, in His one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers.
“Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Lu 9:23 NIV)

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Mt 10:39 NIV)

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Ga 5:22-26 NIV)

 

If we continue to obey the commands of Jesus to seek to be holy as He is holy, and to love all believers as Jesus loved all us believers, with our lives laid down for all believers, then we remain in the self-sacrificial love of Jesus, the same as Jesus remained in His Father’s self-sacrificial love for all believers, for obeying the Father’s command to be holy and lay His life down for us all.

 

When we remain in God's self-sacrificial love for all believers we remain always the friends of Jesus who love Him and obey His commands for holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers.  In this self-sacrificial love of God's, we show the world that we are the loving friends of Jesus who know that the business of Jesus' Father is producing fruit of the Spirit here on earth, like He produced living here in His Son, with His Son on earth living in Him, and we have been chosen and appointed by Jesus to bear that fruit of the Spirit given to us in the name of Jesus, fruit that will last forever among us in our love, joy, and peace among all us believers, fruit born from His eternal, one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers now living in us.

 

When the world, which has never seen or known God, looks in from outside to see what life looks like among those that belong to Christ, and it sees us there living together completely one in God's Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers, including believers in every Christian denomination and faith group, the world will also see that by that fruit of the Spirit we bear for one another, we must be pleasing our Father God in heaven, because by bearing that fruit that will last in His eternal, one Spirit of love for all believers, the Father gives us now whatever we ask in the name of Jesus to glorify God.

 

Some in the world will see the miracles and come to Jesus.  Those are the ones for whom Jesus gave us His glory in miracles that we may be one that the world may believe God sent Jesus.

 

The rest of the world will hate us believers for showing them those miracles the same way they hated Jesus, as Jesus made clear in John 15:18-27, as in this verse.

“If I had not done among them what no-one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.” (Joh 15:24 NIV)

It is not our testimony alone to the world that convinces the world God sent Jesus.  The fact that God sent Him to the world is testified by the Holy Spirit, Himself, living in complete fullness in us, because by bearing that fruit that will last, then the Father will give us whatever we ask in the name of Jesus, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.

 

And this is His command, that we believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, for the wonderful grace of God for giving us faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins in repentance, and to love one another as he commanded us, as He loved us, with our lives laid down for all believers, in every Christian denomination and faith group.

“14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.” (Joh 15:14-17 NIV)
“21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 ¶ And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1Jo 3:21-24 NIV)

“12 No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 ¶ And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.” (1Jo 4:12-14 NIV)

That self-sacrificial Love, is the eternal, One Vine who "the world may believe" is sent here by God, who will carry all believers through this life together as one in Jesus and into the next; all believers living now and forever together in the eternal, one Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love of God for all believers, in every Christian denomination and faith group; with all believers producing eternal fruit of the Spirit in this life that lasts forever; gathering from out of the world, and grafting into that One Vine of self-sacrificial love, all in the world who will ever believe it is freely given to them to live in it together with us, and give them eternal life in Jesus the same as every believer living in it already, given also to them equally now and forever, just by believing it so in the name of Jesus.

 

This ends the section of this document about joy titled

Three key scriptures for 'complete/full measure of my joy'

Joy as one in His love is personal "complete unity" in the Spirit

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

 

 

 

 

"complete unity" corporately = includes all who will believe in Jesus

Complete unity by including every person committed by the Father to Jesus

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

We also make unity complete in all of us believers when we make sure not a single “one another” who belongs to Christ is left out of unity in Christ’s holiness and Christ’s eternal love for all believers given to whoever will believe it so in the name of Jesus.

 

Jesus said He didn’t want a single believer to be left out of the body of Christ, not missing even one little believer, who Jesus calls “one of these little ones who believe in me”, but every little one of them must be welcomed in His name, by any believers who want to be greatest compared to other believers in the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus said those believers who want to be greatest will humble themselves like children to all other believers.  Jesus wants so much for His little ones and all His children to be gathered in to His one flock, that if we reject even one little one as a fellow child of God, we reject Jesus, for which we’ll receive due punishment.

“1 ¶ At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” (Mt 18:1-5 NIV)

 

Jesus wants every little believer so much He said that it would be better for us to cut off a hand from the body of Christ, if the hand causes one of these little ones who believe in Jesus to sin. Jesus expects us to look for His sheep that have wandered away from His one flock as hard as He looks for them, and we are not to drive away even one believer who will come to unity in Jesus.

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no-one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (Joh 12:46 NIV)

“1 ¶ At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 ¶ "Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. 10 "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. 11 12 "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” (Mt 18:1-14 NIV)

“37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."” (Joh 6:37-40 NIV)

 

Jesus said believers who are not wise and learned, but like little children who have been committed by the Father to Jesus, will have the hidden things of God revealed to them, and truly see the Father revealed by Jesus. 

“25 ¶ At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. 27 "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Mt 11:25-27 NIV)

 

So Jesus would even include an unwise and unlearned child in the “whoever” Jesus says has and obeys His commands to be holy and love all believers with their lives laid down in love for us believers all, like Jesus loved us believers all, will also see Jesus show Himself to be one in the Father, in this Christian unity in Jesus.

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:21 NIV)

“On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (Joh 14:20 NIV)

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (Joh 15:12-15 NIV)

“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.” (Joh 17:21 NIV)

 

  

Verse 23 is complete oneness of verse 22, both individually and corporately

We seek both for miracles by the glory given to make us completely one

(Joh 17:23, continued)

 

Here in verse 23, recall that Verse 22 ended with a colon because now verse 23 give details equivalent to explain the oneness for which purpose the glory to work miracles to make us completely one was long ago given to us believers to use in this life starting for us when the Holy Spirit was first given to us in power after Jesus was glorified in heaven with His Father.

 

Here in verse 23, Jesus says that oneness we have with the Father now which is the same as Jesus had with the Father when He was a man on earth, when it includes the fullness of the Holy Spirit being given to us when we ask for it in obedience to His new command, and when it includes every single, little believer in our self-sacrificial love.

 

Verse 22 - ‘I already gave them the same glory to work miracles you gave me to work miracles as a man here on earth, for the purpose to use again any time after the Holy Spirit is given to them in power, that they may be one as you and I are one now on earth at the time of my prayer in using that glory to work miracles for Christian unity in holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers that the world may believe I am one with You in all believers in my name.’

 

In summary, the prayer part May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me”, means that as the world sees those miracles worked by the glory the Father gave Jesus to give us believers today, we now let the world know by our complete unity both individually in the fullness of His one Spirit, and corporately loving every single believer, that God sent Jesus to lay down His life for, and give eternal life to, all in the world who will believe it so.

 

 

“and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

(Joh 17:23, continued) 

 

The prayer part and have loved them even as you have loved me”, means the miracles that God works among us for Christian unity in God's holiness and love for all believers also let the world know that God must truly love us believers for obediently laying down our lives for all believers even as the Father truly loved Jesus for laying down His life for all believers, of every Christian denomination and Christian faith group.

