Message NotesLord Teach Us To Pray – Part 6 Page 1
Sunday August 11th 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. 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.
a). We had seen last week that ‘forgiveness’, on our part as well as on our Father’s part, must be seen within the context of the coming Kingdom of Christ and our appearance at His Judgment Seat, therefore because of this we realize that ‘forgiveness’ becomes a matter of faith – having faith to the saving of the soul.
b). To choose not to forgive is to act in unbelief, and to continue to act in unbelief without repentance must result in our rejection from a position of rulership with Christ in His Kingdom.
c). This is exactly what we see in the type with the nation of Israel with respect to the earthly realm of the Kingdom as a consequence of their choice not to hear His voice, to act in unbelief - Heb 3:15 while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." 16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
d). As we know this first generation of Israel were all redeemed from the bondage of Egypt, all applied the blood of the Passover lambs and all were buried in the Red Sea, but with respect to their entrance into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in order to receive their inheritance and to participate in God’s Theocracy they were required individually to be faithfully obedient - Ex 19:4 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and
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how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. 5 'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."
e). And we will remember what the scriptures record for us with respect to Israel - 1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
f). And so, to put all this very simply – to forgive others is to act in faithful obedience, it is an act of righteousness, that which makes up our wedding garment, and if this is a part of the faith we have to the saving of the soul then we may look forward to being adopted as a firstborn son at Christ’s Judgment Seat.
g). If however, we choose not to forgive, this is to act in unbelief, to be in rebellion, to have not heard His voice – there is no faith here to the saving of the soul and therefore only rejection with regards to a position of rulership in Christ’s Kingdom can be expected. This is the thing that we saw graphically portrayed by the Lord at the conclusion of the parable of the unforgiving servant recorded in - Mt 18:34 "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."
2). 1Pe 3:1 ¶ Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands,
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
a). In our study of the marriage relationship we had come to learn that the command given to wives to be submissive to their own husbands and to husbands to love their wives just as Christ also loved the church, was an issue between the individual and the Lord not between them and their spouse. Although this is played out through relationship the wife’s choice to submit is not based upon the actions of her husband, but on her faithful obedience to the word of Christ – and of course the same is true for the husband.
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b). Each spouse can either make it very easy for their spouse to be obedient to the Word, or they can make it very difficult – whichever it is of course is of no consequence as far as the choice to be made is concerned.
c). And this is how we need to see forgiving others – this is an issue between us and the Lord, not between us and the person we have to forgive.
d). On some occasions this could be a relatively easy thing to do, but on others it could be extremely hard and frustrating, which is maybe why the Lord gives this example - 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."
e). And this in the verses that immediately precede the parable of the unforgiving servant - 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.
f). How often is the wife to submit to her husband? All the time. How often is the husband to love his wife? All the time. How often are we to forgive? All the time – This is I think very clear for us to see.
g). And it doesn’t matter if someone has deliberately set out to hurt us or whether the hurt came to us unintentionally, the conclusion of the matter is the same – forgive.
3). In both Luke 17 and Matthew 18 we see reference to a ‘brother’ sinning against us.
a). And then in Matthew 11:25 we have the word ‘anyone’ – ‘if you have anything against anyone’ – which seems to be all inclusive. And within what we find in ‘the Lord’s prayer’ we just have ‘debtors’, again a word that appears to be all inclusive.
b). Now all of this has led to the question asked by many as to whether the command to forgive is really something played out amongst the ranks of the eternally saved and most particularly amongst those in pursuit of the Kingdom rather than in a general sense. This is a question in the past that I have often wondered about myself, but on reflection it becomes clear that this is not a question that needs to be asked at all as we will see.
c). Again, last week we had seen that choosing to forgive is part of our process to spiritual maturity and will be the inevitable outcome of the
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working of the metamorphosis as we are transformed by the renewing of our mind through the washing of the water by the Word.
d). Now, according to the scripture - Col 3:9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. 12 ¶ Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
According to the scripture we ‘have put off the old man with his deeds’ and instead we have ‘put on the new man who is renewed in the image of Him who created him’. Our new man then, our spirit man, is constantly renewed through the Word into the image of Christ.
e). As we put on the new man so we must also put on ‘tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering’ and ‘above all’ love with the result that we will bear with one another and forgive one another, even as Christ forgave us.
f). Now the point would be this – we don’t put on the new man and then take him off again depending on who we are with. Having put him on we are not to take him off again – this means that the attributes that come with the new man are attributes that we display regardless of time, or place, or audience.
g). This would be same as we would see with regards to walking in the spirit - Ro 8:1 ¶ There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
This verse from Romans Chapter 8 is very straightforward – there will be no condemnation, no negative judgment for those who walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. This then is a Judgment Seat issue – those who have lived by being led by the Spirit, those who have had faith to the saving of the soul can be assured that they will not face condemnation at Christ’s Judgment Seat.
h). Walking according to the Spirit is to be our continuous, consistent practice in all places at all times – we don’t just walk in the Spirit when we are with like-minded Christians, but even in the face of opposition and persecution - 1Pe 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not
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only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
i). We must see forgiveness then as an integral part of walking in the Spirit and it would therefore be a part of our consistent practice irrespective of who we are dealing with - Ga 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
j). Forgiveness will be a manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit whereas unforgiveness would be a manifestation of the works of the flesh.
