The Perfect and Permanent Prayer Warrior (Hebrews Sermon 29 of 74)
May 15, 2011 | Andrew Davis
Prayer, Christ's Prayers
The Warrior on Your Side
How would you feel, how valuable would it be to you, if the most renowned the most powerful prayer warrior on earth were a personal friend of yours and contacted you in some way, and said, "I want you to know that I'm going to be praying for no one but you, over the next week. I'm just going to be praying for you, I'm going to concentrate on you, I'm going to do nothing, I'm not going to eat, I'm not going to sleep, I'm not going to do anything but pray for you for a week." You'd probably be worried wouldn't you probably be anxious to say what is going to happen this week, that I need such prayer coverage. You might be tempted to do that, but at the same time, if you had any sense of the value and worth of spiritual things, you think it was a great blessing. That someone, a man or a woman who is such a renown prayer warrior would devote him or herself, fully to you in prayer.
I think about what I have been like to live back in the days of Martin Luther, during the early part of the 16th century, if he were such a one, if he were a personal friend of yours and said, "I'm going to give my full attention to praying for you this week." How valuable would that be? Or if you lived in the days of David Brainerd, that great missionary to the Indians who was such a man of God, a man of vision, of scripture. If he were to tell you, "I am going to pray for you at that level. Give myself fully to praying for you on Tuesday I'm going to do nothing but pray for you."
Or if it were George Muller, the man who saw 50,000 answer specific answers to prayer, to have George Muller be your personal intercessor, how valuable would that be for you? Within the last two years, I had the privilege of doing a funeral for Louise, and she was a woman of God, who gave herself to prayer for those that she knew and loved, people connected with the church. And I had the privilege of looking through her Bible and seeing physical evidence of the faithfulness and the detailed nature of her prayer ministry. I remember her daughter telling me with tears, "I think the thing I'm going to miss the most is just knowing that my mother is praying for us all." And there's so much of a value to that, but what I want you to do now is take these thoughts and lift them up to the heavenly realms, and I want you to know that you have a perfect prior warrior interceding continually for you already. You cannot be more prayed for, or more perfectly prayed for, than you already are.
Jesus, the Great High Priest and Prayer Warrior
Jesus, your great high priest, is at the right hand of God and is interceding for you And it doesn't matter what your circumstances are, it doesn't matter what you're going through, does not matter how great the grief. You heard me just pray for Larry. Larry is completely covered in prayer, right now, in no way does that lessen our responsibility to pray for him, and minister to him, we should. But just know he's prayed for, he's completely covered in prayer, we talk about a prayer covering it's there. And it does not matter how great the grief, it doesn't matter what you're going through, how great or how small it has been thoroughly analyzed, it's been thoroughly assessed according to the plan of God, and it's being thoroughly prayed for by Jesus. You may be going through a trial of a small nature maybe concerning your physical health, So small, you probably don't even want to bother somebody with it, it's being prayed for. It maybe greater than that, it maybe even life-threatening, it's being completely prayed for by Jesus. Jesus is at the right hand of God and is praying for you.
You may be struggling, wrestling with sin, there may be a particular lust. Or habit, sin pattern that's taken root in your habits over the last year or two, and it's causing you great grief, it's causing you great trouble, it is completely saturated in prayer if you are a redeemed child of God. If you are a child of God, you are as prayed for, as you could possibly be. You have a perfect prayer warrior, standing at the right hand of God, and it's right in the text, that we're looking at today is the focus of our attention. I'm giving myself fully to this one concept, into one verse really. Look at Hebrews 7:24-25, "Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. And therefore he is able to save completely or save to the utter most those who come to God through Him, because he always lives to intercede for them." And what I'm going to say is this is exactly the kind of high priest that we need. Verse 26, "Such a high priest meets our need." We have a need for this kind of prayer, and we're going to talk about that, but I want our minds to be focused, as perhaps never before on the Intercessory Prayer Ministry of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
The Context of Hebrews
Now, let's set this thing in context, the Book of Hebrews a magnificent work. Many Christians tend to underestimate it, until they start to study it, and if you're spiritually minded and you start to see the glories of Jesus Christ just radiate out of the pages of the epistle it's just a magnificent work, isn't it? And the author is writing to people in a particular circumstance, a particular setting, they are Jews who had made some kind of outward profession of faith in Jesus Christ. But they were under pressure from their neighbors and co-workers and relatives, political leaders, religious leaders to forsake that confession of Christ to give up on Jesus, turn their backs on Jesus, trample Him under foot and come back to Old Covenant worship, to come back to the Levitical priesthood, to animal sacrifice, to the temple worship, to the synagogue system, to come back to what they have always known and give up on Jesus. And so the author is writing to them to plead with them, to write a word of exhortation, that they should not do this.
