“I in Them and Thou in Me”
“I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:23)
This verse is full of mysteries I will never be able to comprehend or explain while living in this body of flesh. It is itself a profound volume of theology. Read every word with thoughtful care, and you will find in every word countless reasons to trust, praise, and adore God our Savior.
“I in Them”
The Lord Jesus Christ is in us in a distinctive, unique, saving way. Obviously, as the omnipresent God, Christ is in all the world. As the Creator of all men, He is in all men, giving all the light of conscience, by which all are found guilty and condemned from within themselves. As the incarnate God, as a man, our Lord Jesus was once here, dwelling among men. — “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!” These things John tells us in chapter one (John 1:1-5, 9-11, 14).
But when our Savior says, “I in them,” He is telling us that He is in every believing sinner in a special, gracious manner. — In regeneration, the new birth, He is revealed in us and to us. Christ is formed in us when we are born of God. He enters into the chosen, redeemed soul, taking possession of His ransomed one by almighty grace, establishes His throne in the heart, communicates His grace, and grants fellowship with Himself, and dwells in the heart. He is to every heaven born soul, — “Christ in you, the hope of glory!” He is in us by His Spirit, yes. But our text says more. He is personally in us!
What wondrous, condescending grace! Christ is in us! Therefore, because He who is Holiness dwells in us, we have Holiness within, that Holy Thing which is born of God and cannot sin. Because He who is Light dwells within, we have Light and shall never walk in darkness. Because He who is Life dwells within, we have Life, Eternal Life within and shall never perish. Because Christ dwells within us now in grace, He shall dwell in us forever in glory!
“I in Them and Thou in Me”
God the Father is in Christ, not only as one with Him in the Holy Trinity, but also as our God-man Mediator. The Father is in the Son communicating all grace to us through Him. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are in Christ the Mediator in all the fulness of the eternal Godhead. — “In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily.” The Father is in the Son graciously now and will show Himself in and through Him, and Him alone, forever. The Father will show Himself glorious in the Son throughout the endless ages of eternity!
“That They may be made Perfect in One”
“I in them and Thou in Me that they may be made perfect in one” — All this fulness of God in Christ and of Christ in His people is designed for this purpose and shall accomplish it. Because God was in Christ, all His people were made perfect in justification when that man who is God died as our Substitute at Calvary! Because this Christ, in whom all the fulness of God dwells, dwells in us, we are made perfect in sanctification. He has made us holy, and righteous, — “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Because Christ is both in the Father and in us, because He is in glory, because He is within the veil, because His blood speaks there for us, we shall soon drop this robe of flesh and be made perfect in glory! Then we shall be perfect in knowledge, in holiness, in peace, joy and love. Because this great, glorious, gracious, omnipotent Christ is in us, and all God’s elect are in Him, the number of the saved in glory shall be perfect, complete. Not one shall be missing when God causes His sheep to pass under the rod and brings them all into their everlasting, heavenly fold. Then we shall be perfectly one!
“That the World may Know”
“I in them and thou in Me that they may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that thou hast sent me.” — We sometimes sing,
“Everybody ought to know,
Everybody ought to know,
Everybody ought to know,
Who Jesus is!”
Let me tell you something, — when He gets done, everybody will know who He is! And in that day every knee shall bow before His throne, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior, to the everlasting glory of the triune Jehovah, our great God!
“Thou hast Loved Them”
Now, look at this next statement. In that great day there is something else all the world will be made to know. As the damned are cast forever into hell, Satan, every fallen angel, every demon of hell, and every lost sinner will be made to see, see clearly, and know that God has loved His elect just as He loved His darling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. All the world will be made to see that it is God’s special, distinguishing love for His elect that has ruled all history, that it is God’s love for His elect that sent Christ to Calvary, and that it is God’s love for His elect that brought salvation to them and wrought it in them by omnipotent mercy!
“I in them and Thou in Me that they may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” — “Thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” Imagine that! What an astounding word this is from our God and Savior! — “Thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” God loves His elect eternally, with a love of complacency and delight. This is God’s special and peculiar, unchangeable and inseparable love for you and me! It is a love that will last forever, immutable and indestructible!
Still, there is more. — God loves us as He loves His darling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! Because we are one with Christ, we are loved of God exactly as Christ our Mediator and covenant Surety is loved of God!
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