Live Within Your Means

(Proverbs 3, 11, 14 and 28)

Introduction: This week our lesson turns to the topic of money. This is where “the rubber meets the road” when it comes to our relationship with God. We certainly are not saved by works or by giving money, but I think our attitude towards God and money gives a pretty good read on our spiritual condition. So let’s jump into the lesson and find out what God has in mind for our wallets!
    1. “Firstfruits”
      1. Read Proverbs 3:9-10. What would you guess is a “firstfruit?” (Nelson’s Bible Dictionary says “the firstborn of the flocks and grains to be gathered at harvest time.”)
        1. No one in our congregation is a farmer. Does this text apply to us? If so, how?
          1. Most of us earn money. Money is fungible (the first dollar is exactly the same as the last dollar). Would “firstfruits” for us refer to the order in which we paid our bills? Should we pay God first?
            1. Or, should we wait to see how paying our bills comes out?
        1. Is this a reference ( Proverbs 3:9) to tithe paying (giving 10% of our income to the Lord)? (Read 2 Chronicles 31:5. The concept of giving God our first fruits is tied up with the concept of tithe paying.)
          1. Is tithe paying a part of the Mosiac law that was done away with at the cross? (It doesn’t seem that is true. If you look at Genesis 28:20-22 you will see that long before Moses’ time Jacob was familiar with the concept of tithe paying and paid a tithe. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus tells the Jewish leaders that they should practice justice, mercy and faithfulness along with paying a tithe. Thus, Jesus also endorsed the practice.)
            1. What do you think of Jacob’s attitude revealed in Genesis 28?
        1. For many years I have heard people ask (or debate) about whether we should pay tithe on our money before or after taxes. Does “firstfruits” have an application here?
        1. Or is the money taken out of our income for taxes simply not “income?”

            1. Do we get something for the taxes that we pay?
      1. Let’s look again at Proverbs 3:9-10. What is the result of honoring God with the “firstfruits?”
        1. Our lesson says, “Sometimes [God] gives temporal prosperity. Sometimes, for reasons we do not understand, He withholds it.” The lesson goes on to “spiritualize” God’s blessings. Is this fair? Is Proverbs 3:9-10 talking about spiritual blessings? (I think it is improper to change God’s words. This unambiguously refers to money (increased crops) and I think we should hold God to His promise if we are faithful in tithe paying.)
          1. Is the idea of “holding God to His promise” inconsistent with the idea that we should simply trust God’s (vastly) superior judgment, no matter what? (I think this is certainly worthy of debate. However, I think God exercised His judgment when He made the promise. We trust His promises.)
        1. Have you ever heard someone say, “I tried tithe-paying and it didn’t work?” Does this prove the truth of the lesson’s comments about God withholding prosperity in some cases? (Ask them how long they tried tithe-paying. You cannot expect, in six months, to reverse 20 years of disobedience. Proverbs 3:9tells us to honor God will “all” of our crops, not just a small sample.)
    1. The Desire for Money
      1. Read Proverbs 28:19-20. We just looked at how God promised full barns and filled vats and we decided that we would certainly hold God to His promise, right? So why does verse 20 tell us that those eager to get rich will be punished? Why is it wrong to want what God promises? (Read Proverbs 11:27-28. I think our attitude, our goal is critical. If we pay tithe to get rich (28:20), then we will not. If we pay tithe to obey God (28:20 “faithful man” & 11:27 “seek good”), then God says we will prosper. Look again at Proverbs 3:9. It starts out “Honor the Lord with your wealth.” That sets the tone for our motives. Not “Honor yourself with wealth.”)
      1. What does Proverbs 28:19 teach us about “get rich fast” schemes? (Work is honorable and helpful. Scheming to get rich fast will generally leave us poor.)
      1. Read Proverbs 11:24-28. What attitudes about money do you find in these verses? What is the result of having the proper attitude towards money?
    1. Savings and Debt
      1. Read Proverbs 14:15. Do you think Solomon is speaking about spiritual matters here or does this also include money?
        1. Would the warning about being simple refer (in the U.S.) to promises about the future of Social Security? (Sorry, I could not resist.)
        1. Is it appropriate to save for our retirement? Or is that the wrongful hoarding of money (James 5:3) or refusing to trust God?
      1. Read Proverbs 22:3-4. Do you think this text refers to preparations for retirement? Does this refer to all aspects of life?
        1. If we do not prepare will we (v.3) suffer?
      1. Let’s continue on in Proverbs 22. Read Proverbs 22:7. In what ways are those who borrow servant to those who lend?
        1. Does this mean we should not borrow money?
        1. How should we view debt?
          1. Does your debt create a problem for your tithe-paying?
          1. Does your debt create a problem for providing Christian education for your children?
          1. Does debt create a problem in general for your life?
      1. Should we co-sign for a loan for someone else? Should we put up security for someone else? (Read Proverbs 11:15 and 17:18)
        1. Why not help others with getting a loan? Isn’t this just being kind to the other person? Aren’t we called ( Proverbs 14:21) to be kind to the needy ?
        1. How should we help others who need money? (It seems the better way is to lend the other person money. If you don’t have it to lend, you shouldn’t guarantee the debt.)
    1. Friend, God is concerned about how you handle your money. Frankly, I think He is concerned for OUR benefit, not His. He calls on us to pay a faithful tithe, plan for the future, be content, avoid troublesome debt and avoid foolish financial adventures. Are your finances in line with God’s advice? Would your life be better if you followed His guidelines?
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Quarterly Bible Study: May, June & July

QUARTERLY BIBLE STUDIES FOR MAY,JUNE & JULY. WE ARE DOING INDEPTH  STUDY ON THE BOOK OF PROVERBS. THIS BIBLE STUDY WILL BE DONE ALSO IN SPANISH.

Introduction: This week we begin our study of the book of Proverbs. The book was mostly written by King Solomon, son of King David. Solomon is called the wisest man that ever lived. (See 1 Kings 4:29-34) We have lots to learn from him. While you know I like to study the Bible in context as much as possible, the lesson this quarter looks at concepts in Proverbs rather than studying it verse by verse. This week the concept we study is wisdom. Would you like a little more wisdom? If so, let’s jump into our lesson!

    1. What We Can Learn.
      1. Read Proverbs 1:1-3. If you take a course in history, computers or biology, you know what it is you will be learning. Let’s list what it is that Solomon says we will be learning from Proverbs. (Wisdom, discipline, understanding words of insight, prudence, and doing what is right, just and fair.)
        1. I’ll bet we would all like to be wiser. Do you want to be more disciplined? How would that help you? In what areas of your life?
        1. Does Solomon promise that we will be more understanding in general, or is he specific? (He seems to be talking about understanding solutions (“words of insight”).
          1. Why is it especially important to understand “words of insight?” (Jesus tells us ( Luke 8:9-10) that as Christians we understand secrets and mysteries that the world does not. I’m going to be talking about this more in the sermon today.)
        1. Solomon says (v.3) that we will learn to do what is right, just and fair. Are those always the same thing?
          1. Is it difficult to do what is right, just and fair?
          1. I thought we were studying ideas. Why do you think Solomon injects the idea of DOING what is right, just and fair?
    1. Who Can Learn.
      1. Read Proverbs 1:4-6. Who needs to learn from the Proverbs? (This covers everyone.)
        1. Who and what especially need help according to Solomon? (The simple and the young.)
          1. Do the young know they need help?
          1. Do our schools teach our young people “discretion” in addition to knowledge?
          1. If you know you are not too smart, what does this book hold out as a special promise? (Wisdom)
        1. Can you be too smart or too wise to learn from this book?(No, verse 5 tells us it is for the “advanced” group too.)
        1. There is all sorts of advice going around. Will Proverbs help us with sorting out current advice? (Verse 6 indicates the Proverbs will help us to sort out the “wisdom” that we hear today to determine if it truly is wisdom.)
    1. First Things First.
      1. Read Proverbs 1:7. What is the foundation upon which all knowledge is built? (The fear of the Lord.)
        1. What does it mean to fear God? (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown say in their commentary fearing God means reverent trust, love and obedience. The Hebrew word “yirah” can mean actual fear, but that does not seem to be the meaning here.)
        1. Do you know systems of learning that are not built on the “fear of the Lord?”
        1. If fearing the Lord is the foundation for all learning, should we send our children to public schools?
        1. What does Solomon say (v.7) you are if you don’t want to learn wisdom and discipline? (Stupid. Vine’s dictionary says this word can be translated “morally undesirable.”)
    1. Why Wisdom?
      1. Let’s read on. Read Proverbs 1:8-9. Why does Solomon mention parental teaching immediately after he says the “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge?” (Parents are partners with God in teaching their children.)
        1. If you are a parent, how are you as a partner with God?
        1. Solomon says that if we listen to our parents it will be like having a neat hat and wearing jewelry? Is that right?
          1. What is meant by a “garland to grace your head?” (This is something worn by royalty, high-ranking people.)
          1. What is meant by a “chain around your neck?” (A chain around your neck is a mark of success. See Genesis 41:42 and Daniel 5:29)
          1. Together, what is the message of the garland and the chain? (These are marks of distinction. It means that children who obey the Godly instruction of their parents will stand above the crowd. They will not only have their lives as an “ornament,” they may actually find success in life.)
      1. Let’s continue this idea by skipping over to Proverbs 4:1-7. Verse 6 tells us that wisdom will protect us and watch over us. Have you found that to be true? In what ways can wisdom protect and keep us? (How many bad things happened in your life because you were foolish? Disobedient to God and your parents? Getting wisdom allows you to learn from the mistakes of others – and not your own mistakes.)
        1. What does verse 7 say is the worth of wisdom?
    1. How to Get Wisdom
      1. Read Proverbs 2:1-6. Can we play a tape of the Proverbs under our pillow at night as we sleep and just absorb wisdom?
        1. What is required to get wisdom?
        1. Is it easy? (We have to dig for it!)
          1. Are you digging for it? Where does getting wisdom rank in your daily priorities?
        1. From whom do we get wisdom? (The Lord.)
          1. Does God have a monopoly on dispensing wisdom?
    1. The Right Kind of Wisdom.
      1. The answer to the question I just asked, “Does God have a monopoly on dispensing wisdom” may turn on what kind of wisdom we seek. Read Genesis 3:1-5. Is this an offer of wisdom outside of God?
          1. Our lesson says (Thursday) “all so-called sacred writings outside the Bible basically teach the necessity of a balance between good and evil as the foundation of wisdom.” Do you agree? Does this sound like the Genesis 3 offer we just read? (Yes. God gives us the wisdom of doing right. He does not seek to give us a broad knowledge of good and evil. There are not very many “new” ideas. Therefore, God is the original source of all wisdom. The point for us is that we should not look any where else if we want to get wisdom.)
      1. Read Proverbs 2:7-11. Who is protected in these verses? (Verses 7 and 8 suggest that God’s wisdom is intended to lead us to be upright, blameless, just and faithful. If we follow in that path we will be protected.)
        1. Does this idea square with what you have observed in life?
        1. Verses 9-11 tell us that God wants us to understand “what is right.” The conclusion is that (v.11) “discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” Can you think of a time when you would have been protected if you had exercised discretion or understanding?
        1. If you agree that discretion protects us and understanding guards us, is that the proper way to understand vv. 7-8 that say the upright are protected?
      1. Let’s step back for just a moment. Is the quest for wisdom also a quest for salvation?
        1. If you say, “No,” salvation is not a matter of works or study, then why would you want wisdom? (This highlights a problem with those who want to divorce faith from works. We supposedly want salvation so that we can live with God forever. Yet working to obtain wisdom not only helps us to draw closer to God now, but it helps to shield us from evil. Heaven is getting to know God and being beyond the reach of evil. Getting wisdom now is a taste of heaven!)
      1. Friend, do you want to experience part of what heaven has in store for you right now? Then stay with us this quarter to learn more of God’s wisdom found in the book of Proverbs!

