Sermon Notes 7.7.19

We pray for what we want.

God protect us

God guide us

God provide for us.

I want us to listen in together on one of Jesus’ prayers for us. Let’s listen to the prayer to see if we can hear what Jesus wants..

This prayer is near the end of Jesus’ life.

Let’s listen in

John 17:13-22   “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Did you hear what Jesus wants for his disciples and for us?

  1. Sent into the world even though we are not of the world.
  2. Protection from the evil one.
  3. Sent with a purpose.

Let’s talk about the world that Jesus has in mind when he prays for us.

The world is not referring to the created order or the world that God created.

The world is Human culture.

Culture is “the world” that humanity has created.

God intended for humanity to be creators of culture. He wants us to go and make a world.

Genesis 1:26-28. Be fruitful, multiple, rule over the earth and subdue.

God said, “Create, flourish, build towns and schools, and roads and planes. Build families and neighborhoods. Create as bearers of my image in my world under my rule.

Adam and Eve, the first family, did become culture creators but they chose to create culture apart from God.

Adam and Eve created their human culture on ideas contrary to God’s design

Satan, whom the bible calls, the god of this age and father of lies introduced these ideas to Adam and Eve.

1 John 2:15-17

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Three Ideas of Culture apart from God.

  1. Lust of the Flesh – insatiable desire for physical pleasure.
  2. Lust of the Eyes – insatiable desire for more. I see it and I want it.
  3. The Pride of Life – boasting about the pleasure I experienced and the world I created.

The beginning of this culture creation apart from God is what we have called the Fall.

We live in a world affected by the Fall and are sent into a world affected by the Fall

Jesus prays, send them into this world even though they are not of this world.

Then he prays,

  1. Protection From the Evil One.

Evil one – Satan the God of this age, the Father of Lies.

Satan is a liar. God is Truth. The best lies are the ones that are mixed with a little bit of truth. Satan takes God’s truth and twists it.

Truth is pure. If it is twisted it is no longer truth.

Satan (Lie).                                       God (Truth)

Lust of the Flesh (Pleasure). ——— Enjoy Pleasure – Be Fruitful Multiply

Lust of the Eyes (Possessions) —— Subdue the Earth Rule Over it.

Pride of Life (Boasting) —————- Live in My Presence / My World

When Jesus prays for protection, I think he is praying that we would be protected from these lies.

Lust is a liar. Lust says if you have it, you will be satisfied, but when you have it you want more and more

you can have pleasure and possessions but we will only experience a fully satisfied life in God.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

We participate in Jesus’ prayer by not letting the lies of cultural take root in our mind.

Do not conform to the patterns of this world (lies) but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:1

We navigate culture with our shields up. Protect us from letting these ideas settle in our mind but we are still sent into culture.

How does God respond to Culture Creation apart from Him?

The incarnation. God becomes man and enters into the culture.

God DID NOT retreat

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

When Jesus entered into the world, he entered in with a purpose.

** People are enslaved to the lies of culture seeking endless pleasure, possessions and boasting about their lives.

Jesus came to redeem humanity, to buy us back from the culture that we have created.

Once redeemed we no longer belong to the lies of the world, we are under new ownership.

Redemption is a word associated with slavery.

When a slave is redeemed they are bought from their original master and now they have a new owner and a new HOME.

Redemptions Final End – Restoration when we are at Home with God.

For now we wait. We live in this world not of this world.

We create a new life here under God’s rule, knowing that at redemption’s final end when all is made new and restored, we will be at home with God.

There is joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

God has created pleasure in this world but the pleasure in this world is like a signal pointing me home.

You were made for God. You were not made for this home.

This is the message that Jesus wants us to enter into the world with.

Jesus was sent with a purpose.

#3 We have been sent with a purpose.

 To tell the world our culture of the Way to BE at HOME with God.

What is the Way?

Let me read John 14:1-6

As I read, think about Jesus going home to be with God.

He is not JUST making a truth statement.

He is saying “I’m going home and there is a way for everyone to be finally at home with God.”

So listen to Jesus describe the way home.

John 14:1-6

14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

You can escape the rat race of lusting after pleasure, and possessions and be at Home with God.

There is a Way to be free and I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

What is the most offensive word in Jesus’ statement?

It is that small word – THE

In a world of Many religions and people looking for life in many different ways, Jesus says I am THE way.

Jesus did not come to create a new religion.

He was coming to make a way for us to be at Home with God.

Let’s look closer at Jesus statement. The Way.

Syncretism was a common practice in Old Testament and New Testament Cultures.

Syncretism is the blending of different religions or schools of thought to form a different way.

In the OT God condemns the blending of pagan worship with the Jewish worship.

As you read Leviticus you see the mixing of different religions is already taking place.

Leviticus 18:21 You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 20 22 “You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. 23 And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them. 24 But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples.

God said walk in my ways, don’t offer your children to Molech even though they already were, be my people in and not of the world so that…

Isaiah 49:6 you will be light for the nations,

that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Through Israel, God wanted to show the world that HE is making the WAY for all people to be at HOME with him.

Syncretism was common in the Roman world of the New Testament.

In the New Testament those who followed Jesus were called followers of THE WAY.

Followers of THE WAY were also asked to worship the Roman emperor.

The rule was, worship whomever you want, however you want as long as you.

  1. Pay some tribute to the Emperor
  2. Do not claim that your way is the only WAY.

Sound familiar?

Much like the Roman cultural, our culture does not look with favor on Jesus’ claim to be the way.