“17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life— only to take it up again. 18 No-one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."” (Joh 10:17-18 NIV)

“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:12-14 NIV)

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:21 NIV)

 

 

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.” (Joh 17:24 NIV)
24 meaning:

'Father, I want all those believers you have given me, of every Christian denomination and faith group, to follow me into the grave of self-sacrifice for all believers, to be with me “where I am” now at the time of my prayer.  Now as a man in this life, “where I am”, is in your love for all believers, one in you, Father, in the God who is love, because I lay down my whole life for them all only to take it up again for eternal life in you, Father.  I am in you now,  “where I am”, spiritually in your love by my obedience to lay down my life for all believers, where I have the greatest possible joy now, knowing I am in your presence now with your Spirit living in me as one with you, seeing how you honor me now with the glory you have given me to work miracles to glorify you, Father, as your Son, because you loved me before the creation of the world, because even then, you foreknew that I would fulfill my part of your plan to unite all believers in your one, eternal Spirit of holiness and love for all believers, so I can join you in the eternal glory I had with you before the world began.  I want whoever serves me to obey my new command to lay down their lives in this world for all believers, only to take their lives up again for eternal life in you, so they too can have my same, greatest possible joy now to be in our presence in their own hearts, in the Spirit of love which we have for them, for their obedience to our new command to lay down their lives for all believers, seeing how you honor them now as your own children, sheep, disciples, followers, and branches bearing much fruit of the Spirit, honoring them to see my glory,  the glory I gave them to work miracles in the name of Jesus to glorify you, Father, in the Son, because even before the world began, you foreknew each one of them would fulfill their part to follow me and serve all believers, by laying down their lives in your plan to unite all believers in our one, eternal Spirit of holiness and love for all believers.'

 

 

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am"

(Joh 17:24, continued)

 

When Jesus says, ‘where I am” here, He means where He is as He prays: He's a man on earth who is spiritually in the Father, living here with His whole life laid down in self-sacrificial love for all believers, where the Father honors Jesus as His own son.

 

Jesus says His servant follows Jesus to be where He is in the Father, by laying down His life in this world in order to keep it for eternal life. Any servant serving Jesus there would have to obey the new commandment of Jesus, which is also the Father’s new commandment, to be Holy and to serve and love all believers self-sacrificially as Jesus does, including believers of every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

Key scripture:

“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.” (Joh 12:26 NIV)

 

Context:

“Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.” (Joh 12:23-26 NIV)

 

 

“where I am” is not “where I go”, Jesus knows the difference

(Joh 17:24, continued)

 

In John Chapter 7, Jesus addressed a crowd that included both unbelieving Jews and some who were beginning to put their faith in Jesus, so for the sake of the believers, by “where I go”, He addresses the time when he ascends to the Father so the Holy Spirit can come to believers in power.  He’s telling the believers in the crowd that “where I am” now, a man in the world while spiritually one in His Father in heaven, is a place the believers cannot come until after they receive the Holy Spirit in power at Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. 

 

Jesus is going to the Father to be glorified with the glory He had with Him before the world began, and the Father then sends the Holy Spirit in power to be in the believers in Jesus’ name at the Day of Pentecost. Those who believe will be able to be where Jesus says "where I am", only after the Holy Spirit is given in power, so they can be men living in the earth while spiritually in the Father.  Those Jews who remain unbelievers will look for the body of Jesus, and keep looking for a Messiah, but will never be where Jesus said He was as a man, “where I am”, a man living in the earth while spiritually one in the Father in heaven.

 

Key scripture:

“You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come."” (Joh 7:34 NIV)

 

Context:

“31 Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?" 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him. 33 Jesus said, "I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come." 35 The Jews said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?" 37 ¶ On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” (Joh 7:31-39 NIV)

 

 

“where I go” is not “where I am”
(Joh 17:24, continued)

 

In John Chapter 8, Jesus speaks to some unbelieving Jews that are worldly and hate the truth that Jesus tells them about Jesus being the only way to God.   Jesus tells them that by their unbelief in Him they cannot ever come to the Father where Jesus is going to spend eternity, but rather those Jews will die in their sins, thinking they are still look for the Messiah to come to Israel.

 

Key scripture:

“Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come."” (Joh 8:21 NIV)

 

Context:

“Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come." This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?" But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins."” (Joh 8:21-24 NIV)

 

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (Joh 8:44 NIV)

 

 

“where I am” says Jesus, the man, is in the Father in heaven

one now in this life, in His Father’s love for all believers

(Joh 17:24, continued)

 

Key scripture:

Joh 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

 

We believers will enter heavenly rooms in heaven when the dead in Christ arise, that is true, but before that, Jesus first sent the Holy Spirit to be in us in power in this life, starting at the first Pentecost after His resurrection, so that we could be in the Father now in this life, where Jesus said He was when He was a man in this life, as evidenced by the miracles He worked.

“10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” (Joh 14:10-11 NIV)

 

Speaking to His disciples about this coming gift of the Holy Spirit in power to His disciples, Jesus says He prepares a place for us in this life to be where He is while speaking as a man, “where I am”, meaning “where I am” now,  which is a man spiritually in the Father, in God who is love, in the Father’s love for all believers, in God’s house which is built here in this life on the foundation of the holiness and self-sacrificial love of God in Jesus, in which all believers are living stones.  This place which Jesus says is the place “where I am”, is the house of Christian unity on earth in which there are many rooms in God, here now in this life, a room for every single believer who seeks to live here on earth while spiritually in God’s eternal holiness and love for all believers in Jesus.

 

There's even rooms in that house that Jesus has prepared for any number of believers with faith in Jesus for miracles, rooms that include the glory to work miracles that Jesus offered as evidence that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, and even greater miracles.

“11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 ¶ I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:11-14 NIV)

The place where Jesus is going in John 14:3, “and if I go”, is to ascend to the Father, 40 days after His resurrection, and be glorified with the glory He had with the Father before the world began.  Then beginning 10 days after He ascends, the Holy Spirit is first given in power to the disciples, when Jesus will come back to the first believers then as the Counselor, Holy Spirit, and Spirit of truth, and Jesus has ever since that time come to all of us believers who ever will believe in the name of Jesus by their message about Christ. 

 

Jesus says He "will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am". When Jesus comes back as the Counselor and Holy Spirit, the Spirit will be given to us in power while we are yet living in this earth so we can be where Jesus was when He said "where I am", and Jesus will be with us in that Spirit, "you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you”".

 

Jesus will come to us all in this life as the Counselor, and the Holy Spirit, to remind us of everything Jesus said and be in us as the Spirit of truth, who is Jesus.  He will help us to remember His words that assure us we realize where Jesus will be on that day He comes to take us to the rooms He prepared by the Holy Spirit given in power to us believers, in rooms where we can be in the Father while yet alive in the earth when He says, “On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you”.

“4 ¶ As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."” (1Pe 2:4-6 NIV)

 “2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 ¶ You know the way to the place where I am going."” (Joh 14:2-4 NIV)

 “16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 ¶ I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (Joh 14:16-20 NIV)

“But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Joh 14:26 NIV)

 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."” (Ac 1:8 NIV)
 

When we come to be one in the Father in this life, as Jesus was one in the Father in this life when He said “where I am”, we realize we are where Jesus was then when He spoke these words, because God is love and we are now in the self-sacrificial love of the Father for all believers just like Jesus was then, because we obey the new command of Jesus and the Father to lay down our lives for them all, where we can count on the evidence of the miracles themselves, just as Jesus did when He was a man while one in the Father in heaven, by which miracles God honors both Jesus and all believers as His own.