A Star to Guide the Humble

(Proverbs 3 & 16)
Introduction: How would you define trust? Do you know people that you can trust completely? Would you trust certain people (or everyone you consider trustworthy) only for certain things? Our lesson this week is about Jesus being the “North star” that we can fully trust in all circumstances–so lets dive in!
    1. Faith and Trust
      1. Are faith and trust the same thing? Can a person believe in God and yet not trust Him?
      1. Let’s read Proverbs 3:1-4. What does it mean (v.1) to keep God’s commands in our heart?
        1. Is having something in your heart a substitute for a good memory?
        1. What would you do to comply with verse 3 – to bind love and faithfulness around your neck and “write them on the tablet of your heart?”
          1. First, what does it mean to write them on the tablet of your heart? (Writing on your heart means that you want to obey, it comes naturally because you have a desire to please God. SeeDeuteronomy 5:27-29. You do not have to try to remember something that you do naturally.)
          1. Second, what does it mean to bind love and faithfulness around your neck? (Your neck is where you would wear the jewelry you wanted to show off. Love and faithfulness should be visible in your life. They should be the ornaments of your life. See Proverbs 1:9 and 3:22. This accords with Peter’s advice in 1 Peter 3:3-4 that our quest for beauty should rest primarily on who we are not what we wear.)
    1. Trust and the Culture
      1. Let’s continue with Proverbs 3:5-6. There are several elements of these verses that we want to understand.
        1. What does it mean to “lean on your own understanding?”
          1. Does this mean we should not use our brains in God’s work? Should we stop planning?
        1. Does it mean that if God’s direction and our desire or culture clash, we should follow God’s direction?
          1. Can you think of something that we want to do in the church because we feel it is “politically correct” or culturally correct, yet contradicts God’s word?
          1. In making plans for the church, how do you make plans, yet not lean on your own understanding?
        1. What does it mean to trust in God with all our heart? (I think the picture is to willingly submit our will to God. Feel comfortable submitting our will and thinking to God.)
          1. Is that the picture the world has of us – people who are too dumb to do their own thinking? (We are people who are too smart to believe that we know more than God.)
        1. What does it mean to acknowledge God in “all our ways?” (This would mean every aspect of our life should reflect God’s will. This is a difficult area for me when it comes to my litigation. Was King David reflecting God’s will as he was lopping off the heads of his opponents? How many “heads” am I allowed to lop off in my religious liberty litigation and still be in God’s will?)
        1. What do you think God is promising when He says that He will “make your paths straight” if you trust Him? (The straight path is the easy path.)
          1. Have you found that to be true in your life? If not, are you sure that you have trusted in God and not leaned on your own understanding?
    1. Trust and Prosperity
      1. Read Proverbs 3:7-10. What is the practical result of trusting God’s will for our lives and not our own desires? (Health and wealth! Sometimes we go overboard in our opposition to those who believe the gospel is the path to prosperity and lose sight of God’s promise that obedience makes our life better.)
        1. “Health reform” teaches that cleaning up our diet increases our spirituality. Is Solomon saying just the opposite: “cleaning up” our spirituality increases our health?
          1. Is true health reform a matter of what comes out of our mouth rather than what goes in it? See Matthew 15:11.
            1. Is there a moderate balance we should seek in addressing both our physical health and our spiritual health? Should we work both sides of the problem?
        1. Although trusting God gives us literal wealth according to Proverbs 3:10, do we want it? What is the problem with wealth? (Read Proverbs 11:4. The problem is not wealth, but trusting in our wealth. Wealth is generally fleeting, but trust in God is forever.)
        1. Read Proverbs 8:17-21. What kind of wealth does God give us? Is it gold or silver? (It is beyond gold and silver!)
    1. Trust and Life
      1. What is your reaction when you have been trusting God and things go wrong in your life?
        1. Is it impossible to trust God and have things go wrong?
      1. Read Proverbs 16:1-3. What does verse 1 mean? (You think something before you say it. Therefore, I conclude this means that we can plan all sorts of things, but the final results are in God’s hands. He has the final word.)
        1. What does this teach us about trusting God? (We need to trust God even though our plans do not turn out exactly as we had in mind — which may be the result of leaning on our own understanding.)
        1. Why do (v.2) all of our ways seem innocent to us? Should we be worried about our motives? (It is hard for us to fairly evaluate our motives. We think we are trusting God.)
          1. Verse 2 seems to say that God sees through us. Is that a lesson in trusting God? (Yes. God may decide not to follow our plans because He understands our motives and knows it would not be best for us.)
        1. Is verse 3 an answer to verses 1 and 2? (If you want God to cooperate with you on your plans, if you want success, the best thing to do is to first cooperate with God. You may think that you have the best of motives, but God knows the truth. That is why His plans are better than our plans.)
      1. Read Proverbs 16:4. Does this verse give you more or less trust in God? (This is like Romans 8:28 – it tells us that God is in charge, He has a plan, and He works every circumstance of our life so that it is consistent with His purpose.)
      1. Friend, are you willing to trust God? Are you willing to turn all your plans over to Him and acknowledge Him in all things? If so, He promises to give you a “straight path.”
  1. Next Week: What I Am Versus What You Think I Am

What I Am Versus What You Think I Am

(Proverbs 11, 13-15, 21, 22 and 30)
Introduction: What does it mean to have a “good name?”
Let’s jump in and find out what the Bible means when it refers to a “good name!”
    1. A Good Name
    2. Read Proverbs 22:1. Does this verse give us two different ideas, or does it repeat the same idea in a slightly different way? (It repeats the same idea. Our lesson points out (Tuesday) this is called “parallelism” in Hebrew poetry.)
      1. If these are parallel ideas, what is meant by a “good name” according to Solomon? (Since this text repeats the idea, a good name is the same as being “esteemed.”)
    1. Do you want to be esteemed? In case others fail to esteem you, should you do it yourself? (We will look at that later in our lesson!)
    1. God’s Good Name
    2. Is God concerned about His name? (Read Exodus 20:7.)
      1. Can you give me examples of how someone could misuse God’s name?
      1. Read Proverbs 30:5-6. Have you ever heard someone add to God’s words? Is that a misuse of His name? (Yes! We proclaim our ideas as “truth” in God’s name. I think music is an excellent example of this. Some churches are torn apart by disagreement over the type of music or type of instruments used in worship – a topic on which the Bible is virtually silent.)
        1. Should we boldly proclaim that those who go beyond the Bible and create requirements in disputable areas are sinners? (Look again at Proverbs 30:6. The text says God will do the rebuking.)
      1. Read Proverbs 14:31. How else can we misuse God’s name?
        1. What does it mean to be “kind” to the needy? (Read Leviticus 19:9-10. Here God commands us to help the poor help themselves. Even in our charity we need to be proper representatives of God so we do not further sin. See 1 Timothy 5:9-13.)
    1. Pride and Our Good Name
    2. We hear a lot from our culture about the need for self-esteem. On the other hand, the Bible speaks strongly against pride. Is self-esteem good or is it just pride?
    1. Can you think of any Bible texts that encourage self-esteem? Let’s look at one I think speaks to self-esteem. Read Luke 12:6-9. Does God tell us that we have self-worth?
      1. Is self-worth the same as self-esteem?
      1. On what does our self-worth depend? (Our relationship to God.)
    1. Read Proverbs 11:2. Why does disgrace follow pride? Why do you think wisdom arises out of humility?
      1. How would you go about summarizing the message that arises out of Luke 12:7 andProverbs 11:2? Or, do you find that impossible?
    1. Read Proverbs 15:25. This makes God the active agent in attacking the proud. Why would God do that?
      1. What do you think is God’s opinion of pride? (Read Proverbs 6:16-19. What are “haughty eyes?” (Pride – and letting your pride be known. God detests pride.)
      1. As you think about the stories recorded in the Bible, how serious a sin is pride? Can you give examples?(Read Ezekiel 28:14-17. To whom does this text refer? (This is commonly understood to refer to Lucifer – Satan.)
        1. What part did pride play in his original sin?
      1. Read Genesis 3:2-6. What part did pride play in the fall of man?
    1. Read Proverbs 13:10. What part does pride play in an unhappy marriage? Unhappy working conditions?
      1. Is your opinion better or worse than others? What does the Bible suggest on this?
    1. It is common in business to believe that if you do not explain your accomplishments, no one else will. Is “tooting your own horn” appropriate? (Read Proverbs 27:2.)
      1. What do you think is the basis for this advice?
    1. Is pride an easy sin to recognize? We have learned that pride is detestable to God. Is pride also detestable to man so that those who are proud naturally feel sorry for their sins? (Read Proverbs 26:12. “He who falls into some of the grosser sins may feel a sense of shame and poverty and his need of the grace of Christ; but pride feels no need, and so it closes the heart against Christ and the blessings He came to give. E.G. White, Steps to Christ, p.30.)
    1. How can pride interfere with you having a good name?
    1. How can we understand our self-worth in God’s eyes without slipping into pride?
    1. Pride and Life
    2. Read Proverbs 18:10-11. We have a contrast between two places of protection. What is the difference between the “strong tower” and the “fortified city.”
      1. Is Solomon saying that money will not protect? (Money does protect – it is not, however, perfect protection, an “unscalable wall.”)
      1. What constitutes perfect protection? (The name of the Lord.)
        1. Why does the verse say “the name of the Lord” rather than just “the Lord?” (I think this refers to God’s nature.)
    1. Let’s continue by reading Proverbs 18:12. Does verse 12 relate to verses 10-11? (I think so. If you run to the name of the Lord (v.10), then you run to the nature of God. Someone who turns to God is not showing a proud and arrogant attitude. On the other hand, if you turn to your wealth for protection (v.11), that encourages a proud heart.)
      1. Why does humility come before honor?
      1. Would you like to be honored? If so, to whom should you turn?
      1. Why do you think pride leads to a downfall?
        1. Let’s read Proverbs 21:4. What does it mean when it says pride is the “lamp” of the wicked? (A lamp is how you see life. How you decide what to do. ( Psalms 119:105says that for the righteous, God’s word is a lamp to the feet and a light for our path.) Thus, the proud person makes decisions based on what will lift him up over others.)
          1. Is this why pride leads to failure?
    1. Friend, if you want a better life here and a life eternal, God invites us to walk in the light of His instruction. He invites us to come to Him for protection. If we depend upon ourselves, if our every decision is guided by what will glorify us, then we are destined for a fall.
  1. Next week: An Ounce of Prevention.