And his strategy is so glorious, it's to present the glories of Jesus, the supremacy of Christ in every way that Jesus is superior in every way to every element of the old covenant. And now as the argument has moved ahead, we're in Hebrews seven where he focuses in in a marvelous way on the priestly ministry of Jesus, Jesus as our high priest. The beginning of the chapter in the order of Melchizedek, we've understood something about this mysterious historical figure Melchizedek, who gives us a pattern of Jesus' ministry, not based on a genealogy he is a priest, king, both a king and a priest together. Without beginning of days or end of life, a picture of Jesus. And so we now move on beyond considering Melchizedek, to understand how Jesus was established as great high priest, the Lord has sworn and will not change his mind. You are a priest forever.
And so the author is showing the superiority of Christ priesthood, its superior in every way to that Levitical priesthood. We've been analyzing that and I'm not going to go into those details again. But Jesus is a superior high priest for many reasons, and he's begun to hint and we're going to get to this in the next chapter that with the change of the priesthood comes a change in the covenant. And we're going to have a new covenant we'll talk about that in the next chapter, but now we're zeroing in on Jesus as a high priest and we're focusing today on His intercessory work as high priest.
I. The Fact of Christ’s Intercession
And I want to begin by establishing the facts of Christ's intercession. Look at Verse 25. "He always lives to intercede for them." Text says it very plainly, Jesus intercedes for us. The word intercede, and the Greek means to plead or beg someone's case before someone in authority, someone who has a power to do something about it.
And so Jesus takes up our cause, he pleads our cause for us, he intercedes for us. Two other key texts in the Bible established this fact, the fact of Christ intercessory ministry we have it in Romans 8:3334 there it says, "Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies, who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus who died, more than that, was raised to life, is at the right hand of God and is interceding for us." Now the context there in Romans 8 is of a court room. A sense of the judge, the holy judge and of an accuser. Who is there to accuse us and the sense presumably, Satan, I would think, and the sense is, what success could any of those accusations ever have? The work of redemption is so perfect, it's so complete. They will have no traction with God, God himself is the one who has justified. How could anyone condemn us? Who would have the courage to stand before almighty God, when it is God who justifies.
"And more than that, Christ Jesus who died more than that was raised to life, he is at the right hand of God and is interceding for us." So we have the intercessory ministry of Jesus, established there in Romans 8. We have it also in 1 John 2:1-2. Another key passage on this, there John writes, "My dear children. I write these things to you…" the things in the first chapter of First John, "I write these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father. One who speaks in our defense to the Father, Jesus the righteous one, and he is our propitiation and not only ours, but for the sins of the whole world…" Propitiation means one who shed His blood, gave Himself up to avert the wrath of God. And so there again, Jesus is our advocate, the context again, is of a people who are sinful, who could be open to accusation, open to a charge being laid to us, but we have an advocate with the Father, one who is pleading with the Father on our behalf. And so the fact of Jesus' intercession is established.
II. The Recipient of Christ’s Intercession
Secondly the recipient of Christ's intercession. Who receives Christ's prayers? Well, who could it be but Almighty God, God is the right receiver of every prayer, the God of the universe, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom every good and perfect gift comes and especially we should understand that the gifts necessary for our salvation, the gifts of grace are given by Almighty God, and so this meditation on the intercessory work of Christ on our behalf, should have the impact of making us radically God-centered. Because Jesus is radically God-centered. Every blessing comes from the Father. Everything that we need comes from God. Jesus is no independent source of blessings, he gets the blessings from the father and mediates them to us. And so God the Father is the recipient of Jesus' requests on our behalf. Every grace needed to bring us close to God is given by Almighty God. So it has always been. Saving grace comes from God. Doesn't it?
