SERMON OUTLINE – John 17:1-5
Jesus prays that the events of Easter may lead to his ascension, then he can begin his kingly reign which will bring glory to the Father (1 Cor. 15:25-28). In verse 2 Jesus points to the fact that the part of his reign that will give most glory to the Father is the salvation of people. Here are 3 Reasons why this glorifies the Father:
1. It reveals the Father’s benevolent love. His desire to do good to us is exceedingly glorious because: a) it is without restraint, God having all authority and power; b) It is absolutely giving, God gives us the ultimate gift, sharing his own perfect life with us through the Holy Spirit; c) It costs God the greatest price, the punishment and death of his Son in our place.
2. The Father is glorified in salvation because it reveals his mercy. In one sense we are victims, trapped, weakened and blinded by sin, but that doesn’t mean we are without guilt. These things only diminish our responsibility, every person is also guilty of wilful rebellion against God. That means that God’s choice to save us is more than a kind act for victims, it is a bountiful, free and unmerited gift towards those who were his enemies! What a merciful God we have!
3. In all creation only mankind is made in the image of God. Heaven will be full of redeemed people, restored and perfected in the image of God, not as we see them now, but each of them individual, yet fully like Christ in holiness and love. This vast host of the redeemed – the Church of God – gives more glory to him than all the rest of creation.
We should ask the Spirit to reveal God’s benevolence to us, that we might rest in his all-powerful, unlimited and infinitely costly love to us.
Reflect on God’s mercy to you. Do you really believe that God was merciful to you, or do you think that he was somehow obliged to save you?
Remember what is at stake in the way we live and that we can live a new life in the image of God. A life lived in obedience to Christ gives great glory to God – we are not called merely to be pleasant people, but to cause others to glorify our heavenly Father.
Play your part in the church’s evangelism, that in seeing people come to faith, God would be greatly glorified.