An Ounce of Prevention

(Proverbs 2, 3, 4, 17, 23, 1 Cor. 6)
Introduction: In recent years our society has taken a new view of medicine. Instead of simply fixing what is “broken,” we now try to prevent “breakdowns” by having regular check-ups and addressing potential problems before they become real problems. Is this idea applicable to our spiritual and physical health? Can we engage in “preventive medicine?” Let’s see what we can learn from the inspired words of King Solomon this week!
    1. Wisdom, Attitude and Health
      1. Read Proverbs 2:6-10. What will reading the Bible, the Word of God, do for you?
        1. What does verse 10 mean when it tells us that “knowledge will be pleasant to your soul?” (I think it means we will feel good about life.)
      1. Is there a connection between our mental attitude and our physical health? (Read Proverbs 3:7-8)
        1. How do you think fearing God and shunning evil (3:8) brings health to our bodies?
        1. Do you notice that you more easily become ill when you feel under great stress?
        1. What prescription would you issue for stress? ( Matthew 6:33-34 tells us to seek a relationship with God and do not worry about tomorrow.)
      1. Read Proverbs 15:30. Can the way you look influence the way you feel? What do you think is a “cheerful look?”
        1. If you started looking more cheerful on Monday, would your life be better? If you say, “yes,” tell me why?
        1. Have you ever experienced the healthy effect of “good news?”
      1. Let’s go back and continue with Proverbs 2:11. Is this “preventive medicine” for our life?
        1. Have you had a time in your life that allows you to affirm that discretion or understanding protected you from harm?
    1. Read Proverbs 17:19-22. What kind of person is described in verse 19? What is a “high gate” in verse 19? (This is an illusion to a walled city. Someone who says I’m stronger, smarter, better looking, superior to you so that I can better you in any situation is a “high gate” person.)
        1. Why do you think such people invite destruction?
        1. Do verses 19 and 20 describe sinful attitudes? Does a sinful attitude create trouble in our life according to King Solomon?
        1. What does verse 21 say can also create trouble for us?
        1. What relationship do you see between verse 22 and verses 19-21? Are verses 19-21 a guide to a cheerful heart? Or, is verse 22 “stand alone” advice? (Sin has an impact on our attitude which has an impact on our health. However, I think verse 22 goes beyond that and tells us that a cheerful attitude has a positive impact on health.)
          1. What is a “crushed spirit?”
        1. Can we crush the spirit of our:
          1. Children?
          1. Co-workers?
          1. Spouse?
          1. Parents?
        1. Can your attitude make your family members sick?
          1. Can you help them, through your attitude, to be more healthy?
      1. What is the route to true health reform: diet and exercise or a right relationship to God?
        1. Are these mutually exclusive ideas?
        1. Which route is most strongly urged by the Bible?
    1. The Temple
      1. Let’s read a New Testament text about sin and health that is generally misunderstood because it is taken out of context. Read 1 Corinthians 6:16-20.
        1. What does it mean (v.17) to unite ourselves with the Lord? (God often speaks of Himself as the “husband” of His people. Two helpful texts on this are Hosea 2:19-20 and Ephesians 5:29-32.)
        1. Why does 1 Corinthians 6:16-20 say that sexual immorality is wrong? (We “unite,” we have this closest of relationships, with an inappropriate person.)
        1. Is sexual immorality worse than other sins?
          1. What is the “cure” for sexual immorality? (Verse 18: “flee.”)
          1. How would you recommend we flee?
            1. Do you flee in your life? Or do you like to come close?
        1. When verse 19 refers to us protecting our “temple,” is it talking about sexual purity or proper diet? (It is not talking about diet, the context clearly shows it is talking about sexual immorality.)
        1. Even if the context of verse 19 is sexual immorality, would it still be proper to cite it for proper diet?
          1. Let’s read some more context for verse 19. Read 1 Corinthians 6:12-14. What does this say about eating the wrong things?
          1. Do you think the quotations in verses 12 and 13 reflect Paul’s views? (They might. See Romans 14:14. However, Paul is saying “Let’s be careful here and (v.12) not be mastered by anything. Not everything is “beneficial” to eat.)
          1. Does Paul teach that concerns about the stomach are concerns about what will be destroyed? (Yes. Our bodies will ultimately be destroyed – in contrast to inappropriate sex – which involves our special relationship with God which will last forever.)
        1. Why do you think that Paul decided in these verses to discuss food and sexual immorality together? How does this make any sense? (Much of the controversy over food dealt with whether you should eat food sacrificed to idols. In Corinth, the temple of Aphrodite involved prostitution as part of the temple service. Do you see now the contrast Paul is making? When it comes to the question of eating meat offered to idols, Paul says we have liberty–but don’t be mastered. When it comes to temple prostitution, Paul says this is a terrible sin for we join in the most intimate of relationships with a prostitute to the exclusion of becoming one in spirit with God. Looking at the context shows this text is not about diet, it is about sex and our relationship with God.)
      1. Let’s read Proverbs 23:18-21. What does King Solomon say is the problem with excess when it comes to eating and drinking? (You become poor.)
        1. Does this mean fat people are poor? When I was young, my father’s friends would look at his generous belly and say, “You must be doing well!” In fact, if you look atProverbs 11:25 and 28:25 in the KJV it tells us that being good makes us fat! (Now I know why the KJV is so popular among older Americans!)
          1. How do you explain King Solomon’s point in Proverbs 23? (We have all felt drowsy after a big meal. If the focus of your life is on eating and drinking, you will lack an alertness to other important things in life.)
      1. Proverbs 5 has counsel that compliments 1 Corinthians 6. Let’s read Proverbs 5:1-5. What does Solomon mean when he says an adulteress starts out as sweet as honey, but ends up as bitter as gall?
      1. Let’s skip down to Proverbs 5:15-18. The imagery here is striking. Water often represents life in the Bible. Does it have that meaning here?
        1. Does Solomon teach that sexual purity enhances our health? If yes, how?
        1. I love using the term “the wife of my youth,” but my wife is not too wild about it!
    1. Friends and Health
      1. Read Proverbs 22:24-25. How can a “hot-tempered man” ensnare us? (It is enlightening to consider all the ways in which our friends influence us. This text says that if we have friends who are quick to get angry, it will influence us to be like that.)
      1. How can a quick temper adversely affect our health? (Read Proverbs 16:29. Someone with a temper can arose an intemperate reaction from you with results that are “not good.” It is dangerous to react with a quick temper to those who lack self-control with their temper.)
      1. Read Proverbs 14:7-9. What is the difference between a foolish and a stupid person? Does this text tell us not to be friends with those of low intelligence? (I like the way the Living Bible paraphrases this: “If you are looking for advice, stay away from fools.” Lacking average intelligence is not the same as being foolish. There are some very smart fools.Proverbs 1:4 tells us that the Bible studying simple can be wise. We need to be careful about our sources of advice.)
      1. Can accepting bad advice about how to live hurt our health? Have you seen or experienced any examples of that?
        1. Read Proverbs 4:20-22. Does King Solomon teach there is a relationship between the influence of our friends and our health?
      1. Friend, the Bible tells us that our relationship to God has an impact on our health. If you want to be well, you need to cultivate your walk with God and a kind attitude towards those around you.
  1. Next Week: Your Choices Determine Your Destiny

