Sermon 2449. The Rule and Reward of Serving Christ
A SERMON INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S-DAY, JANUARY 26, 1896.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, JUNE 27, 1889.
"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me, and where I am there My servant will be also: if anyone serves Me, him will My Fatherhonor." John 12:26.
THIS verse is all about serving and service. Three times over you get the word, "serve," or, "servant." Each clause of ourtext has in it a part of the verb, "to serve." You cannot have Christ if you will not serve Him! If you take Christ, you musttake Him in all His Characters, not only as Friend, but also as Master. And if you are to become His disciple, you must alsobecome His servant. I hope that no one here kicks against that Truth of God! Surely it is one of our highest delights on earthto serve our Lord and this is to be our blessed employment even in Heaven, itself-"His servants shall serve Him: and theyshall see His face."
This thought also enters into our idea of salvation. To be saved means that we are rescued from the slavery of sin and broughtinto the delightful liberty of the servants of God. O Master, You are such a glorious Lord that serving You is perfect freedomand sweetest rest! You have told us that it would be so and we have found it so. "Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me; forI am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls." We do find it so and it is not as though rest werea separate thing from service-the very service, itself, becomes rest to our souls! I know not how some of us would have anyrest on earth if we could not employ our daily lives in the service of Christ! And the rest of Heaven is never to be picturedas idleness, but as constantly being permitted the high privilege of serving the Lord.
Learn, then, all of you who would have Christ as your Savior, that you must be willing to serve Him. We are not saved by service,but we are saved to service. When we are once saved, from then on we live in the service of our Lord. If we refuse to be Hisservants, we are not saved, for we still remain evidently the servants of self and the servants of Satan. Holiness is anothername for salvation-to be delivered from the power of self-will, the domination of evil lusts and the tyranny of Satan-thisis salvation. Those who would be saved must know that they will have to serve Christ-and those who are saved rejoice thatthey are serving Him and that thus they are giving evidence of a change of heart and renewal of mind! Come, Beloved, and whenthe text says, "If anyone serves Me," let each of us read his own name, there, and let us say, "Yes, I would serve the LordJesus Christ."
If we cannot read our own name there as yet, let us pray God that we may first believe in Jesus unto eternal life and then,receiving that eternal life, may spend the full force and strength of it in His service! I hope that I am addressing a largenumber of those who are working together with God, who have said concerning their great King as Ittai said to David, "Surelyin what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there, also, will your servant be." You have takenup Christ's Cross-it has become a delightful burden to you-and you wish to bear it after Jesus as long as you live. May yoube helped in that desire by the consideration of the passage before us!
First, here is the rule of service-"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me." Secondly, here is the fellowship of service-"WhereI am, there My servant will be also." And thirdly, here is the reward of service-"If anyone serves Me, him will my Fatherhonor."
I. First, dear Friends, here is THE RULE OF SERVICE-"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me."
So you are proposing to yourself that you will serve Christ, are you? You are a young man. As yet you have plenty of vigorand strength and you say to yourself, "I will serve Christ in some remarkable way! I will seek to make myself a scholar. Iwill try to learn the art of oratory and I will, in some way or other, glorify my Lord's name by the splendor of my language."Will you, dear Friend? Is it not better, if you are going to serve Christ, to ask Him what He would like you to do? If youwished to do a kindness for a friend, you certainly would desire to know what would best please that friend, or else yourkindness might be mistaken and you might be doing that which would grieve rather than gratify! Now listen. Your Lord and Masterdoes not bid you become either a scholar or an orator in order to serve Him. Both of those things may happen to fall to yourlot in that path of duty which He would have you to take, but first of all He says, "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me."
This is what Christ prefers beyond anything else-that His servants should follow Him. If we do that, we shall serve Him inthe way which is according to His own choice. I notice that many good friends desire to serve Christ by standing on the toprung of the ladder. You cannot get there at one step, young man! Your better way will be to serve Christ by following Him,by, "doing the next thing," the thing you can do-that little simple business which lies within your capacity which will bringyou no special honor, but which, nevertheless, is what your Lord desires of you. In effect, you can hear Him say to you, "Ifanyone serves Me, let him follow Me, not by aiming at great things, but by doing just that piece of work that I put beforeHim at the time." "Do you seek great things for yourself?" said the Prophet Jeremiah to Ba-ruch, "seek them not." So say Ito you.
