John 17:20–23 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” (NLT)

This passage expresses the divine life into which the genuine Christian enters. The life is one of indwelling. The model for this is the indwelling of the Father and the Son within each other. The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father. Jesus’ prayer is for Christian believers to enter into the indwelling life, thereby dwelling with the Father and the Son.

The letter of 1 John comes from the same school as the Fourth Gospel. When 1 John 4:8 says that God is love, we can be sure that this truth about God is in mind in John 17. Indeed, Jesus prays for the Father’s love to be in the believers (John 17:26). So in Christians the love of the Father abides. This is not a one-way street, however, for Jesus also exhorts the disciples to abide in his love, which is the love of the Father revealed (15:9).

Thus, the divine life is to enter into the very reciprocating life of love between the Father and the Son. The divine life is about the Father and the Son dwelling in Christian believers and Christian believers dwelling in them. The divine life is not about only catching a glimpse of divine love, but to experience the fullness of God’s love, to live in this love, and to live out the divine love towards God and all creation.

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