Your Choices Determine Your Destiny

(Proverbs 10 and 13)
Introduction: “Outcome determinative.”If you are over 40 years old you can see that certain of the choices you made as a young person determined the course of your life. I call those choices “outcome determinative.” King Solomon tells us that when it comes to God’s law, our choices are outcome determinative. Let’s jump into our study and find out more about Solomon’s inspired counsel!
    1. The Right Steps
      1. Read Proverbs 13:1. Where does a good life start?
        1. Does this continue in life? Do we still have “fathers” even though our earthly father is dead? (Our Heavenly Father gives us advice in the Bible. We have spiritual “fathers” and we have people at work who are “fathers.” Proverbs 12:15 says, “the way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” The key is looking to the right source for advice and then listening.)
      1. Read Proverbs 13:2-3. After taking good advice, what is the next step to a good life? (To watch how we speak.)
        1. Why do you think the way we speak is so important?
        1. Towards the end of our lesson we will discuss how much we should speak.
      1. Read Proverbs 13:4-6. After taking good advice and then watching how we speak, what comes next? (Doing right.)
        1. Have you heard it said that God provides our needs, but not our desires. After looking at verse 4 is that true?
          1. Does verse 4 tell us that we (the diligent) provide our own desires – and not God? (Who told us to be diligent? Solomon is not talking about salvation, as such, he is talking about how we should live. We are co-laborers with God to do what He says – including being diligent.)
    1. The Right Stuff
      1. Read Proverbs 13:7-8. When we were discussing obtaining what we desire were we talking about money? Do you desire more money? What is the message of verses 7 and 8?
      1. Let’s break it down. What do you think it means to “pretend to be rich?” How do you “pretend to be poor?”
        1. What does it mean in verse 8 to say, “A man’s riches may ransom his life?”
          1. My brand is not Nike or Dior, it is “second” or “reject.” I do not like to buy anything unless it is on sale. Much of the “stuff” I have purchased over the years is expensive looking, but has some flaw in it which I either fix or live with. I drive an old Mercedes which I keep very shiny. Am I what King Solomon is talking about? (If verse 7 stood alone, I would say, “yes.” But verse 8 puts verse 7 in an entirely new light. Solomon is saying that real money is not wealth. Your wealth holds you “ransom.”)
          1. Have you experienced the “ransom” of wealth?
            1. When you buy a new car, what is your worst fear (other than how to pay for it)? (Someone will run into you or open their door into your side and dent it.)
              1. Does this fear ransom you?
            1. If you buy a boat, motorcycle, second home, motorhome, etc. do you have to spend more time working on these things? Does that ransom you?
      1. Read Proverbs 13:11-13. Why does money gathered “little by little” grow as opposed to that won through the lottery? (I’m not saying legal lottery winnings are “dishonest” – we can leave the resolution of that issue to another day. But someone who earns and saves money little by little had a higher appreciation for it.)
        1. Does God fulfill the longings of our heart?
          1. On what does this depend? (I think that verses 12 and 13 are related. Our actions have consequences — either for good or ill.)
    1. Understanding Right
      1. As you consider the idea that the path you choose in life largely determines your destiny, tell me how you think God fits into this? Is He more like an umpire calling out the nature of your actions or is He more like a coach telling you how to play correctly?
      1. Are God’s laws arbitrary? If not, on what are they based?
      1. Let’s read Psalms 19:1-3. How do the heavens speak about God? (I must ask this question about these verses six times a year in my lessons! They show God’s great power and order. The stars and planets don’t (generally) bump into each other. Man has discovered the universe is slowly expanding – at just the perfect rate so that it does not (through the weakening forces of gravity) explode or (through the strengthening forces of gravity) implode!)
      1. Let’s read Psalms 19:7-9. Why does Solomon jump from the heavens to the law of God? (The “point” is that God’s laws for us are as natural and ordered as are the laws of the universe. These are not arbitrary commands, they are counsel on the way the world works and we ignore them at our peril. We are right, for example, to fight against the tide of the culture trying to teach our children that homosexuality is normal and acceptable. However, this is not a “fight” that we have to win. Homosexuality, like every other sin and deviance from the law of God, is going to come crashing down because it is contrary to the natural order that God has created. These matters are not in our hands, but God’s hands. Our assignment is to understand God’s natural laws and comply.)
    1. A Fool’s Choice
      1. Our lesson (Tuesday) mentions that 9% of the book of Proverbs is devoted to a discussion of fools and foolishness! Let’s see what comes of dealing with fools.
      1. Read Proverbs 23:9 and 26:4-5. Should we talk to fools or not?
        1. Does this mean that we should not share the gospel with fools?
        1. Don’t Proverbs 26:4&5 directly contradict each other? (The SDA Bible Commentary on these verses says these verses only seem to contradict each other. Verse 4 tells us we should not answer a fool on his own terms. We should not accept his assumptions in our answer. On the other hand, verse 5 tells us to answer a fool so that his foolishness is revealed.)
        1. Can you put all three verses together and come up with a summary of what they teach? ( Proverbs 23:9tells us that we should not waste our time in fruitless arguments with fools. Proverbs 26:4 tells us we should not answer a fool using his foolish assumptions. But Proverbs 26:5 tells us that at the same time, wisdom should tell us how we can give Godly answers which will reveal fools to be fools.)
    1. The Final End
      1. Read Proverbs 10:8-9. Why does this text mention that the fool is talking? (The wise man is listening to commands so that he can accept them, the fool is talking and not paying attention.)
        1. Not paying attention leads to what? (Ruin)
        1. Why is the man of integrity secure, and the “crooked path” fellow not? (You don’t have to worry if you are a “straight arrow.”)
      1. Let’s continue with Proverbs 10 by slipping down to verse 19. Read verse 19. This is no good for the class! I like it when you talk – as opposed to sitting there silently! Why do many words equate with sin? Why is it wise to hold your tongue? (I think the idea is pride. If we just like to hear ourselves talk, then we are guilty of pride.)
        1. Why is it a virtue to hold your tongue? (Read Proverbs 10:20-21. This helps to clarify the matter. The righteous man should speak because it is a blessing to others. However, when you are a fool, or have nothing to add, you are wise to hold your tongue.)
        1. Read Proverbs 17:27-28 which continues this concept. We have a fellow in my office who is constantly upset by matters and is screaming about others. Do you know someone like that? Is such a person wise?
      1. Read Proverbs 10:24-25. Why does the righteous person stand? Is it because God intervenes and destroys the fool? Or is it because the fool destroys himself? (Someone who understands God’s will and makes right decisions can weather the “storms” of life. This idea of weathering storms is part of the “steps” that we discussed earlier, beginning with taking godly advice, watching how we speak, and finally doing what is right.)
      1. Read Proverbs 24:19-20. Does this say that evil people will not prosper?
      1. What is the hope of the righteous? (Friend, God promises His children a future with Him! That is the long term benefit of trusting and obeying God.)

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Our Lord’s Prayer for His People’s Sanctification by C. H. SPURGEON

A Sermon
(No. 1890)
Delivered on Lord’s-day Morning, March 7th, 1886, by
C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington

OUR LORD JESUS prayed much for his people while he was here on earth. He made Peter the special subject of his intercession when he knew that he was in extraordinary danger. The midnight wrestlings of the Son of man were for his people. In the sacred record, however, much more space is taken up by our Lord’s intercessions as he nears the end of his labors. After the closing supper, his public preaching work being ended, and nothing remaining to be done but to die, he gave himself wholly unto prayer. He was not again to instruct the multitude, nor to heal the sick, and in the interval which remained, before he should lay down his life, he girded himself for special intercession. He poured out his soul in life before he poured it out unto death.

In this wonderful prayer, our Lord, as our great High Priest, appears to enter upon that perpetual office of intercession which he is now exercising at the right hand of the Father. Our Lord ever seemed, in the eagerness of his love, to be anticipating his work. Before he was set apart for his life-work, by the descent of the Holy Ghost upon him, he must needs be about his Father’s business; before he finally suffered at the hands of cruel men, he had a baptism to be baptized with, and he was straitened till it was accomplished; before he actually died, he was covered with a bloody sweat, and was exceeding sorrowful even unto death; and in this case, before he in person entered within the veil, he made intercession for us. He never tarries when the good of his people calls for him. His love hath wings as well as feet: it is true of him evermore, “He rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.” O beloved, what a friend we have in Jesus! so willing, so speedy to do for us all that we need. Oh that we could imitate him in this, and be quick of understanding to perceive our line of service, and eager of heart to enter upon it.

This chapter, which ought to be universally known as the Lord’s Prayer, may be called the holy of holies of the word of God. Here we are admitted to that secret place where the Son of God speaks with the Father in closest fellowship of love. Here we look into the heart of Jesus, as he sets out in order his desires and requests before his Father on our behalf. Here inspiration lifts her veil, and we behold truth face to face. Our text lies somewhere near the middle of the prayer; it is the heart of it. Our Lord’s desire for the sanctification of his people pervades the whole prayer; but it is gathered up, declared, and intensified in the one sentence that I have read to you: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” How invaluable must the blessing of sanctification be when our Lord, in the highest reach of his intercession, cries: “Sanctify them!” In sight of his passion, on the night before his death, our Savior lifts his eyes to the great Father, and cries in his most plaintive tones, “Father, sanctify them.” The place whereon we stand is holy ground, and the subject whereof we speak demands our solemn thought. Come,Holy Spirit, and teach us the full meaning of this prayer for holiness!

First, I call your attention to what it is the Savior asks—”sanctify them;” and then, for whom he asks it—it is for those whom his Father had given him. Thirdly, we shall note of whom he asks it: he asks this sanctification of God the Father himself, for he alone it is who can sanctify his people. Lastly, we will enquire how is this blessing to be wrought?—”Sanctify them through thy truth;” and our Lord adds an explanatory sentence, which was a confession of his own faith towards the word of the Lord, and an instruction to our faith in the same matter. “Thy word is truth.”

I. At the beginning, then, consider WHAT HE ASKED. What is this inestimable blessing which our Savior so earnestly requests at the Father’s hand? He first prays, “Holy Father, keep them;” and again, “Keep them from the evil;” but this negative blessing of preservation from evil is not enough: he seeks for them positive holiness, and therefore he cries, “sanctify them.” The word is one of considerable range of meaning: I am not able to follow it through all its shades, but one or two must suffice.

It means, first, dedicate them to thy service; for such must be the meaning of the word further down, when we read, “For their sakes I sanctify myself.” In the Lord’s case it cannot mean purification from sin, because our Savior was undefiled; his nature was unblemished by sin, and his actions were unspotted. No eye of man, nor glance of fiend, could discover fault in him, and the search of God only resulted in the declaration that in him God was well pleased. Our Lord’s sanctification was his consecration to the fulfillment of the Divine purpose, his absorption in the will of the Father. “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.” In this sense our interceding Lord asks that all his people may by the Father be ordained and consecrated unto holy service. The prayer means, “Father, consecrate them to thine own self; let them be temples for thine indwelling, instruments for thy use.” Under Jewish law the tribe of Levi was chosen out of the twelve, and ordained to the service of the Lord, instead of the firstborn, of whom the Lord had said, “All the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine: on the day that I smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself.” (Numbers 8:17.) Out of the tribe of Levi one family was taken and dedicated to the priesthood. Aaron and his sons are said to have been sanctified. (Leviticus 8:30.) A certain tent was sanctified to the service of God, and hence it became a sanctuary; and the vessels that were therein, whether they were greater, like the altar, and the holy table, and the ark of the covenant, or whether they were of less degree, like the bowls and the snuff-dishes of the candlestick, were all dedicated or sanctified. (Numbers 7:1.) None of these things could be used for any other purpose than the service of Jehovah. In his courts there was a holy fire, a holy bread, and a holy oil. The holy anointing oil, for instance, was reserved for sacred uses. “Upon man’s flesh it shall not be poured;” and again, “Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people.” These sanctified things were reserved for holy purposes, and any other use of them was strictly forbidden. Bullocks and lambs and sheep and turtle-doves, and so forth, were given by devout offerers, brought to the holy place, and dedicated unto God; henceforth they belonged to God, and must be presented at his altar. This is one part of the meaning of our Lord’s prayer. He would have each of us consecrated unto the Lord, designated and ordained for divine purposes. We are not the world’s, else might we be ambitious; we are not Satan’s, else might we be covetous; we are not our own, else might we be selfish. We are bought with a price, and hence we are his by whom the price is paid. We belong to Jesus, and he presents us to his Father, and begs him to accept us and sanctify us to his own purposes. Do we not most heartily concur in this dedication? Do we not cry, “Father, sanctify us to thy service?” I am sure we do if we have realized our redeemed condition.

Beloved brethren, if the sprinkling of the blood, of which we spake last Sabbath-day, has really taken effect upon us, we belong, from this time forth, unto him that died for us, and rose again. We regard ourselves as God’s men, the liveried servants of the great King—that livery the robe of righteousness. We were as sheep going astray, but we have now returned unto the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls; and henceforth we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. If any should ask, “To whom belongest thou?” we answer, “I belong to Christ.” If any enquire, “What is thine occupation?” we reply with Jonah, “I fear God.” We are not now at our own disposal, neither can we hire ourselves out to inferior objects, mercenary aims, or selfish ambitions; for we are engaged by solemn contract to the service of our God. We have lifted up our hand unto the Lord, and we cannot draw back. Neither do we wish to withdraw from the delightful compact and covenant; we desire to keep it even unto the end. We seek no liberty to sin, nor license for self; rather do we cry, “Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Sanctify us, O Lord. Let us know, and let all the world know, that we are thine, because we belong to Christ.”

