The Priority of Unity, Pt. 3
September 13, 2015 Speaker: Brent Small
Topic: Unity Passage: John 17:20–17:26
In this sermon podcast on John 17:20-26, Pastor Brent begins to unfold three “unifying priorities” in the local church so that the church will be the light of the gospel to the world.
The Upper Room Discourse is coming to a close. Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer is hastening to the final amen. However, Jesus has one final group of people that He wants to bring before the merciful grace of the Father: the church. Beginning in John 17:20, Jesus transitions His prayer from the disciples to all future believers, those who will make up the church.
The transition that Jesus makes is stunning. He now prays for those whom have yet to receive His gospel by faith and be converted. In fact, He has yet to accomplish the work of their redemption on the cross and He is already praying for them. He is praying for thousands, millions of believers who have turned to Him by faith over two millennia. How would they come to faith? The disciples would preach, starting on the Day of Pentecost. They would herald the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving gospel.
But even more stunning in His prayer is what Jesus prays for, for the church. The theme of His prayer is “oneness” or “unity” amongst all those who would believe in the gospel. Imagine Jesus praying that the church universal and the visible church at any given moment would be unified as one. This was His prayer and priority for the church.
The question for the church is: “Are we not only praying for unity as Jesus prayed for us, but are we prioritizing unity in our life and in the church?” Every Christian and the local church must strive to be unified as one. This was Jesus’ request to the Father, it must be our priority.
In part three of this series, Pastor Brent exhorts us to prioritize unity by vigorously seeking our own spiritual maturity.