SPOTLIGHT: When we see such majestic things before our very eyes, is it just amazement that takes place or do we realize this all was created by the God of the Universe and it is by FAITH in HIM we are amazed? There is a difference between amazement and faith. God isn’t just interested in creating a mind boggling experience, HE is after our obedience.
NOTE THE DIFFERENCES CONCERNING FAITH AND EXPERIENCE!
Paul David Tripp noted the following:
You can be amazed by the grand sweep of the redemptive story in Scripture and not be living by faith.
You can be amazed by the labyrinthine logic of the theology of the Word of God and not be living by faith.
You can be amazed by the great worship music you participate in every Sunday and not be living by faith.
You can be amazed by the love of your small group and not be living by faith.
You can be amazed by the wonderful biblical preaching and teaching that you hear and not be living by faith.
You can be amazed by the grace of the cross of Jesus and not be living by faith.
Hebrews 11:6 reads, “But without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please HIM; for He that comes to God must believe that HE is and that HE is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Faith! Let’s examine that again!
Examine Galatians 5:4-5: “For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.”
Notice how God is telling us that FAITH is the key. Keeping the law and looking to it to make us righteous will not ever work. Keeping rules, being religious is not going to cut it!!
FAITH is the key. Hebrews makes much of this for us. And, it is NOT just a learned or perhaps a mental assent to some doctrines and teachings either.
FAITH IS A LIVING, VITAL, ACTIVE, POWERFUL TRUST, CONFIDENCE, RELIANCE UPON, DEPENDENCY UPON, AND JUST PLAIN TOTAL BELIEF IN JESUS CHRIST AS MY HOPE, MY RIGHTEOUSNESS, MY LIFE, MY ALL IN ALL.
Trying to change our sinful habits and heart attitudes with just plain old determination of the mind and thoughts is called “Moral Deism”. We use special programs and courses to make things work.
IT WON’T WORK! WHY? FAITH COMES FROM OUTSIDE OF US AND INTO US BY GOD HIMSELF, AS HE AND HIS WORD by the Holy Spirit, CALLS US TO HIMSELF AND THE GOSPEL MESSAGE.
That is why it is called being “born again” or the “new birth” or the “new creation.” We can’t make such spiritual and miraculous things like that just happen through our will power.It really is a relationship that takes place between the sinner and God! And when I say God, I mean the Triune God, the Father, the Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit which is ONE God existing in three divine beings totally unified and never separated for one moment, and co-substantial and co-equal in all things.
This relationship is established by the presence of God coming to reside in our very innermost being (Heart, Soul, Spirit, the very core of our being). Our body, is the place that the “sin” abides and it is called the Flesh (Sarx or Sin). We, the new person created by God through His word and Spirit, are separated now from that Flesh. But, that flesh still gives us many problems as it uses the Law of God to condemn us, shame us, make us feel guilty, seeks to undermine the work of God in us, and also makes us insecure and causes us to think we may not even be saved because we sin against our Lord God at times.
But, we know Justification has taken place via Grace, because we receive the Holy Spirit and HE makes sure HE establishes that relationship with our spirit and confirms we are the sons of God. Also, we have received Christ Himself and the Father who comes and dwells within us, and we in God! It is an on-going vital relationship. It never ceases or stops. Even our stumbling into sin will not stop the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Sin, Satan and the System of this world can never take away what God has ordained and accomplished in our lives. We are secure in HIM! He keeps us. We do not keep ourselves for we are not able to do so!!
His is not satisfied with the wonder and amazement we have in our minds. He is not going to let it all stop there. He moves on to establishing His life-altering rule in our hearts, our souls and our spirits as He conforms us into the image of His Son. He matures us into His design for His children in this life and the next. From regeneration to glorification, it is ALL about HIM and HIS work in us!! Amen!
I. Our gathering together to study the word of God is an act of worship! It is not just an intellectual or academic matter.
Also, even though we may have some structure, we should always remember that God is to control this worship time. He may change things around on us as we proceed. You never know where God may lead us at any given moment as we study His word!
