One with the Father
Did you know that Jesus Christ prayed for us? That’s right, he prayed that those who would believe on him would be one with him and one with the Father even as he was one with the Father:
John 17:20, 21a - "20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word [have you believed on the Christ through their word? If you have this prayer is for you]; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:"
WOW! Just think of how Jesus walked one with the Father! Think of the things he accomplished with God his Father. He prayed that this would be our experience as well. This doesn't leave very much room for doubt as to what is available to us. So how did Jesus do it? The records in the Bible about his earthly ministry show us that he functioned one with his Heavenly Father, not by walking according to the ways of the world or his own will, but according to the words and will of "the Father":
- John 5:30 - “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father, which hath sent me.”
- John 14:10 - "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works."
- John 7:16 - "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me."
Jesus humbled himself to the Father’s will. And Jesus utilized the resources of God to work in unison with Him. We learned that all that the Father has belongs to Jesus according to John 16:15. This is how he did the works of God. He says in Matthew 28:18:
- “All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and upon earth.”
Was Jesus tempted by the devil? Yes, we all know this. He was tempted in all things, as are we. The possibility of him walking contrary to God existed or there would have been no temptations to overcome. He walked one with the Father by by utilizing the Father’s resources and by submitting to the words his Father gave him to believe. He overcame each of the devil's temptations in the wilderness with "it is written". And he prayed that those who would believe in him would be one with the Father even as he was one with the Father. John 17, verse 23 uses the words “that they may be made perfect in one." “Made perfect” means “fully matured to the end for which it was intended.” God intended for us to be one with Him. He designed us this way. It is into this “oneness” that we are to mature. This is what Jesus asked the Father for in our behalf. Jesus was one with the Father. Isn’t this “oneness” what Adam also had in the Garden of Eden before he disobeyed God and lost the spirit of God? Yes! He had dominion over all the face of the earth! He worked one with God because he had His spirit and walked according as the Lord God commanded. He functioned in unison with God. Their efforts were coordinated because Adam humbled himself to the words of God. We’ve been given new life in Christ. We’re intended to walk one with the Father.
This word “one” is used here to describe our relation to God. E. W. Bullinger, in his book Numbers in Scripture, states, “One is indivisible.”, “One excludes all differences, for there is no second with which it can either harmonize or conflict.” Jesus prayed for us to have this oneness with the Father even as he was one with the Father.
This oneness with the Father includes the idea that God is our Father. In the Eastern culture of biblical times children partook in the family’s business. This is the point Jesus was making when Joseph and Mary were searching for Jesus, "Why is it that you have been searching for me?" He replied; "did you not know that it is my duty to be engaged upon my Father’s business?" Luke 2:49. The resources and authority of the father were equally shared by the son as the son carried out the fathers business.
- John 5:17-18 - "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but he said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
This is hard for the people of most modern cultures to understand, but in the Jewish and Romans cultures of that time, to say that someone was your father was to be putting yourself on the same level as your father, so to speak; if a person were to insult you or raise a hand against you they would be insulting and raising a hand against your father. These "Jews" were rejecting their messiah, but they dare not insult or raise a hand against their God. Little did they know, that is exactly what they were in effect doing.
The word translated “equal” in the verse above (John 5:18) is isos in the Greek meaning “equal in quantity or in quality” (Thayers Lexicon of 1889). E. W. Bullinger gives this definition; “Equal to, the same as, in appearance, size, strength, or number, etc.” This word isos is used in our English term isosceles triangle. An isosceles triangle is such because it has two equal sides`. They are equal (in appearance, size, strength and number) and therefore are employed equally in function. This equality with God was exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ.
We can find the phrase “God our Father” or “God the Father” in every one of the greetings of our church epistles (Romans - 2Thessalonians). The prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ from John 17, that we would be one with him and one with the Father, even as he and the father were one, has already been answered regarding our position. God being our Father puts us in an outstanding category with our Lord Jesus Christ as being one in purpose and resources with God ("equal" - isos). All that's left for us to do is accept it as being true (believe God), and thereby by have confidence with God to walk accordingly. This is why Jesus himself said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12).
- Philippians 2:5, 6 "5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form [image or nature] of God, thought it not robbery to be equal [isos] with God."
- Genesis 1:27: "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created he them."
- 2Peter 1:3, 4: "3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of He Himself who hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust [we have been delivered from the power of darkness - Colossians 1:13]."
How do we learn to walk one with the Father even as Jesus Christ did? We partake of God's divine nature by believing the information that God has given us to believe. Jesus Christ was given specific words from God to live by. God had said "this is my son in whom I am well pleased". The devil's temptations started with "if thou art the son of God". Jesus did not buy into the lies that challenged his identity. He found no need to prove to the devil who he was. He knew the devil already knew who he was. Jesus stayed focused on his mission, to redeem mankind, to fulfill the just demands of the law on our behalf. Jesus Christ had to fulfill all things written in the Law of Moses, and the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning him (Luke 24:44). God gave specific words for Jesus, as the Christ, to live by, to fulfill, and to hold forth to the children of Israel. He submitted to the will of God. God has given us specific words to believe and thereby live according to: the gospel of the grace of Christ. The gospel tell us of our unification and identity with Christ. We too get challenged regarding our true identity. But as did Jesus, we stick to "it is written". As we submit to what God says is true of us in Christ, to the gospel, we are submitting to the will of God. This is how we grow in the experience of our unification with Christ and in our walk with our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ said in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through the truth. Your word is truth”. It is God who effects change in our lifestyles, not through our fabulous willpower or self disciplined behavior modification, but through His word of truth being believed.
- 2Corinthians 4:4: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image [or likeness] of God, should shine unto them."
- 2Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if any man be in Christ ["So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." - Romans 12:5], he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
- Colossians 3:10: "...Put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:"
- Ephesians 4:24: "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
- Philippians 2:13: "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."
God designed us to live in unison with Him just as Jesus Christ prayed in John 17:20-23. Our Father reconciled us to Himself for this purpose of being one with Him, not only in our position, but also in our present condition (our experience, our thoughts, our behavior, etc.). We have been reconciled to God through the finished work of Jesus Christ. Accepting the truths about this reconciliation to God matures us. As a result of believing God, the exceeding abundant life (John 10:10) is lived and enjoyed. When we submit to the truth as reconciled ones and live this way, we are submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and are maturing into the unity of purpose and function that God intends for us as the body of Christ, making know God's love to the world.
- Romans 5:17, 18: "For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift, came upon all [who believe] unto justification of life."
- Galatians 2:21: "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."
Does your heart yearn for this oneness with the Father? Do you desire to mature into the purpose for which God intended for us? If so, then devise a plan to systematically build the truths of the gospel into your heart (the hub "The Christians True Identity" might be of assistance). Allow the gospel message to permeate and saturate your life until the power of the gospel produces its powerful effects upon your mindset and actions. As you do you will experience the result of the power of the gospel - oneness with the Father in your Christian walk.