Message NotesLord Teach Us To Pray – Part 5 Page 1
Sunday August 4th 2013
Lord Teach Us To Pray
1). Mt 6:9 ¶ "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
a). We have seen that once the Lord sets in place the reality of His coming Kingdom in v9-10, He then takes us to that which is central to our understanding of, and entrance into, that Kingdom – ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ – that which God provides from His word to prepare us to be ready for the salvation to be revealed in the last time..
b). And we had come to see that we should understand the idea of ‘daily’ within the context of the second part of the warning we find in the Book of Hebrews - Heb 3:5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. 7 ¶ Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. 10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, 'They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.' 11 So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.'" 12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
c). And we see from the verses in Hebrews, which lay out this part of the warning, that hearing His voice ‘today’, receiving this day, our daily bread is essential to us becoming part of His ‘house’ which is conditional upon - if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
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And essential to us becoming ‘partakers of Christ’ - if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
d). What then would cause us to be rejected as part of His ‘house’? To be rejected as an intimate companion? Simply what we see, not hearing His voice, not receiving this day our daily bread, because of hardening our heart – in other words unbelief.
e). This is an attitude of the heart towards the Word of God that would take us right back to how we relate to our Father in heaven, which is where we began our study on prayer.
2). Now in order to hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end and hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end it is necessary that we first know and understand what our hope is - Tit 2:11 ¶ For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
and then knowing and understanding what this hope is we are to keep it ever before us as we grow steadfast in our confidence towards it, and this we can only do if we firstly do not harden our hearts and then be continually filled with the Spirit, by hearing ‘today’ His voice, by receiving our daily bread on a continuous and consistent basis.
a). And we would realize in this that the continual filling of the Spirit, hearing His voice and our daily bread must be that which God gives us from His Word that our Lord called, ‘the Word of the Kingdom’, and Paul called, ‘the gospel of the glory of Christ’ – it can be no other as there is no other to be found in the scriptures - 2Ti 3:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
b). There are 2 more things we must take note of before we move on from ‘our daily bread’ and the first we will find in the contrast given in v13-14 of the scripture from 2 Timothy Chapter 3 – There are on the one hand ‘evil men and imposters’ who are both deceived and deceivers who ‘will grow
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worse and worse’ and on the other hand there is Timothy, and be extension us, who must ‘continue in the things you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them’, knowing that it is the scriptures that are able to make us wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
c). There is then the constant tension that has existed throughout this dispensation amongst Christians between the truth of God’s word given by the Holy Spirit through the scriptures and that which is a lie which comes from the intellect of Man through corrupting the scriptures – a half truth or a partial truth is no truth at all.
d). And this has been part of the concerted effort of Satan amongst those who have heard ‘the word of the Kingdom’ and are producing fruit to put a stop to their fruit production – it is the very thing the Lord warned of and prophesied in the Matthew 13 parables - Mt 13:23 "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word [of the Kingdom] and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." 24 ¶ Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 "but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 "But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 "So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' 28 "He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' 29 "But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 'Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn."'"
e). Peter spoke of the same thing recorded in - 2Pe 2:1 ¶ But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 ¶ By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
f). The most notorious of the false prophets among the people is probably Balaam whose work we can find detailed in the Book of Numbers. This one verse will describe his actions for us - Nu 31:16 "Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against
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the LORD in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
g). And then we find reference to Balaam once again, from the Lord, as He speaks to the church of Pergamos recorded in the Revelation - Re 2:14 "But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
h). There is then a constant onslaught against the word of truth for the purpose of trying to bring to nothing God’s plans and purposes for Man and we must be on our constant guard that we would not be deceived – And again here we must come to the essential reception of our daily bread.
i). So, let’s take just a moment to remind ourselves of that which we already know, reminding ourselves as Paul did with Timothy who it is from whom we have learned the truth - Joh 16:13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
We are taught by the Holy Spirit through the scriptures in the way that Paul describes it in - 1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
j). Scripture is its own interpretation and if we allow scripture to interpret itself under the guidance of the Holy Spirit then we are far less vulnerable to deception - 2Pe 1:20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Not only then are we to hear His voice today, receive our daily bread, but we are to do it after the fashion that God has given it with our eye on the prize, our hope ever before us - Isa 28:9 ¶ "Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little."
Lu 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
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k). And if we are looking for words to put into our prayer to this end we might consider - Pr 30:7 ¶ Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): 8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches-Feed me with the food allotted to me; 9 Lest I be full and deny You, And say, "Who is the LORD?" Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.
l). The second thing before we move on has to do with ‘the Lord’s Supper’ - 1Co 11:23 ¶ For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.
m). With regards to the nation of Israel the events of the night of the last supper speak prophetically to Israel’s future when God will make a new covenant with them when they will have received forgiveness and recognized the Lord as their Passover Lamb. In fulfillment of that seen in the type in –
Ge 14:17 ¶ And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him. 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
It will be following the defeat of the kings of the earth that the great King/Priest after the order of Melchizedek will bless the nation of Israel and in the same way as His disciples knew Him in the breaking of bread on the Emmaus Road so will Israel do the same as their scriptures are opened to their understanding.
n). And for ourselves, the ‘Lord’s Supper’ is an ordinance given to the church to ‘proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes’. As we eat the bread and drink the wine, His flesh and His blood, so we proclaim all that His death has made possible – the breaking of the bread of life in the opening of the scriptures through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the cleansing of all unrighteousness through His blood on the mercy seat within His present High Priestly ministry – all with a view to the Kingdom which is to come.
o). Never again can we eat this supper without the realization of what is pictured for us in the Lord’s broken body and in His blood with respect to
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Abraham’s descendants in the flesh and Abraham’s descendants by the Spirit and its inextricable connection to the written word of God of which He is the literal embodiment and the glorious fulfillment.
p). Ru 2:14 Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, "Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar." So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back.