ALL SCRIPTURE IS TO BE STUDIED WITH A EYE TOWARD CONTEXT OF GIVEN THEME AND ALSO ATTENTION TO THE ACTUAL WORDS AND THEIR MEANINGS! USAGE OF A VERSION OF THE BIBLE THAT PLACES 'ADDED' WORDS IN ITALICS WHICH WERE NOT IN THE MANUSCRIPTS IS PREFERRED. VERSIONS SUCH AS: KJV; NKJV; Other versions can be used but careful attention must be utilized because many do not do this, and also, many actually change the 1st order meaning of words to keep a traditional denominational teaching intact. Notes care be very dangerous also. Those notes which are placed by some particular minister, may have errors, and certainly different "ideas" than historical interpretation. One has to be careful about purchasing a Bible with a 'man's name' on it that is full of his or notes. Those notes are not inspired. Commentaries alongside of the Bible is one thing, but to place tons of notes in a particular version by some denominational group and some liberal writer can be very dangerous. Remember also, transliteration which is using a derivative of the Greek word rather than actually translating it means one has to know the Greek word and its 'first order usage"! An example is "baptism". The Greek word is "Baptizo" meaning "immerse, dip, plunge, etc.! Secondary usage would allow sprinkling, or pouring. Better to translate first order with secondary or third use possibilities in the margin. But political and traditional denominationalism caused this to take place to keep certain doctrines taught that differ from the word of God.
No theological system or proposition or work by anyone, should be held so tightly that it cannot be jarred loose by the actual Scripture(s)!!
We want to observe from scripture, how theology affects life and worship.
Especially in witnessing THE GOSPEL OF Christ to the lost; and growing to maturity WITH THE GOSPEL John Calvin stated: “it is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself.”
The hopeful result in all of this is to fulfill and obey: the Great Commission given in Matthew 28: 19-20 and 2 Timothy 3: 15-17
“Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
2 Timothy 3:15-17: “..and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work!”
THEOLOGY IS ALWAYS ABOUT GOD’S GOSPEL!
PRESUPPOSITIONS These are things we must from the start all agree upon. I. Six Solas Since Christ ascended back into heaven, the Church has taken that “good news” to others. In the Churches history, we find periods of complacency, and heresies develop, and at times so strong that the “light” almost seemed to fade away! Yet, it did not! The Roman Church became large and strong but full of heresy, darkness, and even preached another Gospel. But, over close to 500 years ago, God awakened His people in the Great Reformation, and that “Light” began to sweep across the world again. For five hundred years protestant Christians have summed up the gospel in terms of the five statements called “The Five Solas.
As revealed with final authority in Scripture alone, the Gospel is the good news, that by faith alone, through grace alone, on the basis of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone! John Piper would add “sinners have full and final joy in God alone.” All these affirmations are grounded in the Bible.
A. SCRIPTURE ALONE: Is the final authority for revealing and defining the gospel of Christ GALATIANS 1:9 “…..If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” The apostolic delivery of the gospel is final and decisive.
B. FAITH ALONE: “Romans 3:28” “We hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” Faith plus nothing, is the way we receive the gift of justification.
C. GRACE ALONE: Ephesians 2.5, 8-9: “When we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved.” . . . For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
D. CHRIST ALONE: HEBREWS 7:27 “Christ has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this for all when he offered up himself. NOTICE: Hebrews 9.12 and Hebrews 10.10″ Once for all and decisively. Nothing can be added to the work of Christ to cover our sins and that work cannot be repeated. “It is finished” (John 19:30).
E. GLORY OF GOD ALONE: EPHESIANS 1:6. “God predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ ….to the prise of the glory of His grace. God saved us in such a way, that there would be NO human boasting. “Ephesians 2.9 and 1 Corinthians 1.26-31”
F. LAST, JOHN PIPER ADDED: WE ARE TO HAVE JOY IN GOD ALONE! PSALM 16:11 AND PSALM 73:25
“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures Forevermore. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. This is the gospel as millions of Christians have thought about it, for centuries, and we are happy to link arms with this great Reformation heritage: God in Christ: The Price and the Prize of the Gospel.
Jeremiah 9: 23-24 reads: “This is what the Lord says: ….. those who wish to boast, should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that, I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love, and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things, I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Exodus 15:11, “Who is like you,…O Lord? Who is like You, Majestic in Holiness. Awesome in praises, working wonders?”
Daniel 4: 34-35; “After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshipped the Most High and honored the One who lives forever. His rule is everlasting, and His kingdom is eternal. All the people of the earth are nothing comapred to Him. He DOES AS HE pleases among the angels of heaven AND among the people of the earth. NO ONE can stop Him, or say to Him, What do you mean by doing these things
II. The living God of the Universe is untamable. He is good however. But , He isn’t safe, (we are safe in terms of our redemption and salvation). But, try to subdue God, you might lose an arm, or worse.