One friend here, perhaps, blessed with great riches, is saying to himself or herself, "I will lay by in store until I acquirea considerable amount and then build a row of almshouses for the poor. I will give very largely to some new foreign missionaryeffort, or I will build a House of Prayer in which Christ's name shall be preached." God forbid that I should stop you inany right design whatever! Still, if you would do what is absolutely certain to please Christ, I would not recommend the selectionof any one particular objective, but I would advise you to do just this-follow Him, remembering that He said, "If anyone servesMe, let him follow Me." You will, by simply going behind your Master, following His footsteps and being truly His disciple,do that which would please Him more than if you could endow His cause with a whole mint of riches. This is what He selectsas the choicest proof of your love, the highest testimony of your regard-"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me."
What, then, does the Savior mean by bidding us render to Him our best service by following Him? I would say, first, I understandby these words that we are to follow Christ by believing His doctrine. Our Lord says, practically, "If anyone serves Me, lethim follow Me as Teacher. Let him sit at My feet. Let him learn of Me." Some seem to fancy that they can serve Christ by strikingout a new line of thought. My dear Sir, if you do that, you will serve yourself, but you will not serve Christ! He has cometo be the Teacher of the glorious Gospel of the blessed God and it is only by teaching the Truths which He has made known,and by publishing the message which He has revealed, that you can really be His servant. Suppose you have a man to be yourservant at home-say, your gardener. He is a very industrious man, indeed, and works very hard. But when you walk round yourgarden, you do not see him, and for a very good reason, for he is not there. Where is he? He is at work in your neighbor'sgarden! Of course you love your neighbor as yourself, so you are pleased to think that your servant is working on behalf ofyour neighbor.
You smile, do you? I think you say to yourself, "That is a kind of servant that I should not care to keep. If he worked forsomebody else all day long, in the time for which I paid him, I would not want him as my servant." Well now, if I, as a Christianminister, become a teacher of philosophy instead of a preacher of the Truths of the Gospel. If I receive into my mind someof the novel views that abound in the present day-which are not the views that are revealed in the Scriptures-then Christis not my Master and I am not His disciple! I am a follower of somebody else. If you act thus, you are pretending to be Christ'sreformer-you are attempting to make His teaching better. Impious fool! I dare not use a milder expression! You are actingas Christ's critic! You are finding fault with the Faultless! You are trying to correct the Infallible! You had better giveup such a task as that, for it is not consistent with being His disciple. He requires of you that you should become as a littlechild, that you may be taught by Him. His own words are, "Except you are converted, and become as little children, you shallnot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."
If you would be a servant of Christ, come to Him as a little child! Sit on the infants' form to be taught by Him the GospelA B C. "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me-follow Me as My disciple, regarding Me as his Teacher to whom he bows his understandingand his entire mind, that I may fashion it according to My own will." This is the language of our Lord and I would impressit very earnestly upon you all-and especially upon any who are beginning the Christian life. If you are to serve Christ, putyour mind like a tablet of wax under His stylus, that He may write on you whatever He pleases! Be you Christ's slate, thatHe may make His mark on you. Be His sheet of paper on which He may write His living letters of love. You can serve Him inthis way in the best possible manner.
But next, I think that the text means, "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me by obeying My commands." A fortnight ago, weconsidered that most instructive text, [Sermon #2317, Volume 39-Obeying Christ's Orders] "Whatever He says unto you, do it."I would bring that text to your notice, again, and ring it like a bell-"Whatever HE says unto you, do it." If you want totruly serve Christ, do not do what you suggest to yourself, but do what He commands you! Remember what Samuel said to Saul,"To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." I believe that the profession of consecration toGod, when it is accompanied by action that I suggest to myself, may be nothing but will-worship-an abomination in the sightof God! But when anyone says to the Lord, "What will You have me do? Show me, my Master, what You would have me do"-when thereis a real desire to obey every command of Christ, then is there the true spirit of service and the true spirit of sonship."If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me, running at My call, following at My heels, waiting at My feet to do whatever I desirehim to do."