Regeneration, the taking out of the heart of stone and the giving of the heart of flesh that comes from God, God alone can do it. He's the one that grants repentance, leading to life. God is the one who can grant repentance, it's God that gives saving faith and it's God that nourishes saving faith more on that later. But God is the giver of all of these things, it is God, who adopted us as His sons and daughters, it is God who sent forth the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the father inside us crying out, "Abba Father." God is the source, the river of all of these things comes from God and Jesus knows it. And so he is intensely God-centered, and he goes to God for every blessing. Everything that we need comes from Almighty God, it says, in Psalm 145:16, "You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." And how much more then for us as believers. God opens his hand, and gives us the graces that we need. And so Jesus is radically God-centered in his intercessions Almighty God.
III. The Position of Christ as Intercessor
Thirdly, let's look at the position of Christ as intercessor and I want to do this in two senses, first of all, who is he who intercedes for us? And secondly, where is He, as he does this intercession.
Who is Jesus Christ?
First of all, who is He? Well, from the very beginning, we have known that Jesus is God in the flesh, he is God the son, or the son of God, he is the radiance of God's glory, he is the exact representation of His being, he is the one who sustains all things by His powerful word, this is who he is, he is God. The Son of God. He is perfect in every way, he has all power, it says he is able to save to the uttermost. He has power. He is filled with wisdom, he is omniscient, he knows every aspect of the Father's plan, the Father and the Son together crafted the plan. The Father made the plan, the Son executes the plan. And so Jesus, our intercessor knows and understands the mind of God completely. He knows the plan, of God completely. He knows everything that God is intending to do, and he is holy. And he is pure, he is set apart from sinners holy and blameless in every way. That's who is praying for us. The perfection of the person of Christ and the intimacy between the Father and the Son is foundational to our security here. The Father loves the Son, Jesus said and shows Him everything he does.
Think about the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter, James and John up on the mountain with Jesus, you remember how he went up with them. And suddenly, His clothes were transformed and they radiated with an unearthly light, a supernatural light, he was shining the glory of God, not the full glory, mind you, because God dwells in unapproachable light. And he wasn't meaning to kill Peter, James and John, but to bless them. And so here is this radiant glory shining. And what an incredible moment that was on the sacred mountain as Peter wrote later, "We ourselves saw His glory on the sacred mountain." And then a cloud came, a bright cloud it says, and a voice came from the cloud. "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to him." Oh, how magnificent is that? How magnificent is that? But what's so amazing as I meditated on this is that the command that he gives to Peter, James, and John, listen to Jesus, he does Himself, he listens to His son all the time. He hears everything that the son says. He delights in every word that comes from the Son's mouth. And so he is ready to listen to the son and so the position of Jesus in His God head, makes his intercession powerful and effective for us.
Where is Jesus Christ
But also His position in his locality. Where is he? And again and again in the Book of Hebrews it's established that Jesus is at the right hand of the throne of the majesty on high. Says it right from the beginning in that same verse in Hebrews 1:3, "After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High." There he is, at the right hand of God. At the end of that same chapter, Hebrews 1:13, God the Father says, "Sit at my right hand until I make all your enemies a footstool for your feet." So there God the father invites them to sit right there. And three other times in the Book of Hebrews, we have the same teaching. We're going to unfold it a little bit more in in Hebrews 8:1. But Jesus is there at the right hand of God. And what does that mean? It means he has complete access to omnipotence.
God the Father is ready to listen to Jesus and Jesus is right there. A position of honor and glory and access. He can get right to God. And God welcomes Him there. I think about Revelation 5, you remember when John in the spirit was there, in the heavenly realms, and there in the right hand of God, the one who sat on the throne, was a scroll sealed with seven seals, you remember? And a loud angel is calling out, "'Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?' But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it." Remember how John said, "I wept and wept, because no one was found who was worthy." And then the angel said, "Do not weep. Watch, watch what happens." And then he saw the lion of the tribe of Judah coming who has triumphed and he looked and he saw it, and he looked as if he was a lamb who had been slain. The Lion and the Lamb, comes forward, boldly and takes from the right hand of God that scroll, which I think represents the title deed of the universe, it's His, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me," said Jesus in Matthew 28.
And he takes from the right hand, that scroll. And it's interesting because later in the vision, he looks again and Jesus isn't at the right hand of the throne he is standing at the center of the throne. So that's kind of meant to trip the circuit breakers, is he at the right hand or is he at the center? Both. In some mysterious way. He is God, he has all power, but He's at the right hand of God and he is interceding for us. And so the position of Christ our intercessor.