Augustine, early Church Father, said: “The truth is like a Lion, you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose, It will defend itself.”
Taking a cue from “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a writer named, “Drew Dyck, wrote a book entitled: “Yawning at Tigers: You can’t Tame God so Stop Trying.”
A. Remember, King Uzziah who inserted himself into the Priest’s role and burned incense in the Temple and God struck him with Leprosy! B. Remember, when David was returning the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and the Oxen stumbled and Uzzah reached up to hold the Ark in place, and God struck Him dead on the spot, for placing his hands on the Ark. Only Levites were to ever do things like that – not anyone else. It was regarded as Holy and Sacred, only Priests were allowed to handle the Ark!
C. Then what about Mt. Siani! God was all over that mountain, Moses was meeting God there, and no one – no, not even an animal, could touch that mountain – and if they did they were slain on the spot by the Holy Fire of God and His presence.
GOD IS GOOD, BUT HE IS DANGEROUS WHEN WE TRY TO MAKE HIM LIKE US!
D. Michael Horton – a Christian Pastor and author said: “Nobody today seems to think that God is dangerous. And, that is itself a dangerous oversight! It is dangerous because before we YAWN at God, we must first replace the majestic, holy, awesome LION of scripture and domesticate Him into a kitten. Who wants a God who roars, who threatens, who judges? Why not fashion a god in our taste, — a god we can mold in our fingers and manage and export?
E. And I would say, one who has a wax nose we can arrange to look like we would like it, or one we can make to act like we do in the things we enjoy and like. In other words, let’s make a IDOL!
F. We do have the privilege of entering into the Holy Place, and come boldly to the Throne of God’s grace to find help in time of need. That is a safe place to be! We are now Priests of God and have been given freedom to approach Him through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior in prayer!
HEBREWS 4: 12-13 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do”
III. We believe the scriptures are inspired by God AND OUR ONLY RULE FOR FAITH AND PRACTICE. Our local called out body Is His Church and His word tells us what to do and what to believe! Chaos and Heresy develops if we leave it!
IV. We also recognize He is sovereign and in control of all things! He has not left the Universe and His creation to blind chance, or accidents, or man’s ultimate final determinations.
V. We also recognize the Bible teaches Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. The God-Man! The Gospel message and all it implies.
VI. God is a Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit – BUT YET ONE IN ESSENCE and substance.
SCRIPTURES WERE WRITTEN BY 40 AUTHORS; CAME FROM 3 CONTINENTS; OVER A PERIOD OF 2000 YEARS; WRITERS WERE FROM VARIOUS BACKGROUNDS; (SHEPHERDS, KINGS, SCHOLARS, FISHERMAN; PRIESTS, ETC.); SOME 66 BOOKS (39 OLD TESTAMENT AND 27 NEW TESTAMENT) - AND ALL HAVE A VERY COMMON UNITY (NEVER CONTRADICTING EACH OTHER), AD THEY HAVE A PERFECT CONSISTENCY OF MESSAGE! THEY WERE WRITTEN IN 3 LANGUAGES, HEBREW, GREEK AND ARAMAIC. EVIDENCE OF INSPIRATION IS THERE WERE 2500 PROPHECIES (2000 FULFILLED TO THE LETTER), AND THE OTHER 500 ARE STILL FUTURE. NO ERRORS EXIST! THE ODDS OF THAT JUST HAPPENING IS LESS THAN 1 IN 10!
In Eternity Past – Decree of God: Three (3) Main Plans Developed:. Redemption of God’s People – Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 13:8; 17:8; 20:15)
John 1:3 “All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.“
Col. 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether throne or dominions or rulers or authorities—-all things were created through Him and for Him, And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
C. PROVIDENCE: GOD RULES OVER ALL THINGS!
Psalm 103:19-20 “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.”
BIBLICAL ACCOUNTS: A. Creation; B. Noah’s Flood; C. Resurrection of Christ D. The New Creation
SOME BASIC RULES OF BIBLICAL HERMANEUTICS
A. APPROACH THE BIBLE USING THE NEW COVENANT HERMENEUTICAL RULE AS FOLLOWS:
A normal historical, narrative style of language meaning, which will be literal and normal usage of language, paying attention to grammar and the historical background.