Dear Friends, this makes life a very much simpler thing than some dream it to be. You are not to go and carve a statue outof marble by the exercise of your own genius-if that were the task set before us, the most of us would never accomplish it!But you have just to go and write according to Christ's own example, to copy His letters, the up-strokes and the down-strokesand to write exactly as He has written. The other day, I was asked to sign my name to a deed and when it was handed to me,I said, "Why, I have signed my name!" "Yes," said the one who brought it, "you have the very easy task of marking it all overagain." Just so, in that case I followed my own writing and you have the easy task of writing after Christ, blacking over,again, the letters that He, Himself, has made, and you cannot do Him better service than this. "If anyone serves Me, let himfollow Me; that is, let him do just what I bid Him to do."
Now, thirdly, I think that by these words our Lord means-and this is the same thing in another shape, "If anyone serves Me,let him follow Me by imitating My example." It is always safe, dear Friends, to do what Christ would have done under the samecircumstances in which you are placed. Of course you cannot imitate Christ in His miraculous work and you are not asked toimitate Him in some of those sorrowful respects in which He suffered that we might not suffer. But the ordinary life of Christis, in every respect, an example to us. Never do what you could not suppose Christ would have done. If it strikes you thatthe course of action that is suggested to you would be un-Christly, then it is un-Christian, for the Christian is to be likeChrist! The Christian is to be the flower growing out of the Seed, Christ, and there is always a congruity between the flowerand the seed out of which it grows. Keep your eyes fixed on your heavenly Model and Pattern, and seek in all things to imitateChrist. If you want to serve Christ, repeat His life as nearly as possible in your own life. "If anyone serves Me, let himfollow Me by copying My example."
Once more, I think the Savior means this-"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me by clinging to My cause." Cling to the causeof Christ, dear Friend. Give yourself to that Kingdom for which you are taught to pray and be ready to make any sacrifice,whatever, that you may advance and extend it. Yes, throw your whole self into the holy service of your Lord. Make the nameof Christ to be more widely known and the cause of Christ to be further extended among the sons of men. Cling to the causeof Christ and so carry out His own Words, "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me."
Beloved, I believe that every Christian person should follow Christ in the waters of Baptism and, having done that, shouldjoin the Church of Christ, not so much to follow the Church, as to follow Christ. We are not to follow men, even the bestof men, any farther than they follow Christ. But we must take care that we do boldly stand up as adherents of His cause, sothat, if it is asked, "Who is on the Lord's side?" we may put in an appearance, directly, and avow ourselves as His followers.Are you living in a village where there is no congregation of the faithful? Then let it be known that you are on the Lord'sside-and do your best to open a place where Christ can be preached. Do you live down some dark part of this city where nobodygoes to a place of worship? Such places are, alas, very common in this dreadful London. Then, be sure that you go to the Houseof God and your very going there will be a form of serving Christ, for others will see that you, at least, take a decidedstep and join in public worship with the avowed followers of Christ.
If you would really serve Christ, come right out from the world and say, "Let others do as they will. As for me and my housewe belong to Christ and we will never hide our colors. We will bind the scarlet thread in the window and we will let all whocome by this way understand that here live those who have been redeemed with precious blood and who,
therefore, cannot-dare not and will not conceal the gracious fact!" "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me by taking up Mycause and working for it with all his heart."
I hope that I do not need to dwell any longer on this point. You all see that the way in which to serve Christ is not a visionaryone. You do not need to run away from your father and mother and leave your home and friends. You do not need to go away tothe natives in Africa in order to serve Christ. It is not the getting of some idle speculation in your own brain-and workingthat out according to your own whims and fancies that constitutes service of Christ! It is simply this-if any man will serveChrist, let him follow Christ. Let him put his foot down as nearly as he can where Christ put His foot down. Let Him treadin Christ's steps, be moved by His Spirit, actuated by His motives, live with His aim and copy His actions. This is the noblestway in which to serve the Lord.
II. Now secondly, and briefly, let us notice THE FELLOWSHIP OF SERVICE-"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and whereI am, there My servant will be also." I do not know any other master but Christ who ever said that. There are some placeswhere an earthly master does not want his servant to be-he must have some room to himself and some engagements which he cannotexplain to his servant-and into which his servant must not pry. But the Lord Jesus Christ makes this the glorious privilegeof everyone who enters His service that, where He is, there shall His servant be!
