- Mike Shipman
Going Up! Chapter 1
ANSWER CHRIST’S PRAYER – ABIDE IN HIM AND DISCIPLE THE WORLD!
MILESTONE #1: Our Purpose: Glorify God by Abiding in Christ to Fulfill the Great Commission.
John’s account of the Upper Room discourse was written later than the others. By the time John wrote the gospel bearing his name, the Great Commission works, as recorded in Acts, had already taken place, and the gospel was still spreading through those who were applying Christ’s Upper Room teachings. John wrote in retrospect to show the results of what Jesus had taught in the Upper Room in relationship to Great Commission fulfillment. Jesus had been faithful to His promises and would continue to be so to those who journeyed with Him.
John’s account also intimately connects abiding in Christ with the fulfillment of the Great Commission. The discourse from John’s perspective reminds all believers that Christ’s teachings from the Upper Room were currently being fulfilled and challenges all believers to glorify God, by abiding in Christ in order to fulfill the Great Commission. Just as Christ had prayed such for his original apostles, He prayed thus for every succeeding generation of disciples as well. In other words, Jesus prepared the original apostles to glorify God by abiding in Christ while obeying the Great Commission. The upper room teachings were and still are a preparation guide for “sent ones” of every generation. Reading carefully, listening intently and obeying completely these words of Christ prepare us to journey with Jesus!
As you begin this journey with Jesus, be assured that He will walk with you and lead you, regardless of your current or past performance. Know that He has invited you to walk with Him and He is pleased to be your guide.
JESUS’ HOUR HAS COME
Abiding in Christ is all about Jesus. He is the One who died for our sins to redeem us to God. And it is He who indwells us by His Spirit. The lessons of Journey Higher with Jesus should take our eyes off ourselves and fix them on the Savoir.
In the days leading up to the Upper Room meeting, Jesus “Now my soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name. ’Then a voice came out of heaven: ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again’” (Jn. 12:27-28). Jesus is preparing for an agonizing hour, an hour which would glorify God. In fact, it was the hour for which Jesus came into the world.
Read the following verses from the Upper Room discourse, noticing the phrase, “My or His hour has not yet come (Jn. 2:4; 7:30, 8:20). What “hour” is Jesus referring to?
Read the first three verses of Jesus’ high priestly prayer (Jn. 17:1-3). Jesus’ hour had come. The time of Jesus’ crucifixion was at hand. On the next day, Jesus Christ would full all prophecies concerning His death for the sins of mankind and His ensuing resurrection.
The Central Truth of the Bible
The gospel is the unifying theme of the grand narrative of Scripture. If someone were to ask, “What is the Bible about?” The short answer would be, “The gospel”.
With the introduction of man’s fall (Gen. 3:1-7) is the introduction of the gospel. The woman’s descendant will crush Satan’s head, although Satan will crush his heel (Gen. 3:15). And the skins of apparently sacrificed animals were given to replace their clothes of leaves (Gen. 3:21). With the first human beings, God’s redemptive plan, devised from eternity past, took action.
Parallel tracks of the promised suffering savior and sacrifices for the reconciling people to God lead directly to Calvary. Jesus Himself verified the Old Testament clues by emphatically stating that the entire Old Testament refers to His sacrifice and resurrection, the gospel (Lk. 24:44-49).
Beginning with gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) the New Testament continues the narrative of the suffering Messiah, who conquered death, ascended to heaven and will return as Judge.
Revelation pictures worship in heaven leading up to the time when Christ will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Angelic creatures and twenty-four elders are singing a new song, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain and purchased for God with You blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10). And then myriads of angels cry out in worship, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12).
Spotlight on Jesus
Jesus’ hour, the crucifixion, had arrived, and would be carried out immediately after one last meeting with the apostles in the Upper Room. The verses immediately following John’s account of the Upper Room discourse describe in detail the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ for our sins. Read the passage below, paying close attention to the glory of Jesus’ sacrifice and the way He responded those who were there.