3). And so having established the paramount importance of our daily bread the Lord then moves on to that which is only possible as a result of our proper engagement with the Bread, ‘Today’ - Mt 6:12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
a). Hopefully we will notice straight away that there is a direct correlation between our receiving forgiveness from the Father and our forgiving others.
b). And interestingly enough this is the very thing the Lord picks up on recorded in the 2 verses immediately following the end of ‘the Lord’s prayer’ –
Mt 6:14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
c). We might conclude 2 things then from this, firstly and most obviously would be the paramount importance of giving forgiveness to those who transgress against us and secondly, realizing that the forgiveness in this context, both the Father’s and ours, has to do with entrance into or exclusion from the Kingdom, not with eternal issues.
d). At first glance here we may wonder if these verses are in contradiction to that which we see in 1 John - 1Jo 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 ¶ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
After all v9 is pretty emphatic.
e). But note this carefully, the cleansing we receive as a result of confessing our sins has to do with our being ‘in the light as He is in the light’, imagery that takes us to the Heavenly Tabernacle, and in order to be ‘in the
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light’ we would have had to wash our hands and feet at the bronze laver before entering the Holy Place.
f). Now washing at the bronze laver remember is symbolic of our dealing with the sin in our lives and would be intimately connected with the washing of water by the word – if we then consider that we are commanded to forgive our debtors, those who trespass against us, we will realize that not doing so is sin and would need to be dealt with before we are in the light.
g). Confessing the fact that we have not forgiven is not the answer to this problem, giving forgiveness is – and so if we are’ in the light as He is in the light’ then it is a given fact that we must have already forgiven those who trespass against us – and because we have forgiven them the Lord forgives us our confessed sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
h). There really is no contradiction when we put these two things together – choosing to forgive is an issue between us and God.
i). But as we said at the beginning of this section, doing this is absolutely dependent upon the receipt of our daily bread, hearing His voice and not hardening our hearts – to refuse to forgive is to harden our hearts against the Word, to reject the spiritual provision that the Lord has provided for us, it is to walk in unbelief and this will have the direst of consequences.
j). Forgiveness is a choice to faithful obedience, of having faith to the saving of the soul, not an emotional reaction and must come about through the working of the metamorphosis – it is then part of our process to spiritual maturity - Ga 4:19 ¶ My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you,
Col 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
Ro 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
4). The dire nature of the consequences for not forgiving, for not believing God in this, we can see in the parable the Lord gives concerning the unforgiving servant in – Mt 18:23 "Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 "And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 "But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 "The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me,
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and I will pay you all.' 27 "Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 "But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!' 29 "So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' 30 "And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 "So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 "Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 'Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' 34 "And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."
a). This is all pretty obvious I think – the opening line makes it very clear what the parable is dealing with, ‘the Kingdom of Heaven’ and the ‘certain King’ settling accounts with His servants would take us back to the parables of the minas and the talents – we are of course dealing with issues concerning Christ’s Judgment Seat.
b). It is God alone who can grant forgiveness for sin, a manifestation of His grace, His mercy and His love – we, having a sin nature that is thoroughly corrupt are not able to do anything to bring about a cleansing for our sin by ourselves and in this sense we owe God a debt the enormity if which we could never begin to pay. Our sin is in direct opposition to His holiness and always places us in alliance with the god of this age.
c). God however, through His grace and mercy, cancels our debt as that debt was paid on our behalf by the Lord Jesus Christ – God Himself in the person of Son, not only at the point of our eternal salvation but also through His present High Priestly ministry, made possible by His sacrifice on the cross.
d). Now when our fellow servant’s sin nature is manifested in our direction it is as if they owe us a ‘debt’, there is a price we would want them to pay for what they have done to us, we place the debt upon them, but as we are also a fallen creature with a sin nature just as corrupt as theirs and their sin is not a sin against our holiness and therefore compared with the debt that we owe to God, their ‘debt’ to us is insignificant – and here’s the thing, the price we want them to pay for what they have done to us comes out of the man of flesh, not the man of the spirit – it is of itself a sin.
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e). The point here is this, if God forgives so much then we must forgive that which is so little by comparison – that which we owe to God comes out of His righteous judgment, the debt we place upon our brother comes out of our sin nature – and if we fail to forgive our brother, thereby living out of our flesh the consequence is graphically portrayed - 32 "Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 'Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' 34 "And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."
f). As we forgive our brother we do not cleanse him from his sin as this would be an issue between him and God, but we do cancel the ‘debt’ we have placed on him because of it. And again, our forgiving our brother has much more to do with the successful completion of our own race of the faith than his – forgiveness requires dying to self and walking in the spirit – forgiveness is a victory over the powers of darkness – Christ is in the light because He died in the flesh, we will be in the light because we die to the flesh.
g). Needless to say forgiveness with regards to one another is tremendously important – here are just a few more verses that deal with it - Mr 11:25 "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 "But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses."
Lu 6:37 ¶ "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Lu 17:3 "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 "And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him."
Mt 18:21 ¶ Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Eph 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
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h). We will continue with this next week, if the Lord is willing.