And where is He, I pray? He is in Heaven and we cannot go to Him, there, until He calls us Home. But where is He? Where wasHe when He spoke these words? He was, first, in the place of consecration. The Lord Jesus Christ stood before the Father aconsecrated Man. All that there was in Him was dedicated to the Glory of God. Now, go and serve Him by following Him, andHe will put you into the place of dedication, consecration, sanctification! You desire to be holy? Well, you will never attainto holiness simply by lying in bed-get up and work for Jesus if you are able to do so! And you cannot get holiness merelyby studying books-serve your Lord and serve Him especially by following Him! It is in the sacred process of active obedience,or of passive obedience, that we get the consecration which is not to be found, as some think, by merely willing it and talkingof it, but which grows out of holy service.
As rivers, when they take up sewage, are said to drop it as they flow and purify themselves as they run, so, assuredly, itis with a Believer as he flows on in his Christian course. God blessing him, he drops much of the earthiness which he hastaken up in his progress through life and, by the very motion, he seems to purify himself, refining as he runs. I notice thatpeople who have nothing to do but to sit and stare into the black hole of their own nature are generally very sad and notoften very virtuous. But they who, knowing how dark and sinful their nature is, trust Jesus for salvation, and then spendtheir lives in doing the will of the Lord-these are they who are both holy and happy!
But where is Christ?-for He says, "Where I am, there My servant will be also." He is and always was in the place of communionwith God. He was always near to His Father. He often spoke with God. He always had the joy of God filling His spirit. Andyou, perhaps are saying to yourself, "I wish that I had communion with God." Well, through Jesus Christ it is to be had byserving Him in that particular kind of service which consists in following Him! If you want to walk with God, why, of course,you must walk! If you sit down in idleness, you cannot walk with Him-and if you do not keep up a good brisk pace, He willwalk on in front of you and leave you behind, for the Lord is no laggard in His walking. Therefore, you see, there must bediligent progress and activity in service in order that we may keep pace with Him and have communion with Him. And if we actthus, here, He has promised that we shall be in the place of communion with our blessed Master.
Further than this, our Lord Jesus Christ was in the place of confidence. Whenever Christ went to work, He worked with assurance.He never had a doubt as to His ultimate success. No haphazard work ever came from Christ's hands. He spoke with certaintyand He worked with the full assurance that His labor would not be in vain. If you want to have confidence in your work forChrist, so as to perform it without any doubts and fears, you will have to obtain it by serving Him-and serve Him by followingHim. And then, into that hallowed place of confidence where your Master always stood, there shall you also come.
Our Lord stood, too, in the place of holy calm. How unruffled He was at all times! His was a life of storms, yet a life ofpeace. All around Him moved, but He was the Rock of Ages and never moved. Would you not like to be calm as Christ was, todwell with Him on the serene heights while the tempests roll and thunder far below your feet? Well, then, serve Him by followingHim and, as you do so, the promise of the text shall be fulfilled to you, "Where I am, there My servant will be also."
And oh, blessed be His name! He has actually gone into the place of conquest and victory in the eternal world! And you andI shall be there with Him in His own good time. "Where I am, there My servant will be also." Count it no dishonor to be servantswhen this high favor is promised you, that where your Master is, there you shall be also! I have sometimes thought that ifI could get into Heaven somewhere behind the door, and just sit there, I would be perfectly satisfied. But far more than thatis promised to us! Wherever Christ is, there shall we be! If He is on a Throne, we shall be enthroned, too, and, if He isat the Father's right hand, we shall be at the Father's right hand, for He has promised, "Where I am, there My servant willbe also." You need not to know much about Heaven-it is where Christ is, and that is Heaven enough for us! If we could oncego into the courts above and ask, "Is my Lord Jesus here?" and they should answer, "No, He is not here," it would be no Heavento us, would it? We would want to go outside the city walls and cry, "Show me where He is."