In addition to this, those who belonged to God, and were dedicated to his service, were set apart and separated from others. There was a special service for the setting-apart of priests; certain rites were performed at the sanctifying of dedicated places and vessels. You remember with what solemn service the Tabernacle was set up, and with what pomp of devotion the Temple itself was set apart for the divine service. The Sabbath-day, which the Lord hath sanctified, is set apart from the rest of time. To man it is a dies non, because it is the Lord’s-day. The Lord would have those who are dedicated to him to be separated from the rest of mankind. For this purpose he brought Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, and Israel out of Egypt. “The people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” The Lord saith of his chosen, “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” Before long this secret purpose is followed by the open call: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate; touch not the unclean thing, and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters.” The church of Christ is to be a chaste virgin, wholly set apart for the Lord Christ: his own words concerning his people are these, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

By the election of grace from before the foundation of the world this distinction commences, and the names are written in heaven. Thereupon follows a redemption peculiar and special, as it is written; “These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” This redemption is followed by effectual calling wherein men are made to come forth from the old world into the kingdom of Christ. This is attended with regeneration, in which they receive a new life, and so become as much distinguished from their fellow-men as the living are from the dead. This separating work is further carried on in what is commonly known as sanctification, whereby the man of God is removed farther and farther from all fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, and is changed from glory unto glory, into an ever-growing likeness of his Lord, who was “holy, harmless, undefiled separate from sinners.”

Those who are sanctified in this sense have ceased to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; they have ceased to run with the multitude to do evil; they are not conformed to this present evil world; they are strangers and pilgrims upon the earth. The more assuredly this is true of them the better. There are some, in these apostate days, who think that the church cannot do better than to come down to the world to learn her ways, follow her maxims, and acquire her “culture.” In fact, the notion is that the world is to be conquered by our conforming to it. This is as contrary to Scripture as the light is to the darkness. The more distinct the line between him that feareth God and him that feareth him not, the better all round. It will be a black day when the sun itself is turned into darkness. When the salt has lost its savor, and no longer opposes putrefaction, the world will rot with a vengeance. That text is still true, “Ye are of God, little children, and the whole world lieth in the wicked one.” The seed of the woman knows no terms with the serpent brood but continual war. Our Lord saith that in this matter he came not to send peace on the earth, but a sword. “Because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” If the church seeks to cultivate the friendship of the world, she has this message from the Holy Ghost by the pen of the apostle James: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” He charges all who would please the world with the black and filthy crime of spiritual adultery. The heart which ought to be given to Christ and purity must not wander forth wantonly to woo the defiled and polluted things of this present evil world. Separation from the world is Christ’s prayer for us.

Put these two things together, dedication to God and separation unto him, and you are nearing the meaning of the prayer. But, mark you, it is not all separation that is meant; for, as I told you in the reading there are some who “separate themselves,” and yet are sensual, not having the Spirit. Separation for separation’s sake savours rather of Babel than of Jerusalem. It is one thing to separate from the world, and another thing to be separate from the church. Where we believe that there is living faith in Jesus, and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, we are not called to division, but to unity. For actual and manifest sin we must separate ourselves from offender—; but we err if we carry on this separation where it is not authorized by the word of God. The Corinthians and Galatians were far from being perfect in life, and they had made many mistakes in doctrine, yea, even upon vital points; but inasmuch as they were truly in Christ, Paul did not command any to come out of those churches, and to be separate therefrom; but he exhorted them to prove each man his own work, and he labored to bring them all back to the one and only gospel, and to a clearer knowledge of it. We are to be faithful to truth; but we are not to be of a contentious spirit, separating ourselves from those who are living members of the one and indivisible body of Christ. To promote the unity of the church, by creating new divisions, is not wise. Cultivate at once the love of the truth and the love of the brethren. The body of Christ will not be perfected by being rent. Truth should be the companion of love. If we heartily love even those who are in some measure in error, but who possess the life of God in their souls, we shall be the more likely to set them right. Separation from the world is a solemn duty, indeed it is the hard point, the crux and burden of our religion. It is not easy to be filled with love to men and yet for God’s sake, and even for their own sake, to be separated from them. The Lord teach us this.

At the same time, this word “sanctification” means what is commonly understood by it, namely, the making of the people of God holy. “Sanctify them,” that is, work in them a pure and holy character. “Lord, make thy people holy,” should be our daily prayer. I want you to notice that this word here used in the Greek is not that which is rendered “Purify;” but it has another shade of meaning. Had it meant “purify,” it would hardly have been used in reference to our Lord as it is in the next verse.

It has a higher meaning than that. O brethren, if you are called Christians, there must be no room for doubt as to the fact that you are purged from the common sins and ordinary transgressions of mankind, else are you manifestly liars unto God, and deceivers of your own souls. They that are not moral, they that are not honest, they that are not kind, they that are not truthful, are far from the kingdom. How can these be the children of God who are not even decent children of men? Thus we judge, and rightly judge, that the life of God cannot be in that man’s soul who abides wilfully in any known sin, and takes pleasure therein. No; purification is not all. We will take it for granted that you who profess to be Christians have escaped from the foul pollution of lust and falsehood; if you have not done so, humble yourselves before God, and be ashamed; for you need the very beginnings of grace. “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh.” But sanctification is something more than mere morality and respectability; it is not only deliverance from the common sins of men, but also from the hardness, deadness, and carnality of nature: it is deliverance from that which is of the flesh at its very best, and admittance into that which is spiritual and divine. That which is carnal cometh not into communion with the spiritual kingdom or Christ: we need that the spiritual nature should rise above that which is merely natural. This is our prayer—Lord, spiritualize us; elevate us; make us to dwell in communion with God; make us to know him whom flesh and blood cannot reveal or discern. May the Spirit of the living God have full sovereignty over us and perfect in us the will of the Lord, for this is to be sanctified.

Sanctification is a higher word than purification; for it includes that word and vastly more: it is not sufficient to be negatively clean; we need to be adorned with all the virtues. If ye be merely moral, how does your righteousness exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees? If ye pay your lawful debts, give alms to the poor, and observe the rites of your religion, what do ye more than others whom ye yourselves reckon to be in error?

Children of God should exhibit the love of God, they should be filled with zeal for his glory, they should live generous, unselfish lives, they should walk with God, and commune with the Most High. Ours should be a purpose and an aim far higher than the best of the unregenerate can understand. We ought to reach unto a life and a kingdom of which the mass of mankind know nothing, and care less. Now, I am afraid that this spiritual sense of the prayer is one that is often forgotten. Oh that God’s Holy Spirit might make us to know it by experimentally feeling it in ourselves! May “Holiness to the Lord” be written across the brow of our consecrated humanity!

Beloved, this prayer of our Lord is most necessary, for without sanctification how can we be saved, since it is written, “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord?” How can we be saved from sin if sin has still dominion over us? If we are not living holy, godly, spiritual lives, how can we say that we are redeemed from the power of evil?

Without sanctification we shall be unfit for service. Our Lord Jesus contemplated the sending of each one of us into the world even as the Father sent him into the world; but how can he give a mission to unsanctified men and women? Must not the vessels of the Lord be clean?

Without sanctification we cannot enjoy the innermost sweets of our holy faith. The unsanctified are full of doubts and fears; and what wonder? The unsanctified often say of the outward exercise of religion, “What a weariness it is!” and no wonder, for they know not the internal joys of it, having never learned to delight themselves in God. If they walk not in the light of the Lord’s countenance, how can they know the heaven below which comes of true godliness? Oh, it is a prayer that needs to be prayed for me, for you, for this church, and for the whole church of God! “Father, sanctify them through thy truth.”

II. Now I want you to notice, in the second place, FOR WHOM THIS PRAYER WAS OFFERED. It was not offered for the world outside. It would not be a suitable prayer for those who are dead in sin. Our Lord referred to the company of men and women who were already saved, of whom he said that they had kept God’s Word: “Thine they were, and thou gavest them me.” They were therefore sanctified already in the sense of being consecrated and set apart for holy purposes; and they were also sanctified in a measure already in the sense of being made holy in character; for the immediate disciples of our Lord, with all their errors and deficiencies, were holy men. It was for the apostles that Jesus thus prayed; so that we may be sure that the most eminent saints need still to have this prayer offered for them: “Sanctify them through thy truth.” Though, my sisters, you may be Deborahs, worthy to be called mothers in Israel, yet you need to be made more holy. Though, my brethren, you may be true fathers in God, of whom the Scripture saith truly that we have “not many,” yet you still need that Jesus should pray for you: “Sanctify them through thy truth.”

These chosen ones were sanctified, but only to a degree. Justification is perfect the moment it is received, but sanctification is a matter of growth. He that is justified, is justified once for all by the perfect work of Jesus, but he that is sanctified by Christ Jesus must grow up in all things into him who is the Head. To make us holy is a life work, and for it we should seek the divine operation every hour; for “he that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God.” We would rise to the utmost pitch of holy living, and never content ourselves with present attainments. Those who are most pure and honorable have yet their shortcomings and errors to mourn over. When the Lord turns the light strong upon us, we soon see the spots upon our raiment; it is indeed when we walk in the light as God is in the light that we see most our need of the cleansing blood of Jesus. If we have done well, to God be the glory of it; but we might have done better. If we have loved much, to God’s grace be the praise; but we ought to have loved more. If we have believed, and believed steadfastly, we ought to have believed to a far higher degree in our Almighty Friend. We are still below our capacities; there is a something yet beyond us. O ye sanctified ones, it is for you that Jesus prays that the Father may still sanctify you.

I want you to notice more particularly that these believers for whom our Lord prayed were to be the preachers and teachers of their own and succeeding generations. These were the handful of seed-corn out of which would grow the church of the future, whose harvest would gladden all lands. To prepare them to be sent out as Christ’s missionaries they must be sanctified. How shall a holy God send out unholy messengers? An unsanctified minister is an unsent minister. An unholy missionary is a pest to the tribe he visits; an unholy teacher in a school is an injury rather than a blessing to the class he conducts. Only in proportion as you are sanctified unto God can you hope for the power of the Holy Spirit to rest on you, and to work with you, so as to bring others to the Savior’s feet. How much may each of us have been hampered and hindered by want of holiness! God will not use unclean instruments; nay, he will not even have his holy vessels borne by unclean hands. “To the wicked, God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes?” A whole host may be defeated because of one Achan in the camp; and this is our constant fear. Holiness is an essential qualificatian to a man’s fitness for being used of the Lord God for the extension of his kingdom; hence our Lord’s prayer for his apostles and other workers: “Holy Father, sanctify them.”