Also, recognize the context will present at times: allegorical, figurative, poetic, and parable portions – which will be evident to us when it is presented. It is usually well identified.
It is important to remember God has ONLY ONE MAJOR point when He speaks. Many applications or principals, but He speaks and we need to know what He actually is saying! That means we may have to be willing to change our current understanding about some things – having God and His word as the final answer or meaning to a subject or word. And, we will always strive to be in unity and love, regardless WHETHER we understand something in the same way!
Use the New Testament (New Covenant) to always unveil the Old Testament teachings which means it (NT) is a primary scriptural body of words which unfold O.T. teachings much clearer and illuminating.
B. Key Words in a verse are a very important element of getting to the actual point God is making in a sentence, verse, chapter or book. 1. Examples: a. World – 7 different ways the term is used. b. Love – 4 Greek words used and each different. Eros – (not in Bible) Storge – Affection, family type love Philia – Friendship/brotherly affection (more feeling and emotions than Storge) Agape – Selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional To God and others
4 Seeds of Abraham. We must understand when God uses the term Israel in a verse, it is and will be ONE of the 4 Seeds of Abraham, but which one?
THE FOUR SEEDS
Abraham’s NATURAL SEED – Isaac and Ishmael; Jacob and Esau
Abraham’s SPECIAL NATURAL SEED – Nation of Israel (Jews) (Hebrews)
Abraham’s SPIRITUAL SEED – Saved people regardless of race, tribe, or affiliations (Jew and Gentile)
Abraham’s UNIQUE SEED – The Lord Jesus Christ
-RESULT OF A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF THIS ONE WORD ISRAEL AND/OR SEED OF ABRAHAM
All people who are “IN CHRIST” are the Israel of God!
Notice: Galatians 3: 28-29 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus. AND if you are Christ’s then you ARE ABRAHAM’S Seed (offspring), heirs according to promise.” 3.Romans 2:28-29 “But a JEW is ONE inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, NOT by the Letter. His prise is not from man but from God.”
Romans 9:6-8 “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and NOT all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but Through Isaac shall your offspring be named. This means: that it is NOT the children of the FLESH who are the children of God, but the children of the Promise are counted as offspring.” Chapter 11:2 – “God has not rejected His people whom HE FOREKNEW!“
C. THE NEW COVENANT (TESTAMENT) IS TO BE USED TO INTERPRET THE OLD. 1. TURN IN THE BIBLE TO: HEBREWS 1:1-4, 10-12 MATTHEW 5, 6 AND 7:
THE LORD JESUS SAID ABOUT 15 TIMES: “YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID, BUT I SAY UNTO YOU….”! Either correcting or adding to the words given in the Old Testament.
SO, the New Covenant supersedes the Old Testament Covenant – clarifies and reveals more. See Galatians 3:8-14 “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed. So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. For all who rely on works of the law are UNDER a curse; for it is written, Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law and do them. Now it is evident that NO ONE is justified before God by the law, for The righteous shall live by faith. But the law is not of faith, rather, “The one who does them shall live by them. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—-for it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree—-so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
Conclusion: The fact is, an unknown God can’t be trusted, served, and worshipped. One must have a clarity of Who the God is, that he or she worships! What He is like, His attributes, His character of being, His powers and works, etc! Along with knowing, will come a transformation of our lives, as we comprehend these truths about Him. THEOLOGY AND DOCTRINE HAVE A PURPOSE: TO CHANGE OUR LIVES INTO A PEOPLE WHO WORSHIP GOD, WITH ALL OF OUR HEART AND LOVE HIM, AND OTHERS AS OURSELVES. IF IT DOESN’T DO THAT – SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH OUR APPROACH OR OUR THEOLOGY AND DOCTRINE IS NOT CORRECT!
P S A L M 1 0 5 : 3 – 4 Glory in His name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad. Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually.
I . One primary reason we are to Pray is that it is a ‘MEANS’ God chooses to bring about His will and Purpose in the affairs of mankind and especially the Saints!
A . God purposed to fulfill His prophecy from Joel and He did so as shown in the Book of Acts on the day of Pentecost.
