There are many words for us to hear. The Words that Jesus spoke and is still speaking are the ones He has given us in the Bible; His holy Word. They are given us for faith, practice and Christian growth; for His glory.
“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.” John 17:8 (KJV)
We see in this verse, one of those things given to Jesus by the Father; “the words”. Which words is Jesus referring to? Jesus’s teachings, His doctrine.
There are three things about the disciples which are mentioned: 1. They accepted Jesus’s teachings; 2. They knew – were certain – that Jesus was of divine origin and character; 3. They believed that He was sent by the Father.
Jesus brought the “words” and principles of the Old Testament to life. As the physical manifestation/revelation of God he was the living Word of God. They are no longer dead, lifeless vowels and consonants that only show one’s sinfulness and give no life. Rather, they are now life giving through faith in the “Sent One”.
The only way for these disciples to know these things is because they were God’s from the beginning. No one can come to God on their own. All salvation is a work of God. It is God who awakens man’s awareness of God’s existence. It is God who draws men/women to Himself. It is God who convicts of sin and all unrighteousness. It is God the Father who causes us to look to the cross of Jesus and fall on our knees in repentance, grace and faith. It is all of God, and His grace (SEE John 6:44).
NOTE – Election of God and predestination are essential doctrines of belief, but trying to understand it will drive one crazy. It is essential in believing, but not for understanding. God is sovereign and knows exactly what He is doing. Let’s leave the work of eternal salvation to Him; through the cross of His Son Jesus. He knows and understands it all.
-Tim A. Blankenship