“When they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.’ The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wind, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!’ Now there was also an inscription above Him, ‘THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.’ One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, Are You not the Christ” Save Yourself and us.’ But the other answered, and rebuked him saying, ‘Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.’ And he was saying, ‘Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!’ And He said to him, ‘Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.’ It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. Because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said. ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last. But when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, ‘Certainly this man was innocent.’ And all the crowd who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things” (Luke 23: 33-49).
Who were the people in the crucifixion account, other than Jesus? How were they responding to Jesus’ crucifixion? What would have most likely been your attitude if you had been there? What was Jesus response to those who were crucifying Him (Lk. 23:34:)? To the criminals on His right and left?
It’s all about Jesus. It is He who died for our sins, raised from the dead and indwells us by His grace. It is He who invites us to walk with Him and glorify God by discipling the nations. It is He who accomplishes it through broken vessels like us. The journey is all about knowing Jesus and making Him known among the nations.
Consider when you initially realized that Christ had chosen to be crucified on your behalf. What were your feelings? When did this knowledge result in you receiving Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life?
Give thanks for a moment to the Lord for His gift of salvation.
Having read the account of Jesus’ crucifixion above what do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Ask the Lord to teach you to walk with Him in complete obedience throughout this study to joyfully experience His presence and bear fruit for His glory.
ANSWER JESUS’ PRAYER – GLORIFY GOD!
If you knew you would die tomorrow, what would you do tonight? The activities of most people would be self-centered. We don’t know what we night actually do in such dire a dire circumstance. But we know what the Savior did – He prayed that He would glorify the Father through His death, and Jesus prayed for his apostles, along with showering them with His love. Moreover, Jesus apparently prayed in the apostles’ presence, a pray that they heard with their own ears, and impacted their heart throughout their journey with Jesus.
“Top” Secret: It’s All About His Glory
Jesus prayed for you and me in John 17:20-26. Having prayed for the 12, he prays for those who would come to faith through their word. That’s us! “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. “
The sessions for the next three days show how to respond to three imperatives (commands) in Jesus prayer to the Father on our behalf. The thee imperatives are:
Glorify your Son, that the Son may glorify You (Jn. 17:1, 5).
Keep them in Your name (Jn. 17:11).
Sanctify them in (or ‘by’) the truth (Jn. 17:17).
Glorifying God by Abiding in Christ
Jesus’ foremost desire was to glorify the Father, even when it cost Him His life. “Glorify your Son, that the Son may glorify You” (17:1). Jesus depended upon the Father’s glory to be in Him, so He could bring glory to the Father. “Now is the Son of man glorified, and the Father is glorified in Him” (31-32). The Father was glorified by Christ’s life and by His death.
Jesus shared in the Father’s glory, and He shared His glory with us. “And all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I have been glorified in them” (Jn. 17:10). We are invited to share Christ’s glory in life and in death (See Jn. 21:18-23).
Glorifying God is like the concept of magnifying God. Both concepts achieve the concept of pointing to the greatness of God. The concept of magnifying God is obvious – making God and His works large so they can be more easily noticed.
Glory should be thought of in terms of brightness of light. Whereas “Magnifying” makes something large, “glorifying” brings attention to its greatness by making it brighter. Perhaps the concept of “glorifying” God can be better understood by the concept of shining light upon someone or something. Think of it like shining a spotlight on someone, so that is the person, among all others, who is noticed.
Fill in the blank with your name. In Jn. 17:20-26, Jesus prayed that __________ __________ would abide in Christ and be used by God to make Jesus known to the world. What will it mean for you to glorify God this way? Read the following phrases from Jn. 17 that contain the word glory or glorify. After each phrase, consider who is glorifying whom. Also, how are they glorifying that entity (person)?