Joh 14:6  Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.

Joh 14:10  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

“11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 ¶ I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:11-14 NIV

Joh 14:20  On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

“44 ¶ Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.” (Joh 12:44-45 NIV)

 “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."” (Joh 14:21 NIV)

“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:12-14 NIV)

“25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.” (Joh 12:25-26 NIV)

 

 

To see the glory Jesus had and gave us which the Father gave to Him

(Joh 17:24, continued)

 

 “and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world”

Meaning:

'and to see my glory when they work miracles to glorify you as their part in gathering all believers as one in our one Spirit, Father, using the same glory you have given me as a man to work miracles to glorify you, because you loved me before the creation of the world for fulfilling my part in you plan to make them all one in our eternal, one Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers'

 

God gave Jesus the glory to work miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit given to Jesus as a man in this life because the Father foreknew before the creation of the world that Jesus would fulfill His assignment to lay down His life to give eternal life to all the Father gave Him.

“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.” (Joh 17:2-4 NIV)

 

Jesus wants very much for us to have His joy of being in God's presence living in our hearts now, the same joy he had as a man of knowing we are truly one in His Spirit of holiness and love for all believers, because we know it without needing to see the miracles, but instead, it gives us great joy to know God’s Spirit is living in us believers here on earth, as we see miracles worked now that show the glory Jesus gave us to make us one in His one Spirit, so we know we are fulfilling our purpose in God’s plan for the world as Jesus fulfilled His.

 

The Father loved Jesus before the world began foreknowing He would lay His life down for all believers as the corner stone in God’s plan for Christian unity; so we believers could work miracles now using the same glory Jesus gave us believers for doing our part in God’s plan for the purpose of making us believers all one in His Spirit, building the house of God on the one cornerstone who is Jesus, in whom we all live eternally, beginning now together as one in Jesus.

 

 

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.” (Joh 17:25 NIV)
25 meaning:

‘Righteous Father, though the world does not know you as the Good Shepherd that lays down His life for the sheep, I know you because I am one with you in your holiness and self-sacrificial love for all the sheep, and the apostles and first believers know that you have sent me as the One Good Shepherd on earth that gathers all believers in Jesus in one flock to live together eternally with us in heaven in our holiness and love for all believers, gathering all who hear my voice as a man now as the One Good Shepherd on earth, and gathering whoever will believe their message told by the apostles and first believers about the One Good Shepherd; and I am also gathering into the one flock all who ever will hear my voice as the One Good Shepherd coming from the one flock united in our self-sacrificial Spirit of the One Good Shepherd, which one flock is the body of Christ in the world when they unite in our Spirit. In Christian unity, they will all be one flock under one Shepherd, because you and I, Father are one in the same, one Spirit of self sacrificial love for all believers that a good shepherd has for his sheep.'

 

 

Unity of one flock in the One Shepherd “the world does not know”

 (Joh 17:25 continued)

 

“I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (Joh 10:16 NIV)

 

John 17:25 is another scripture where it helps to let the Holy Spirit who is sent to us in the name of Jesus remind us of all the things He’s said about Christian unity.

“But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Joh 14:26 NIV)


Here in His prayer for unity Jesus makes the same points about unity, both unity of the one flock, and unity of the one Shepherd, as Jesus and the Father are one, as the Bible shows in a previous series of parables in John Chapter 10, with an important Christian unity message about shepherds and sheep.  The one flock with One Shepherd, of course, is a metaphor for Christian unity, just like the metaphor of the body of Christ in the world today, comprised of all believers in every Christian denomination and faith group, in which Jesus is the head. 

 

Because sheep and shepherds are key parts of the old law and the prophets, Jesus was telling these parables of sheep primarily in response to the Jews and Pharisees who questioned Him as He went around Jerusalem teaching after He healed the blind man near the pool of Siloam.  This healing made some of the Pharisees particularly angry and jealous, while some of them wondered if Jesus really could be from God.

 

Jesus says He is the good shepherd who knows His sheep, and His sheep know Him, just as the Father knows Jesus is the Good Shepherd who will lay His life down for the sheep, and Jesus knows the Father is the Good Shepherd who makes His own self-sacrifice for the sheep. The Father also knows Jesus is the Father’s perfect lamb that will follow the Father’s leading, and Jesus knows the Father leads Jesus to the best eternal pasture for Jesus and all the sheep, leading Jesus to willingly lay His life down now in this life for the sheep, only to take it up again in eternal life in the Father. 

 

Both the Father and Jesus know one another to have self-sacrificial love for the sheep like a good shepherd would:

“"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (Joh 10:14-15 NIV)

 

The Father loves Jesus for being the same kind of shepherd the Father is, and Jesus knows the Father has that same kind of self-sacrificial love for the sheep. Just as the Father in heaven is willing to suffer the sacrifice of His own son for the sheep, the Father in heaven loves Jesus because He willingly obeys the Father’s command to lay down His life for the sheep in self-sacrificial love for them all, and be resurrected in the authority of the love of the Father:

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life— only to 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 authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."” (Joh 10:17-18 NIV)

 

The Father, as the Good Shepherd with self-sacrificial love, gave the sheep to Jesus because Jesus has that same Spirit of self-sacrificial love for the sheep.  So both the Father and Son are One Good Shepherd together in their mission for Jesus to gather the sheep who all recognize the voice of that Good Shepherd’s one Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all the sheep. 

 

By the one, Good Shepherd’s voice calling to them, Jesus can bring all the sheep to the Father to be their own together with them in one flock eternally, making sure no one, like a wolf, snatches one away from them.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no-one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one."” (Joh 10:27-30 NIV)

 

 

the world does not know you

 

The world doesn’t know Jesus because the Father didn’t give them yet to Jesus to be His sheep, and some of the Jews and Pharisees were not given then to be His sheep at all because they would not listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd even after seeing miracles as evidence.

“The Jews gathered round him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.” (Joh 10:24-26 NIV)

 

 

and they know that you have sent me

 

The apostles and first disciples are the ones that do know Jesus because they were like sheep given and committed to Jesus by the Father, as Jesus said earlier in His prayer for Christian unity in verse 8, “and they believed that you sent me”:

“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.” (Joh 17:6-10 NIV)

“"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no-one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."” (Lu 10:22 NIV) 

 

Jesus has “other sheep” today the Father gave Him out of the world:

sheep out of the world that may believe God sent Jesus to make one flock in one Shepherd's Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers,

including believers of every Christian denomination and faith group

 

Glory had come to Jesus through those apostles and first disciples who had worked miracles in His name, and they would do so again after the Holy Spirit is given them in power. 

 

Now it’s up to us believers today to unite in that same Shepherd’s Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all who will believe it to be so in Jesus’ name.  The same One Shepherd’s Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all the sheep as was in both the Father and the Son, is now in all of us believers who are His sheep, showing the glory to work miracles Jesus gave us to be one so the world may believe.

