Sermon on John 17:1-5

Below you can listen to a sermon I preached in chapel at Wesley Biblical Seminary on September 17th. The sermon text is John 17:1-5. I invite you to listen, but, more importantly, I invite you to share your thoughts on my interpretation of the text, especially verse 5. So stream it with the embedded player or download it directly here and post your comments below.

2 thoughts on “Sermon on John 17:1-5

  1. Sean, I was filled with joy to listen to your words this morning. You are right on point. Let me explain. There are perhaps may that don't really know what Father is about. In the final analysis it is all about relationship. Relationship is all what Jesus was about. Yes, one can talk about his love, the parables, His sacrifice, death, and resurrection. But until one realizes is that Father loves so much that regardless of who we have been, what we have done (or not done) He loves us unconditionally. To that extent one can't do anything to make Father love us any more than He already does, nor can we do anything to cause Him to love us any less. Salvation itself is relationship. The reuniting with Father through the ultimate relationship that Jesus Christ has to offer all mankind… simply for the believing.. the asking. This is to me AWESOME!

    There is no other relationship like it nor is there no other love that compares. You see, all other loves are conditional and even one sided. Perhaps that's why Fathers love may be so hard to know, not know about, but really know in the heart.

    I still don’t understand why you don’t consult me about your sermons… (LOL). You’ve done well my son. I am so proud of you and love you. Dad

  2. Dad, thanks for those thoughts and kind words. I have always appreciated the interest you have shown in your children, and that has made a tremendous impact on my life and how I am a father to my daughter.

    I would like to add a thought to your comment, not by way of argument, but perhaps as a point of clarification.

    I agree with you that human love, due to the inherited fallen condition we are born with, tends to be selfish, or, to use your language, conditional, by default. Who of us truly loves selflessly? The fallen condition is fundamentally one of utter self-centeredness. In other words, at the very heart and soul of human sinfulness is the self. Who would disagree with this supposition?

    But the beauty of salvation is that God brings healing and transformation to both the symptoms AND the disease. He not only heals those who have been damaged or hurt by others who have not loved selflessly (or loved at all), but He can transform our very heart into one that can love like He does. This is the greatness of our salvation, that through union with the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit we participate in His life, a life which is constituted, defined, and characterized by love. The divine nature is one of holy love, and we, by grace through faith, are called to become partakers of it.

    All that said, your words are not untrue. There is no other love like agape. All other loves are conditional. And it is hard to know and understand. But these truths are only half true, because the fullness of this truth is that Jesus invites us to share in his love, and in so doing he enables us, by the Spirit, to love as he loves! Yes, there is a level in Christian experience where we can love perfectly, and this Christian perfection in love is precisely the goal and nature of our salvation.

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