17:1 – “glorify your Son, that the Son may glorify You”
17:4 – “I have glorified Your name on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do”
17:5 – “glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory I had with You before the world was”
17:10 – “All things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them”
17:22 – “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one”
17:24 – “I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me”
The concept of glory in the Upper Room discourse of Jn. 13-17 shows how Jesus glorified the Father and how the Father was glorified in Him. According to the above passages, what part do we play in the glory mentioned in this discourse?
Just as the moon reflects the sun, those who abide in Christ reflect the glory of Jesus within them. Jesus shines His light upon us, not so that the world notices us, but so that the Father notices and is glorified.
How does your life shine the spotlight on Jesus Christ?
Are there ways you are hesitant to glorify God through absolute obedience? Why?
Are you fulfilling your calling to glorify God?
What adjustments is He calling you make immediately in your attitudes or actions? An adjustment might be an improvement to what you’re currently doing or something entirely new.
ANSWER JESUS’ PRAYER -- BE MADE HOLY BY HIS TRUTH!
Jesus’ prayer emphasizes the most important foundations the apostles would need to abide in Christ while fulfilling the Great Commission. One of those foundations was to be set apart (sanctified) by the truth of Christ’s word.
“Top” Secret: God’s Truth Sanctifies Us
“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 the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth” (Jn. 17:114-19).
The word “sanctify” means “set apart” or “make holy”. Jesus set Himself apart for God through complete obedience to His word. Jesus reminded the apostles that He always did exactly as the Father told Him (Jn. 14:31). Abiding in Christ demands complete conformity to the truth of God’s word. As we obey God’s word, according to its intent, it cleanses us from unrighteousness, making us more holy and more usable.
This section of Jesus high priestly prayer correlates with the first section of Jesus’ illustration of the vine and branches in John 15. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (Jn. 15:2-3). In this passage, the word for pruning in verse 2 is the same word translated “clean” in verse 3. Notice that the tool used by the vinedresser to clean (prune) the branches is the word of Jesus.
Just the Truth
The word “truth” occurs 9 times in John 13-17, and three times in John 17: 17-19. Jesus Himself demonstrated living in truth to be set apart for God’s service. Likewise, being sanctified in truth is vital for all “sent ones”.
Fiction and fantasy are the primary opponents of abiding in Christ. Satan, the deceiver, continually tempts us to believe lies and live accordingly. Therefore, Jesus prayed that the apostles would be kept from the evil one. Satan works continually to draw us away from Christ’s path of truth. Believing Satan’s lies leads believers into sin and away from passionate pursuit of the will of God. Discipling a world who hates us only makes sense when we are being sanctified by God’s truth. Daily pursuing life in Christ’s reality is essential for oneness with Him.
Journey Gem: God’s Reality is Good
While in college I realized a vital truth. God’s truth is always better than the world’s counterfeits. Therefore, I prayed a life-altering prayer, “Lord, help me to continually live in Your reality, because I know Your reality is good.” Realizing that God’s reality is always good, far-better than any counterfeit offered by His enemy, has been a reminder to live according to the Scripture’s truth, even when tempted by thoughts or emotions to do otherwise.
Pray aloud: “Lord, help me to continually live in Your reality, because I know that Your reality is good.” Now pray, “Sanctify me in your truth.”
What is a lie of Satan you’ve believed, which caused you much harm? (Remember that if you’ve confessed your sin, the Lord has forgiven and cleansed you.)
Are you currently pursuing a fantasy that keeps you from abiding fully in Christ?
Think of a time you were tempted to believe a lie of Satan but chose rather to believe the truth of God’s word. How was the result of living in truth far better than the possible results, had you given into that temptation? Praise the Lord for the victory!
ANSWER JESUS’ PRAYER – BE ASSURED OF HIS LOVE AND COMMITMENT TO YOU!
Jesus' love envelops all the teachings of the Upper Room Discourse toward His disciples.
