Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 78

Answered Prayers continued...

Through Christ we have access by one Spirit to the Father. Absent Christ, we do not have access to the Father. No matter how many men insist upon it, no matter how respected they might be, if Christ is not the cornerstone, if He is not the central theme and focus, if He is not preached as the sole means by which we have access to the Father, they are liars and the truth is not found in them.

The word of God is very clear on this issue of paramount importance. It leaves no room for interpretation, and it leaves no room for second guessing. If men take it upon themselves to discount the word of God and make up their own doctrine, if men take it upon themselves to call Christ a liar to His face, and insist that their way is the better way, then they will have to stand before the eternal God of all that is, one day in the not too distant future, and answer for the heresy they taught.

Ephesians 2:18, “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”

The ‘Him’ to which Paul is referring in His epistle to the Ephesians, is Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, due to whom we are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of the household of God.

As Paul continues his letter, he likewise reminds the church at Ephesus that Jesus is the chief cornerstone in whom the whole building being joined together grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

There is no hope without Jesus. There is no salvation but in Him, and there is no means by which we might obtain access to the Father but by Christ.

Even though prayer is one of the greatest graces which God has bestowed upon man, in order for God to answer our prayers, we must pray in a biblical manner. As reviled as the notion that God is a God of order might be in the church today, it is nevertheless the truth, and God demands that when we pray we do so as His word dictates.

Yes, we have boldness and access to God and can come before Him with boldness and confidence through faith, but there are still certain elements we must incorporate in our lives of prayer, which God says are necessary in order for Him to not only hear our petitions, but answer them.

When we pray in the name of Jesus, it goes without saying that we must be in good standing with Him. If we have no relationship with Jesus, if we’ve never met Him on a personal and intimate level, if all we know is what we heard from others but never experienced Him for ourselves, then we cannot stand before Him with confidence, or boldness.

I cannot use the name Jesus, nor can I pray in the name of Jesus, if I am not in a fruitful and ongoing relationship with Him.

Many in our day and age presume to abuse the name of Christ, praying to the Father in His name, without really knowing Him. In order for Jesus to act as Mediator on our behalf, He must first and foremost know us. In order for Him to intercede and plead our cause, we must have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, and fruitful in every good work.

Colossians 1:9-11, “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

Before the peanut gallery (which always seems to materialize whenever I mention the word ‘works’) starts bombarding me with e-mails calling me a heretic for preaching a works based salvation, all I did was quote the word of God which says clearly and explicitly, that yes, we must have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work.

‘Nope, nope, I reject that hypothesis! I was assured that all I had to do was raise my hand, and then I could sit on my couch, and twiddle my thumbs, and do absolutely nothing. A walk worthy of the Lord and being fruitful in every good work implies works, and I reject works based salvation. So, you’re a heretic!’

Jeremiah 4:22, “For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.”

Few things in this world are as off-putting as one who claims the name of Jesus yet does not have a walk worthy of Him. Even the world reacts with justifiable hostility toward those who live like the world, yet purport to love Jesus.

We are not our own any longer, and as such must walk in obedience to our Master who commanded that we walk in righteousness and holiness, that we be sanctified, pleasing to Him, and fruitful in every good work.

In order to have access to the Father we must not only know Christ, but walk in obedience of Him, living lives worthy of His name, and increasing in the knowledge of Him.

Although the terminal indifference from which many suffer embraces the notion of ‘do nothing salvation’ and even revels in it, the word of God remains the word of God, and contrary to the opinions of men, we must strive, we must press in, we must fight the good fight of faith so we may one day lay hold of our crown.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

1 comment:

Colby Geiman said...

John 15 is abundantly clear as are many other passages, "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. EVERY BRANCH *IN ME* THAT *DOES NOT* BEAR FRUIT, HE TAKES AWAY; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit" or Hebrews 6:7-8 "For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned."