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Devotional - week of March 7, 2004


THE EXTENDED PRAYER OF JESUS

… He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.  Hebrews 7:25

The New Testament presents salvation in three tenses. We have been saved, we will be saved, and we are being saved. Hebrews 7:25 shows that Jesus continually prays for our present tense salvation. He is praying that we will grow as Christians. This aspect of our salvation is called “sanctification.”

Jesus prayed for the sanctification of believers just before entering Gethsemane and only hours before the cross.

Sanctify them by your truth.  John 17:17

Jesus’ continuing intercession for the Christian growth of all believers is an extension of that prayer.

Romans 6:16 teaches that when one continues to obey the five commands for living by grace, he becomes a slave to them. We become slaves to yielding the members of our bodies to God that He might do works of righteousness through them. Then Romans 6:19 adds: 

… present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

The result of our becoming slaves to obedience to the five commands for living by grace is “holiness.” And “holiness” is “sanctification.”

In Romans 6:22 Paul adds:

… now … having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness …

As Jesus prays for our sanctification, He is also praying for us to become slaves to obeying the five commands of Romans 6:11-13. We will not dishonor our Lord by joining Him in praying for the sanctification of all believers.

Our heavenly Father will answer those prayers by leading and enabling believers to become slaves to obedience of the five commands of Romans 6:11-13. The result is our sanctification.