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Posts tagged ‘God’s will’

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

(#Mt 6:5-13) b) Prayer and neighbor love

|| Luke 11:2-4

MT6:5 “And, when you pray, be not as the hypocrites. For they like to pray standing in religious gatherings and in town squares to be viewed by others.[1] I tell you the truth: They have their full reward! MT6:6 But, you, when you pray, enter your private room and shut the door praying to your Father secretly.[2] And, the Father watching secretly will reward you.[3] MT6:7 But, praying, do not babble many words as the Non-Jews. For they think by uttering many words[4] they will be heard. MT6:8 So, you should not be like them. For The God your Father knows[5] what you need[6] before you ask. MT6:9 So, pray:[7]
Our Heavenly Father,[8]
Let your Name be sanctified.[9]
MT6:10 Let your Kingdom come.[10]
Let your Will take place,[11] as in heaven, also on earth.
MT6:11 Give to us our bread today.[12]
MT6:12 Forgive our debts[13] as we forgive those in debt to us.[14]
MT6:13 Bring us not into temptation[15] but rescue us from evil.[16]

[1] To be viewed by others: Compare Matthew 6:16: appearances. Various renderings: BAS: like the false-hearted men; PHI: like the play-actors; RHM: shine before men; WMS: to attract the attention of people.

1581 Psalter with Rose Warm sunlight streams d...

1581 Psalter with Rose Warm sunlight streams down on this ancient prayer book, bible and psalter, open to the Lord’s Prayer set to music. A rose lies on the open book. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[2] Praying to your Father secretly: See Luke 6:12: privacy. Various renderings: WEY: into your own room; NEB: into a room by yourself; RHM: and fastening thy door; BECK: who is with you when you are alone; PHI: pray to your Father privately; PHI: who sees all private things. Remember that even Jesus on occasion wandered off some distance from his disciples when praying.

The relationship with ‘love your neighbor’ in private prayers rather than a showy display is the affect such hypocritical prayers have on your neighbor. You give the impression you take yourself too seriously and judge your neighbor to be less “spiritual” than yourself. A private prayer in a cafe or restaurant without show is heard just as easily, or more so, by the Father.

[3] The Father watching secretly will reward you: The Nazarene does not explain what this “reward” is, only that it will occur. This requires “faith,” a word only occurring one time in this sermon (Matthew 6:30) and only in reference to his disciples – “little faith.”

[4] Uttering many words: Either “babbling” or “wordy”. Various renderings: GDSP: do not repeat empty phrases; WMS: repeating set phrases; PHI: don’t rattle off long prayers; NEB: do not go babbling on. For thousands of years religious worshippers have resorted to long prayers filled with a multitude of repetitions. Even the Nazarene’s famous prayer (the Lord’s Prayer, or Our Father, pater nostra) has come in for many repetitions though Jesus counseled against that. Some Asian religions use prayer wheels, beads, and flags to continue their repetitions.

[5] Your Father knows: See Matthew 6:32: needs; and, Luke 12:30: Father knows.

[6] What you need: “Needs” not “wants.”

[7] Pray: This most famous prayer outlines what we call Nazarene Principles.

[8] Father: The First Principle. The word “father” occurs 1,180 times in the OT in a family or secular context but less than 15 times in a religious or spiritual relationship. Most of these apply to the Messiah, leaving only a handful with reference to the Saints. The idea is rare in Judaism but “father” occurs 134 times in the Gospel of John. In the Mountain Teachings Jesus uses “your Father” 8 times, “our Father” 1 time, and “my Father” 1 time for a total of 10 occurrences.

Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, page 615:

“In the oldest version of this prayer, the invocation reads pater, (dear) Father, and indicates abba as the Aramaic original. This means that when Jesus gave his disciples the Lord’s Prayer, he gave them authority to follow him in addressing God as abba and so gave them a share in his status as Son.”

Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, page 617:

“The description of God as Father never refers to any other individual or to mankind in general. To be a child of God is not a natural state or quality.… In Palestinian Judaism of the pre-Christian period the description of God as Father is rare. The Qumran texts provide but a single example.… We have yet to find an example of an individual addressing God as ‘my Father.’… Jesus did not teach the idea that God is the Father of all men.… It must have been nothing short of outrageous that Jesus should make use of the completely unceremonious Aramaic word abba.”

For more information search the words “sons,” “children,” “born,” or “begotten” in a concordance or computer program.

Almost all of Mark’s content is found in Matthew, and much of Mark is similarly found in Luke. Additionally, Matthew and Luke have a large amount of material in common that is not found in Mark.

 Let your Name be sanctified: The Second Principle. The Nazarene does not use the opportunity to incorporate the noma sagrada or Divine Name (YHWH = Jehovah; Exodus 3:15) in his model prayer. Jesus uses the words “your name” with reference to the Father rarely in the Synoptic Gospels. In John the Nazarene uses the expression at John 12:28 and John 17:6, 26. However, he never uses or pronounces YHWH in these contexts. Why? In Jesus’ day the Jews refrained from uttering the name YHWH and substituted Elohim (God) or Adonay (Lord). The Jews never removed YHWH from its nearly 7,000 occurrences in the Old Testament. About the year 1,000 AD Jewish copyists began to incorporate vowel points in YHWH to warn to say God or Lord in its place.

Does the Nazarene ever use YHWH? The Gospel evidence would indicate this could only be when he is quoting the Hebrew Bible. It is now thought that the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, known as The Septuagint (LXX), had YHWH untransliterated in the Greek text. There is a good reason for this. The Greek language cannot convert the Hebrew letters for YHWH. Modern Greek dictionaries use dzehoba or Iekhoba for “Jehovah” but original Greek did not have an “h” as it were, other than a breath sound. Modern Greek attempts to capture the sound of the English pronunciation of the name.