The Disciples prayed 10 days, God motivated them to Pray, and they were obeying God. Then they preached about 10 minutes or so, and 3000 souls were saved. Ron Dunn a minister of some years back said this, "We pray 10 minutes and preach 10 days and no one is saved. God uses prayer as HIS means to accomplish HIS work. Remember Philippians 2: 12-13; "....work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God working in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." James 5:16 shows us an effective prayer also. God shows here that ordinary people who are Christians can pray and extraordinary things will also take place.
GOD HAS NO FAVORITES, NORMAL CHRISTIANS CAN EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM GOD!
Elijah prayed and it did not rain and he prayed again and it rained. Such things take place when one walks with God in the Spirit and believe in Him and His word! It stated he was a normal Christian person, not an exceptional man in terms of the flesh, but a man who trusted, relied upon, embraced the God of the Bible, and really knew God would answer without a shadow of a doubt, a man who did not waver! Praise God He blesses us by allowing us to be a part of HIS purposes and plans on this earth among the people we live among! Let us pray! Amen!
PRAYER IS AN ACT OF WORSHIP!
It is an act of worship, submission, obedience, admission, and confession. Pray destroys our self-confidence and independent self-surety! We become totally dependent upon God alone!
Notice Luke 18: 9-14.
“He (Jesus) also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
I would like to share with you a portion of an article by Paul David Tripp as he wrote about this passage.
“The tax collector prayed the prayer that should be on the lips of every one of us every time we pray. The mercy for which he cried is the mercy that each of us constantly needs. To reduce prayer to a grocery list of things that you want and think you need not only, demeans prayer, but it also demeans the sacrifice of love that the ONE to whom you are praying made so that you and your prayers would be received. The heart of true prayer is vertical confession and communication with our Father (Abba), not so much about horizontal things, even though it is not wrong to speak of those at all.
The Pharisee’s prayer was not a real sanctioned holy prayer. He basically raised his head to heaven and said: “Here I am, God. I’m as righteous as I need to be, so I don’t really need your help at the moment.” He was revolted by the thought that he might be as sinful and needy as the low-life tax collector who stood not far from him. Self-righteousness crushes prayer, reducing it to an empty religious recitation spoken by one who sees himself as a grace graduate. Run to Jesus in your poverty and weakness, and know that HE is never revolted when you do, but always greets you with arms of grace.” (New Morning Mercies” April 30th!)
CAN OUR PRAYERS BE HINDERED?
The Bible clearly teaches that a lost persons prayersget no where with God, unless God is drawing them to salvation as one of His elect! He does not “listen” to them in terms of it being a act of worship or a communication to Him because they are LOST, they are praying to another god whom they have invented in their hearts and minds, and not the real God anyway. So, those are NOT recognized as prayer to God!
How about the saints of God, can his or her prayers be hindered? ONLY one way are they hindered and that is if the saint does not pray! NO praying goes on during any sinful acts! BUT WHEN A SAINT PRAYS HE IS ALWAYS HEARD BY GOD BECAUSE THE SAINT IS ALWAYS A CHILD OF GOD AND GOD NEVER, NO NEVER, STOPS HIS EARS TO THEIR PRAYERS.This doesn’t mean the prayer is answered in the way we wish it to be at all. God makes the decision to answer a prayer if a request is made and the prayer may not be answered positively if it is NOT His will. Hearing is not the same as answering such a prayer as we want it to be.
Sins do not hinder God from hearing the prayers of the believer when he or she engages in prayer. Sin as a entity, will not hinder a saints prayers at all, unless we allow it to overtake us, and we hinder ourselves because we do not pray. A true Christian is always going to be desiring to pray to God because it is like Oxygen is to our life here daily, in order to live, the saint can’t live in the Spirit without breathing the prayers out to God daily. Bullet prayers, meditational type praying, longer moments of special prayers go on during the day and into the night.
A big LIE and FALSE teaching exists within the body of Christ today when they are taught God doesn’t hear the saints prayers because of_________!
How could sins keep God from hearing His children’s prayers if He has taken away our sins and forgiven all of them? They can’t! Otherwise sin is more powerful than God who is in the saint and dwells with them, and abides in them as they do in Him, without any BREAK ever! You can’t fall out of Christ. He isn’t just up there in the sky somewhere, HE is in you if you truly saved.