Our culture is committed to a form syncretism called relativism

Culture’s Response to The Way, the Truth, the Life

Tiffany recently told me about a time before we were married when she shared the gospel with a little girl. The girl chose to trust Jesus and excitedly told her parents.

Her parents were not upset at the little girl’s choice but they were upset at Tiffany for claiming that Jesus is THE Way.

It their opinion it would be alright to claim Jesus to be a way among many ways but not THE way.

This family was demonstrating our culture’s belief in Relativism.

Relativism – Jesus is a Way among many. There are no absolutes

The Problem with Relativism – It is self defeating. The statement that there are no absolutes is a statement of absolutes. Relativism destroys itself.

Os Guiness said, “All thoughts can be thought but not all thoughts can be lived.”

Relativism fails the test of logic.

Relativism also fails the test of experience. It cannot be lived

WH Auden was an English poet. He was an atheist and socialist. He later became a Christian.

He did not believe in absolutes but his belief in relativism was shaken when he visited a theatre in New York in 1939 to watch a documentary about the war going on in Europe.

He did not realize that he was watching the movie in a largely German neighborhood. Many of the people in the theatre were Nazi sympathizers.

As the movie depicted Nazi Troops killing women and children Auden heard audience members crying out in support of the Germans… “Kill them! “Kill them!”

Auden was appalled as he left the theatre.

He thought, “This killing of innocents is evil. These innocent people have value.”

But, In a world of no absolutes how could he condemn evil and value individuals?

Auden realized, Relativism can be thought but it cannot be lived.

Absolutes – The Way, the Truth and the Life matters because these are matters of life and death.

People are either giving their lives to the ideas of our culture or they are giving their life away to the God of the bible.

Culture does not like Jesus’ message.

Jesus prays that we would be sent. We cannot retreat

How we should enter into the world with this message?

Three points of application.


# 1 Sent into the World full of grace and truth

Jesus prayer: As you (Father) sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

How was Jesus sent?

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Not a mixture Not a balance

As people FULL of grace and truth.

We live FULL of grace and truth as we think about and respond to people as people of value.

There is nothing more valuable in all of God’s creation than an individual soul.

We can win arguments, but lose people if we do not treat them as people of value.

Truth does not depend on your ability to defend it.

Learn to defend it well but learn to defend it FULL of grace and truth.

The value of an individual life was a turning point for the Atheist poet.

People are not obstacles or possessions they are and will always God’s treasured creation.


My favorite biblical picture of Jesus living FULL of grace and truth is when he washed his disciples’ feet. John 13

Think about Jesus washing Judas’s feet.

Judas was going to sell Jesus out and Jesus graciously washed his feet.

Grace – Jesus served and gave when Judas could give nothing.

Truth – Jesus served Judas just because Judas was a person of value.

In Jesus’ prayer he said the world will hate you, but will we approach people with dignity.

We live with Grace and Truth towards one another in the church as well.

Jesus prayed that we would be one.

Over the next few weeks we may discuss some contentious issues even within our church.

Who you voted for, your stance on immigration, or health care those are important issues. Our ultimate allegiance is not to a political party or particular Christian teacher.

Our allegiance is to Jesus and to live in this world as people who belong to Him.

#2 Being sent is a Privilege.

In Mark 5 Jesus heals a man who is demon possessed and the formerly demon possessed man wants to be with Jesus and Jesus says NO

Jesus says, what about this… “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”


This week the Youth Mission teams left to go to Thailand and to Lawrence.

They laughed, had fun, we prayed, ate cupcakes!

They had a youthful exuberance that reminded me, being sent is a privilege!

We are all SENT. Not to Thailand or Lawerence but into our worlds. None of our worlds are insignificant to God.

He is there and there are people of value that he loves in those worlds.

# 3 Reject Syncretism – Sent into the world but not of the world.

To be of the world in OT and NT times would be to practice syncretism. In our time we call it relativism – pick and choose whatever idea you want because there is no absolute truth.

Jesus said, I am the way to be at home with God.

I am the truth – I am the standard, the picture of perfect humanity.

I am the life – go my way and you will experience life.

Bottom Line… Do we really believe this stuff?

Do we mix a little bit just a little bit of culture’s lies with our belief in Jesus?

For me to live is Christ plus a great satisfying job.

For me to live is Christ plus recognition from others.

The culture does not need better Christian movies.

Better Arguments

Better Christian whatever…

What culture needs are followers of the WAY who believe that Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life.

Our culture says… for me to live is endless pleasure

Or for me to live is abundance of possession.

As followers of Jesus we are devoted to saying

For me to LIVE is Christ to Die is Gain Phil 1.21

I heard the story of a christian woman who was dying of cancer.

She said the thing I think I will miss most is seeing my husband’s face.

Just the way he smiles at me, and looks at me tells me he loves me.

She said, then I think of seeing Jesus’ face. His love for me is so much greater than the love my husband has for me. What will that be like when Jesus looks at me and smiles at me.

We enjoy the pleasures and possessions that God has given us in this world. Under his care direction we can create a beautiful life here.

The gifts we enjoy, the pleasures we enjoy those are whispers reminding of a future home with God.

What Jesus wants for us now, is that we would be sent into the world just as he was full of grace and truth

Sent so that people of this world would believe in him the way the truth and the life.

Do you believe this stuff, if so be sent as a person FULL of grace and truth. 

If you do not believe this stuff, will you believe today?

What are you believing in?

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