IV. The People for Whom Christ Intercedes
Fourthly, the people for whom Christ intercedes. Who is he praying for? Well look at the text, it says that he always lives to intercede for those who come to God through Him. So that's who He's praying for, He's praying for those who come to God through Him. Now, what does that mean to come to God through Him? I think first and foremost, it means to believe in Jesus, "All that the Father gives me... " Will what? "Come to me." And so to come to Jesus is to come to Him in faith. To come to God is to come to Him in belief and in faith, trusting in Jesus, so He's praying for them, the Bible, the fuller revelation of Scripture reveals that these are the elect, the chosen ones.
The very ones that we're in Romans Chapter 8, as we talked about, "Who will bring any charge against God's elect?" These are the ones that Jesus prays for. He prays for the elect, and only the elect. Now, I don't mean to shock you, by that, but it's right there in John 17. He is praying for those whom the father had given me out of the world. "They were yours; and you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word…I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they were yours." Well, there it's very plain, who He's praying for, isn't it? He's very clear about it.
So he prays for the elect, and I think he specifically prays for the elect who are in danger, who are alive and on Earth. I don't want to push this too far, I don't know that he needs to pray for those that are in glory, but I'm going to say at least this much is clear. He's definitely praying for the elect who're in danger here, on Earth, and He's praying for the elect who have not yet come to faith in Christ, that they might come to faith and they will. We'll get to success at the end. But I just couldn't help and put that in. I'm just, This is all about success friends. This is all about the prosperity of Jesus' prayers, he gets everything he asked for not 99% of it, he gets a 100% of what he asks for, but he also prays for the elect, who have come to faith, who are justified, but who are in danger. And I want to talk more about that danger in a minute, but I'm just being very clear about those for whom he is praying, he is praying for those who come to God through him.
And what do we mean by through him? Jesus is the door of the sheep he says in John chapter 10, In John 14:6 he says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." He is in Hebrews 10, that "new and living way" by which we come into the holy of holies. And so we come to God through him, these are his sheep, he knows them by name, I love that hymn, we sang, earlier, our names are graving on his hands, Written on his heart, he knows them by name, and he prays for them. And how powerfully does he display His love? he cannot forget them.
He will never forget them, And he ever lives to intercede for them. Those are the ones that he's praying for the people for whom Christ intercedes.
V. The Basis of Christ’s Intercession
Fifth, what is the basis of His intercession for them? Again, I'm going to break this into two parts. His death and His life. This is the basis of Jesus intercession. It's on this basis, that he stands before God, on our behalf. We are sinners, we are covered in sin. He, God is holy. On what basis then can he bring us near to God? And so, he comes as our high priest, on the basis of His death and His life and then this is the mystery and the beauty of Christ High priestly ministry.
There's a sense of it that's complete and perfect. Nothing can be added to it, it's finished, forever. And there's an aspect of it that's ongoing in perpetual continual. And this is the glory of the priestly ministry for Jesus. I've thought about this much recently. And how In the words of Isaiah, it is too small a thing for you. There he was applying it to just being the savior of the Jews. That's too small for you, Jesus. You must also be a light for the Gentiles, it may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth. Well, I'm going to take the same mentality and say it's too small a thing for Jesus to have a once for all finished ministry and that's the end of his priestly ministry.
It is much to the glory of God that he continues to minister on our behalf, through his prayers and so it is glorious, and marvelous that he has both a completed and perfect aspect and a continual and needed aspect so that he is even more glorified as our high priest.
Blood: the Perfect Sacrifice of Himself on the Cross
So it is on the basis of his death, first. And if you look at later in Hebrews 7, it talks about how Christ in verse 27, unlike the other high priest, he does not need to offer sacrifices, day after day, first for His own sins, then for the sins of the people, he sacrificed for their sins. And here's this incredible phrase, once for all, and here's what he offered when he offered himself and so there is the finished sacrifice of Jesus, His blood shed on the cross, once for all. God had prophesied, I will remove the sinners land in a single day.
