From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her
And for her life He died.
Recently while reading a book from the pen of a 19th Century Scottish preacher I saw the following scripture through the eyes of revelation in a way that was startling. To me it became not only an intercessory petition from the Son to the Father on our behalf - I saw it as an authoritative creative declaration generated by the oneness of the Father and the Son - for He says, “I will!” Even though there is a view toward expectancy - much greater is the concrete reality of finality.
“Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24
In His great high priestly prayer the Son offers up to the Father what the Father has given Him to give Him. For what He now testifies to the Father he had declared previously to all of mankind: "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.” John 6:39
Herein lies the supreme authority of divine initiative - yet not in initiative only as in the beginning. There is also here His complete sustainability - He will not lose even a single of those given Him by His Father: “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:28 These spiritual markers of initiative and sustainability point toward the ultimate consummation - glorification: “We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” 1 John 3:2b Lest we fall into the trap of believing this is all about us we have this unequivocal superlative: "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8 Thus He is the One who regenerates, perseveres and brings to ultimate completion.
This is the Church of the Living God - chosen in the Son of God before the worlds were ever framed. She is the will of the Son - His lasting testament - His crowning achievement. “You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.” Isaiah 62:3 NIV
Paul wrote what he had received as a revelation of (from) Jesus Christ: “that He might present to Himself the church (His bride) in all her glory (splendor), having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:27 In effect the Holy Spirit is bearing witness: the Saviour is swearing by Himself - I will present to Myself.... The ineffability of such a declaration staggers the ability of the human mind to comprehend. Indeed, without the gift of faith the apprehension of such immutable truth is impossible. The facility to grasp this verity comes only as a result of having been grasped by it.
Of this faith He Himself is its author and perfecter - “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,...” Hebrews 12:2a The one who is the author writes the prologue, the main body and the epilogue of the saga - we cannot escape seeing the use of the root word logos herein. “In the beginning was the Word,...All things came into being through Him,...”
This truth is so completely absolute - adulteration can find no place to lay a hand. “I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold (handhold - no place to get a grasp) over me,...” John 14:30 NIV Of the One whom the Father made this declaration: "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased." the enemy can find no place to lay a hand.
Those whom the Father has given the Son are loved in Him before the foundation of the world: “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love” They are hidden and protected in the very proclamation the Father made toward the Son.
This is either to most preposterous audacious statement that was ever uttered - or it the most striking example of the absolute clarity of the Father’s purpose in His Son that has ever graced the ears of the elect from every tribe, tongue and nation. Actually it is both. There is no middle ground. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44
This is a sure, firm and unshakeable foundation: “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’" 2 Timothy 2:19 These are His as a result of the will of the Father as revealed in the Son. “even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.” John 17:2 (Election or universalism - no other options.)
The writers of the Pulpit Commentary put this sagaciously: “the prayer of the incarnate Logos to the eternal Father, and therefore an address indubitably supernatural and lifted above all human consciousness.”
Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace forevermore;
till, with the vision glorious,
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious
shall be the church at rest.