Furthermore, our Lord Jesus Christ was about to pray “that they all might be one;” and for this desirable result holiness is needed. Why are we not one? Sin is the great dividing element. The perfectly holy would be perfectly united. The more saintly men are, the more they love their Lord and one another; and thus they come into closer union with each other. Our errors and our sins are roots of bitterness which spring up and trouble us, and many are defiled. Our infirmities of judgment are aggravated by our imperfections of character, and our walking at a distance from our God; and these breed coldness and lukewarmness, out of which grow disunion and division, sects and heresies. If we were all abiding in Christ to the full, we should abide in union with each other and with God, and our Lord’s great prayer for the unity of his church would be fulfilled.

Moreover, our Lord finished his most comprehensive prayer by a petition that we might all be with him—with him where he is, that we may behold his glory. Full sanctification is essential to this. Shall the unsanctified dwell with Christ in heaven? Shall unholy eyes behold his glory? It cannot be. How can we participate in the splendor and triumphs of the exalted head if we are not members of his body? and how can a holy head have impure and dishonest members? No, brethren, we must be holy, for Christ is holy. Uprightness of walk and cleanness of heart are absolutely requisite for the purposes of Christian life, whether here or hereafter. Those who live in sin are the servants of sin; only those who are renewed by the Holy Ghost unto truth, and holiness, and love, can hope to be partakers of holy joys and heavenly bliss.

III. I am compelled by shortness of time to be brief upon each point; but I must dwell for a little upon the third subject of consideration, which is this—TO WHOM THIS PRAYER IS DIRECTED. “Sanctify them through thy truth.” No one can sanctify a soul but Almighty God, the great Father of spirits. He who made us must also make us holy, or we shall never attain that character. Our dear Savior calls the great God “Holy Father” in this prayer, and it is the part of the holy God to create holiness; while a holy Father can only be the Father of holy children, for like begets like. To you that believe in Jesus he gives power to become the sons of God, and a part of that power lies in becoming holy according to the manner and character of our Father who is in heaven. As we are holy, so do we bear the image of that Lord from heaven who, as the second man, is the firstborn to whom the many brethren are conformed. The holy Father in heaven will own those as his children upon earth who are holy. The very nature of God should encourage us in our prayers for holiness; for he will not be slow to work in us to will and to do according to his perfect will.

Beloved, this sanctification is a work of God from its earliest stage. We go astray of ourselves, but we never return to the great Shepherd apart from his divine drawings. Regeneration, in which sanctification begins, is wholly the work of the Spirit of God. Our first discovery of wrong, and our first pang of penitence, are the work of divine grace. Every thought of holiness, and every desire after purity, must come from the Lord alone, for we are by nature wedded to iniquity. So also the ultimate conquest of sin in us, and the making us perfectly like to our Lord, must be entirely the work of the Lord God, who makes all things new, since we have no power to carry on so great a work of ourselves. This is a creation; can we create? This is a resurrection; can we raise the dead? Our degenerate nature can rot into a still direr putrefaction, but it can never return to purity or sweeten itself into perfection; this is of God and God alone. Sanctification is as much the work of God as the making of the heavens and the earth. Who is sufficient for these things? We go not even a step in sanctification in our own strength; whatever we think we advance of ourselves is but a fictitious progress which will lead to bitter disappointment. Real sanctification is entirely from first to last the work of the Spirit of the blessed God, whom the Father hath sent forth that he might sanctify his chosen ones. See, then, what a great thing sanctification is, and how necessary it is that our Lord should pray unto his Father, “Sanctify them through thy truth.”

The truth alone will not sanctify a man. We may maintain an orthodox creed, and it is highly important that we should do so, but if it does not touch our heart and influence our character, what is the value of our orthodoxy? It is not the doctrine which of itself sanctifies, but the Father sanctifies by means of the doctrine. The truth is the element in which we are made to live in order to holiness. Falsehood leads to sin, truth leads to holiness; but there is a lying spirit, and there is also the Spirit of truth, and by these the error and the truth are used as means to an end. Truth must be applied with spiritual power to the mind, the conscience, and the heart, or else a man may receive the truth, and yet hold it in unrighteousness. I believe this to be the crowning work of God in man, that his people should be perfectly delivered from evil. He elected them that they might be a peculiar people, zealous for good works; he ransomed them that he might redeem them from all iniquity, and purify them unto himself; he effectually calls them to a high and holy vocation, even to virtue and true holiness.

Every work of the Spirit of God upon the new nature aims at the purification, the consecration, the perfecting of those whom God in love has taken to be his own. Yea, more; all the events of Providence around us work towards that one end: for this our joys and our sorrows, for this our pains of body and griefs of heart, for this our losses and our crosses—all these are sacred medicines by which we are cured of the disease of nature, and prepared for the enjoyment of perfect spiritual health. All that befalls us on our road to heaven is meant to fit us for our journey’s end. Our way through the wilderness is meant to try us, and to prove us, that our evils may be discovered, repented of, and overcome, and that thus we may be without fault before the throne at the last. We are being educated for the skies, meetened for the assembly of the perfect. It doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we are struggling up towards it; and we know that when Jesus shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. We are rising: by hard wrestling, and long watching, and patient waiting, we are rising into holiness. These tribulations thresh our wheat and get the chaff away, these afflictions consume our dross and tin to make the gold more pure. All things work together for good to them that love God; and the net result of them all will be the presenting of the chosen unto God, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing.

Thus I have reminded you that the prayer for sanctification is offered to the divine Father, and this leads us to look out of ourselves and wholly, to our God. Do not set about the work of sanctification yourselves, as if you could perform it alone. Do not imagine that holiness will necessarily follow because you listen to an earnest preacher, or unite in sacred worship. My brethren, God himself must work within you; the Holy Ghost must inhabit you; and this can only come to you by faith in the Lord Jesus. Believe in him for your sanctification, even as you have believed for your pardon and justification. He alone can bestow sanctification upon you; for this is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

IV. This is a great subject, and I have but short time; so I have, in the last place, to notice with much brevity HOW SANCTIFICATION IS TO BE WROUGHT IN BELIEVERS, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. “Beloved, observe how God has joined holiness and truth together. There has been a tendency of late to divide truth of doctrine from truth of precept. Men say that Christianity is a life and not a creed: this is a part truth, and very near akin to a lie. Christianity is a life which grows out of truth. Jesus Christ is the way and the truth as well as the life, and he is not properly received except he is accepted in that threefold character.

No holy life will be produced in us by the belief of falsehood. Sanctification in visible character comes out of edification in the inner faith of the heart, or otherwise it is a mere shell. Good works are the fruit of true faith, and true faith is a sincere belief of the truth. Every truth leads towards holiness; every error of doctrine, directly or indirectly, leads to sin. A twist of the understanding will inevitably bring a contortion of the life sooner or later. The straight line of truth drawn on the heart will produce a direct course of gracious walking in the life. Do not imagine that you can live on spiritual carrion and yet be in fine moral health, or that you can drink down poisonous error and yet lift up a face without spot before God. Even God himself only sanctifies us by the truth. Only that teaching will sanctify you which is taken from God’s word, that teaching which is not true, nor the truth of God, cannot sanctify you. Error may puff you up, it may even make you think that you are sanctified; but there is a very serious difference between boasting of sanctification and being sanctified, and a very grave difference between setting up to be superior to others and being really accepted before God. Believe me, God works sanctification in us by the truth, and by nothing else.

But what is the truth? There is the point. Is the truth that which I imagine to be revealed to me by some private communication? Am I to fancy that I enjoy some special revelation, and am I to order my life by voices, dreams, and impressions? Brethren, fall not into this common delusion. God’s word to us is in Holy Scripture. All the truth that sanctifies men is in God’s Word. Do not listen to those who cry, “Lo here!” and “Lo there!” I am plucked by the sleeve almost every day by crazy persons and pretenders who have revelations. One man tells me that God has sent a message to me by him; and I reply, “No, sir, the Lord knows where I dwell, and he is so near to me that he would not need to send to me by you.” Another man announces in God’s name a dogma which, on the face of it, is a lie against the Holy Ghost. He says the Spirit of God told him so-and-so; but we know that the Holy Ghost never contradicts himself. If your imaginary revelation is not according to this Word, it has no weight with us; and if it is according to this Word, it is no new thing. Brethren, this Bible is enough if the Lord does but use it, and quicken it by his Spirit in our hearts. Truth is neither your opinion, nor mine; your message, nor mine. Jesus says, “Thy word is truth.” That which sanctifies men is not only truth, but it is the particular truth which is revealed in God’s Word—”Thy word is truth.” What a blessing it is that all the truth that is necessary to sanctify us is revealed in the Word of God, so that we have not to expend our energies upon discovering truth, but may, to our far greater profit, use revealed truth for its divine ends and purposes! There will be no more revelations; no more are needed. The canon is fixed and complete, and he that adds to it shall have added to him the plagues that are written in this Book. What need of more when here is enough for every practical purpose? “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

This being so, the truth which it is needful for us to receive is evidently fixed. You cannot change Holy Scripture. You may arrive more and more accurately at the original text; but for all practical purposes the text we have is correct enough, and our old Authorized Version is a sound one. Scripture itself cannot be broken; we cannot take from it nor add to it. The Lord has never re-written nor revised his Word, nor will he ever do so. Ourteachings are full of errors, but the Spirit mistaketh not. We have the “Retractations”: of Augustine, but there are no retractations with prophets and apostles. The faith has been delivered once for all to the saints, and it standeth fast for ever. “Thy word is truth.” The Scripture alone is absolute truth, essential truth, decisive truth, authoritative truth, undiluted truth, eternal, everlasting truth. Truth given us in the word of God is that which is to sanctify all believers to the end of time: God will use it to that end.

Learn, then, my brothers, how earnestly you ought to search the Scriptures! See, my sisters, how studiously you should read this Book of God! If this is the truth, and the truth with which God sanctifies us, let us learn it, hold it, and stand fast in it. To him that gave us the Book let us pledge ourselves never to depart from his testimonies. To us, at any rate, God’s word is truth. “But they argue differently in the schools!” Let them argue. “But oratory with its flowery speech speaketh otherwise!” Let it speak: words are but air and tongues but clay. O God, “thy word is truth.” “But philosophers have contradicted it!” Let them contradict it. Who are they? God’s word is truth: we will go no farther while the world stands. But then let us be equally firm in our conviction that we do not know the truth aright unless it makes us holy. We do not hold truth in a true way unless it leads us to a true life. If you use the back of a knife it will not cut: truth hath its handle and its blade; see that you use it properly. You can make pure water kill a man; you must use every good thing aright or it will not be good. The truth, when fully used, will daily destroy sin, nourish grace, suggest noble desires, and urge to holy acts. O sirs, I do pray that we may by our lives adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. Some do not so. I say this to our shame and to my own hourly sorrow.