And in that one day, once for all, Jesus shed His blood. Four times in the Book of Hebrews we have that expression. We're going to unfold it more in the succeeding chapters twice in chapter 9, and then in chapter 12, it's going to come again. So I don't want to plunder that now, but just there's a finished work, a once for all sacrifice. Jesus shed His blood and without the shedding of blood there's no forgiveness. But Jesus shed His blood and that blood is shed, forever. Once for all, Jesus said, "It is finished." And one translation could almost be it is perfect, there's nothing that could be added to it. It's finished, It's done. And so he sat down at the right hand of God in that sense, the sense of the finished perfection of the work of Christ. Our sins are totally atoned for he is our propitiation, the wrath of God is averted, we are free, we will never be condemned for our sins. The blood has been shed. And on the basis of that finished work, he appears before God for us, That's his death but he also appears on the basis of his life. It says in our text, he ever lives to intercede for us.
He cannot die. Death has no mastery over Him. He lives forever. And so, I think the home base of that concept here, in this verse, is, that he's not going to stop doing this. Death can't stop him, it can't interrupt him, he can't be doing very, very well. And then suddenly, tragically, he died and then the next high priest wasn't quite as good. That will not happen. You have the best possible high priest, he is perfect and he will handle your case right to the end. So I think that's right, I think that's true Because Jesus can't die, he won't stop praying for you. And that's enough, isn't it? But I actually want to go a little further. I think that his life is also the basis of what he pleads. In effect like this, I live and therefore they must live."
You see, that's what I'm thinking. "Because I live, you also will live." We are bound together with him now by faith. We died with him and now we live with him, and because he is alive and will be alive for ever more, we cannot die. And so therefore there's just so much power in this meditation. Paul picks up on it in Romans 5:9-10, and there it says, "Since we have been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him. For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of his Son, how much more having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life?" It's a powerful argument. In effect an argument from the lesser to the greater, or I think I'm a little more accurately from the more surprising to the less surprising, it is more surprising for a dead Jesus to reconcile wretched sinners like us than it is for a living Jesus to finish our salvation now that we're adopted children.
a lesser thing, that's the argument of Romans 5:9-10. The greater work's been done the lesser work still has to be done but it will be. You will be saved from God's wrath through the living Savior. And so we had a dead Jesus on the cross sins atoned for. We now have a living Savior at the right hand of God and we will most certainly be saved from God's wrath through him. How powerful is that? And also notice the link between the death and the life. Those for whom he died and these are those for whom he lives. There was a link between the two. He died for the elect only, he prays for the elect only. Those two go together. His intercessory prayer ministry and His shedding of blood is for the same group of people. He's not sloppy about this, friends. He doesn't die, her every single solitary one and pray for only some of them. That makes no sense to me.
And so these two are linked together and they're linked in all the verses that I've quoted. They are linked together in that Romans 8 passage. "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen. It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemn? Christ Jesus who died more than that, was raised to life. He's at the right hand of God and he's interceding for us." His death and his life and his intercessory prayer ministry are together in a golden chain that can't be broken. And I love that more than that. Oh, he died but more than that, he was raised to life. Isn't it amazing how bold Scripture can be? Oh, more than just Jesus' death, also he was raised to life. To me I always think of them together. The Cross and the empty tomb, they just go together. Absolutely they go together.
And on the basis of His death and His life, he intercedes for us. Same thing in 1 John 2, his intercessory prayer ministry linked to his propitiation. The two of them go together those for whom he died. He prays and out of that dear friends comes the success. We'll get to that. I just have to keep mentioning The success, the success of Christ prayer ministry, he gets everything he asks for, and so that is the basis of Christ's intercession. Are we on schedule? Probably not, doesn't matter. Let's just keep going.
VI. The Necessity of Christ’s Intercession
How about the necessity of Christ's intercession? And here in we come to great mystery. Why is it necessary that Christ should pray for us? First at one level, Why does the father make the son ask? I may understand why he'd make me ask, I've got some growing to do. I need to trust God more, I need to be bolder, I need to be stronger, I need to care more. I've got lots of needs. And prayer is a powerful tool on me that as I pray I get heated up and care more. Jesus needs no such help, he's fine, he's perfect as a matter of fact. He doesn't need to grow and develop in his prayer life. Why then does the father make the son ask? Is it that the son is a little off-message, he's not always sure what to pray for? Absolutely not. He's praying for the exact same thing the father yearns for. Why does the father make the son ask for what the father yearns to give? What a mystery. Moving on to the next part. It's just a mystery, but perhaps part of it is for us to teach us to Pray, I don't know. To teach us to be radically God-centered the way he is.
