Christ Intercedes For Our Unity

Ellen G. White

It is through His intercession that we, through faith, repentance, and conversion are enabled to become partakers of the divine nature, and thus escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Ms 29, 1906

“That They All May Be One”

St. Helena, California

March 8, 1906

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5BC 1145; 7ABC 477-478, 480; 8MR 292. 

Last night I was standing before a company assembled in Nashville. I was reading the seventeenth chapter of John. This chapter contains the intercessory prayer offered by Christ to His Father just before His trial and crucifixion. This prayer is a lesson regarding the intercession that the Saviour would carry on within the veil, when His great sacrifice in behalf of man, the offering of Himself, should have been completed. Our Mediator gave His disciples this illustration of His ministration in the heavenly sanctuary in behalf of all who will come to Him in meekness and humility, emptied of all selfishness, and believing in His power to save. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 1}

Christ died to make an atoning sacrifice for our sins. At the Father’s right hand He is interceding for us as our High Priest. By the sacrifice of His life He purchased redemption for us. His atonement is effectual for every one who will humble himself and receive Christ as his example in all things. If the Saviour had not given His life as a propitiation for our sins, the whole human family would have perished. They would have had no right to heaven. It is through His intercession that we, through faith, repentance, and conversion are enabled to become partakers of the divine nature, and thus escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 2}

Christ died for us, and receiving His perfection, we are entitled to heaven. To all who believe in Him, He gives power to become the sons of God. Because He lives, we shall live also. He is our Advocate in the courts above. This is our only hope. It is through daily representing Christ in character here in this world that we become fitted for the world to come. We are to be continually striving for faultlessness of character. We are ever to be humble, cherishing a sense of our dependence on the Life-giver; for He alone can pardon our transgressions and keep us from falling. His merits of character must appear in every soul who with exceeding joy will be presented faultless before His presence and before the sinless universe. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 3}

Christ does not pray that His disciples may be rich, that they may seek preferment from men; He prays that they may be kept from sin, kept loyal as faithful subjects of the Majesty of heaven. If we faithfully perform every duty, we may be assured that this prayer will be answered in our behalf. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 4}

Let us dwell for a time on Christ’s intercessory prayer for us: {Ms 29, 1906, par. 5}

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee.” [Verse 1.] No human being could utter such a prayer. The members of the sinful human race need constantly to cultivate humility. This expression, “Glorify Thy Son,” teaches every mortal that their dependence is wholly upon Jesus Christ. “As thou hast given Him power over all flesh”—jurisdiction as the One supreme—“that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.” “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” [Verses 2, 3.] Eternal life is inseparably connected with the knowledge of God and of His Son Jesus Christ. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 6}

“I have glorified Thee on the earth.” [Verse 4.] Can any human being say this? Oh, if we were cleansed from all self-exaltation, if we practiced the pure principles of obedience to Christ, we could. If we were wholly sanctified, we could represent the faith that we profess, showing to the world what it means to be true followers of Jesus Christ. We shall never be translated, we shall never see the Lord Jesus Christ, unless a most decided change takes place in our characters. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 7}

“I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” [Verses 4, 5.] Here two personages are brought to view, the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 8}

“I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee. For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world; but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.” [Verses 6-11.] {Ms 29, 1906, par. 9}

Shall we individually answer this prayer? Christ prayed that believers might be one with Him as He is one with the Father. In the place of keeping ourselves separate and distinct from one another, shall we not be united with one another and with Christ. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 10}

I am commissioned to call upon our people to come out from the world and be separate. But unity must exist amongst those who claim to believe the truthWe are not to hang our helpless souls upon human beings, but we are to be as closely united with one another as Christ and the Father are united. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 11}

“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name; those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” [Verses 12-16.] {Ms 29, 1906, par. 12}

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one; 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.” [Verses 20-23.] {Ms 29, 1906, par. 13}