The one point of failure to be most deeply regretted would be a failure in the holiness of our church members. If you yourselves act as others do, what witness do you bear? If your families are not graciously ordered; if your business is not conducted upon principles of the strictest integrity; if your speech is questionable as to purity or truthfulness; if your lives are open to serious rebuke—how can God accept you or send a blessing on the Church to which you belong? It is all falsehood and deceit to talk about your being the people of God when even men of the world shame you. Your faith in the Lord Jesus must operate upon your lives to make you faithful and true, it must check you here, and excite you there; it must keep you back from this, and drive you on to that; it must constantly operate upon thought and speech and act, or else you know nothing of its saving power. How can I speak more distinctly and emphatically? Do not come to me with your experiences, and your convictions, and your professions, unless you sanctify the name of God in your lives. O brethren, we had better quit our professions if we do not live up to them. In the name of him who breathed this prayer just before his face was encrimsoned with the bloody sweat, let us cry mightily unto the Father, “Sanctify us through thy truth, thy Word is truth.” As a people, we have stuck unto the Word of the Lord, but are we practically obeying it? We have determined as a congregation to keep the old ways; and I, for one, as the minister, am solemnly bound to the old faith. Oh that we might commend it by our holiness! Nothing is truth to me but this one Book, this infallibly inspired writing of the Spirit of God. It is incumbent upon us to show the hallowed influence of this Book. The vows of God are on us, that by our godly lives we should show forth his praises who has brought us out of darkness into his marvellous light. This Bible is our treasure. We prize each leaf of it. Let us bind it in the best fashion, in the best morocco of a clear, intelligent faith; then let us put a golden clasp upon it, and gild its edges by a life of love, and truth, and purity, and zeal. Thus shall we commend the volume to those who have never looked within its pages. Brethren, the sacred roll, with its seven seals, must not be held in hands defiled and polluted; but with clean hands and pure heart we must hold it forth and publish it among men. God help us so to do for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

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A Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson

SANCTIFICATION

‘For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.’ I Thess iv 3.

The word sanctification signifies to consecrate and set apart to a holy use: thus they are sanctified persons who are separated from the world, and set apart for God’s service. Sanctification has a privative and a positive part.

I. A privative part, which lies in the purging out of sin. Sin is compared to leaven, which sours; and to leprosy, which defiles. Sanctification purges out ‘the old leaven.’ I Cor v 7. Though it takes not away the life, yet it takes away the love of sin.

II. A positive part, which is the spiritual refining of the soul; which in Scripture is called a ‘renewing of our mind,’ Rom xii 2, and a ‘partaking of the divine nature.’ 2 Pet i 4. The priests in the law were not only washed in the great laver, but adorned with glorious apparel. Exod xxviii 2; so sanctification not only washes from sin, but adorns with purity.

What is sanctification?

It is a principle of grace savingly wrought, whereby the heart becomes holy, and is made after God’s own heart. A sanctified person bears not only God’s name, but his image. In opening the nature of sanctification, I shall lay down these seven positions:-

(1.) Sanctification is a supernatural thing; it is divinely infused. We are naturally polluted, and to cleanse, God takes to be his prerogative. ‘I am the Lord which sanctify you.’ Lev xxi 8. Weeds grow of themselves. Flowers are planted. Sanctification is a flower of the Spirit’s planting. therefore it is called, ‘The sanctification of the Spirit.’ I Pet i 2.

(2.) Sanctification is an intrinsic thing; it lies chiefly in the heart. It is called ‘the adorning the hidden man of the heart.’ I Pet iii 4. The dew wets the leaf, the sap is hid in the root; so the religion of some consists only in externals, but sanctification is deeply rooted in the soul. ‘In the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.’ Psalm li 6.

(3.) Sanctification is an extensive thing: it spreads into the whole man. ‘The God of peace sanctify you wholly.’ I Thess v 23. As original corruption has depraved all the faculties – ‘the whole head is sick, the whole heart faint,’ no part sound, as if the whole mass of blood were corrupted -so sanctification goes over the whole soul. After the fall, there was ignorance in the mind; but in sanctification, we are ‘light in the Lord’ Eph v 8. After the fall, the will was depraved; there was not only impotence to good, but obstinacy. In sanctification, there is a blessed pliableness in the will; it symbolizes and comports with the will of God. After the fall, the affections were misplaced on wrong objects; in sanctification, they are turned into a sweet order and harmony, the grief placed on sin, the love on God, the joy on heaven. Thus sanctification spreads itself as far as original corruption; it goes over the whole soul: ‘the God of peace sanctify you wholly.’ He is not a sanctified person who is good only in some part, but who is all over sanctified; therefore, in Scripture, grace is called a ‘new man,’ not a new eye or a new tongue, but a ‘new man. Col iii 10. A good Christian, though be he sanctified but in part, yet in every part.

(4.) Sanctification is an intense and ardent thing. Qualitates suint in subjecto intensive [Its properties burn within the believer]. ‘Fervent in spirit.’ Rom xii 11. Sanctification is not a dead form, but it is inflamed into zeal. We call water hot, when it is so in the third or fourth degree; so he is holy whose religion is heated to some degree, and his heart boils over in love to God.

(5.) Sanctification is a beautiful thing. It makes God and angels fall in love with us. ‘The beauties of holiness.’ Psa cx 3. As the sun is to the world, so is sanctification to the soul, beautifying and bespangling it in God’s eyes. That which makes God glorious must needs make us so. Holiness is the most sparkling jewel in the Godhead. ‘Glorious in holiness.’ Exod xv 11. Sanctification is the first fruit of the Spirit; it is heaven begun in the soul. Sanctification and glory differ only in degree: sanctification is glory in the seed, and glory is sanctification in the flower. Holiness is the quintessence of happiness.

(6.)Sanctification is an abiding thing. ‘His seed remaineth in him.’ I John iii 9. He who is truly sanctified, cannot fall from that state. Indeed, seeming holiness may be lost, colours may wash off; sanctification may suffer an eclipse. ‘Thou hast left thy first love.’ Rev ii 4. True sanctification is a blossom of eternity. ‘The anointing which ye have received abideth in you.’ I John ii 27. He who is truly sanctified can no more fall away than the angels which are fixed in their heavenly orbs.

(7.) Sanctification is a progressive thing. It is growing; it is compared to seed which grows: first the blade springs up, then the ear, then the ripe corn in the ear; such as are already sanctified may be more sanctified. 2 Cor vii 1. Justification does not admit of degrees; a believer cannot be more elected or justified than he is, but he may be more sanctified than he is. Sanctification is still increasing, like the morning sun, which grows brighter to the full meridian. Knowledge is said to increase, and faith to increase. Col i 10; 2 Cor x 15. A Christian is continually adding a cubit to his spiritual stature. It is not with us as it was with Christ, who received the Spirit without measure; for Christ could not be more holy than he was. We have the Spirit only in measure, and may be still augmenting our grace; as Apelles, when he had drawn a picture, would be still mending it with his pencil. The image of God is drawn but imperfectly in us, therefore we must be still mending it, and drawing it in more lively colours. Sanctification is progressive; if it does not grow, it is because it does not live. Thus you see the nature of sanctification.

What are the counterfeits of sanctification?

There are things which look like sanctification, but are not.

(1.) The first counterfeit of sanctification is moral virtue. To be just, be temperate, to be of a fair deportment, not to have one’s escutcheon blotted with ignominious scandal is good, but not enough; it is not sanctification. A field-flower differs from a garden-flower. Heathens have attained to morality; as Cato, Socrates, and Aristides. Civility is but nature refined; there is nothing of Christ there, and the heart may be foul and impure. Under these fair leaves of civility the worm of unbelief may be hid. A moral person has a secret antipathy against grace; he hates vice, and he hates grace as much as vice. The snake has a fine colour, but a sting. A person adorned and cultivated with moral virtue, has a secret spleen against sanctity. The Stoics who were the chief of the moralized heathens, were the bitterest enemies Paul had. Acts xvii 18.

(2.) The second counterfeit of sanctification is superstitious devotion. This abounds in Popery; adorations, images. altars, vestments, and holy water, which I look upon as a religious frenzy, and is far from sanctification. It does not put any intrinsic goodness into a man, it does not make a man better. If the legal purifications and washings, which were of God’s own appointing, did not make those who used them more holy; and the priests, who wore holy garments, and had holy oil poured on them, were not more holy without the anointing of the Spirit; then surely those superstitious innovations in religion, which God never appointed, cannot contribute any holiness to men. A superstitious holiness costs no great labour; there is nothing of the heart in it. If to tell over a few beads, or bow to an image, or sprinkle themselves with holy water were sanctification, and all that is required of them that should be saved, then hell would be empty, none would come there.

(3.) The third counterfeit of sanctification is hypocrisy; when men make a pretence of that holiness which they have not. As a comet may shine like a star, a lustre may shine from their profession that dazzles the eyes of the beholders. ‘Having a form of godliness, but denying the power.’ 2 Tim iii 5. These are lamps without oil; whited sepulchres, like the Egyptian temples, which had fair outsides, but within spiders and apes. The apostle speaks of true holiness. Eph iv 24, implying that there is holiness which is spurious and feigned. ‘Thou hast a name to live, but art dead;’ Rev iii 1; like pictures and Statues which are destitute of a vital principle. ‘Clouds without water.’ Jude 12. They pretend to be full of the Spirit, but are empty clouds. This show of sanctification is a self-delusion. He who takes copper instead of gold, wrongs himself; the most counterfeit saint deceives others while he lives, but deceives himself when he dies. To pretend to holiness when there is none is a vain thing. What were the foolish virgins better for their blazing lamps, when they wanted oil? What is the lamp of profession without the oil of saving grace? What comfort will a show of holiness yield at last? Will painted gold enrich? painted wine refresh him that is thirsty? or painted holiness be a cordial at the hour of death? A pretence of sanctification is not to be rested in. Many ships, that have had the name of the Hope, the Safeguard, the Triumph, have been east away upon rocks; so, many who have had the name of saints, have been east into hell.

(4.) The fourth counterfeit of sanctification is restraining grace, when men forbear vice, though they do not hate it. This may be the sinner’s motto, Fain I would, but I dare not.’ The dog has a mind to the bone, but is afraid of the cudgel; so men have a mind to lust, but conscience stands as the angel, with a flaming sword, and affrights: they have a mind to revenge, but the fear of hell is a curb-bit to check them. There is no change of heart; sin is curbed, but not cured. A lion may be in chains, but is a lion still.

