The following post is my notes from Johnny Hunt’s message at the Send North America Conference on July 31, 2012.
His Story Affects Our Relationships
I want to talk tonight from John 17 and about how when we are united God is glorified.
This message could be titled, “Lord, listen to your son praying.”
One thing we all know is that Jesus is God’s gift from the Father, but the bible also teaches that we are God’s gift to the son.
The Father gave us the son before the foundation of the world, but the son purchased it. I can’t help but think that this happens in my house. I will get a nice gift and ask how much it cost. Then my child will say you will see it on your American Express bill. The Father planned it and the son purchased it.
It is wonderful to know that when I take my last breath Jesus wants to spend eternity with me. I am looking forward to spending eternity with him, but he wants to be with ME! That is what we see in John 17.
When I was saved I experienced an intimate relationship with Jesus and it has been 40 years of knowing him. Through the context of the church that I began to discover I had some gifts. I know my spiritual gift is exhortation. It was in the home that I started to experience the gifts. It is amazing of what God has done in the context of the body of Christ. Where would I be without the church? God has so used the church in my life.
One thing that encourages me is that when the Iraqi war was going on and our president sent more troops. When they got there they interviewed the troops they said that getting those extra troops emboldened them. This is unity.
Our unity is to resemble the unity that God the Father had with the son.
God makes us one with him when we are saved. I did not care about unity and being one with God or with the church, but when he saves us we start caring about this.
If we are going to accomplish the mission of the church then we need to have unity.
1 Corinthians 6:17
Living in fellowship together is an essential to following Christ. We cannot love Jesus and not love the church. That is like loving me and not my wife. We not only love Jesus but we also love his bride, the church.
Unity and mission go hand and hand.
1 Corinthians 12:7
God is glorified when we are unified. God designed us for a deep desire for relationship.
They do not need to be Baptist for us to unify with them. If they know Christ and the same cross that I know then we must work together with them or we will never get this done. When Jesus was praying this prayer for unity the Southern Baptist did not even exist yet.
“The local church enables the world to look upon the canvas of God’s people and see an authentic panting of Christ’s love and holiness.” (Jonathan Leeman)
Aren’t you grateful that someone was faithful to take the message through the first century, through the history of the church and all the way to you?
In verse 21 we see the gospel partnership and unity that we have in our faith in Christ. This is what we see in Ephesians 4. One faith, one Lord, one Spirit, and one baptism. We are to be unified in motive and committed to the glory of God.
Jesus did not seek his own glory, but wanted to see the Father glorified. They are united in mission and the goal to redeem a people. They are united in truth and the word of God.
In verse 23 we see the power of unity. The world pays no attention to churches that are not unified. You never hear people saying that our church is growing like crazy while we are fighting and dividing. The church is not reaching out because it is not unified within.
The effectiveness of the church’s evangelism is destroyed by divisiveness and disunity among the members. When God unifies the church we have a greater witness.
So I pray that God would bring such unity about the things that we know in the gospel.