The Fellowship of John 17:21

Good News! LIFE is New and Good, Now and Forever, in Jesus

Eternal LIFE Begins Now in This Life in Knowing God in Jesus, Sent Here to give His Spirit to Live in Us; and Jesus in Us Is LIFE in Gods’ Continual Blessing, Now and Forever!

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (Joh 17:3 NivUS)

Nichols and Wiseman wrote a song several years ago that country singer Tim McGraw used as the title cut for his album, "Live Like You Were Dying." A particularly insightful line says, "Well, I finally read The Good Book and took a good long hard look at what I'd do if I could do it all again..." Perhaps it would be wise to take at least a good quick look at what The Good Book says about LIFE and DEATH?

But go and learn what this means: ’I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."” (Mt 9:13 NivUS)

Here, below, are links to a couple of versions of a very beautiful song that exemplifies the fact that the LIFE and DEATH issues we all face in this world are all overcome by the gospel, “good news” we believers share together, in our common faith we all have in Jesus.

We repentant, mutually loving and forgiving believers, all rejoice together to know Jesus gives His Spirit to live now the same way in the heart of every one of us, and at the same time as He also lives at the Father’s right hand in all power in Heaven and Earth, to love and protect us now and forever by faith in God’s absolute power and love to us we see in His self-sacrifice to pay for our sins.

So what are the sins the Bible says we must repent of so we can join together as one in Christ and remain in the one Spirit Jesus gives to live in our hearts? The Bible makes clear what sin is so we can both repent, ourselves, and also lovingly forgive and joyously receive together as one in Jesus all other believers who do the same, as shown in this excerpt from the book,, “40 Days of Praying Jesus' Prayer (pp.94,95)”:

CounterPoint: When Scriptural Separation Is Required

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance with his father, and the daughter against her mother..." (Matthew 10:34,35)

However, many of our questions are not specifically raised in scripture; and some that are, receive answers with some degree of seeming ambiguity, requiring careful, prayerful interpretation. The boundaries of fellowship is one of those questions.

The human propensity for choosing up sides over different opinions and beliefs is reflected in Jesus' words above (Matthew 10). But in one of his stories, our Lord cautions against rushing into an action of disruptive disfellowship, even toward the known heterodox. In the Parable of the Wheat and Tares (weeds sown by the enemy in a field of good seed), the workers ask the farmer if they should go through the field pulling up the weeds. But he tells them, "No, lest you uproot the good wheat in the process. Wait until the harvest, then the separation will be made."

By contrast, the Apostle Paul provides several specific boundaries for fellowship. These should be carefully studied, interpreted and applied within the spirit of Jesus' prayer (for oneness) and his parabolic caution. Here are five:

Demonic darkness and unbelief: "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." (Ephesians 5:11) "...the Gentiles sacrifice... to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons, cannot partake of the Lord's table and the table of demons." (I Corinthians 10:20,21) "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (II Corinthians 6:14; See also II John 1:7-11)

Reprobate concerning the faith: "...lovers of themselves, lovers of money... proud... unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers... haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. ...from such people turn away! ...these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved (reprobate) concerning the faith." (II Timothy 3:2-8; See also Galatians 5:22,23) "...some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron..." (I Timothy 4:1,2) "...proud... obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose godliness is a means of (material) gain. From such withdraw yourself" (I Timothy 6:4,5)

Also, Peter warns, "...there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them... they will exploit you with deceptive words..." (II Peter 2:1-3)

Jude also warns, "For certain men have crept in unnoticed... ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny... our Lord Jesus Christ... persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit." (Jude 4,19)

Sectarians: "...brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them... For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 16:17,18) [Contrary to what doctrine? Certainly - among others - "We are one body in Christ... receive one another as Christ also received us."(Romans 12:4,5 and 15:7) ]"...there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:7,8) "...after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch (out) and remember..." (Acts 20:29-31) "But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and striving about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned." (Titus 3:9-11)

Those living an openly immoral lifestyle: "...not to keep company with sexually immoral people... anyone named a brother, who is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner --- not even to eat with such a person." (I Corinthians 5:9-11) "...deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." (I Corinthians 5:5) [Here, withdrawal of fellowship for "anyone named a brother", has the unique purpose of correction and restoration.] Similarly...

Selfish, lazy moochers "If anyone does not provide for his own... (family), he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (I Timothy 5:8) "We command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly... not working at all, but are busybodies." (II Thessalonians 3:6,11) "And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." (II Thessalonians 3:14,15)

In conclusion, apart from supernatural spiritual discernment, we are sure to err, since we are only fruit inspectors. God alone can read the heart. (I Samuel 16:7) Therefore, if I must err, I believe in the spirit of Jesus' prayer, it is preferable to err on the side of grace, including some whom Jesus will reject, ("Depart from me, I never knew you..."), than to exclude any whom he receives.

- Thomas E. (Jn.17:21) Mackey

So see and hear the beautiful expression of our oneness in Christ in “The Blessing” song that hallows the name of Jesus when it is sung by any and all believers who repent and believe the good news Jesus says is always preached in the name of Jesus: the wonderful news of God’s free gift to us of repentance and forgiveness of sins, bought by the blood of Jesus.

This is the good news Jesus still calls out for the world, and the whole church in the world, to hear and live in continually, to gather in all the Father’s sheep on earth together into the one, eternal flock in Christian unity, in the body of Christ now on earth, which is the Church that includes all repentant, mutually loving and forgiving believers in the name of Jesus.

We pray that all believers who sing and hear this song let the scriptural meanings in this song remind us of all the many, great promises God gives us by the presence of His Spirit He gives to live in our hearts, to bless us and our families, and to remain with us and all around us in our lives every day, and forever.

Elevation Worship - The Blessing (Lyrics) ft. Kari Jobe & Cody Carnes

The UK Blessing — Churches sing 'The Blessing' over the UK

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.” (De 7:9 NivUS)

“"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"” (Mr 1:15 NivUS)

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lu 24:45-47 NivUS)

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Joh 14:26 NivUS)

21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 5:1 ¶ Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1Jo 4:21-5:5 NivUS)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Ro 8:28 NivUS)

22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 ¶ "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (Joh 17:22-24 NivUS)

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2Co 9:8 NivUS)

“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name — the name you gave me — so that they may be one as we are one.” (Joh 17:11 NivUS)

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (Joh 6:63 NivUS)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (Joh 10:10 NivUS)

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Ro 8:32 NivUS)

““9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" — 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” (1Co 2:9-10 NivUS)

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph 3:16-21 NivUS)