k). Now we have seen from 1 Peter 2:21 that Christ is our example whom we are to follow - so as we think about Christ’s suffering let’s remember that His suffering is inextricably connected to forgiveness – forgiveness yet future for Israel in fulfillment of the Feast of Passover, forgiveness for the eternally lost with respect to sin and eternity and forgiveness for the eternally saved through His ministry as our High Priest.
l). Forgiveness we would see then as God’s grace and mercy emanating out of His love - Joh 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,………
and let’s remember what the scripture says with respect to ourselves and mercy - Mt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
4). Ro 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
a). There are 2 things we would note here from this verse – firstly God’s motivation for providing forgiveness, whether it be for the unsaved or the
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saved is love and secondly the demonstration of His love is seen through Christ’s death.
b). And again in this, Christ is our example whom we are to follow – therefore to forgive will come out of love and will require the death of self.
c). And the kind of love it will come out of is ‘agape’ love – that which is the very mountain top of our process to maturity - 2Pe 1:5 ¶ But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
d). What we see then is the intimate association between forgiveness and ‘agape’ love within our own experience – just as we had seen earlier, forgiveness comes with our process to maturity just as our ability to have ‘agape’ love comes through the same process.
e). To choose to forgive is a manifestation of ‘agape’ love and according to our verses from 2 Peter 1:10-11 if we ‘do these things’, grow to maturity as seen in the preceding verses resulting in ‘agape’ love and forgiveness, then an entrance will be supplied to us ‘abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’ - Ro 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 ¶ And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
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f). Now to close out this section on forgiveness let us pause for a moment and consider – do we even now have something against our brother? If so, let us right now choose to forgive – because if we can’t forgive one another, those who are engaged in the same race of the faith knowing what is at stake, then how will forgive those who are outside of the household of faith? It must begin here, it must begin with us - Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
It has to begin amongst ourselves as according to 2 Peter Chapter 1 it is ‘brotherly kindness’ which is ‘phileo’ love, a love to do with human fondness and affection, a love that is expressed in pleasure and joy over the object of that love - that is the stepping stone to the pinnacle of ‘agape’ love and the forgiveness that comes from it.
5). Mt 6:13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
a). We have seen then as we have studied ‘the Lord’s prayer’ that there is an intimate connection between our understanding of the coming Kingdom of Christ and ‘our daily bread’, the opening of the scriptures through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and an equally intimate connection between our understanding of the Kingdom, ‘our daily bread’ and forgiveness which is inseparably linked to ‘agape’ love and it will not be a surprise to know that this same intimate connectivity exists between all that has gone before and ‘do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’.
b). This verse does not deal with 2 separate things, but with one and the same thing - please don’t see the word translated ‘temptation’ as a solicitation to do evil - Jas 1:13 ¶ Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Because this is clearly not the case –
c). The Lord could ‘lead us into’ this time of testing but the petition here is for the Lord not to do this. In the place of leading us ‘into temptation’ we ask that He deliver us from the evil one and so we would realize here that the petition is specifically to keep us from a time of satanic testing.
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d). We would not expect the Lord to keep us from the testing that is part of our child training, because this is necessary to our spiritual maturity –
1Pe 1:6 ¶ In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
We see here that the genuineness of our faith is tested ‘by various trials’ [same word translated ‘temptation’ in Matthew] and this, the Lord would not keep us from.
e). We would conclude then that we are looking at a specific time of satanic testing, out from which we can be delivered, which needless to say would be a desirable outcome.
f). Now we have just seen how forgiveness and ‘agape’ love go hand in hand together as we progress towards spiritual maturity and how, according to Ephesians Chapter 4 this is to be seen amongst ‘one another’ - Eph 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
and we have also seen how the progress to ‘agape’ love in 2 Peter Chapter 1 must be preceded by ‘brotherly kindness’ – brotherly love.
g). And we might remember that the Greek word translated ‘brotherly kindness’ – brotherly love is the word ‘philadelphia’.
h). And it would not be rocket science to make the connection here with the church that bears ‘Philadelphia’ as its name, the church of ‘brotherly kindness/brotherly love’, that we find standing in Judgment before the Lord as part of the complete ‘church’ in Revelation Chapter 3.
i). And to look at what the Lord says to this church is particularly instructive for us.
6). Re 3:7 ¶ "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 "Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie--indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 "Because you have kept My command to persevere,
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I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'
a). The church in Philadelphia is the only one of the 7 churches that does not receive any condemnation, but only promise – and hopefully as we read these verses, verses 8 and 10 will leap out at us.
b). In v8 we see the open door ‘set before you’, which ‘no one can shut’ because they have kept His word and not denied His name, imagery that would take us right back to the abundant entrance into the Kingdom of 2 Peter Chapter 1.
c). And then in v10, which makes the connection for us with our verse from Matthew Chapter 6, we find that because they have kept His ‘command to persevere’ the Lord will ‘keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole earth’
d). These 2 promises then are given to the church in ‘brotherly love’ – the ‘church’ which speaks of the relationship that should exist between any group of Christians in pursuit of the Kingdom, that speaks of the relationship that must exist between us.
e). And such a relationship can only exist if we remain faithfully obedient to the Word – you see the church in Philadelphia speaks more to the process to brotherly love than its practice per se – this is the church of the faithfully obedient that as a result of their obedience are actively practicing brotherly love.
d). But this is a subject we will have to pick up again next week – if the Lord is willing.