Given the attitude of the Jews what would have happened if Jesus used YHWH in quotes or normal speech? Certainly equal to that misguided accusation that he violated the Sabbath! Yet the Gospels are silent on this. What about private meetings with his disciples when the use of YHWH could not cause a public stir? Compare the lengthy closing words in John chapters 13 to 17. Not once does Jesus use YHWH even though he alludes to the “name” four times.

Given the facts that the Jews do not attack him for violating their understanding of one of the Ten Commandments and the absence of his use in private speeches and prayers, it would seem he respected the Jewish tradition of the time.

This does not minimize the importance of the “Name” as Jesus’ words in his prayer shows. The idea of this sanctification occurs scores of times in the Hebrew Bible. Compare Exodus 3:14, 15 and 6:3.

Various renderings are: TCNT: May thy name be held holy; MOF: thy name be revered; PHI: may your name be honored. For more information on this subject see Nazarene Principles.

[10] Let your Kingdom come: The Third Principle. After the subject of the “Name” in the Hebrew Bible with its 7,000 occurrences of YHWH, the next most important topic is the Kingdom. The Messiah and his “kingdom” are inseparable (Note Psalm 2 and 110 as well as Daniel chapters 2 and 7). In the Nazarene’s teachings there are two “kingdoms”: the Son’s and the Father’s (Matthew 13:41, 42). The “kingdom” here in his prayer is the Father’s.

“Kingdom” is a word used often by the Nazarene. The word occurs 55 times in Matthew, 23 times in Mark, 45 times in Luke and 5 times in John.

When does the Nazarene begin to reign? The Second Psalm is quoted by Peter at Acts 4:24, 25 and Paul at Acts 13:33 and applied to the resurrection and ascension of Christ in the year 33 AD. This was in fulfillment of Psalm 110:1 (Note 1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Daniel chapters 2 and 7 would argue this kingdom’s beginning is during the reign of the “fourth kingdom” or Rome (Daniel 2:44; 7:9-14). Upon his ascension the Nazarene took up his Power as described by Paul at Ephesians 1:20-23.

Upon the Return or Arrival (parousia) of the Son of Man, and his gathering to himself his Saints, there will be a milestone in the King’s rule (Matthew 24:3, 30; John 14:2,3; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Revelation 11:18; 12:10).

[11] Let your Will take place: The Fourth Principle. The “kingdom” is the agency by which the “Name” is sanctified and the “eternal purpose” (Ephesians 3:9, 10) or will of the Father is accomplished (Psalm 72; Daniel chapters 2, 7). God’s original purpose was for a global paradise (Genesis chapters 2, 3). His Will has not changed (Isaiah 45:18; 55:11). Messiah and his Saints will rule the earth (Psalms 2, 110; Daniel 7:13, 27; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 5:10; 20:4, 6). The earth will never be destroyed (Psalms 104:5; Ecclesiastes 1:4; Psalm 72:8). The City of God will one day descend out of heaven to rule the earth for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4, 6; 21:1-5).

God has a “will” or purpose for “heaven” as Daniel 4:35 shows. This will for “heaven” will be realized by virtue of the Son and the Messiah’s Church (Ephesians 1:10; 3:9, 10 Colossians 1:20).

[12] Give to us our bread today: The Fifth Principle. The first four Principles of the Nazarene’s prayer deal with God, the last three deal with the individual disciple. The first of these, or the Fifth Principle, deals with that necessary bread for each day (Psalm 37:25). This is not “daily bread” but “bread for today.” From the Nazarene’s viewpoint it would be materialistic to pray for tomorrow’s bread (Matthew 6:33, 34).

Various renderings: ALF: our needful bread.

Prayer for “today’s bread” does not guarantee a disciple may not go hungry on occasion. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:27 and Matthew 25:37 (Philippians 4:11-13). Some see the daily offering of loaves at the Temple here.

Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, page 251:

“Origen suggested that we should understand it as eip ten ousian (the bread) necessary for existence. It can be supported by reference to Proverbs 30:8 and it reminds us of Exodus 16:4. The Israelites were to gather only so much manna as they needed for ‘the day.’”

[13] Forgive our debts: The Sixth Principle (Luke 11:14). Various renderings: WEY: shortcomings… those who have failed in their duty towards us; PHI: forgive us what we owe to you as we have also forgiven those who owe anything to us. Note there is the tax collector’s tone here as earlier in debits, credits and rewards. Not only are financial debts canceled but moral and emotional debts as well (Romans 13:8: owe only love).

Forgiveness is a kissing cousin to agape or that love which has an unselfish, even selfless, interest out of pure motive for others. The word group “forgive” occurs 48 times in the Gospels (1 Corinthians 13:5: log, or, keep account; LOGIZETAI). Such forgiveness cannot be separated from love of neighbor. Such a quality ought to characterize the Nazarene Saint.

[14] Debt to us: This may be moral or emotional indebtedness but it also may be literal monetary debts (Luke 6:34). One of the clearest ways to judge a man is by his wallet and how he uses it in relation to his dealings with others. When it comes to spirituality, the use of money from the standpoint of God separates the men from the boys.

[15] Bring us not into temptation: The Seventh Principle. Various renderings: BAS: let us not be put to the test. This is a subject the Nazarene knows something about (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1; 22:40; Hebrews 4:15). The word group “tempt” occurs 36 times in the Bible and 14 times in the Synoptics, but not once in John. A related word “test” occurs 113 times in the Bible with 11 in the Gospels. Compare 1 Corinthians 10:13.

1 Corinthians 10:13 and James 1:13 are good commentaries on the Nazarene’s words. God does not tempt or test one with evil, so He does not cause a prostitute pass before a man to test him. The Temptation of Christ had two phases: a beginning and an end. At the beginning he was tempted (tested) by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). These tests or temptations dealt with doubt in the word “if,” as well as greed and pride. The later test was manifest at the end of his life beginning in the Garden of Agony and finally, the Tree (Hebrews 4:15). Test or tempt really find their best definition in the word “endurance.”