The first and last verses of the Upper Room discourse emphasize Jesus’ great love for us. Envelopped in between the bookends of love, Jesus lovingly assures the apostles of his acceptance, help and encouragement. In the Upper Room, Jesus demonstrated His immeasurable love for the apostles, and even for His enemies. The next day, Jesus died for the world’s sins. How much more did Jesus show His love to those who received His sacrifice? He filled them with His presence. Abiding in Christ is an acknowledgement that we believe that Christ genuinely loves us.
“Top” Secret: It Starts and Ends with His Love
The discourse begins, “Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end” (Jn. 13:1).
Jesus’ high priestly prayer, the final verses of the discourse, ends with “And I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them“ (Jn. 17:26).
Those who journey with Jesus can be assured of His love. Jesus prayed that the love of the Father would be in us. The ultimate love of Christ was displayed at the cross. The gospel is a finished work that will forever be the primary symbol of Christ’s love for us. No matter how life’s circumstances seem to contradict God’s love for us, remember the cross, the once for all time reminder of God’s love.
Nonetheless, Jesus promises ongoing love to His apostles, during their journey with Him after Pentecost. Jesus takes responsibility to so that the Father’s love toward Jesus would also be within the sent ones.
Jesus’ Commitment to Us
Jesus assures His apostles that He is committed to them for the long haul. Even though the apostles’ commitment would at times waver, His commitment to those He sent out to bear fruit would not. “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain” (Jn. 15:16a).
Jesus had kept His commitment to guard (keep) the apostles while He was present with them. And now the Father, who had kept His commitment to Jesus, would become the trustworthy guardian of the apostles. Jesus prayed, “While I was with hem, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled” (Jn. 17:11-12).
But what about Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him? Even this didn’t catch Jesus by surprise, because from the beginning, Jesus had chosen him, knowing that Judas would betray Him, according to the Scripture.
Being guarded by the Father doesn’t mean that nothing bad will happen to you or me if we journey on mission with Jesus. In fact, Jesus Christ was crucified and ten of the original eleven faithful apostles died as martyrs because of their faith in Christ. Being guarded by Jesus means that our position in Christ is safe. God guarantees that nothing can separate us from His love and from our position as His chosen ones.
Even though our physical safety isn’t guaranteed, God’s commitment to us and love for us is proven time after time by His personal intervention on our behalf. And finally, the Lord guarantees our eternal salvation with Him in heaven.
Acts-ion: Either Way, We’re Safe
Paul, although not one of the original 12 apostles in the Upper Room, later became an apostle as well. Historical records indicate that Paul died as a martyr during his second roman imprisonment. However, the Scripture records Paul’s testimony of the many times the Lord delivered Him, mostly during his missionary journeys.
Paul testifies of the Lord’s faithfulness during intense labors, multiple imprisonments, having been beaten more times than he could count and often being in danger of death. He continues,
“Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robes, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure" (2 Cor. 11:23-28).
How confident are you that Christ really does love you?
What effect Jesus’ love and commitment to you have on your journey with Him?
How have you experienced the Lord’s love, even in trials, as you’ve journeyed with Him?
Express a prayer of gratitude for His love and commitment toward you.
ANSWER JESUS’ PRAYER: ABIDE IN CHRIST AND DISCIPLE THE WHOLE WORLD!
The Upper Room discourse contains some of the most inspiring verses in the Scripture. However, the discourse is far more than a compilation of memorable verses. Don’t miss the forest for the trees! The Upper Room discourse has a unified theme, challenges all believers to walk with Jesus while accomplishing His mission.
“Top” Secret: The “One” Theme
Only the twelve apostles were invited to the Upper Room for Jesus most crucial, final instructions before His crucifixion. Often in the meeting, Jesus reminded the apostles that He was giving them concepts that they couldn’t completely understand then and would never be understood by the world. One such announcement prompted Judas (not Iscariot) to make his only statement recorded in Scripture, “Lord, what then has happened that you are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world” (Jn. 14:22)?
Much of the teaching of the Upper Room was difficult even for the 12 to understand at that time. However, the coming of the Holy Spirit (Christ Himself within the sent ones) would teach them all things. The secrets would be out for all believers to understand and apply.
