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The Prayer that No One Deserves, Part I

17202_Sweet_Hour_of_Prayer

From John 17:6-10 we learn that Jesus prays the prayer that no one deserves so that the elect would treasure a grace that no one could destroy. 

Our Doctrine from this passage, how it applies to our mind, is that the goal of election is the elimination of all human pride.

Why does Jesus let us hear this prayer? If God’s election is the ultimate decisive cause of our faith, then why tell us at all?  Because God is aiming at the destruction of all human pride.  It is amazing how self-righteous we can be.  Over the fourth of July, I met our neighbors, and asked one of them where they were from.  He said Jerome, and instantly my flesh rose up and said, “Huh, Jerome, what a stupid small town.”  Where did that come from? 

I was in the doctor’s office with my son's specialist the other day.  Here this brilliant man was helping us diagnose his issues, and then he starts typing.  But he’s not typing properly.  He’s looking down at the keyboard and pecking key by key, and my flesh thought, “Huh, he doesn’t even know how to type.”  Where did that come from? 

But this self-righteousness is not confined to the church alone.  My wife was telling me about a gay man who used to cut her hair several years back.  He was a drag queen, but he got angry and judgmental over other gay men who dressed like women because they did it poorly which made him look bad.  Self-righteousness is not just a church problem, it is a human problem. 

Jesus teaches us the doctrine of election to destroy all human pride.  And that is how Paul used the doctrine. If we look at the book of 1 Corinthians 1, we can see that the church in Corinth was plagued with problems: divisive parties, drunkenness, sexual immorality, court cases.  All of them stemmed from self-righteousness. So where does Paul begin?  With election.  Look at 1 Corinthians 1:26, and look specifically at “what is being opposed and what is being promoted.” (1)

  "For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. [Paul is saying, some of you were slow witted, weak trailer babies—that’s good for me cause I’m all those things]  But God chose [election] what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”  And because of him [that is, His election of you] you are in Christ Jesus..."

 God’s great goal in election is to destroy all human pride.  He is seeking to destroy all self-salvation projects.  Unconditional election is your greatest help against all your hidden self righteousness. That’s the negative goal.  The positive goal is so that God would get all the glory for His free grace.  As v.31 says so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  Why will you go to heaven dear saint?  Not because of anything in you.  Even your best deeds will stand up at the judgment and testify against you.  You have nothing to offer God.  But He chose you to be in Christ.  Therefore, let all your boast be in Christ!

 

 *This Blog post is an excerpt from the sermon, The Prayer that No One Deserves. For a complete written transcript or audio download of the sermon, please visit the sermon page HERE.*

 

(1) John Piper, The Pleasures of God:Meditations on God’s Delight in Being God, (Colorado Springs, CO.,: Multnomah Books, Revised Edition 2012), pg. 119

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