 

There are sheep belonging to the Father in the world today that are yet to be gathered to God because they have not recently, in living memory, been given the opportunity to hear the voice of the One Shepherd of the one flock, in whose self-sacrificial Spirit of love for all the sheep Jesus commanded us believers to unite, that the world may believe God sent Jesus.

 

“I will do it”

The glory to work miracles now in Jesus’ name shows the world Jesus is doing the miracles through us because it shows He is now in heaven at the Father’s right hand in all power in heaven and earth, doing the miracles through us believers by God’s glory Jesus gave believers to glorify the Father in the Son, that they may be gathered now in one holy flock on earth in Jesus.

“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Joh 14:14 NIV)

 

“if you love one another”

The still lost sheep in the world today whom the Father gave Jesus will all hear and follow the Good Shepherd’s voice, if the Spirit of the One Shepherd who lays down His life for all the sheep, calls to them from the one flock which is the body of Christ on earth today. By that self-sacrificial Spirit of the One Shepherd, the world will know that the flock of sheep are disciples who follow the One Good Shepherd.

“34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."” (Joh 13:34-35 NIV)

“I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (Joh 10:16 NIV)

 

There was a time these parables of Jesus referred to mostly healing the rift between Jews and Gentiles so they can be gathered in one flock.  Now it still includes both Jews and Gentiles, of course, but the stumbling block to Christian unity has been primarily among us believers ourselves now, regardless whether we were once Jews or Gentiles.

“Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, "I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding."” (Ro 10:19 NIV)

“Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.” (Ro 11:11 NIV)

 

That gathering of the flock that includes all Jews and Gentiles who are given by the Father to eventually believe in Jesus, most importantly means we who are believers already, are all now to start by uniting in following the One Good Shepherd into one flock with all believers of every Christian denomination and faith group to show the world who sent Him, so we can let all our neighbors in this world to believe with us and be included in the one flock.

 

These sheep and shepherd parables by Jesus have an essential meaning for Christian unity about how the one Spirit of self-sacrificial love in the Father and in Jesus is the Good Shepherd to all believers, including both Jews and Gentiles together.  This is true both then and now, and into eternity, as one flock with one Shepherd, because each of His sheep is to be gathered in one spirit in the flock that is joined to the Father and the Son, to be all one in that same, eternal Shepherd’s one Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers in Jesus.

 

 

“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."” (Joh 17:26 NIV)
26 meaning:

'I have made you known to them as the only true God, Father, that you are the one who says and does all the words and things I have done here as a man, including the miracles that show how much you love all who will believe in me, and I will continue to make your self-sacrificial love for them known when I obediently go to the cross and you resurrect me in your love for my obedience.  Then after I ascend to you, Father, and the Holy Spirit is sent in my name to live in each one of them, in our one Spirit I will continue to make you known by living as the Holy Spirit and Comforter in their own hearts and lead them into all truth in me, so your love for my obedience may be in them for their obedience in laying down their own lives for all believers as we commanded them in my new commandment, that they may finally know that I myself am in them, for I am the God who is self-sacrificial love in perfect holiness, who gives Himself for all believers, to live in all believers.'   

 

“I have made you known to them,”

(Joh 17:26 continued)

 

Earlier in His prayer for unity, in verse 4, Jesus told us He completed the work His Father gave Him to do on earth by giving eternal life to all those first disciples, including the 11 apostles God had given Him. Jesus said He gave them that eternal life when He gave them the knowledge that they know the Father in heaven as the only true God by seeing the Father in Jesus Christ whom the Father sent.

“1 ¶ After Jesus said this, he looked towards 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.” (Joh 17:1-4 NIV)

 

 

“and will continue to make you known”

(Joh 17:26 continued)

 

Now Jesus says in His prayer for Christian unity He is going to continue to make the Father known to those first believers, and to all who ever will believe their message, including us believers today, which He is about to do by voluntarily going to the cross as His Father has commanded.  In doing so, Jesus continues to make the Father known to us believers all, as the God who loves the world with self-sacrificial love so great that He gives His own, perfect Son in order to give eternal life to all who will believe it so in Jesus. 

“"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Joh 3:16 NIV)

Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father then also continues to make the Father known to us by enabling the Holy Spirit to live in us in the name of Jesus, starting on that first Pentecost after His ascension, and anytime thereafter we pray for the fullness of His Holy Spirit given to us in the name of Jesus, in obedience to His command to be holy and self-sacrificially love all believers in every Christian denomination and faith group.

 

Jesus continues to make God known to us by leading us into all truth in Jesus, remaining in us as the Counsellor and Holy Spirit sent to us in His name, giving us His own, complete joy of oneness with the Father in this life, as long was we continue to obediently remain in His love, living in His holiness and love for all believers.

“9 ¶ "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (Joh 15:9-11 NIV)
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (Joh 16:13 NIV)
“Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” (Joh 14:6 NIV)

 

“in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them”

(Joh 17:26 continued)

 

Jesus continues to make God known to us in all truth in Jesus, with the fullness of joy we have in living our lives on earth in the fullness of His Spirit, rejoicing now in the guarantee of even greater joy the Holy Spirit gives in the life to come in heaven with God, so that we believers will continue in joy as we lay down our lives for all believers, and remain in the love who is Jesus.  When we remain in that self-sacrificial love for all believers, the Father's love remains in us the same as His love for Jesus, which love the Father has for the obedience of both Jesus and all us believers, for obeying His commands to be holy and lay down our lives for all believers.

 

God's plan is to show the world that that holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers in which and in whom we unite as one, is in fact, Jesus in us. 

 

He's does that by showing the world the power and glory of His Spirit to work miracles through us in His name to glorify the Father in the Son.

 

We are the friends of Jesus who know what our master’s business is and what His plan is for us believers, for which purpose we obey what He commands us, to seek to be holy as He is Holy, and to love one another as He loves all believers self-sacrificially, so that we may have the complete joy of the full measure of the Holy Spirit in us, now in this life, and the life to come.

“15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."” (1Pe 1:15-16 NIV)

“11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (Joh 15:11-15 NIV)

 

God’s plan, for which He calls us friends for knowing our part in His plan, is to make all us believers one in the Spirit Jesus showed to the world, so that the world may know that God sent Jesus to be God’s perfect holiness and God’s absolute love for all believers to unite in, forever, and that His Spirit of holiness and love is freely given by the overwhelming grace of God to live in whoever will believe it so in the name of Jesus.

“14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (Joh 15:14-15 NIV)

 

To accomplish that business and plan of our master, we did not choose Jesus, but the Father committed us to Jesus, and Jesus chose us, appointed and assigned us the task, to go and bear eternal fruit of the Spirit, fruit that will last into eternity together in Him, then the Father gives us whatever we ask in the name of Jesus to glorify the Father in the Son, showing that we are the disciples of Jesus Christ of Nazareth who is now risen from death on the cross to be with the Father in all power in heaven and earth, working through us now the power and glory He gave us to make us believers all one in His one Spirit of holiness and love for one another now living in all us believers, in every Christian denomination and faith group.

“16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.” (Joh 15:16-17 NIV)

 

God is a spirit and God is love.  Seeing Jesus is the only way we know what kind of spirit of love God is, which we unquestionably see on the cross, and in His resurrection to all power in heaven and earth to give us eternal life in Him.