[16] Evil: Some render the Greek PONERON as either “evil,” “wicked,” or Wicked One, alluding to the Devil (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1).

 

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Preceding articles

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Be sound in mind and be vigilant with a view to prayers

Praying is surrendering in all circumstances

Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing

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Additional reading

  1. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  2. If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling
  3. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  6. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  9. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  10. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  11. Give Thanks To God
  12. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything
  13. Israel, Fitting the Plan when people allow it
  14. Running challenge and the City build by the Most High Maker
  15. Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom
  16. Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go
  17. Tapping into God’s Strength by Waiting on Him
  18. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  19. God should be your hope

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Further reading

      1. The Good Neighbor
      2. 7 Habits That Distinguish Believers from Professing Christians (part 4)
      3. Should Christians Meditate?
      4. Are You Praying?
      5. Keep Praying!
      6. My Prayer for 2014
      7. Daily Bible Verse:John 14:6
      8. Jesus, Light of The World Praying the Scriptures through Advent Book
      9. Waiting On God
      10. In All Honesty
      11. Wait for it………….
      12. What Jesus is Praying For (May 12)
      13. Praying in the dark 1
      14. Praying in the dark 2
      15. Bend Your Head so You Can Stand Your Ground
      16. That’s it, I am Angry and I am Praying
      17. praying for hard things
      18. Unmasked
      19. I Believe in Praying ~
      20. Praying Hands
      21. Meditation/Betty’s Verse Of The Day/1-22-14
      22. Why Nothing Is Worth Grieving The Holy Spirit
      23. I’m Praying!
      24. Praying for God Peace ~
      25. Childlike praying
      26. Praying Through
      27. March 16 – Keep on praying
      28. Praying Scripture for strength and courage
      29. Seven lessons from Jesus’ prayer for us all…
      30. “Till death” (NOT)
      31. Kesha Takes the High Road in Powerful New Single, “Praying”
      32. My Personal Prayer
      33. Pray with love in your heart
      34. Today’s Thought: Why We Dare
      35. The Benefits of Praying in Public
      36. Let’s step up our prayer game
      37. Today’s Thought: The Invited Name
      38. Why praying is important
      39. The Bible uses different Facets to convey the meaning of Kingdom of God
      40. The Kingdom Of Heaven And The Kingdom Of God Compared And Contrasted
      41. Shadows of Messiah – Astronomy
      42. Into God’s Kingdom for New Jerusalem
      43. New Jerusalem: God’s House Becomes a City
      44. Christ, God’s House, God’s City, the Earth
      45. New Jerusalem, City of the Living God
      46. New Jerusalem, City of the Living God (2)
      47. The Glory of God
      48. Seek His Kingdom
      49. The Kingdom of God and the Marriage of the Lamb
      50. What Brings Us Near to the Kingdom of God?
      51. The Bilateral Ekklesia vs. The Kingdom of Heaven
      52. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) – Pt. 4
      53. Luke 14:15-24
      54. All Things Are Possible with God
      55. The Power of Prayer
      56. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”
      57. “Unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”
      58. Summer in the City of God
      59. Jerusalem Jubilee
      60. The City of the Church
      61. Come let us Grow Together: The City of God
      62. The LORD of hosts is with us
      63. God is within her
      64. There is a River
      65. The City of the Great King
      66. The City of God – The Preface
      67. 66. A City to Come
      68. The Kingdom of Heaven
      69. Protection and Covering
      70. The Kingdom of God

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God’s will is that all sorts of men should be saved

This is fine and acceptable in the sight of our Savior, God,+ whose will is that all sorts of people should be saved+ and come to an accurate knowledge of truth. (NWT) 1 Timothy 2:4

This is fine and acceptable+ in the sight of our Savior, God,+ whose will is that all sorts of men+ should be saved+ and come to an accurate knowledge+ of truth.+  (Ref.B.) 1 Timothy 2:4

all sorts of people

  • Romans 5:18: 18 So, then, as through one trespass the result to men of all sorts was condemnation,+ likewise also through one act of justification*+ the result to men of all sorts+ is a declaring of them righteous for life.+
  • Romans 9:24: 24 namely, us, whom he called not only from among Jews but also from among nations,+ [what of it]?
  • 1 Timothy 4:10: 10 For to this end we are working hard and exerting ourselves,+ because we have rested our hope+ on a living God, who is a Savior+ of all sorts of men,+ especially of faithful ones.+

should be saved

  • Isaiah 45:22: 22 Turn to me and be saved,+ all the ends of the earth, For I am God, and there is no one else.+
  • Acts 17:30: 30 True, God has overlooked the times of such ignorance;+ but now he is declaring to all people everywhere that they should repent.
  • Romans 5:18: 18 So, then, as through one trespass the result to men of all sorts was condemnation,+ so too through one act of justification the result to men of all sorts+ is their being declared righteous for life.+
  • 1 Timothy 4:10: 10 This is why we are working hard and exerting ourselves,+ because we have rested our hope on a living God, who is a Savior+ of all sorts of men,+ especially of faithful ones.
  • Micah 7:7: But as for me, I will keep on the lookout for Jehovah.+ I will show a waiting attitude* for the God of my salvation.+ My God will hear me.+
  • Psalm 25:5 Cause me to walk in your truth and teach me,+ For you are my God of salvation. ו [Waw] In you I hope all day long.
  • Psalm 62:1: 62 Indeed, I wait* silently for God.My salvation comes from him.+
  • Psalm 116:6: Jehovah is guarding the inexperienced.+I was brought low, and he saved me.
  • Lamentations 3:26: 26 Good it is to wait in silence*+ for the salvation of Jehovah.+
  • Jude 25: 25 to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might, and authority for all past eternity and now and into all eternity. Amen.

come to an accurate knowledge:

  • Ephesians 1:17: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give YOU a spirit of wisdom+ and of revelation* in the accurate knowledge of him;+
  • Philippians 1:9: And this is what I continue praying, that YOUR love may abound+ yet more and more with accurate knowledge*+ and full discernment;*+

come to an accurate knowledge of truth:

  • 2 Timothy 2:25: 25 instructing with mildness those not favorably disposed;+ as perhaps God may give them repentance+ leading to an accurate knowledge of truth,+

 

[God’s] will is that all sorts of men should be saved.—1 Tim. 2:4.