Remember before Lazarus' tomb? John 11, Prays His prayer, take the stone away. So they take the stone away, and then he prays: "Father, I thank you that you heard me. I know that you always hear Me, but I pray for the benefit of those standing here that they may believe that you sent me." So he has us in mind. And so that could be part of it. Beyond that you developed the mystery as you see fit. Another aspect of this mystery is in effect isn't it saying somewhat that Christ's work on the cross is insufficient? No, it's not, but think of it. You could imagine someone could say What more could he do for us? Here, he became incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit, he lived a sinless life, he did all of these incredible miracles, he put God on display but more than that.
He went to the cross, on our behalf, and he was our substitute, all of our wickedness and our sin was taken off of us by faith put on Jesus, and he died in our place. But more than that, he was raised to life on the third day. More than that, he ascended to heaven, and the cloud hid Him from their sight. You could say, isn't that enough that sounds like a perfect ministry to me. Couldn't he at that point, say "I've done all of this, I now turn it over to you, finish your own salvation"? Oh, it's unthinkable. And he says in John 14:18, concerning his leaving, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you." We are infinitely needy even now, even after all of these things that Jesus has done for us, we continue to be needy, we must have this intercessory prayer ministry, we must have it.
Right within the text. Look at it again, it says "because he lives forever, he is able to save completely…" Another translation gives us, "save to the uttermost." The idea here is that our salvation is incomplete, we're not done being saved. If you've been here any like the time you've heard me say that before, Our salvation comes to us in the stages, we don't have it all now. If you are listening to me rather than in glory, then you can know your salvation isn't finished yet. It comes in stages, justification, sanctification, glorification. And we are still here on Earth and we are in grave danger. And we must have an ongoing ministry by Jesus on our behalf, Or we will not finish this salvation race. Later in this book, we're going to be urged to Fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith and to run with endurance the race marked out before us, we've not yet entered our Sabbath rest, we are in danger from the world, the flesh, and the devil, we are in grave danger and we must have this prayer ministry, we must be saved, to the uttermost. We're not done yet.
And to say to God, I'll take it from here. It means you don't really know yourself, you will not take it from here, not unaided you won't. And you have got to have your great high priest, praying for you. You need this to be saved, to the uttermost saved completely to be saved to the end. And so, this must happen. Not all of the elect that are alive today are justified. Some of them are lost. They are the focal point of our evangelism and missions. We're trying to go find them. Paul said That I suffer everything, I endure everything for the sake of the elect. So that they could obtain their salvation. But we who have already been justified, we are redeemed we have indwelling spirit, we are still in grave danger we have an enemy, the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. You have a personal enemy.
And even worse than that, you have an enemy within the walls, your own flesh, your restless seething lusts and flesh constantly pushing on you to forsake Christ and go toward wickedness. It's just relentless, and you know what I'm talking about. Romans 7 describes it very plainly, "in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body…making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am, who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord." That's your need for the Intercessory Prayer Ministry right there.
Romans 7. And then there's that world constantly alluring you with it's temptations? With money and power and privilege and prestige possessions and pleasures, alluring you all the time to turn your back on Jesus and follow the way of sin. You are needy, the necessity of Christ's intercession.
VII. The Goal of Christ’s Intercession
What then is the goal of Christ intercession? Well, there are many things, there is ultimately the Glory of God, a special kind of glory of God, the glory of God in the salvation, the final salvation of all the elect, that's the goal of the prayer ministry. Father, I want those whom you have given me, to be with me where I am and to see my glory, the glory you gave me because you love me before the creation of the world.
That's it. He wants all of the elect to see His glory. Do you want that? Do you want that? Do you want to see Jesus' glory? Do you want to see him up on His throne in glory? Do you want to see him radiating? Do you want to be there in the new Jerusalem? Do you want to see a city radiating with the glory of God through Jesus? I yearn for that more than ever before. And you should yearn for it too. Jesus yearns for it. That's why He's praying for you, at a lesser level, though, but still very significant in order to make it there, you need to keep believing in Jesus. Let me say that again. You have to keep believing, you need to believe in Jesus if you're alive 10 years from now you need to that day, you need to be believing in Jesus that day. So you have to keep trusting in Jesus, keep believing in Jesus, God set it up that way. And so your faith must not fail. And your faith is the focus of Satan's attacks. I think he's a free willer, I think he thinks he can get the elect to fall. So he's going after them. Alright, he's going after to see if he can get the elect to fall. And so he's focus zeros in his attacks on your faith, so that you'll stop believing in Jesus. What is Jesus' answer?