But suppose it possible for us to be in the very lowest room of Heaven, where the glories were veiled, as it were-if sucha place could be-and if we could hear one truly say, "There He is," its glories would not be any longer veiled and we shouldneed no higher Heaven than that! As soon as ever we saw Him, we would say, as our Friend did in prayer, "He is all the Heavenwe want to know." Remember that blessed verse we had in our reading, "Father, I will that they, also, whom You have givenMe, be with Me where I am, that they may behold My Glory"?
This, then, is the great fellowship of holy service-who would not be a servant of Christ?
III. Now, as our time is nearly spent, I must speak but briefly upon THE REWARD OF SERVICE, upon which I have already entrenched-"If anyone serves Me, him will My Father honor."
It is very sweet to notice how the Lord Jesus brings His Father into His speech. It is as if He said, "When a man joins himselfto Me, then he joins himself to My Father, also. It is not only I who will love him and do My best to honor him, but My Father,the great and ever-blessed Lord over all, keeps an eye on that man." On whom does He look with this gaze of approval? Noton those who have some grand project of serving themselves, but on those who serve Christ and who do it by following Him!Come, dear people of God, you are, many of you, very poor, yet I know that many of you are seeking to serve Christ by followingHim. Some of God's dear servants here are not great speakers-they are very quiet, humble Christians-but they are trying todo what Christ would do if He were in their position. If this is your case, dear Friends, you are honoring your Lord and theFather, Himself, looks approvingly upon you!
"If anyone serves Me," says our Lord, "him will My Father honor." How will He do it? Well, He will honor him by letting himknow his sonship. Because Jesus always pleased the Father, the Father bares witness to Him, saying, "This is My beloved Son."And if you serve Christ by following Him, the Father will often bear witness in your heart and say, "This, also, is My belovedson, in whom I am well pleased." He will often cause the Spirit of adoption to renew the witness in your heart so that youwill cry, "Abba, Father," and He will acknowledge the kindred. Surely, there is no greater honor than for God to acknowledgeyou as His son!
Next, He will honor you by giving you a sense of approval. You know what that means. I will tell you when it is very sweet.You have been doing something for Christ. You have done it with all your heart and some friend picks holes in it-and someonenot quite so much a friend and who, therefore, cannot so sorely wound you-begins to impute wrong motives and to judge youfor having come down to the battle because of the pride and the naughtiness of your heart. Well, you lose a friend and youget a double number of enemies round about you. Yet in your heart you feel that you did it only for Christ. Well, then, atsuch a time it is delightful to have a sense of the approbation of God such as you never had when you had the approbationof men!
Sometimes when even Christian people cry, "Well done, well done," the Lord says, "That is quite enough praise for him. I shallnot give him My, 'Well done.'" But when you get no, "Well done," from men and, on the contrary, are misunderstood and misrepresented,then the Lord comes and puts His hand upon you and says, "Be strong, fear not, I have accepted your service. I know your motiveand I approve your action. Be not afraid of them, but go your way." Ah, Beloved! Such approval as that is the highest honorwe can have here! "If anyone serves Me," says Christ, "him will My Father honor" with a sense of sonship and with a senseof approbation.
If any man serves Christ there is another kind of honor that often comes to him, and it is not to be despised. If a man willserve Christ by following Him, the Father will give him honor in the eyes of the blood-bought family. There are certain ofthe Lord's people who do not carry yardsticks with them, but they carry scales and weights. And if they do not measure byquantity, they measure by quality-their approval is worth having. They are often the poorest and most afflicted members ofthe Church, but, being the most instructed and living the nearest to God, to be had in honor of them is a thing worth having!I believe that if any man will live the life of a Christian, however few his talents, and if his service lies in close obedienceand imitation of Christ, the real saints, not the mere professors, especially not the shining worldly ones among them, butreal saints will say, "That is the man for us! That is the woman with whom we like to converse." Thus it comes to pass thatthose who really serve the Lord by following Him have honor in the estimation of those who sit at meat with them at theirLord's Table.