The deeper we get into the time of the end, the greater our need to rely on Jehovah’s Word. The counsel we draw from it helps us to correct bad habits and to control our sinful tendencies. With its encouragement and comfort, we will pass the tests that Satan and his world bring on us. With the guidance Jehovah provides in his Word, we will stay on the road to life. God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved.” Jehovah’s servants are among “all sorts of men.” So are those whom we might help through our preaching and teaching work. But all who wish to attain to salvation must gain “an accurate knowledge of truth.” Thus, surviving the last days goes hand in glove with reading the Bible and applying its inspired instructions. Yes, our daily Bible reading shows how highly we esteem Jehovah’s precious Word of truth.—John 17:17. w13 4/15 1:19, 20

Psalm 21, Initial D. In: Albani-Psalter

Psalm 21, Initial D. In: Albani-Psalter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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In other languages:

Gods wil dat alle soorten van mensen worden gered

Dit is God se wil . . . dat alle soorte mense gered moet word

Es ist Gottes Wille, dass alle Arten von Menschen gerettet werden

Dieu veut que toutes sortes d’hommes soient sauvés

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Additional reading:

  1. Creation Creator and Creation
  2. Creation purpose and warranty
  3. God has not destined us for wrath
  4. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  5. Gone astray, away from God
  6. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  7. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  8. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  9. Necessity of a revelation of creation 1 Works of God and works of man
  10. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  11. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  12. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  13. Waiting for Gods Salvation
  14. God’s forgotten Word 1 Introduction
  15. Coming to understanding from sayings written long ago
  16. Eternal Word that tells everything
  17. Bible Word from God
  18. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  19. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  20. Missional hermeneutics 3/5
  21. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  22. Bible, God’s Word to edify (ERV)
  23. Scripture words written for our learning, given by inspiration of God for edification
  24. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  25. We should use the Bible every day
  26. Feed Your Faith Daily
  27. Miracles of revelation and of providence 1 Golden Thread and Revelation
  28. Faithful to the listening ear
  29. God’s Special Gift
  30. It is not try but trust
  31. You will say on that day
  32. The Right One to follow and to worship
  33. The one who set the standard
  34. A Living Faith #12 The Love for Jesus
  35. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  36. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  37. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  38. Atonement And Fellowship 8/8
  39. My soul longs for your salvation
  40. Walking in the Light of Life
  41. Searching, light, fear and deliverance
  42. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  43. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  44. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  45. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  46. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  47. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  48. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1:1-7 Help from God our Maker
  49. Entrance of a king to question our position #1 Coming in the Name of the Lord
  50. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  51. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  52. Belief of the things that God has promised
  53. Give your worries to God
  54. Heed of the Saviour
  55. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  56. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  57. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  58. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  59. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  60. Choices
  61. End of the Bottom Line
  62. All Positive Energy People Are Acceptable

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There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.—Acts 20:35.

Wednesday night we look how we as people, who have so much, should not have to look for our luck or happiness in gathering all material things.

We do find people who think they found God, get baptised, and than think everything is all-right and they should not do anything any more because they are saved by the sacrificial offering of Christ. They do forget that faith without works is dead.

26 Indeed, just as the body without spirit* is dead,+ so also faith without works is dead.+ (James 2:26)

When we are baptised, having chosen to go for God, we do need to keep in line with God His Will and with God His commandments. As we can see in several books of the Old Testament, there have been men of God who first walked in the line of God, but got tempted by worldly attractions. They let themselves be carried away. Some of them even did lost interest in the previous told and written down Words of God.

"Death of King Saul", 1848 by Elie M...

“Death of King Saul”, 1848 by Elie Marcuse (Germany and France, 1817-1902) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Monday we saw (in the study readings of that day) how King Saul allowed selfish thinking and pride to develop, like corrosive rust.
Saul arrogantly built a monument to himself. (1 Sam. 15:3, 9) When the prophet Samuel told him that Jehovah was displeased, Saul tried to justify himself by focusing on the part of God’s command that he had obeyed and by blaming others for his error. (1 Sam. 15:16-21)
Saul’s experience shows that we cannot be complacent, assuming that if we previously showed a self-sacrificing spirit, we will automatically continue to manifest it. (1 Tim. 4:10)

Also Jeremiah’s secretary, Baruch, apparently forgot to focus on the right things. At one point in time, he was no longer enjoying Jehovah’s service. Jehovah told him:

“You are seeking great things for yourself. Stop seeking such things. For I am about to bring a calamity on all flesh, . . . and wherever you may go, I will grant you your life as a spoil.” (Jer. 45:3, 5)

Bear in mind that Saul did well and enjoyed God’s favour for a while, but he failed to root out selfish tendencies that began to take hold. Jehovah ultimately rejected Saul for his disobedience. (w14 3/15 1:9, 10) We too, when we soften our interest in God, give preference to worldly matters and become obedient to God, shall see that the small gate might be shut for us.

As we have seen last Thursday King David described the information needed to build a human body as being written in a figurative book. Speaking of Jehovah God, he said:

“Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all its parts were down in writing, as regards the days when they were formed and there was not yet one among them.” (Ps. 139:16)

Which impression do you want to give to God? How do you want to present yourself in front of the heavenly Father, the Only One True God? do you think He shall love you more because you have gathered more material things in your life?