The life-changing secrets of the Upper Room transformed the original 12 (except for Judas Iscariot), the 120 people gathered, once again in the Upper Room, when the Spirit came at Pentecost, the 5,000 who soon believed in Jerusalem, etc. Why not us? Is it because the promises no longer apply? Or because of our lack of faith? Or because we willing settle for spiritual substitutes instead of being content to abide in Christ (nothing more, nothing less, nothing else?
Misunderstanding and misapplication of the Upper Room teachings has unfortunately veiled Jesus obvious intentions, making them secret again. Unfortunately, modern devotional thoughts and sermons portray the Upper Room as merely a place to meet Jesus for encouragement to face life’s struggles. In other words, we’ve reduced Jesus preparation manual for apostolic workers to a devotion booklet for facing life’s everyday struggles.
However, the original context for the Upper Room discourse in John 13-17 was to prepare those who were being sent out to disciple the world, to walk with Christ, even after His ascension. Certainly, it applies to everyone, but in its original context it was given to the apostles, the sent ones. Believers who are on the go, fulfilling Christ’s commission, can find direct application from Jesus’ Upper Room teaching.
To get back on track, we must first understand the obvious truths that Jesus taught. Taking off both our traditional and modern glasses will enable us to see clearly. Then we must decide whether we will journey with Jesus to disciple the world, according to the Great Commission.
I. John 14:10-20: The Promise of Greater Works Through Oneness with Christ
Jesus caught His “sent ones” attention by promising to work through them in dramatic ways Notice two promises Jesus made to the person who abides in Him in Jn. 14:12 for the person who believes in Him.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father” (Jn. 14:12). That person will do the same kind of works that Jesus did and will do them to a greater degree. What are these works, mentioned by Jesus? Before answering, read Acts 1:8. The answer will also become clear by studying the following passages from John 13-17. What way were the apostles’ work greater in scope than the works of Jesus during His earthly ministry?
Note: The Greek word used by Jesus is ergon (work) rather than simeon (sign). John uses the word “sign” throughout his gospel account to refer to Jesus’ miracles. However, the greater works of the apostles were the fulfillment of the Great Commission as described in Acts. (Greater Works = Fulfillment of the Great Commission as in Acts)
Having promised greater works by the apostles after His departure, Jesus promised that He would be one with the Father, and that the apostles would be one with Him. “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (Jn. 14:20). The disciples would accomplish the greater works of Christ by being one with (abiding in) Him.
II. John 15:1-8: The Picture of Oneness
John 15 is the best-known passage in the Scripture about oneness with Christ. It paints the glorious word picture of what it looks like to dwell in Christ and He in us. This passage also shows the increasing, God-glorifying fruitfulness that happens as we abide in Christ (Jn. 15:2, 4-5, 8, and 15). The Vine and branches illustration pictures the results of oneness with Christ. However, how to actually live in unity with Christ is explained in detail throughout John 13-17. Consider the following questions:
What truth is Jesus illustrating with the illustration of the Vine and the Branches?
What happens to the branches that abide in the Vine? And what happens to the branches that don’t abide in the Vine?
Read Jn. 15:5 again. How does this verse connect to Jn. 14:12 from the previous section? What would be the key to accomplishing the fulfillment of the Great Commission (greater works)?
How does Jn.15:1-8 illustrate the teaching of the previous section (Jn. 14:12-20, especially notice verses 18-20)?
III. John. 17:1-20: The Prayer for Oneness
Caution: Our presuppositions about certain passages of Scripture are shaped by what we assume Jesus would say, rather than what He actually said. This is one of the passages where our assumptions can keep us from seeing what Jesus actually said. Pay attention to Jesus' wording and their rich meaning.
For whom did Jesus pray in Jn. 17:11? What was His request for them?
For whom did Jesus pray for in Jn. 17:20-26? What did He ask on their behalf (Jn. 17:21-23?
