Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.
In the last message we covered the subject, the central thought, of the Lord’s prayer in John 17. In this message we come to the second part of this prayer. The first part, verses 1 through 5, gives us the subject of the prayer, and the second part, verses 6 through 24, deals with oneness. The purpose of oneness is for the glorification of the Son that the Son may glorify the Father. The people in this oneness include all the disciples, all those whom God has chosen and given to the Lord Jesus, all those to whom the Lord has given eternal life. (Life-study of John, msg. 39, section 1)
The first aspect of oneness, which is the building up of the believers, is the oneness in the Father’s name by His divine life. In this aspect of oneness the believers born of the Father’s life enjoy the Father’s name, that is, the Father Himself, as the factor of their oneness. We are one because we have one Father. (Life-study of John, msg. 39, section 5)
The oneness in the Triune God through sanctification by the holy word is the second aspect of the believers’ oneness. In this aspect of oneness, the believers who have been separated from the world unto God enjoy the Triune God as the factor of their oneness. In order to maintain this oneness, we must firstly take care of the reality of the divine life and then of the sanctification of the holy word. The holy word separates us from the world and restores us to the Father and to the Father’s home. (Life-study of John, msg. 40, section 2)
The third aspect of the believers’ oneness is the oneness in the divine glory for the corporate expression of the Triune God. In this aspect of oneness, the believers, having their self fully denied, enjoy the glory of the Father as the factor of their perfected oneness to express God in a corporate, built-up way. This is the oneness of the divine commission which fulfills the Son’s prayer that He be fully expressed, that is, glorified, in the building up of the believers, and that the Father also be fully expressed, glorified, in the Son’s glorification. Hence, the ultimate oneness of the believers is in the eternal life (in the Father’s name), by the holy word, and in the divine glory to express the Triune God for eternity.
Now we see that our oneness has a goal—to express God the Father in His fullness, even during this dark age on this corrupted earth. Sometimes in the local churches we have experienced this glorification. We have been in His holy glory, in His divine glory, expressing the Father in all His fullness. As we read the Lord’s prayer in John 17, we need to see that genuine oneness is by His life, by His word, and in the divine glory for the expression of God. (Life-study of John, msg. 40, section 4)