“"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Joh 3:16 NIV)

 

The love the Father has for Jesus because Jesus obeys the Father’s command to lay down His life in love for all believers is God’s eternal, one Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers, including believers of every Christian denomination and Christian faith group, and both Jesus and the Father command us believers, all, to have in ourselves that same, one Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers.

 

When we obey the new command of the Father and the Son to love one another as Jesus loved us all, then that same eternal, one Spirit of holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers, that is in us believers for one another, is the love that is God in us.

 

That love is Jesus, Himself, in us.

 

(Joh 17:26 ended)

End of Section on Parts of Jesus’ Prayer for Christian Unity

 

(Introduction to the Spiritual Christian Unity Prophecy, Continued)  

 

All of this works by love for all believers

Love for all believers is the most excellent gift of the Spirit, and the one that never fails.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1Co 12:27 NIV)
“31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way. 13:1 ¶ If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1Co 12:31-13:1 NIV)

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1Co 13:13 NIV)
“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” (1Co 13:8 NIV)
“17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fulness of God.” (Eph 3:17-19 NIV)

Love never fails, even when we sin, because God's love in Jesus is still waiting for us if we are honest with ourselves in learning to obey His commands, and understand God does discipline us for sin because He loves us.

“Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.” (Heb 12:10 NIV)

“12 ¶ Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed— not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence— continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Php 2:12-13 NIV)

“1 ¶ My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 ¶ We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (1Jo 2:1-6 NIV)

In fact, even our holiness works only by love because God's grace in the free gift to us of His forgiveness, by which His Spirit is given to live in us, enables His Spirit to do in us what we can't do for ourselves, giving us strength to resist temptation and truly repent.  As in the quote from Phillipians above, God works in us to give us the will to obey, and as quoted from 1 John, God gives us to know we are in him when we let God's love be truly made complete in us by obediently walking as Jesus did.

To quote the Christian theologian, Edward Fudge, from his gracEmail website about how the Holy Spirit in us believers shapes our spiritual lives by love:

"God "condemned sin in the flesh" of his well-beloved Son Jesus to free us from the guilt of sin, but also to free us from the practice of sin. The laws of God describe a person's conduct who pleases God, but laws cannot produce what they describe. But the Spirit of God that led Jesus can transform each of us. As we "walk according to the Spirit" and "not according to the flesh," the "just requirement (righteousness) of the law" is "fulfilled in us" (Rom. 8:3-4). Without thinking about laws but with lives shaped by love, we can look back at the end of a day and see that the law has been fulfilled in us (Rom. 13:8-10)."

“3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (Ro 8:3-4 NIV)
“8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow-man has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbour as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to its neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.” (Ro 13:8-10 NIV)

God is love, and God wants children whose lives are shaped into holiness and love by love itself, which cannot fail; not children beaten into miserable shape by laws by which we are sure to fail to obey. God will surely have His laws obeyed, but He knows only His self-sacrificial love for us is strong enough to draw us to Him, into His holiness.

So God sacrificed Himself in sending Jesus here to earth, and Jesus sacrificed His whole, perfect life on earth for us, as we can plainly see culminated in the cross and in His subsequent resurrection. The world can't see that God is like that in His love to the world if they can't see that we're like that in our love to one another believers.

Now God wants us to love all believers the same way Jesus did, with our lives laid down for them all, starting with all who already believe, and including all who will come to believe when the world sees God's glory in Christian unity of all repentant believers who love all who so believe.

God works His miracles in what we believers ask Him for in order to show the world that it is His Holy Spirit living in us believers who directs and motivates us to serve all other believers, each with our life laid down for them all, including those who are believers now and those unbelievers who will become believers in the future.

We believers love all people as we love ourselves, which is the second most important commandment of the old law.

“28 ¶ One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" 29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these."” (Mr 12:28-31 NIV)

But now that Jesus has come, to obey the first most important commandment, to love God, we believers must obey the new commandment of Jesus.

“And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1Jo 4:21 NIV)

In obedience to Jesus' new commandment, we love all other repentant believers as Jesus loved us all, with His life laid down for us and while we were yet in our sins, including all who would come to believe in Jesus.
“10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1Jo 4:10-11 NIV)

“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (Joh 15:12-13 NIV)
“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.” (Joh 17:20-21 NIV

In obedience to Jesus' new commandment, we love one another even more than as ourselves, to the point of giving up of ourselves, with each, our own life laid down for all believers, loving all our fellow believers as our sisters and brothers in Christ, regardless of Christian denomination or Christian faith group, as Jesus loved us all, with His life laid down for all believers, for all in the world who would come to believe in Jesus.

When we have this kind of forgiving, mutual love for all believers, then Jesus in us repenting believers is God's Spirit in us of loving self-sacrifice for all repenting believers.

Laying down our lives in self-sacrifice for all believers is how we believers bear much fruit of the Spirit of Jesus in us, the first-listed fruit of which Spirit is love for all repentant believers, and the most important gift of which Spirit is love for all repentant believers, regardless of which Christian denomination or faith group they belong to, and without being conceited in our own Christian denomination or faith group, or provoking and envying each other's Christian denomination or faith group..
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Ga 5:22-26 NIV)

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1Co 13:2 NIV)

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1Co 13:13 NIV)

God honors us believers for self-sacrificial service in love to all believers in Jesus.
“24 I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.” (Joh 12:24-26 NIV)

This rebirth in the Spirit Jesus gives to us is not only a one time thing, but something we must dedicate our lives to do daily.
“22 And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." 23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Lu 9:22-25 NIV)
“13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Ro 8:13-14 NIV)

Jesus commands His servant to follow Him daily into the grave of death to self in this world, from there to be raised up with Jesus to live a new life of following Jesus every day in this world, not being of the world, but living in it born again with Jesus' own Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers living now in the servant and directing the servant's thoughts and actions, keeping the servant's purpose in this life focused on life eternal to be lived together with all believers where Jesus is already, now in heaven at the right hand of the Father.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (Col 3:1 NIV)

Jesus gave us the greatest love He could when He laid down His life for us believers all. We prove to Jesus we return His greatest love for us believers if we obey His command to love all believers the same way He has, with love great enough to lay down our own lives for all other believers.
“12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:12-14 NIV)


"Born again" specifically refers to love of all believers:
"deeply, from the heart"

We believers in Jesus are raised with Christ becoming born again with and in Him when we purify our hearts by obeying the truth including the command of Jesus to have sincere love for all other believers because God's self-sacrificial love for all believers is defined by what Jesus did on the cross, and that self-sacrificial love of God for all believers in turn defines the Spirit that Jesus has given us believers to live inside us.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1Jo 3:16 NIV)
“22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1Pe 1:22-23 NIV)

Every believer is thus born again with Jesus' own Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers living inside us as the king who commands our lives because we obey in our hearts His Spirit of self-sacrificial love for all believers, including believers in every Christian denomination and faith group.
“nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you."” (Lu 17:21 NIV)

The Spirit of Jesus is the Spirit of truth who gives us His Spirit to live in us if we obey what Jesus commands.
“Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” (Joh 14:6 NIV)
“15 ¶ "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (Joh 14:15-17 NIV)

We know the Holy Spirit will be in us when we know we believe in the name of Jesus for repentance and remission of sins, and when we also know we love all believers, as Jesus commanded.