God remembers our sins NO MORE! Do we believe that? I mean they are forever gone, thanks be unto God, and when that is spoken of like this, it means exactly what it says. He isn’t in need of being nailed to the cross again for our present or future sins, He did this ONCE and for all and when we got saved by His grace, it took care of ALL of them forever. It is our flesh where sin abides, and where sin acts and does its works. Sin is “still within the body called “the flesh” and dwells in the body of skin and bones. That part of a person has not been regenerated yet. This is why we struggle every day with the sin that is there, but the REAL YOU – the Child of God – the real saint is hidden in Christ Jesus perfect, holy, and sanctified. So, we can see and know what God calls us, that is the truth, and not a fabrication or lie. Our enemy wishes to make us think we are wicked, evil, not born again, not a new creation, and uses ‘sin’ to accomplish that if he can.
Folks get taught that 1 Peter 3:7 says that a saint and Christian can have his or her prayers hindered? Yes, but not in the manner it is being taught today by most all orthodox ministers!
Let’s look at those verses:
“You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, SO THAT YOUR PRAYERS WILL NOT BE HINDERED.”
The point is God is telling us this is referring to our relationship between husband and wife. He is saying that a husband should honor his wife and treat her with understanding so that the two of them do not grow embittered against each other. IF THEY ARE BITTER TOWARD ONE ANOTHER , THEN THEIR PRAYERS TOGETHER WILL BE HINDERED MOST LIKELY. It is NOT likely that a constantly fighting and bickering and fussing, couple will engage in prayer together very much or if at all. The words have to do with not engaging in prayer together with each other, and not that one privately doesn’t engage in prayer.
So, this passage has nothing to do with God not hearing our prayers because of sin or sins we have committed.
I have had the opposite taught to me all of my life in fundamental orthodox church by ministers and have read the same in dozens of books over the years, and they are JUST plain wrong!
We saints always celebrate the “agape” (unconditional love) of God – which is the love of God without any conditions. WE can’t work and do good deeds or things to gain God’s favor! We celebrate that Jesus our Lord took away our sins and remembers them no more. So how can we then say that God refuses to hear our prayers because of a sin struggle that is going on in our life? Do we not see this contradiction?
The truth of the word is, if God refused to hear our prayers when we were in the midst of a sin struggle, then we would never get out of that struggle and difficulty we are in with sin. Let’s thank God for HIS Amazing grace and His unconditional love which rescues us regardless of what we might be going through or doing!!
INCORRECT AND CORRECT THINGS TO SAY WHEN WE PRAY!
Having been made new through the New Birth, we must remember what God has given to us and who we now are in Christ Jesus. This position we now have changes the way we pray. Lost people pray but pray wrongly, but Christ Jesus people pray differently! God let’s us know how to Pray!
Many of God’s children (new born saints) start off their prayer life influenced by fellow saints and leaders in the body of Christ locally who they have fellowship with each week. They hear words, then copy those words as they begin their journey in the faith! However, it is so sad that most of the time the words they hear are wrongly used, and the prayers are not even close to reality about what is to be taking place and it has to do with our identity in Christ, and also, what Christ has already done for us that they miss.
For instance, we usually start off begging God to do this, that and the other for us, and we weep and seek and beg real passionately about things, but not realizing that GOD has ALREADY given us those things we are praying for!! So, how do we pray under the New Covenant of Grace? What should we pray for, and what is our new language in Christ sound like etc.?
I. YOU DON’T NEED TO PRAY ‘SHOW ME WHAT TO DO SO I CAN KNOW YOU.”
Scripture however, states, “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘KNOW the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.” – Hebrews 8:11.
Yes, we grow in the Lord and in His knowledge, and that takes place all of our lives. But we do not beg, plead, and cry out about “knowing Him” if we are truly ones who have received the Lord Jesus Christ, for we now KNOW HIM and HE KNOWS us, and we have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, dwelling in us RIGHT NOW! Real Saints KNOW God!
Remember the promise of the New Covenant given in Jeremiah 31:31:
“The day is coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. (MOASIAC LAW COVENANT). They broke that covenant though I loved them as a husband loves his wife, says the Lord.
But this IS THE NEW COVENANT I WILL MAKE WITH THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL ON THAT DAY, SAYS THE LORD. I WILL PUT MY INSTRUCTIONS DEEP WITHIN THEM AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. I will be their God and they will be my people. And they WILL NOT NEED TO TEACH THEIR NEIGHBORS, NOR WILL THEY NEED TO TEACH THEIR RELATIVES, SAYING, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE LORD. FOR EVERYONE FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST WILL KNOW ME ALREADY, SAYS THE LORD,AND I WILL FORGIVE THEIR WICKEDNESS, AND I WILL NEVER AGAIN REMEMBER THEIR SINS.”