And then, at last, when we come to die, or when we stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ, or when we enter upon the eternalstate, what a glorious thing it will be to find the Father ready to honor us forever because we served the Son! Our rewardwill not be of debt, but of Divine Grace-it is Grace that gave us the service and Grace that will reward us for our service!No man and no woman shall serve the Lord Jesus Christ here on earth by following Him without finding that the Father has somespecial honor, some rich and rare reward, to give to such soldiers in due time! This is the fighting day- expect nothing nowbut bullets, bruises, wounds, scars! But the battle will soon be over and when the war is ended, the King will come and rideup and down the ranks-and in that day you who have been most battered and most wounded in the battle shall find Him pausewhen He reaches you-and He will fasten on your breast a star that shall be more honor to you than all the Victoria Crossesthat have decorated brave men here below! Stars and garters they may have who want them, but blessed are they who shall shineas the stars in the Kingdom of our Father! And this honor is to be had by that Believer who will faithfully serve His Lord-notby any who merely talk about it, or dream of it, or propose to do it-but to those who serve Him by following Him, this honorshall be given.
I have preached all this to God's people, but I have not said anything to you who are not His people. I cannot invite youto His service as you are-how can you serve Him while you are His enemies? I do not invite you unconverted people to workfor God. Oh, no! He wants no such servants as you are! He will not have rebels in His host. First bow your knee in submission,lay down the weapons of your rebellion-then fly to Christ for mercy! Trust in Him for forgiveness and then, but not till then,you may come and serve Him, and follow Him, and expect that His Father will honor you as He has promised. God bless you, forJesus' sake! Amen.
HYMNS FROM "OUR OWN HYMN BOOK"-625, 262, 785.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: JOHN17.
This chapter contains the marvelous prayer of our Great High Priest. May the Holy Spirit apply its teaching to our heartsas we read it!
Verse 1. These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to Heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Your Son,that Your Son also may glorify You. The great design of Christ, all through His life on earth, was to glorify the Father.He came to save His people, but that was not His first or His chief aim. It was His objective, through the salvation of myriadsof the sons of men, to glorify the Father.
2. As You have given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. Here wehave both the universality and the specialty of the work of Divine Mercy. Christ has power over all flesh-men are in the powerof the one Mediator, but there is this special objective ever before Him-"that He should give eternal life to as many as Youhave given Him."
3. And this is life eternal, that they might know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. This does notmean mere head-knowledge, but to know in the heart and soul the one only true God and Jesus Christ who was sent of Him tothe sons of men, "this is life eternal." God without Christ brings not eternal life, and Christ, if He were not sent of God,would not bring eternal life to us, but knowing God in Christ Jesus is eternal life.
4. I have glorified You on the earth: I have finished the work which You gave Me to do. Here our Savior speaks by anticipation.He foresaw that He would pass through His passion, that all the work of His people's redemption would be fully accomplished.And in this, His final prayer on earth to the Father, He could truly say, "I have finished the work which You gave Me to do."May you and I be able to say the same when we depart out of this world! Not boastingly-
there was no boasting in our Lord-but truthfully, conscientiously-from the bottom of our heart may each one of us be ableto say, "I have finished the work which You gave me to do"!
5. And now, O Father, glorify You Me with Your own Self with the Glory which I had with You before the world was. After thefinished work, Christ was to have the Glory. O worker for God, seek not glory before your work is done! Expect not honor amongmen because you have begun the work so earnestly. Plod on until it is finished, then shall the glory come. "Verily I say untoyou, they have their reward," said our Lord concerning the scribes and Pharisees who sought the praise of men. But you havenot your reward at present-it is yet to come. Wait for it, for it is sure to come.
6. I have manifested Your name unto the men which You gave Me out of the world: Yours they were, and You gave them to Me;and they have kept Your Word. How tenderly He speaks about them! He says the best He can of them. They were faulty, feeblefolk, but He says, "They have kept Your Word." So they did. Oh, that you and I may do the same, and not be swept away by thedrift of the current of unbelief! If we are not perfect. If we fail in some respects, yet may the Muster be able to say ofus to God, "They have kept Your Word"!
7. Now they have known that all things whatever You have given Me are of You. How the blessed Christ loves to lay aside allhonor to Himself even in His own Gospel! He said that the things which He had taught to His disciples were not His own-theywere the Father's. The Father always honors the Son and the Son takes care to always honor the Father.
8-10. For I have given unto them the Words which You gave Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I camefrom You, and they have believed that You did send Me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which You havegiven Me; for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours and Yours are Mine; and I am glorified in them. Every true child of Godglorifies Christ! And if you cannot say that you are glorifying Christ, you should question whether you really belong to Him.If you are His, it is true of you, "I am glorified in them"-not only by them, but in them-"their suffering with patience,in their laboring with diligence, in their faith, in their trustfulness in Me, 'I am glorified in them.'"
11. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world-We also know that we, too, are in the world. We have goodreason to feel it and sometimes to mourn it.
11. And I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your own name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one, as We are.When God keeps us, He keeps us in unity-our divisions are not the result of His work. When we get away from His keeping andget away from His Word, then we are sundered in heart from Him and from one another. But by His keeping He keeps His childrenone.
12. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name: those that You gave Me I have kept, and none of them islost but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled. The Scripture was fulfilled in the preservation of Hisown-and also fulfilled in the destruction of the traitor. God's Word will always be fulfilled. Oh, that it may be to us asavor of life unto life, that we may be kept by it and not a savor of death unto death, as it was to Judas, who was blindedby the very Light of God that shone upon him! That fierce Light that beat about the King of Kings fell on him and it blindedhim eternally. God save us from such an awful doom as that!
13. And now come I to You. I can only read you this wonderful chapter, but what must it have been to have heard it! I thinkI see the look on the Savior's face as He says to His Father, "And now come I to You." May something like that look be onyour faces, my Beloved, when your last moments come! Looking away from your dear ones whom you must leave as Jesus left Hisdisciples, may you, each one, be able to say, "And now come I to You"!
13. And these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves. While He drained the cup ofsorrow to the dregs and went forward to all the agonies of the cruel Cross, He wanted His disciples to have His joy fulfilledin them, that they might be filled full with His joy.
14. I have given them Your Word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of theworld. This does not look like trying to please the world, to adapt our method to the spirit of the age, to come as near tothe world as ever we can, to dabble in its politics and join in its schemes! This has, to me, a very different tone in itfrom all that!
15. I pray not that You should take them out of the world-Christ and His people did not go together out of the world all atonce. That would have been to leave the world in an utterly forlorn condition without any help whatever! So He says to HisFather, "I pray not that You should take them out of the world."
15-16. But that You should keep them from the Evil One. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. You cannotmake Christ a worldling. Do what You will with His Character-twist it as you like-you must see that there is something unworldly,otherworldly about Him. So let it always be with His people.
17. Sanctify them through Your Truth: Your Word is Truth. Thank God for that-"Your Word is Truth." Not, "Your Word containsthe Truth with a mixture of error." Or, "Your Word has some Truth in it." No, but, "Your Word is Truth." Not only is it true,but it is Truth, the very essential Truth of God!
18, 19. As You have sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself-"Iseparate Myself to this work, I dedicate, devote, consecrate Myself wholly for their sakes."
19-20. That they, also, might be sanctified through the Truth. Neither pray I for these alone-This little handful of discipleswho had been gathered to His name-
20. But for them, also, which shall believe on Me through their word. Thank God that He will bless our word as well as Hisown Word! When our word is based upon His Word-when we do but expound what Christ has given us to say- then men shall believeon Him through our word!
21-23. That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they, also, may be one in Us: that the worldmay believe that You have sent Me. And the Glory which You gave Me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as We areone: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me, andhave loved them as You have loved Me. This is a wonderful expression. Does the Father love His people as He loves Christ?Then His love to them must be without beginning, without change, without measure, without end! Oh, it would ravish your heart,it would carry you away to the very Heaven of heavens if you could get the full meaning of this expression, "and have lovedthem as You have loved Me"!
24. Father, I will that they, also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My Glory, which Youhave given Me: for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. This is Christ's last will and testament- "Father, I will."It is not merely His prayer, but He makes this as one clause in His will, that all whom the Father gave Him should be withHim to behold His Glory. And it will be so, Beloved. He will not lose one of His own. He will never drop from those dear piercedhands any portion of the eternal gift of His Father!
25, 26. O righteous Father, the world has not known You: but I have known You, and these have known that You have sent Me.And I have declared unto them Your name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith You have loved Me may be in them, andI in them. Here the doctrine becomes a matter of experience! May we never rest till we get the full experience of it, thatthe very love which God gives to Christ may be found in our hearts shed abroad by the Holy Spirit! Amen.