If we obey the commands of God to believe in the name of Jesus for repentance and forgiveness of sins and if we also love all believers as Jesus commanded us, then we know the Spirit Jesus gave us believers to love all other believers does in fact truly live in us; and because we obey in loving all other believers, we receive from the Father anything we ask in the name of Jesus.
“22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 ¶ And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1Jo 3:22-24 NIV)

Jesus is in us in this world as the Spirit of God's holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers, which Spirit He gave to live in us. At the same time as Jesus is thus in us in this world, we believers are also in Jesus where He is now in heaven at the right hand of God, where the Father hears our prayers and gives us anything we ask in the name of Jesus, the name of the Son who is in each of us believers in the person of the Spirit of God's self-sacrificial love for all believers.
“7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 ¶ "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.” (Joh 15:7-14 NIV)


Do the wicked need a sign? Let's show them two, only in Jesus!
Christians united in Jesus show signs of Jonah and the snake


We believers are supposed to have faith that God will do miracles in the name of Jesus before we see those miracles. We're supposed to have all the faith we need to work the miracles Jesus promised us because we are not part of a wicked generation that needs signs to believe.

We believers need to see no sign more important to us than the sign Jesus gave us already throughout His holy life as a man, lived without sin, willingly following God's will into His death, resurrection, and glorification with God, now risen in all power in heaven and earth, to give us all eternal life with Him.

That's the same sign that has already been given once to the world, like the sign of Jonah; the sign of Jesus buried "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" after His death on the cross, only to be raised up back to life by the Father to give eternal life to all believers.
"As the crowds increased, Jesus said, "This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." (Lu 11:29 NIV)
"39 He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Mt 12:39-40 NIV)


At the time, the world missed seeing that sign when it happened on Golgotha, as it was said of the world, by the One who knows hearts, "they do not know what they are doing."

By all appearances in the present, wicked generation of today, this world still doesn't know God sent Jesus.


So it's up to us believers today to lift up the sign of Jesus on that cross the world did not know when it happened, and show the world we believers are agreed to unite in the sign of Jonah, how after three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, God raised Jesus our Lord from the dead in order to credit righteousness to all who will believe in Him, of every Christian denomination and faith group.
"22 This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." 23 The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness- for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead." (Ro 4:22-24 NIV)


That is the gospel, good news message in which we believers all unite "as of first importance" to tell the world that that's why Jesus was sent by God to the world, so He could be raised up from the dead to give eternal life to all who will believe it so in Jesus, like the sign of Jonah, the only sign that needs to be given to "a wicked generation", like the one today or any other.
"1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures," (1Co 15:1-4 NIV)


As Moses once lifted up the bronze snake on the pole in the desert as a sign that the curse of the snakes had been turned into the power of God to heal all of God's children who would look upon it and simply believe it so then; just so, now the cross that had been the sign of the curse of a man, is now turned into the cross of crucifixion of the one blessed Savior for all believers, the Holy One "that the world may believe" was sent by God as a blessing from God's astounding grace, simply by looking on it now and believing the gift of God's holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers shown there on that cross in Jesus, whom we believers now lift up together in Christian unity as Jesus said He must be "lifted up": "that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life", including believers in every Christian denomination and faith group, and including all from the world that may come to believe by our unity in Jesus, in His holiness and His love among all of us who do believe already.
"14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (Joh 3:14-16 NIV)
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."" (Ga 3:13 NIV
"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." (Joh 17:21 NIV)



The world saw the cross lifted up to curse a man
Christian unity there in holiness and love lifts up to exalt One:
"that the world may believe that you have sent me"


Jesus said this again in John Chapter 12.
"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."" (Joh 12:32 NIV)


When Jesus said these words, Jesus used a word here for "lifted up" that is a metaphor, according to Strong's concordance, meaning "to raise to the very summit of opulence and prosperity" or "to exalt, to raise to dignity, honour and happiness". Seems like a strange metaphor to use for the cross of terrible pain in crucifixion, doesn't it?

The cross that would lift up Jesus from the earth was regarded by the world as the curse of a man, the curse intended for the Son of Man in this case, who looks ahead to see Himself soon to be nailed to a cross and lifted up to die.

But Jesus sees something different: exaltation, honor, and joy.


That metaphor is why the apostle John makes a point of telling us Jesus was using this word to show the kind of death He was going to die.
"32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die." (Joh 12:32-33 NIV)


John wanted us to know for certain that Jesus looked ahead knowing the horrible pain, suffering, and shame that He was headed for in being lifted up on that cross, but Jesus saw eternity in heaven beyond it, where He would be one with His Father in heaven in the full glory they had together before the world was; one in the glory that exists only in God, Himself, so that Jesus is now, at this very moment, in God in heaven, with all power in heaven and earth, at the very summit of eternal and heavenly power, high above all earthly opulence and prosperity; exalted and raised by God into Himself, to the highest possible dignity, honour, happiness, and joy as one in the full glory of God, Himself, now and forever.

God wants us believers to see that cross in the same way Jesus saw it exalted before it happened, so we can agree to show the world His eternal exaltation now through it.
"27 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. 30 Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die." (Joh 12:27-33 NIV) "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb 12:2 NIV)


In Christian unity we believers all agree together we now keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as the one who authored and perfected our faith in Him as God's holiness and love sent to the world to show us believers and show the world, the kind of love the eternal, one Spirit of God is, who is given to live in all us believers in Jesus.

That's the Jesus in whom we Christians unite to show the world.


Christian unity in His cross makes it a sign to the world
But His holiness and love there is no sign to believers:
It's the reality of His Spirit we know and live in, and He in us


The Holy Spirit sent to live in our hearts in the name of Jesus is the reality of God we believers now see and know in our own hearts, every day, in the holiness and love for all believers we all seek to live in together as one in Jesus.

To us believers, Jesus is far more than a sign of God. Jesus is God…now in all power in heaven and earth, and by astounding, unmerited grace and favor, that same Jesus is become the reality of God's holiness and love for all believers living in our hearts every day.

God is spirit and God is love, and in His holiness and His self-sacrificial love for all believers, this is how we know what sort of love the Spirit of God is, in Jesus who lives in us, and how we know in whose Spirit we are given to live, and in Truth ought to be.
"God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth."" (Joh 4:24 NIV)
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him." (1Jo 4:16 NIV)
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." (1Jo 3:16 NIV)
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." (Joh 16:13 NIV)
"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me." (Joh 14:6 NIV)


The eternal life we believers have in the knowledge of God we all see in Jesus and share together equally in the holiness and love of God for all believers in Christ makes Jesus not the sign of God to us believers, but the reality of God in us, the real presence of God's Spirit living in our hearts, who gives all us believers to see God's grace in the gift of repentance and forgiveness of sins, giving us eternal life, living now in the complete joy of His Spirit of holiness and love for all believers in our hearts, which Spirit is the complete joy to each one of us believers resulting from the gospel, good news message itself.
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." (Joh 17:3 NIV)


In our Christian unity in which we believers do unite together now to lift up to the world the perfect life, death, resurrection, and glorification with God in all power in heaven and earth, which we all see together only in Jesus, it can be said again now, that as Moses once lifted up the snake in the desert as a sign of the power of God to heal all of God's children who would believe it so then; just so, now that same cross that Jesus saw would be lifted up in exaltation, is now the sign we lift up to the world to exalt His name, in the power of God to heal all of God's children in the reality of His Spirit of holiness and love for all believers that we believers all now seek to live in together among ourselves.