Note: The word often translated “unity” in verse 23 is the same word translated “one” in the previous verses. Also, remember the similar phrasing of Jn. 14:20 and the illustration of Jn. 15:1-8 are references to abiding in Christ. Jesus is now praying for the apostles to do what He commanded them to do earlier in the Upper Room discourse.
Who is the “Us” mentioned by Jesus in verse 21?
Read Jn. 17:21, 23 aloud, replacing the word “unity” in v. 23 with the word “oneness”. Pay attention to phrases after the word “one” in verse 21 and “oneness” in v. 23. Rather than emphasizing unity of fellowship with believers toward one another in this passage. What is Jesus obviously praying for? What would be the result of His sent ones abiding in Him?
Note: Jesus had twice called for His apostles to love one another in the discourse (Jn. 13:34-35; 15:12-13). By loving one another, all men would know that they were Jesus disciples.
Here He prays that they will abide in Him. By abiding in Christ, they would disciple the world (the world would know that God sent Jesus).
Jesus prayed that we would abide in Christ while obeying the Great Commission, and if so, the world would believe in Jesus. Through abiding in Christ, the greater works would be accomplished through them. Not everyone would believe, but those who believed the gospel would become His disciples and continue to abide in Him until His return.
JESUS PRAYED THAT WE WOULD ABIDE IN HIM WHILE OBEYING THE GREAT COMMISSION, AND IF SO, THE WORLD WOULD BELIEVE IN JESUS
Each of the above passages: Jn. 14:12-20; 15:1-8; and 17:20-26 emphasises the same basic truth. What is it? Based on the unity of Jesus’ teaching in the Upper Room discourse in the gospel of John, the theme of the Upper Room discourse of John 13-17 is: HOW TO GLORIFY GOD BY ABIDING IN CHRIST TO FULFILL THE GREAT COMMISSION.
Working harder is not the key to world-wide discipleship. Neither is working smarter. The one and only way to fulfill the Great Commission is through oneness with Christ. Notice that the emphasis of the following passage isn’t primarily on believers being unified together, although Jesus taught extensively about mutual love in throughout the discourse. But in Jesus' prayer, the emphasis is on abiding (being one) with Christ. “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (Jn. 17:20-21). Abiding in Christ results in obedience to and fulfillment of the Great Commission.
Applying the oneness principle from the Upper Room (Jn. 13-17) is the already proven, later redefined secret for doing Christ’s work His way. The Upper Room discourse reveals Jesus’ passionate, specific and timeless counsel to his apostles about how to glorify God, while obeying the Great Commission (the greater works of Christ promised in John 14:12). Jesus’ intimate and transparent discourse is the final preparation for those who would rather disciple the world than love their own lives. The remainder of this study will lead you to interact with Jesus about how to glorify God by abiding in Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.
Glorify God by Abiding in Christ to Fulfill the Great Commission!
How does understanding that Jesus prayed for you, specifically, to abide in Christ to fulfill the Great Commission make you feel?
If abiding in Christ to obey the Great Commission is Christ’s plan for you, how might this change your life going forward?
Inter / Interact / Act
Come “IN”: Worship and Surrender to Christ’s Lordship
Worship the Lord in His holiness and confess personal sin.
Acknowledge that you’ve died with Christ – and surrender completely to His Lordship.
Give thanks for His ongoing work and reflect on what He continues to teach you.
Yield to the Spirit, asking for his leadership and help to abide in Christ today.
Interact with Jesus: Interact honestly with Jesus about the issues He’s brought to the forefront during this chapter. Listen to and meditate on the truths to which the Lord draws your attention through His word. Praise the Lord for His wisdom! Thank Him for his personal interest in you and for the opportunity He gives you to work with Him in His kingdom.
Act: Live According to Christ’s Word
What adjustments is He calling you make immediately in your attitudes or actions? This might be an adjustment or continuation of what you’re currently doing, or something entirely new. Write your action plan below (be as specific as possible).