Read about it in Luke 22:31-32, "Simon Simon, Satan has asked to sift you…" It's plural, in the Greek to sift all of you "like wheat." Friends, that sifting is still going on today, you are being sifted by Satan. Sifting you. Trying to see who is going to fall out, who is wheat and who is chaff. Sifting sifting sifting all the time. "Simon Simon, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, Simon… There he gets very personal. I prayed for you. He didn't say I prayed for all. "I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." Oh, That is powerful and if you take nothing away from this sermon, it's like Jesus is at the right hand of God and is praying for my faith that it won't fail. That's the point of the sermon. Well, and to add one more thing, And it won't. How was that?
That is the whole point. It won't, but it won't because he is nourishing it. God the Father is sustaining it. He gave it to you to begin with, he is continually nourishing and supplying it and sustaining it, and that fire will not go out. In 10 years from now, if you're still alive in this sin cursed world, you'll still be believing in Jesus, if you genuinely believe in him today. And that's the power of the intercessory ministry of Jesus, he is praying that your faith will not fail.
VIII. The Manner of Christ’s Intercession
And what is the manner of His intercession? Well, in Hebrews 5:7, it says, "During the days of Jesus' life on earth he offered prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death and he was heard because of his reverent submission."
Well, that I believe, ultimately, at that moment is talking about Gethsemane in Gethsemane, He's pouring out prayer, blood flowing down and runs face, crying out to the one who could save Him from death okay, he doesn't pray like that anymore. He's not praying to the one who could save from death. Death is past now. But I think we can take some elements from it. He is praying with knowledge, he's praying according to the will of God. It says, in Romans 8:27, "The Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance to the will of God." So, does the Son. The son Knows how to pray for us, He's praying according to the plan of God and we know that if we ask anything according to His will, what he hears us and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him.
Jesus knows exactly what the father wants to give and he prays with wisdom, with omniscience, with perfect knowledge, he prays for the elect. And he plays with passion. It's not cold. You See him in Gethsemane to sweat like blood coming down his face and you get a sense of the intensity with what Jesus is praying for you, how much he loves you, how dear you are to Him, how precious you are to Him, there's an intensity in his prayer life for you, a passion that's how he prays.
VIII. The Outcome of Christ’s Intercession
And what then is the outcome? Well, I already told you three or four times. Success prosperity Wealth and riches simply put every single thing he asked the Father for, he gets 100%. He never ask and miss. Of course, there's mystery here, of course he lays out good works for you to do and you don't do them. Of course, he doesn't want you, to do the sins you're doing and you do them.
Of course, that goes on. I'm just telling you, everything that the son asked the Father for he gets. And he is able to cause all things to work together for your final good, he knows how to pray for you. And so it could be your patterns of sin right now contrary to his will, bringing him shame and disgrace in some sense because his name is attached to yours, He's praying for you specifically, about that and everything he asked for concerning that he will get. It might be your discipline. It might be the he'll discipline you. Lay the rod on you until you give up the sin, whatever it takes, but he is praying wisely for you based on what you need at every moment and it's just mind-boggling. Think about it.
Think about it. What are the daily needs, Spiritual needs of one Christian in this world? How much is going on in a 24-hour period. With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years. Wow, one Christian is, it's just overwhelming the needs of one Christian. Well, how many-elect people, you think there are on earth today? I have no idea. Tens of millions, Multiply that out, that is the brain of Jesus, that is the mind of the Lord and of the father. They are in perfect sync with each other. The son thinking in detail about you and about all of your brothers and sisters in Christ powerful. And he gets everything and in the end, what's going to happen?
All of those that the Father gave him will be with him and will see His glory in heaven. They'll all be there, none of them will be missing, he will not lose one of them, he will pray you up into heaven, having already died for you, he will pray you up into heaven until you're finally there. "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.' All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: 'Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!'" Close with me in prayer.