We all agree in our spiritual Christian unity to declare to the world, and lift up His cross as the sign of the real power of God's Spirit in heaven and in our hearts working to heal all of us children of God in the body of Christ who believe it so today, now agreeing in our Christian unity that heals all the divisions we've let come between us in the body of Christ today; the one Spirit all us believers now look up to in heaven and in our own hearts in complete agreement in Jesus as God's own holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers given to live in every one of us believers; whose Spirit is become the healing among ourselves, to make us all one in love and holiness in the eternal, one Spirit of Jesus, Himself, so the world may believe God sent Jesus to live in all us believers, including whoever in the world will come to believe in Jesus as God's one and only Son sent to the world in Jesus: God's holiness and self-sacrificial love for all believers in every Christian denomination and faith group.
"18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe." (1Co 1:18-21 NIV)
"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ," (Col 2:2 NIV)


In our spiritual Christian unity we unite in our full agreement together in our common salvation for everyone who believes in Jesus to have eternal life in God's holiness and God's self-sacrificial love given to the world by His blood He shed on that cross for us all, including believers in every Christian denomination and faith group, and thus we show the world that we are including everyone in the world who may join us to believe it so in Jesus.

We agree we believers are being led by the Spirit of Jesus in us all into all truth in Jesus, into complete unity in Him to let the world know the Father sent Him and the Father has loved us even as the Father loved Jesus for obeying the command to be holy and lay His life down for all believers, when we likewise obey His new command to be holy and love all believers with our lives laid down for all believers as Jesus did.
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." (Joh 16:13 NIV)

“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.” (Joh 17:23 NIV)

We believers do this now as we do love one another, showing the world now we are disciples who follow His example to love all believers self-sacrificially, as Jesus did, loving every single believer, regardless of Christian denomination or faith group.
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."" (Joh 13:35 NIV)


The miracles for Christian unity show the world the glory Jesus gave us to make us one:
one in the Spirit of holiness and love for all believers that is in both the Father and the Son and now one in us believers
 
In miracles for Christian unity, we glorify God in whom the Son is exalted forever


We thus lift up the cross to exalt Jesus and draw all men to Him, so all nations and kings will understand what the world did not know when they lifted Him up on that cross on Golgotha, so they will know we follow the Jesus that was sent to the earth by God, to gather all believers into one flock as children of God in the name of Jesus, to make us all one in the holiness and self-sacrificial love Jesus showed the world, to give us all eternal life with and in Jesus, now lifted up by God eternally in all power in heaven and earth.
"And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." (Joh 17:5 NIV)

"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."" (Joh 12:32 NIV)
"13 See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness- 15 so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand." (Isa 52:13-15 NIV)

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."" (Joh 13:35 NIV)
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Mt 24:14 NIV)
"5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isa 53:5-6 NIV)
"I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd." (Joh 10:16 NIV)
"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." (Joh 17:21 NIV)

We believers are given now to exalt Jesus for His whole, perfect life, death, resurrection, and glorification with and in the Father in all power in heaven and earth, in receiving miracles we pray for in His name now, even greater than Jesus worked, because we are united in His holiness and His self-sacrificial love for all believers, in every Christian denomination and faith group, that the world may believe the Father sent Him for us to lift up and exalt together as one in Jesus, our One Victor over death, now glorified in heaven in the Father.

By giving us believers now any miracle we ask for in Jesus' name using the glory which Jesus gave us that was given to Him by the Father to make us one in His eternal, one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers, we glorify the Father in the name of the Son, who has been, and is now, lifted up high by the Father, now restored to the Father's own right hand and glorified in the Father, Himself, with the glory Jesus had with the Father before the world began, now again in all power in heaven and earth.
"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." (Joh 17:22-23 NIV)
"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father." (Joh 14:13 NIV)


(End of  Introduction to the Spiritual Christian Unity Prophecy)

 

 

 

Synopsis

 

This book is a revelation, clearly shown in scripture, of the power to work all miracles that is available for God to work through you, right now, in God's eternal Spirit of love and holiness given to all believers in Jesus, as you unite your spirit with the Spirit of Jesus, in giving your love for all believers as equal brothers and sisters based on faith in Christ, independent of and forgiving of other, lesser doctrines, and doing so right where they are now, in all Christian faith groups, denominations, or non-denominations.

 

It is the gospel, good news message of what Jesus did on the cross, as God's gift of eternal love and holiness to all believers, in which we are commanded to unite in telling the world.

 

“46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lu 24:46-47 NIV)

 

That simple message of repentance and remission of sins, our common salvation available at the cross, is how the Bible defines what "the gospel" is.  The gospel is not the doctrines that separate believers, but the cross in which we all already agree, where all believers must stand together to unite as equals in the blood of Jesus, in faith of God's eternal love and holiness given to all that believe in what Jesus did there for every one of us.

 

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 AV)

 

This gospel message of what Jesus did on the cross is also "the doctrine of Christ", in which all Christians already agree.  We are to love all believers who agree that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed Savior of us all, now having come in the flesh, died, and is now resurrected, to give eternal life in Him to all who believe to the point of repentance in Jesus.  We no longer "transgresseth", or sin, but instead, we repent of our sins and abide in the "doctrine of Christ".  We are commanded to love as brethren in Christ, all who agree in this "doctrine of Christ", and reject those who do not, based on this "doctrine of Christ" alone.

 

“And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (2 John 1:5-11 AV)

Christian unity begins in what we are already united in believing.  Christian disunity begins in what we disagree over.  All Christians already agree in what Jesus did on the cross for the remission of our sins, from which sins we turn away, and now walk together in newness of life as children, in love and holiness, in the one family of God.
 

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Ga 3:26 AV)

 

This is how we make manifest and show to the world our spiritual Christian unity as children of God, in brotherly love and holiness with all who believe to the point of repentance in the gospel, "good news" message of the Bible about what Jesus did on the cross for us all.

 

“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1Jo 3:10 AV) 

 

 

Here's how spiritual Christian unity in love and holiness results in God's power working through us to His glory:

 

NOTE ON ETERNAL LOVE AND THE BIBLE: some sectarians do NOT agree with us in either eternal love, or in the teachings of the Bible as our basis of faith in Christ.   This includes people such as those who hold to the sectarian teaching of Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses, who claim that their Jesus will NOT allow us eternally in heaven, unless we join their sect.  They do not agree in the present or eternal equality of all believers in Jesus.  We do not reject them.  They openly reject us as brethren in Christ.  Their Jesus takes only them to heaven, not the rest of us.  Some also insist on added doctrine from other books, such as the Book of Mormon, that are without substantiation in the Bible.

By contrast, spiritual Christian unity, as explained here, is for those who choose to agree now in the eternal love of God for all who believe to repentance in Jesus of the Bible, and who agree to love as brethren in Christ all who so believe.  

