Saturday, March 09, 2024

How Jesus Prays for the Elect [2024.03.10 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald]

Hopewell Herald – March 9, 2024

Dear Congregation,

One of the things that we have seen recently in Romans and in Isaiah is that in addition to God electing particular individuals to eternal salvation, He has also elected individuals for their place in His plan for bringing that salvation about.

So, for instance, Israel were elected as a church, to whom the Lord gave the promises, Scriptures, worship, etc. And though there are many individuals who have not been cut out, yet as a corporate people, they have been cut out of the Root (Who is Christ).

And despite all of this, though as a corporate people they are enemies of God now, their gift and calling of the place that they had in redemptive history cannot be taken away. After all, Christ Himself still is, and always will be, an Israelite. They are still previous to us, and we may hope that there will be a general repentance in which they confess Christ as King.

So there is this “election,” corporately applied to the visible church and its members, with reference to their part in God's plan. And then, there is that electing love, set upon individuals before the world began, that determines that those individuals will be saved. The former sort of election is visible and tangible, and it helps us perceive and understand the latter sort of election.

So also with Cyrus in Isaiah, who is not necessarily elect with regard to his salvation (we are not given confirmation from the text that he is saved), but who is very much the elect of God for the work of God. God has determined to use him, known him from before birth, and nothing can change that.

In John 17, from last week’s Sabbath School lesson, we saw Jesus referring to both sorts of election: that election to be in the church and to be used in His salvation, and that election which is unto the glory of being with Him and beholding the love with which the Father has loved Him since before the world began. There is an 11/12ths overlap among these disciples, with Judas having been elected to church membership and office, but not unto salvation.

The conduct of God and Christ toward them, even with reference to their role in the visible church, helps us understand the conduct of God and Christ toward those who are elect with reference toward their everlasting salvation. So Jesus’s praying in Jn 17:6–15 mirrors what He has said in Jn 10:25–30 about all those who are elected unto salvation.

And we may be sure that, just as He explicitly prays for millennia of Christians in Jn 17:20–26 (that we would be one, that we would know Him, that we would be with Him and see His glory), so also He prays for us (and not just the apostles) the things inv13–19. Jesus has left this world, but He prays for His joy to be fulfilled in us (v13), for us to be kept from the evil one (v15), and for us to be sanctified by the truth (v17, 19) for the fulfillment of our remaining mission in this world (v18).

Jn 17:13–26 is how Jesus prays for all who have been elected unto salvation. And in tomorrow morning’s sermon, we hope to hear more about how Jesus says for us to pray for ourselves. Building upon last week’s sermon on prayer as fellowship with God (Who is our reward in secret, which He even/also gives us publicly), we hope by God’s help to hear about prayer as a means of God’s gracious work in us.

Looking forward to that preaching and praying and singing and supping, which all are means of His grace in the public worship,


Audio lessons to help you prepare for the Lord’s Day:

▪Theology Simply Explained — CC83, Grace to Worship God Acceptably 
▪Theology Simply Explained — WSC22, How God the Son Became the God-Man 
▪Psalm 114, “The Praise of His Glory in His Grace” 
▪Isaiah 45:9–46:13, “The One, Saving God and His One, Worldwide Israel” 
▪1John 1:1–4, “True Life, Fellowship, and Joy” 
▪Matthew 6:7–15, “Christ-ian Prayer Is a Means of Grace
▪Numbers 4, “The Great Work of the Priesthood

LORD'S DAY – March 10, 2024 

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens

10 a.m. Sabbath School
Hopewell 101: WCF 17 Of the Perseverance of the Saints

11 a.m. Public Worship

Children’s Catechism for March 10
Q83. What does the second commandment teach us? To worship God in a proper manner, and to avoid idolatry.
[CC 83 Simply Explained: “
Grace to Worship God Acceptably”]

Shorter Catechism for March 10
Q22. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man? Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to Himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.
[WSC 22 Simply Explained: “
How God the Son Became the God-Man”]

Songs for March 3 morning service: 
TPH114 “When Jacob’s House from Egypt Came” [mp3]
ARP118A “Because He’s Good, O Thank the Lord” [mp3]
TPH559 “The Lord’s Prayer” [mp3]

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service
Psalm 114

Scripture Readings and basis for confession of sin and petition for help
Isaiah 45:9–46:13
1John 1:1–4

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing the sermon from Matthew 6:7–15 on “Prayer as an Embracing of God’s Will

Lord’s Supper! (Please see the section at the end of the Worship Booklet on how rightly to prepare for and take it).

1 p.m. Coffee Fellowship and Catechism Class

1:30 p.m. Fellowship Lunch
Memory Verse for March 10, Matthew 6:13, And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

3:00 p.m Evening Praise and Preaching
We will be singing at least ten Psalm selections and hearing the sermon from Numbers 4 on “The Greatness of Priestly Work

Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for March
Prosperity ARP in Taft, TN

March Psalm of the Month
ARP118A Because He’s Good, O Thank the Lord

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, March 13, Midweek Prayer Meeting. 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel. We will hear a sermon from Romans 11:33–36 then pray until 8:15 p.m.
• Thursday, March 21, Session Meeting, 6p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
• Saturday, March 23, Men’s (and future men) breakfast, 7a in the Fellowship Hall

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