SO, PUT YOUR CONFIDENCE IN A PRESENT KNOWING!! HE IS IN YOU, THE TRIUNE GOD IS IN YOU AND YOU NEED TO HAVE FAITH AND CONFIDENCE IN THAT VERY FACT AT THIS VERY MOMENT!!!
DO YOU KNOW HIM! PAUL, THE APOSTLE STATED, “HE THAT HAS THE SON HAS LIFE, AND HE THAT HAS NOT THE SON HAS NOT LIFE BUT THE WRATH OF GOD IS UPON HIM. IN ANOTHER PLACE, PAUL STATED THAT WE HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AND IF WE HAVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT WE ARE NONE OF HIS!!
SO WE KNOW WE HAVE THE TRIUNE GOD IN OUR HEARTS, MIND, SOUL AND SPIRIT. OUR TOTAL BEING, AND HE IS IN OUR BODIES!! THE BODY OF A SAINT IS THE TEMPLE OF GOD AND HAVING HIM IN US AND WITH US IS MEANS WE KNOW HIM AND HE KNOWS US!!!!
The enemy will come saying, “see, you sinned, you are not saved, God is not with you, you are a evil, wicked, sinner and full of idols etc.!”
But no, if we are saved, that means ALL of our sins past, present and future are forgiven and never to be remembered against us by God ever!! Tell the enemy (Satan) to take this up with God, for His blood covered my sins and I am now a child of God and He is my God and Lord and Savior.
II. WE DO NOT HAVE TO PRAY – “BE WITH ME LORD”!
We should not be begging the Lord to come and be with me, or come down and be with us Lord Jesus, fall fresh on me, etc.! Why? Listen to Jesus as HE tells you Why?
John 14:16 et al; “And I (Jesus) will ask the Father, and HE will give you ANOTHER Advocate (Comforter), who will NEVER LEAVE you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. BUT you KNOW HIM, because HE lives with you NOW and LATER will be IN YOU. NO, I will not abandon you as orphans — I will come to you. ……….I am in my Father and you are in me, and I am in you.”
Notice God the Holy Spirit did come and is in EVERY born again Saint. None excluded! Also, Jesus through the Spirit is in Us, and so is the Father, which is stated elsewhere. What we need to do IS REALLY TRUST, BELIEVE, RELY UPON, ACKNOWLEDGE AND LIVE being aware of His presence within us even our very body which is HIS Tempe.
GOD IS IN US! Scripture states “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is GOD in you working out His own will and purpose.” So, we need to ACKNOWLEDGE HIM IN PRAYER, BY Saying TO HIM THANKS for GIVING all of this to us, even your very Presence in us and using our body as a Temple to dwell within. And, THAT HE IS WITH US EVERY SECOND, EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY THE ENTIRE REST OF OUR LIVES ON EARTH!
The truth will set you free!
III. WE DO NOT NEED TO PRAY – BLESS ME LORD!!!
Paul recognizes we are to give Thanks IN all things. Outside of us are all things and all types of things. We are in Christ and in LIFE Eternal but outside are the all things of this world and wickedness. The outer man decaying, but we are renewed every day (our soul, spirit and heart). God keeps us in Eternal LIFE all the time. Heart, soul/spirit in LIFE Eternal! WE are Always Blessed! Thank Him for that!! Admit what HE has and is doing, the constant Blessings. Christ lives within, and the world is outside!
NOTICE EPHESIANS 1:3 – “ALL PRAISE TO GOD THE FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHO HAS BLESSED US WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS BECAUSE WE ARE UNITED WITH CHRIST.” Read the rest of Ephesians and see how this is so true for so much He has given us!
III. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PRAY ‘WILL YOU FORGIVE ME”!!
Wow! Whoa!! What? How many times have we prayed that one? What do I mean or should I say what does the word of God say about such? I hope that what people mean by that is “I am sorry Lord for I did sin today, etc.”! But using the term WILL you forgive, is just not correct doctrine and teachings on how to pray.
