All of God – All for God

Father the hour is come; glorify thy Son that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

In chapter 17 of John’s Gospel, we find the only account of the prayer Jesus prays to the Father just before his betrayal on the night before the Crucifixion. The above 3 verses are merely the first of 26 verses in all, but they are pregnant with the most fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith.

In verse one Jesus speaks of being glorified by God and of glorifying God. The hour is come, the hour of crucifixion – the sacrifice of God the Son to God the Father for the sins of his people. The great act of sacrifice and example of the Christian faith – that is the means by which God is to be glorified, to be honoured and seen to be great.

Not by overwhelming physical force and domination, but by self sacrifice, by obedience to the will of the Father, by accepting the plan of the Father, and by playing his part in that plan. Not going another way, his own way or the way the self centred world would go but going God’s way of submission and selflessness.

Total obedience to God, and total rejection of self preservation and of self aggrandisement.

God’s plan. God’s way. God’s power.

Verse 2 – the granting of eternal life. This doctrine divides the wheat and the chaff. It divides those who see God as Absolute, indeed as GOD in everything from those who cannot accept God’s verdict on man, and the reality of God as GOD.

This doctrine of election and predestination is at the heart of the faith. Jesus states it explicitly here, and the apostles state it explicitly elsewhere.

God chooses us – we don’t choose him.

We are not God, but we want to be god in our lives, and we refuse the verdict of God on us.

Sinners incapable of saving themselves – the very reason why Jesus had to come to the sacrifice of the cross.

Everything is brought into its correct perspective when we see God as God in all things. And only then can we understand the Scriptures properly and only then can we see how the faith is lived out.

In God’s way, in God’s time, in God’s strength, in God’s forgiveness.

It is all of God, and none of us – not even our decision to surrender to Christ is of ourselves but of God’s amazing condescension and grace.

A gift we could never have asked for or sought, but for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Because the hard heartedness and blindness that accompany sin [ which is our predisposition to deny and to disobey God ] completely remove from us any ability to see God for who he is and what we are.

For decades I have witnessed the unbelievable denial of the existence of a Creator who made us and our world. All the evidence is there, but still people refuse it.

My conclusion has been that they are indeed shut up in their sin and incapable of being freed from such blindness and hard heartedness except for the direct intervention of God himself.

The problem is spiritual and requires a spiritual solution.

That solution is described in the New Testament, in words such as those found here in this passage.

Which brings us to knowing God, in verse 3.

Eternal life is not about living forever. According to the Bible we will all live forever, somewhere. The question is

In what state ?

With God, or apart from God.

Jesus defines eternal life here as having a relationship with God the Father and with God the Son.

Eternal life is to know thee the only true God.

And how do we know him ?

Jesus has revealed this earlier in John’s Gospel account and indeed goes on to allude to it in this prayer. He recurs to God’s WORD – that is God’s teaching and God’s message: the teaching and message brought by Jesus; the teaching and message lived and exemplified by Jesus.

John recorded explicitly in chapter 14, verse 23:

If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.

And in chapter 8, verses 31 and 32:

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Free from the blindness and hardness of sin.

Free to know eternal life.

Free to know and understand who God really is.

By Christianity

The personal icon photograph shows God's creation, the world. It reminds us that God is the Creator of all - the almighty, the all knowing and all present - the one who is most important of all. The one to whom we owe all, and the one to whom we will answer for all. The site's header image of the Bible [King James Authorised Version], a map, a light and a compass represent to us that God's word in the Bible is our spiritual map, illumination and guide through this life. Those who obey his teaching will know his presence and power - Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 23

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