The son of God showed us a very good example of a life worth living in front of the eyes of God. Jeshua (Jesus) did not want to do his own will, but always tried to apply God’s commandments and to do God His Will. He did not look for treasures on earth and did not talk about the worldly wealth to be gathered on earth, but about the spiritual richness people had to strife for.

What sort of building do you want to construct? Do you want to be one of the many stones in the building or body of Christ?

Jesus enjoyed seeing meek people respond to the good news. (Luke 10:21; John 4:34)
Perhaps you have already experienced the happiness that results from helping others. If you base your major choices in life on the principles Jesus taught, you will surely bring happiness to yourself as well as to Jehovah.

11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice,So that I can make a reply to him who taunts me.+(Prov. 27:11)

Our greatest and most true happiness, comes from love and perfection which can receive the best foundation-stones from serving Jehovah, with all your heart.  (Prov. 16:20)

What do you think? What would have made Baruch happy — seeking great things or surviving Jerusalem’s destruction as a faithful servant of God? — Jas. 1:12. (w14 1/15 3:10, 11)

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Preceding articles:

A look at materialism

As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude

Philippians 4:4–7 – Do Not Be Anxious

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Additional reading:

  1. Are you being swept along by the world
  2. Gone astray, away from God
  3. May reading the Bible provoke us into action to set our feet on the narrow way
  4. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  5. Like grasshoppers
  6. Message to teenagers
  7. As the Lord commanded Moses
  8. Happiness mapping and getting over gender mapping
  9. Lonely in the crowd
  10. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  11. Luck
  12. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  13. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  14. The Art of Doing Less – Your Time is Finite
  15. Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth
  16. Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft
  17. For The Love of Stuff
  18. Learning that stuff is just stuff
  19. Watch out
  20. Food as a Therapeutic Aid
  21. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  22. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  23. To be prepared and very well oiled
  24. Thirst for happiness and meaning
  25. True happiness, love and perfection
  26. Spreading good cheer contagious
  27. Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past
  28. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  29. God plays hide-n-seek?
  30. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  31. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  32. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  33. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  34. With all your heart
  35. God’s wrath and sanctification
  36. You shall howl in your latter end

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Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing

Looking for solutions

In Natural inclinations and Praying and asking we saw that we are recommended to Pray without ceasing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:17)

With what may we not stop and what is that action of prayer all about?

We can see that in many religions the believers do take time to meditate and to go deep into themselves. It is like they are doing a sort of exercise to come into contact with themselves or with elements outside them. In many religions we can see that time spend in ‘prayer’ may bring pleasant thoughts into their mind.

Many do hope to find solutions for their many questions and for things that happened around them. They expect their prayer to be a way of miraculously solving impossible situations. For many prayer and meditation time is a religious ritual to become holy and to higher themselves above a previous situation.

What is general, is that their prayer is also a confession of their faith, and an indication of what they believe and whom they want to honour.

Not an innocent playful act

It is not such an innocent act as it may look at first sight. For the Divine Creator it is even a very important part of life of His creatures to show their awe and respect for the Most High Elohim. Truly followers of the Lord Jesus Christ must, like him, be guided in all matters of faith and practice by what the Bible teaches about this act of adoration, glorification and communication with the God of gods.

The Bible leaves us in no doubt that believers ought to pray:

“Men ought always to pray and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

“In everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6, R.S.V.).

To fail to pray is regarded as a sin; Samuel the prophet declared:

“God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23).

Being conscious of inner needs

Today there are many who are afraid to show others their needs and even more afraid to let others know they would ask solace or guidance by someone Who can not be seen, touched or heard.

Nothing has changed with the past. All days there have been people with many questions, people having great difficulty in coping with life, facing seemingly insuperable problems. We may be conscious of our failings and desire some kind of spiritual cleansing; we may be trying to search out the meaning of life. In fact the very problems which confront us have a significance in emphasizing to us that for all man’s great achievements, we are frequently helpless in the midst of human failure. Failure is more often at the start of the road to God than success.

In the Gospels we read of men who commanded great armies, of people in high office in government, of mothers and fathers seeking the best for their children, of farmers and fishermen, tradesmen and craftsmen — people of all types and backgrounds who sought out the Lord Jesus Christ because some need or other could not be fulfilled elsewhere. And as we see Jesus always finding time to listen, to advise, to help, we see how he reveals to us the character of his Father:

“Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, R.S.V.).

The Bible makes it clear that God wants to help us. We should never feel that it is only good people that He will hear. In fact if we think we are rather good and managing quite well on our own, the chances are we shall be less inclined to rely upon God.

With meditating we are not thinking of philosophical or Zen-meditation. We mean by meditating taking time to set yourself apart to think about matters of life and to think about what you have done, want to do, have read and how you are going to apply it with the knowledge you can get from the Holy Scriptures.

Meditation

Meditating girl on beach

Meditating girl on beach

Meditation is a means of transforming your mind, letting that what you have learned from the Holy Scriptures to work in you and to transform your character. It is making your mind free of the pollution this world brings every day to you. Meditating is the willingness to make time free for your own mind, letting God’s Spirit enter into your life. Therefore you can use different techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being. With regular work and patience these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energised states of mind. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life.

Meditation is making yourself prepared to go deeper in yourself and to examine your life-path. It is an exercise not to miss our experiences because we are somewhere else in our mind. It is a willingness to for a moment forget the daily worries, work or school, and to look at what really should be our main focus in our daily life. In ordinary life, we tend to equate focus with concentration. That’s like using the mind like a concentrated beam of light. But in meditation, that kind of mind isn’t helpful. It’s too sharp and edgy. To focus in meditation means to pay soft attention to whatever you place in the centre of awareness.