Remember we are under the New Covenant! People in the Old Testament Covenant days had to many times and especially once per year, kill an animal and shed its blood for the “covering of their sins” etc., but NO longer is that to be done. It would be wrong to do that now!! In fact, it would be sin to do that now!! WHY? Jesus paid it all ONE time on the Cross and that would mean any other type of sacrifice would be out of order!!So also realize that now we KNOW ALL of our sins are already forgiven, and we do not pray “WILL you forgive, when HE has already forgiven them.”We certain admit we have sinned and failed but we also remember as we confess we did sin, that we are so thankful that our God and Lord has forgiven us, and ask Him to help us stay away from sin and over come such which is in the Flesh! In fact, Paul the Apostle stated it really wasn’t him sinning now but sin in the flesh doing the sinning. But Paul and also us can use the Divine promises to overcome even that sinful desire which arises from the “flesh”..
The fact is the Lord’s ONE TIME sacrifice made ALL sins forgiven. We don’t have to beg and plead to have our sins forgiven.
NOTICE HEBREWS 10:14 – “FOR BY ONE OFFERING HE HAS PERFECTED FOR ALL TIME THOSE WHO ARE SANCTIFIED.” That PERFECTION is not for the future, but it is NOW if we are truly Born Again and have Christ!
That is you and I, which took place over 2000 years ago!! Agape love is Unconditional. If the other way, asking for forgiveness, it is NOT unconditional. It makes our current sin spoken about being overcome first and then that means God’s forgiveness and righteousness is conditonal upon our work of overcoming sin by our own ability!!
People make up all types of jargon to get around this, because we are scared to tell people they are really forgiven of ALL SINS past, present and future.
God really loves you like you are!!!!! You are OK because God said you are!! God made it this way!!! God remembers them no more!!! Remember Jesus died for you before you came into being on planet earth and sinned. In fact sin was in us before we actually did ‘sins’! They were all future!!
When we were born again we were sanctified, (Set apart), and are now considered holy, pure, a new creation, a regenerated person! 1 Corinthians 6:11, “…but you were made HOLY, you were made RIGHT with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.“
Yes, we confess our personal sins of the flesh (which is sin in the flesh) if we sin against our brothers and sisters. Yes, we acknowledge to God sin fleshed out when it occurs after a temptation, but we ask God to help us lay aside this sin and the weights that so easily beset us.
But we thank God at the same time that HE forgave us of that sin in the past on the Cross and He will not leave me now and He will keep me from falling into hell and under the wrath of God!
He is constantly interceding for me at the Fathers right hand day and night, so they are ALL FORGIVEN and we don’t ask again for Forgiveness but only Thank Him that they are forgiven. You can’t stain the work of the Cross by telling God HE did not do a good enough job so Please Forgive me now for the sin committed when HE already did!!!
Also, Paul and John said in their epistles it is SIN that SINS in the flesh, and not really new “new person in Christ” who love Jesus and are IN Jesus. That is a mystery to all I know, but that is the way it works out.
We are PURE, a Holy Nation, a Priest, a Son of God, born again, a new creation and without fault because of Jesus’ imputation of righteousness to our account, and also because of His IMPARTATION OF HIS righteousness in us NOW.
IV. SO WHAT DO WE PRAY!
No formula’s! No ACTS formula. No plan we devise! God didn’t put that together at all. Has good words, but to make it a law and plan to try and get God to work and listen, is just not right! Theories are rampant about praying and what to do and not to do.We are not in the business of bribing or trying to bribe God to do anything because of the way we parse words together in some plan or program.
We must realize we really don’t have all of the answers about Prayer too. It is a amazing thing to be able to speak directly to God and the come to the Throne of Grace to find help in time of need. God is in charge of it all and HE even states that the Holy Spirit takes our Prayers and cleans them all up with groans that can’t be understood, and to present them faultless before the Father.
But we can pray words of Thanksgiving all the time. Pray for others and the problems they are having. Pray for the salvation of others. Many things we can engage in as we talk to God. We just need to understand in our minds the correct usage of words as we pray, about the sin problem! Also, not to use terms that would suggest in any way or manner, that God has NOT done His job well, and we still need Him to do it because the Cross work of Christ wasn’t enough! That all has has to BE LET GO OF. It dishonors Christ.
SO, LET US PRAY ALWAYS, OFTEN, AND NOT FORGET TO COMMUNICATE WITH OUR FATHER, OUR SPIRITUAL “DADDY (Abba)” God every day and night. Amen! Selah!