As an additional point of contrast, many fine brothers and sisters in Christ of the Catholic and Orthodox Christian faiths may include additional books in their official canons, but they fully agree in the books of the canon of the Protestant Bible, (such as the books in the King James version) , and are more than willing and able to explain and defend their faith in Christ on that basis.  Official teachings of Orthodox and Catholics do not exclude members of other ecclesial bodies, outside of their own denominations, from eternity with Jesus in heaven.


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A Prophecy of the Scripture - It's of no private interpretation, fulfilled now by believers uniting, and confirmed only by the power of God.

 

This is a prophecy with a purpose. The purpose is to reveal now, to all present-day believers, the many, many scriptures that prove that God is now working all miracles to show His glory given to us for the express purpose of Christian unity in God's love and holiness in accordance with the Bible. This gives God the opportunity to confirm the truth of this prophecy by signs following, which He has verified with many signs and miracles that have already occurred, and continue to occur with ever increasing frequency as our unity in His Spirit gathers in more and more members of the body of Christ.  By our uniting in God's love given to all believers in Jesus on the cross, we overcome our doctrinal differences and unite in God's own glory on the cross, instead of the glory of our own, particular Christian faith group.

" And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:" (John 17:22 AV)

It's not wrong to have other doctrine. We all must worship God according to the doctrine we believe to be true. We have no other Biblical choice.

“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Ro 14:5 AV)

It's only wrong to promote our own, other doctrine above the doctrine of the blood of Jesus, which we do if we denigrate the worship that our brother in Christ offers to God according to the other doctrine that he believes, but that is less important than the very blood that makes us brethren in Christ in the first place. 

 

“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” (Ro 14:4 AV)

 

Instead, we honor and mutually respect one another's chosen form of worship of our Lord Jesus, as well as one another's chosen form of worship group, even those based on doctrines that we believe are in error, but of lesser importance than the blood of Jesus that washes us all.

 

“[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” (Ro 12:10 AV)

 

Living now in shared faith of Christ as God's eternal love and righteousness given equally to us all, together in Christian unity in God's unbounded love for all believers, we receive all we need in this life and the next, including the glory of the power of His Holy Spirit now to work through us all miracles, that the world may know that we are the disciples of the One sent by God. God gets the glory, not us.

You may not have any particular dislike for members of other denominations or groups that you consider to be Christian, but that isn't enough. God is not pleased that the world looks at the whole church, which is the body of Christ, and sees both unrighteousness being accepted in some areas of the church, and competitive disagreements between the various Christian denominations and groups. Where we disagree in doctrine, the world must see only the gospel, good news message that Jesus is still the only way out of the punishment and misery of sin.

The truth is that Jesus died for all believers, and all Christians have been equally given the gift of the righteousness of God by faith in Jesus, and no one group of us has any doctrine that makes us any more righteous than the other. It's also true that it took a long time for us to get started together as equals. It took until the recent decades, around the turn of the millennium in the year 2000, before some of us Christians in a wide variety of Christian denominations and groups fully committed ourselves with our lives laid down for such Christian unity with all believers. Now quite a few of us are working hard for Christian unity in God's love for all believers, and no one denomination or group can take credit for this Christian unity in love because it involves the Holy Spirit working equally in all us believers. But until recent decades, we Christians all fell short of showing the world the unity in love as Jesus commanded.

" For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (Romans 3:23-26 AV)

 In times past, separated from other believers by our effort to advance our own, various Christian denominations and groups, we all fell short of the glory of God that Jesus gave us to show the world that we are one together as God's children gathered in His love for all believers. We've failed to show God's glory He sent to the world in Jesus, that we believers are all children of God, lovingly accepting each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, equal together in God's eternal love to all His children, whosever believeth to repentance in Jesus, the same as God has loved His first-born, only begotten child, Jesus.

To summarize the main points of this prophecy, we seek unity only in the word (the Bible), the name, and the blood of Christ, always bearing for one another all the fruit of the Spirit, and especially agape brotherly love for all believers to repentance in Jesus of the Bible.

" Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" (Matthew 7:16 AV)

" But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23 AV)

Starting together with agreement in the fact that the Bible is the word of God, we know that all true Christians believe in Jesus to repentance, which is shown in righteousness and brotherly love.

" In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." (1 John 3:10 AV)

By starting together in Christian unity as the call to holiness and agape brotherly love of all believers in Christ, we obey the new command of Jesus.

" A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:34-35 AV)

That love of ours for each other, for all believers in Christ, is the same as the Father's eternal, self-sacrificial love for all His children, and is the same as the love of Jesus for all His brethren, all those for whom Jesus laid down His own life.     Christian unity means uniting in God’s eternal love and mercy for all of us Christians, His children, by having that love and mercy for all of His children in ourselves. We are to have His love for us in ourselves for one another, to the point of laying down each our own lives, as Jesus did, for all of God’s children, whosoever believeth in Him, of every Christian denomination and group.  Look at the rest of that scripture mentioned earlier:

" And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." (John 17:22-23 AV)

United in God’s kind of love, united with God and each other in His love for all of us believers as He showed us on the cross, we are given His glory to make us one, the glory of the miracle-working power of His Spirit working through the body of Christ to make us one. In this way we live in the ultimate form of faith of Jesus, knowing that we receive all we need in this life and the next, including the power of His Holy Spirit now to work through us all miracles, that the world may know that we are the disciples of the One sent by God.  In this spiritual Christian unity, God works by His Spirit through the body of Christ to do the greatest good, for the greatest number of people, saving from out of the world all His children, including the very least, forever, in Jesus, saving all that will believe that God is the God of eternal, self-sacrificial love in Jesus. And when we shall have managed to gather every one of the very least of His brethren that will come to believe in Him, spiritually incorporating them all into the body of Christ, we will have included Christ, Himself, and we can finally go home with Him, in Him, and He in us.

" And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40 AV)

" Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17 AV)

This prophecy includes explanations of these scriptures, and many, many more like them, which God is confirming with more and more signs following, as more of us gather in love every day, in Jesus as God's eternal love to all believers.
 

 

 Visit The Fellowship of John17:21 and the Christian Unity Prayer Banner Project

In His prayer, Jesus defined this unique fellowship for "all who will believe on me through their (the apostles) word".  Receive a free Christian Unity Prayer Banner for your church by ordering one for any other Christian church of your choice.

 

This Spiritual Christian Unity Prophecy website endorses the stated goals of the Spiritual Christian Unity Worldwide Prayer Group .  Visit the link to this Prayer Group to see many dozens of scriptures that believers of all Christian faiths can find agreement in, including Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants.  You may also post prayers for Christian unity, or post requests for prayers for healing by Christian unity, offered there by all believers who pray together in the one Spirit of holiness and love for all believers in Jesus.

  

 

 

Copyright Notice of Permission to Copy Text & Book:

© 2002 through 2015 - Tim Warlick - Unlimited permission to copy text & book, without altering or profiteering, is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.  Visit website for the Spiritual Christian Unity Prophecy at http://ChristianUnityProphecy

 

The Spiritual Christian Unity Prophecy, 9th Edition,

Father in heaven, unite us in Jesus on earth.  Amen.

 

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