Conscious of a need

In the hectic life we get in this world it is our aim to take distance of the worldly matters and to get to know the more important spiritual matters.

As such we do need to take time of our daily duties to come closer to the Most Important person in our life. It is taking time for the Most High Elohim because we are conscious of a higher need and we recognize that God alone can meet that need. To accept that God can do what we cannot do is to bow to His greatness, to acknowledge His infinite wisdom. When we do set us apart from the worldly business, come close in our own cocoon, we open ourselves to the Only One God, who is our Maker but also our Protector. It is to Him we do want to give our soul, our spirit, our thinking and our handling. In the time we set ourselves apart, we want to come as close as possible to Him, or as close as possible we can get at the moment. To Him we want to give that special time and give our most valuable moment of the day.

In that time of silence and personal withdrawal of the world, we want to give our voice to God to let Him know how we want to be with Him and how we do know we need Him. Coming in seclusion we can find ways to have a conversation with that Most High Spirit. Then we can come to talk to Him and pray. Not only asking Him things for our welfare, but also thanking Him for what we had already and for what we still are going to receive.  This is praise. Praise, when it finds expression in words, is an attempt to describe the ways in which God is superior to man; it is to give God glory. Through praise we reflect on what God is, and what resources He has to meet our need.

Listening to God

Praying is not only speaking to God, but it is also opening up your mind to Him to listen to Him. Since God knows best, we must listen to what He says to us. In prayer we have a communication tool we can use every moment of the day. In it we do have an other means, next to the Bible, for God speaking to us.

We do have god’s Word given to us in the Holy Scriptures. The Bible should be our lead and most important guide through life. Through it we can hear God speaking to us in a Book of books given by inspiration of God, profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that we as children of God may be perfect. (2 Timothy 3:16).

How people like to turn it, prayer is inseparable connected with the Words of God, given in the Bible. Our prayer should be build on the knowledge we get from those Holy Scriptures. The Words of the Bible with our prayer, should be fused with our knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. For prayer is communication with God. The communication is two-way. It is not enough that we should speak to God. He expects us to listen to Him. In fact, we shall often be better occupied meditating on His Word than trying to talk to Him at great length. It is no use to over and over repeat the same words. The Bible itself warns:

“Let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

The Lord Jesus himself emphasizes this point:

“When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7).

We should remember that silence is healing. Nothing beats simple silence. We do not need music background to drown out the chatter in our mind. When we sit in silence we actually get to experience what our mind is doing. There is steadiness and calmness that comes from sitting in silence. In time outer and inner silence meet and you come to rest in the moment. It is in such moments that we also can give way for God’s Spirit to enter our universe.

Coming to God

Jesus clearly knew Who was the Most High to give all honour of what he could do. Jesus was thankful and hopeful to His heavenly Father, which he recognised as the Only True God.

Jesus clearly knew Who was the Most High to give all honour of what he could do. Jesus was thankful and hopeful to His heavenly Father, which he recognised as the Only True God.

Praying should be a coming to God, not to put us in the forefront row, being full of ourselves, ready to tell Him what we think. That would be like the person who asks a question, not because he wants to know the answer’, but because he wants the opportunity to air his own knowledge. Our vanity and pride, we must put aside and we should be humble enough not to propose our thoughts as the best ones, but to allow God to see that we are really willing to hear what He thinks best for us. Like Jesus did not want to do his own will, which he would have done when he would have been God, we also like Jesus should know that we can not do anything without Jesus his heavenly Father. Jesus was well aware that he could not do anything without the Hand of God.  He too prayed to his heavenly Father, and not to himself. He too had questions about his relationship with his Father up high, and even at one moment dared to ask why He (God) had abandoned him (Jesus). Like Jesus not being afraid to ask such matters to the Most High, we too should dare to go to Him (Jehovah God). Jesus prepared the way to the Divine Creator and we should be thankful for that and use it.If we come to God as those who do not know the answers and believe that He does, then what folly if we ignore what He has already told us through the Scriptures! Rather we must read them regularly and reflect on them in order that we may attune our minds to the mind of God, as the words of a hymn direct us:

“Inspirer of the ancient seers,
Who wrote from Thee the sacred page,
A light for all succeeding years,
A lamp in this degenerate age:
Wisdom to us Thy words impart,
And with Thy comfort fill our heart.”

The many examples of prayer in the Bible make it clear that God responds only when man prays in accordance with His will. After all, God knows best what is in man’s interests and can control events accordingly.

Right Relationship with God

Jesus showed us how we should behave, live and pray. He gave the example how our relationship should be with other humans but also with God. We can only come to a good prayer and a fulfilling meditation when we open our hearts to God and our willingness to have a good relationship with Him.

First of all naturally we do need to know God, have to understand His position and should be willing to accept His position. In the bible we are told that there can be life eternal for us as human beings, but then we shall have to accept the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the son God so loved He has taken him with Him to sit next to Him to be the mediator between God and man. (John 17:3, 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 12:24; John 3:16; Matthew 3:17). Many in Christendom do say to know God, but take also Jesus to be God and do not mind bowing down in front of pictures of their god, though God made it very clear that there is only One True God of Whom no pictures may be made and certainly may not be bowed down for. Such knowledge is to be found, in the first instance, in the inspired writings of the Bible-and nowhere else. But to know God is not simply to know about Him. When a husband and wife know each other, they do not just have in their minds a pen-portrait of their partner. Their knowledge is intimate and deep, because of the nature of their relationship. It depends upon continued, regular contact, the acceptance of responsibilities and the desire to grow in knowledge and understanding of each other.

To acknowledge one’s need as a sinner, whose imperfection is in marked contrast to the glorious perfection of God’s character; to develop that “poor and contrite” spirit, which desires to be moved by the power of God through His Word, as the leaves on a tree tremble at the passing of a breath of wind; to realize from the knowledge of God’s gracious dealings with men and women of past ages that the same grace can be extended to us today-this is to begin the process of praise and thanksgiving which marks the beginning of uttered prayer.