The prayer of Christ is for all who acknowledge that they are His people, denominated to be loyal and true to all the light that Christ has given themHe first prays for their purity, and next He prays for their unityThe wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, then easy to be entreated by the invitation of the Holy Spirit, which Christ’s true disciples shall receive in large measure, because they are assimilated to His image, partakers of the divine nature. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 14}

Christ’s prayer to the Father was for your oneness. Then meet the request of the Saviour; make this oneness possible by acting your part to cleanse yourself from every evil work and by becoming converted. Who are included in this prayer?—Not only those then numbered and acknowledge as disciples, but “them also which shall believe on Me through their word.” [Verse 20.] {Ms 29, 1906, par. 15}

After His resurrection, Christ made an appointment with His disciples to meet Him in a certain place in Galilee. “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:16-20.] {Ms 29, 1906, par. 16}

Christ was intensely interested in His disciples. He greatly desired that by their unity, by speaking the same things, they should give evidence that they were connected with Him through the sanctification of the truth, all striving together, putting their trust in their Redeemer, believing that to those who believe in Him He will give power to become the sons of God. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 17}

Christ assures them that those who believe in Him will receive power; for He has all authority and all power. He told them that their work was a specially appointed work, to be carried on for the world, to give light to all nations. And this is the work of every disciple of Jesus. Christ has authority over all who receive Him. He will give them power as they advance in their work, in union with Him and with one another. Their unity is to be the convincing argument that God has sent His Son into the world to save all who will receive the words of truth. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 18}

Christ’s disciples are to labor as He labored, giving the world an example of unity and love, striving together, each according to his line of work, increasing in wisdom and ability, growing in Christlikeness, bringing their varied gifts and talents into the work. There is to be seen a perfect unity. Each worker is to take an unselfish interest in his fellow workers. All the laborers are to unite in their different lines of work, laboring in perfect harmony, not putting their trust in man, but in the Lord Jesus ChristTrue workers will not carry on their work independently, doing what will suit their own ideas, irrespective of that oneness for which Christ calls in the great plan that He, the divine Teacher, has laid down. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 19}

The gospel was written out to be taught “to every creature” [Mark 16:15], to be translated into all languages, and brought understandingly in various lines before the world. And Christ with His divine aid will supply all the necessities of His workers. “I in them, and Thou in Me,” He says, “that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me. Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee; but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” [John 17:23-26.] {Ms 29, 1906, par. 20}

By their oneness, the workers for Christ are to show that they bear the divine credentials. Their work is to be carried on harmoniously. The union for which Christ calls will perfect Christian character. This is shown in the words, “I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one.” [Verse 23.] {Ms 29, 1906, par. 21}

This plea for unity is the last great lesson that Christ gave to His disciples before His crucifixion. It was given also to all who shall believe on HimSatan is working with all his ingenuity to prevent this unity from existing. It is his plan to lead those who claim to believe the truth to forget the solemn obligation resting upon them to live this prayer of Christ. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 22}

But shall not this prayer be answered by those who claim to believe the truth? Those who are truly joined to the Lord are controlled by one Spirit. They are stamped with the same image and superscription, and they give evidence that they are influenced by the same power, because they are joined to the Lord by the infinite sacrifice made by Christ that they might be knit together, through the sanctification of the truth, in the bonds of love—perfect, heavenborn love. They have exchanged the heart of selfishness and sin for the heart that God gives. They are partakers of the divine nature. They may differ in speech and attitude, but they are guided by the same Spirit. No vain glory, no independent “I,” comes in to take possession. The quarrelsome spirit ceases, and the world is given evidence of the power of true conversion. {Ms 29, 1906, par. 23}

This Christ insists upon. Believers are to preserve close unity with the Saviour. Consider the words, “I in them, and Thou in Me.” [Verse 23.] Here is the power that is to convince the world. Christ dwelling in the heart is the life of the “new man.” [Ephesians 4:24.] Shall we not be converted? Shall we not say, “We will become one with Christ as He is one with the Father”? {Ms 29, 1906, par. 24}


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