Commands to obey

It is all to easy just to want all our wishes to be fulfilled. Would that not be selfish? Would that be taking notice of the Will of God?

For many people prayer consists of asking God for favours. For some the proof of whether God is actually there or not consists of testing out whether God will grant a particular request. Did not Jesus say:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7)

There is no room here for the casual or the careless. God is in heaven, man upon earth. We cannot assume familiarity or presume upon His loving kindness. It is God’s to command, ours to obey. We cannot call God “Our Father“, without at the same time hallowing His name. And we cannot do that unless we seek to do His will upon earth as it is done in heaven. If we are to benefit from the privilege of being called His sons and daughters, we must, after serious consideration, come within His family:

“Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3).

We are told how Jesus welcomed little children and took them up in his arms. In this he reflected the character of his Father, who welcomes all who seek Him in sincerity and simplicity. But whereas the particular purpose of God at the time of the Lord’s ministry and during the subsequent establishment of the ecclesiae involved frequent miraculous signs that this was indeed the Lord at work, we shall be sadly misled if we expect God to work a miracle in response to every request we make.

This is not to say that God’s power is not demonstrated today, or to imply that God is not interested in us. There is a children’s prayer which simply states a truth:

“God always listens whenever we pray,
He’s never too busy to hear what we say.

No time to stop

The world goes on and the end-times come closer. This will not make it easier for believing and God fearing people. They shall be tested more.

It might be easy to say

“let go of your anxiety.” (Matthew 6:34)

Now the time is near it is even more important not to stop to study the Bible regularly and to spend time in conversation with God. “In everything” – without exception and at every opportunity – we should pray. Pray in supplication – humble in treaty – with thanksgiving! Knowing that the prayer will be answered according to His will and in His time.

Praying in the family

Praying in the family

Most of us spend lots of time after daily work, in front of the television or enjoying themselves with lots of pastures time, giving enough time to the entertainment industry. Churchgoing has lessened a lot. Not many are spending time with the family together studying the Word of God and contemplating what the Most High wants from us.

Most of us do not take enough time to be on their own and to be with their Creator. When we do love Him, we should, like we do with our most beloved, spend enough time with Him.

We may not cease to pray earnestly and give our worries to Jehovah, our God. Our willing to be with Him should give or be the pulse of your life in Christ. If that pulse is weak or erratic then that life is ebbing away. We need to pray. Alone and in community, we need to pray. And so much the more as we see the day of Christ drawing near.

Cast aside anxiety about the things of this life and pray. Do this and rejoicing in the Lord will be as natural to you as breathing. You will be happy. Profoundly happy so that even in the most terrible affliction and sorrow there will remain within a vibrant core of joy and hope and faith that no circumstance can affect.

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Find our pamphlet to download in pdf: Does God Hear Prayer?

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Preceding articles:

  1. Our openness to being approachable
  2. Natural inclinations and Praying and asking
  3. Always rejoicing Praying constantly Giving thanks for everything
  4. Psalm 66 HRV
  5. Psalm 66 OJB

++

Additional reading:

  1. Walking alone?
  2. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  3. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  5. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  6. Do You Expect God’s Answer
  7. Biblical Prayer at Tabernacle Site Shilo
  8. Praying and thinking positively
  9. Being sure of their deliverance
  10. Genuine prayer
  11. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  12. Does God hear prayer?
  13. Does God answer prayer?
  14. God doesn’t call the qualified
  15. Work with joy and pray with love
  16. Give your worries to God
  17. Praise Jehovah
  18. “Prayer 2″ – Child Abuse
  19. If you think you’re too small to be effective
  20. Quit griping about your church
  21. What moves mountains? Trust!
  22. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  23. God, my father, my closest friend
  24. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  25. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow
  26. Prayer for the day
  27. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  28. Change
  29. Prayer has the power to change mountains into highways
  30. Try driving forward instead of backwards
  31. Preventing us from going window-shopping in prayer
  32. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
  33. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  34. Sometimes we pray and pray and it seems like nothing happens.
  35. If you do pray you shall not be disappointed
  36. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  37. Worship and worshipping
  38. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  39. rusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  40. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  41. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  42. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
  43. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  44. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  45. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  46. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  47. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  48. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  49. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  50. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  51. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  52. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  53. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  54. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  55. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  56. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  57. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  58. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  59. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  60. Praying For What We Want or Don’t Want
  61. Continuing Paul’s Prayer Requests
  62. Listening and Praying to the Father
  63. Communion and day of worship
  64. Funeral service only belongs in church building according to Catholic Church

+++

  • The rapture or end times is in virtually every book of the New Testament. (omharris.blogspot.com)
    being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
    +
    That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ
  • Scripture of the Day, 1/16 (sowegalive.com)
    Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • Five Believer’s Crowns: Heavenly Rewards (endtimesprophecyreport.com)
    The Bible declares that believers canobtain these heavenly rewards including five different crowns.What are these crowns and how can the believer qualify for them?The five crowns are:

    1. The incorruptible crown – Being disciplined [temperate] in all things.
    2. The crown of rejoicing – Winning souls for the kingdom of God.
    3. The crown of righteousness – All who love the appearing of the Lord.
    4. The crown of life – All who endure trials for Jesus.
    5. The crown of glory – Those who are godly examples to the flock.
  • Put First Things First (birdchirp.wordpress.com)
    Apart from Christ, we cannot expect God to bless us. Jesus promised, “But seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).
  • To an inheritance (activeinspiration.wordpress.com)
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
  • Listen: God’s Second Man, Part 3 (Onward Christian Soldiers #67 with Daniel Whyte III) (blackchristiannews.com)
    In part one and part two of this lesson, we contrasted the “first man”, Adam, with the “second man”, Jesus Christ. Adam disobeyed God and caused the entire human race which descended from him to be a race of sinners. However, when Jesus Christ came, the Bible tells us that He “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Jesus Christ did what Adam (and none of us) have done — be perfectly obedient to God throughout our entire lives. Because Jesus Christ is sinless, He is the perfect sacrifice for our sins. On the cross, Jesus paid the price for our sins so that we would not have to. Today, there are two races of people in the world — Adam’s sinful race, and Jesus’ righteous race. As Romans 5:19 says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Of course, we who are in Jesus’ race are only righteous because of what Jesus Christ did for us.
  • Excuse My Scepticism (pastorcharleschipere.wordpress.com)
    In our Christian Faith, we are taught to believe rather than to be a doubting Thomas. We are taught to trust rather than mistrust. We are taught to give a person the benefit of the doubt before we dismiss them. But my journey of faith has had some encounters with reality leading me to embrace some sceptical attitude towards some things I have observed in the land of the living.
  • A Prayer of The Heart (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com)
    About 45 years ago, I learned the Jesus Prayer, which has its roots in the Philokalia which was popular then. This prayer is a blessing to me now more than ever. The point of the prayer is twofold. The first to create a pattern of silence no matter where one is, walking down the street, or cleaning the house, or driving.
  • Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul (emmanuelchatham.typepad.com)
    O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching

How Many were Bought

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - The F...

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) – The Flagellation of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1880) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the previous articles, You do not belong to yourselves,for you were bought with a price, Joining for a new year in the assurance to be bought with a price, Nazarene Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee from Immorality and We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”, we talked about the Nazarene man Jeshua (Jesus) who gave voluntary his body as a pledge offering or ransom for all humankind.

Because Jesus has bought us free we should know that we do not belong to ourselves any more. Certainly those who made a choice to follow Christ Jesus (Jeshua) should heed the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6: 19, 20, that we/they are not our/your own.

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit.

How Many were Bought?

Though we learn in Ephesians 5: 25 that the church was purchased, we must not fall into error (as some have done), and think that these few are the only ones He bought. Our Lord himself tells us, as recorded in Matthew 20: 28 and Mark 10: 45, that he came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life “a ransom for many.” Quite a large number—not a few, but many.

The apostle Paul writes (1 Timothy 2: 3-6) —

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved [preserved], and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to. be testified in due time [or, a testimony in due time.

Again not a few, but all, there is no one left out. All those who are now living; all that yet may live, and all those millions who have lived in the past. Yes! a ransom for everybody! He is their Lord, He owns them all.

“For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”— Romans 14: 9.

In buying all, He bought the church as well, because they are the descendants of Adam, the same as the rest of the human race.

Bought a Race of Sinners

Are the members of the church accepted on account of their own goodness or other natural qualities ? No, they are not. And why not? Paul answers: Because all the world is guilty before God, and under condemnation through the offence of one man.

“Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God;” (Romans 3:19 NAS)

“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17 NAS)

Yes, all sinners — those who became the church and everyone else; all under the condemnation of death.

Our condition would seem hopeless then.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5: 8.)

Let us be humble, and keep it well in mind that those who become the church have been bought with a price, and redeemed with the precious blood of Christ (Acts 20: 28; 1 Peter 1: 18, 19), and realise that they, no less than others, must lay their sins on Jesus. It is the only way to be saved, for they must believe He is able to atone.

Therefore, “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4: 10.) Belief in the Son is the condition of salvation. — John 3: 16.

A Ransom, A Corresponding Price

What, then, would a ransom (or corresponding price) be, Would a life for a life be it? Yes, that is it.
When Christ gave up His life, for whom did He give it?
For Adam and the whole of his race. What was Adam then ? He was a perfect man capable of living for ever
provided he remained obedient to God’s will. He disobeyed, and brought the condemnation of death on himself
and upon the whole of his race. — Genesis 3. This meant that, before the condemnation of death could be lifted, the race had to be bought back. And this required the life of another perfect man. Now, the Lord Jesus, while on earth, was a perfect man, as Adam was before he sinned. Therefore He could be a corresponding or an equivalent price. Anything greater would have been too much; anything less, too little. Divine justice required that the price be the same, so the Lord Jesus paid it on our behalf.

NCA 1933, January p.206

All people in the world should come to know that Jesus was born to be a representer of his heavenly Father, only wanting to do God His Will and not his own will.
Adam and the whole of his race were condemned to death on account of Adam’s disobedience. So when Christ, the
perfect man, who was obedient to God, died, He not only sacrificed his life but he gave up as part of the price
a possible bride and a posterity of his own which he might have had. And so he gave himself a corresponding price
for all.

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.”—1 Corinthians 15: 21.

“”Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28 NAS)

“18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, [the blood] of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18-19 NAS)

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Preceding articles:

You do not belong to yourselves,for you were bought with a price

Joining for a new year in the assurance to be bought with a price

Nazarene Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee from Immorality

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Additional reading:

  1. Why do we need a ransom?
  2. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  3. God’s Special Gift
  4. Ransom for all
  5. Atonement and the race been bought
  6. Running the battle
  7. Life is like a ten-speed bike.
  8. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  9. Love been perfected with us

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The Eccentric Fundamentalist

Musings on theology, apologetics, practical Christianity and God's grace in salvation through Jesus Christ

John 20:21

"As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."

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Hier bestudeer ons die redes vir die verskille in Bybelvertalings.

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The official website of Michael Bradley - Author of novels, short stories and poetry involving the past, future, and what may have been.

BIBLE Students DAILY

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JWUpdate

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Spiritual Shots to Fuel the Conqueror Lifestyle

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Truth Behind the "Truth"

Theological NoteBook

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Next Comes Africa

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me - Psalm 139: 9,10

friarmusings

the musings of a Franciscan friar...

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