(5.) The fifth counterfeit of sanctification is common grace, which is a slight, transient work of the Spirit, but does not amount to conversion. There is some light in the judgment, but it is not humbling; some cheeks in the conscience, but they are not awakening. This looks like sanctification, but is not. Men have convictions wrought in them, but they break loose from them again, like the deer, which, being shot, shakes out the arrow. After conviction, men go into the house of mirth, take the harp to drive away the spirit of sadness, and so all dies and comes to nothing.

Wherein appears the necessity of sanctification?

In six things: (1.) God has called us to it. ‘Who hath called us to glory and virtue; 2 Pet i 3; to virtue, as well as glory. ‘God hath not called us to uncleanness, but unto holiness.’ I Thess iv 7. We have no call to sin, we may have a temptation, but no call; no call to be proud, or unclean; but we have a call to be holy.

(2.) Without sanctification there is no evidencing our justification. Justification and sanctification go together. ‘But ye are sanctified, but ye are justified.’ I Cor vi 11. ‘Pardoning iniquity,’ Mic vii 18; there is justification. ‘He will subdue our iniquities, v 19; there is sanctification. ‘Out of Christ’s side came blood and water,’ John xix 34; blood for justification; water for sanctification. Such as have not the water out of Christ’s side to cleanse them, shall never have the blood out of his side to save them.

(3.) Without sanctification we have no title to the new covenant. The covenant of grace is our charter for heaven. The tenure of the covenant is, That God will be our God. But who are interested in the covenant, and may plead the benefit of it? Sanctified persons only. ‘A new heart will I give you, and I will put my Spirit within you, and I will be your God.’

Ezek xxxvi 26. If a man makes a will, none but such persons as are named in the will can lay claim to the will; so God makes a will and testament, but it is restrained and limited to such as are sanctified; and it is high presumption for any one else to lay claim to the will.

(4.) There is no going to heaven without sanctification. ‘Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.’ Heb xii 14. God is a holy God, and he will suffer no unholy creature to come near him. A king will not suffer a man with plague-sores to approach into his presence. Heaven is not like Noah’s ark, where the clean beasts and the unclean entered. No unclean beasts come into the heavenly ark; for though God suffer the wicked to live awhile on the earth, he will never suffer heaven to be pestered with such vermin. Are they fit to see God who wallow in wickedness? Will God ever lay such vipers in his bosom? ‘Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.’ It must be a clear eye that sees a bright object: only a holy heart can see God in his glory. Sinners may see God as an enemy, but not as a friend; may have an affrighting vision of him, but not a beatific vision; they may see the flaming sword, but not the mercy-seat. Oh then, what need is there of sanctification!

(5.) Without sanctification all our holy things are defiled. ‘Unto them that are defiled is nothing pure.’ Tit i 15. Under the law, if a man who was unclean by a dead body carried a piece of holy flesh in his skirt, the holy flesh would not cleanse him, but it would be polluted by him. Hag ii 12, 13. This is an emblem of a sinner’s polluting his holy offering. A foul stomach turns the best food into ill humours; so an unsanctified heart pollutes prayers, alms, sacraments. This evinces the necessity of sanctification. Sanctification makes our holy things accepted. A holy heart is the altar which sanctifies the offering; if not to satisfaction, to acceptation.

(6.) Without sanctification we can show no sign of our election. 2 Thess ii 13. Election is the cause of our salvation, sanctification is our evidence. Sanctification is the earmark of Christ’s elect sheep.

What are the signs of sanctification?

First, such as are sanctified can remember a time when they were unsanctified. Tit iii 3. We were in our blood, and then God washed us with water, and anointed us with oil. Ezek xvi 9. Those trees of righteousness that blossom and bear almonds, can remember when they were like Aaron’s dry rod, not one blossom of holiness growing. A sanctified soul can remember when it was estranged from God through ignorance and vanity, and when free grace planted this flower of holiness in it.

A second sign of sanctification is the indwelling of the Spirit. ‘The Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.’ 2 Tim i 14. As the unclean spirit dwells in the wicked and carries them to pride, lust, revenge the devil enters into these swine, Acts v 3 – so the Spirit of God dwells in the elect, as their guide and comforter. The Spirit possesses the saints. God’s Spirit sanctifies the fancy, causing it to mint holy thoughts; and sanctifies the will by putting a new bias upon it, whereby it is inclined to good. He who is sanctified has the influence of the Spirit, though not the essence.

A third sign of sanctification is an antipathy against sin. Psa cxix 104. A hypocrite may leave sin, yet love it; as a serpent casts its coat, but keeps its sting; but a sanctified person can say he not only leaves sin, hut loathes it. As there are antipathies in nature between the vine and laurel, so in a sanctified soul there is a holy antipathy against sin; and antipathies can never be reconciled. Because a man has an antipathy against sin, he cannot but oppose it, and seek the destruction of it.

A fourth sign of sanctification is the spiritual performance of duties, with the heart, and from a principle of love. The sanctified soul prays out of a love to prayer, and ‘calls the Sabbath a delight.’ Isa lviii 13. A man may have gifts to admiration; he may speak as an angel dropped out of heaven, yet he may be carnal in spiritual things; his services may not come from a renewed principle, nor be carried upon the wings of delight in duty. A sanctified soul worships God in the Spirit. I Pet ii 5. God judges not of our duties by their length, but by the love from which they spring.

A fifth sign is a well-ordered life. ‘Be ye holy in all manner of conversation.’ I Pet i is. Where the heart is sanctified the life will be so too. The temple had gold without as well as within. As in a piece of coin there is not only the king’s image within the ring. but his superscription without; so where there is sanctification, there is not only God’s image in the heart, but a superscription of holiness written in the life. Some say they have good hearts, but their lives are vicious. ‘There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.’ Prov XXX 12. If the water be foul in the bucket, it cannot be clean in the well. ‘The king’s daughter is all glorious within.’ Psa xlv 13, There is holiness of heart. ‘Her clothing is of wrought gold.’ There is holiness of life. Grace is most beautiful when its light so shines that others may see it; this adorns religion, and makes proselytes to the faith

A sixth sign is steadfast resolution. He is resolved never to part with his holiness. Let others reproach it, he loves it the more. Let water be sprinkled on the fire, it burns the more. He says, as David, when Michal reproached him for dancing before the ark, ‘If this be to be vile, I will yet be more vile.’ 2 Sam vi 22. Let others persecute him for his holiness, he says as Paul, ‘None of these things move me.’ Acts XX 24. He prefers sanctity before safety, and had rather keep his conscience pure than his skin whole. He says as Job, ‘My integrity I will hold fast, and not let it go,’ xxvii 6. He will rather part with his life than his conscience.

Use one: The main thing a Christian should look after is sanctification. This is the unuin necessarium, ‘the one thing needful.’ Sanctification is our purest complexion, it makes us as the heaven, bespangled with stars; it is our nobility, by it we are born of God, and partake of the divine nature; it is our riches, therefore compared to rows of jewels, and chains of gold. Cant i 10. It is our best certificate for heaven. What evidence have we else to show? Have we knowledge? So has the devil. Do we profess religion? Satan often appears in Samuel’s mantle, and transforms himself into an angel of light. But our certificate for heaven is sanctification. Sanctification is the firstfruits of the Spirit; the only coin that will pass current in the other world. Sanctification is the evidence of God’s love. We cannot know God’s love by giving us health, riches, success; but by drawing his image of sanctification on us by the pencil of the Holy Ghost it is known.

Oh the misery of such as are destitute of a principle of sanctification They are spiritually dead. Eph ii 1. Though they breathe, yet they do not live. The greatest part of the world remains unsanctified. ‘The world lies in wickedness.’ I John v 19. That is, the major part of the world. Many call themselves Christians, but blot out the word saints. You may as well call him a man who wants reason, as him a Christian who wants grace. Nay, which is worse, some are buoyed up to such a height of wickedness, that they hate and deride sanctification. They hate it. It is bad to want it, it is worse to hate it. They embrace the form of religion, but hate the power. The vulture hates sweet smells, so do they the perfumes of holiness. They say in derision, These are your holy ones! To deride sanctification argues a high degree of atheism, and is a black brand of reprobation. Scoffing Ishmael was cast out of Abraham’s family, Gen xxi 9; and such as scoff at holiness shall be cast out of heaven.

Use two: Above all things pursue after sanctification. Seek grace more than gold. ‘Keep her, for she is thy life.’ Prov iv 13.

What are the chief inducements to sanctification?

(1.) It is the will of God that we should be holy, as saith the text, ‘This is the will of God, your sanctification.’ As God’s word must be the rule, so his will, the reason of our actions. This is the will of God, our sanctification. Perhaps it is not the will of God we should be rich, but it is his will that we should be holy. God’s will is our warrant.

(2.) Jesus Christ has died for our sanctification. Christ shed his blood to wash off our impurity. The cross was both an altar and a laver. ‘Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity.’ Tit ii 14. If we could be saved without holiness, Christ needed not have died. Christ died, not only to save us from wrath, but from sin.

(3.) Sanctification makes us resemble God. It was Adam’s sin that he aspired to be like God in omniscience, but we must endeavour to he like him in sanctity. It is a clear glass in which we can see a face; it is a holy heart in which something of God can be seen. Nothing of God can be seen in an unsanctified man, but you may see Satan’s picture in him. Envy is the devil’s eye, hypocrisy his cloven foot; but nothing of God’s Image can be seen in him.

(4.) Sanctification is that which God bears a great love to. Not any outward ornaments, high blood, or worldly grandeur, draws God’s love, but a heart embellished with holiness does. Christ never admired anything but the beauty of holiness: he slighted the glorious buildings of the temple, but admired the woman’s faith, and said, ‘O woman, great is thy faith.’ Amor fundatur similitudine. As a king delights to see his image upon a piece of coin, so where God sees his likeness he gives his love. The Lord has two heavens to dwell in, and the holy heart is one of them.

(5.) Sanctification is the only thing that makes us differ from the wicked. God’s people have his seal upon them. ‘The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’ 2 Tim ii 19. The godly are sealed with a double seal, a seal of election, ‘The Lord knoweth who are his,’ and a seal of sanctification, ‘Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’ This is the name by which God’s people are known, ‘The people of thy holiness.’ Isa lxii 18. As chastity distinguishes a virtuous woman from a harlot, so sanctification distinguishes God’s people from others. ‘Ye have received an unction from the Holy One.’ I John ii 20.

(6.) It is as great a shame to have the name of a Christian, yet want sanctity, as to have the name of a steward and want fidelity; or the name of a virgin, and want chastity. It exposes religion to reproach, to be baptized into the name of Christ while unholy, and to have eyes full of tears on a sabbath, and on a week-day eyes full of adultery: 2 Pet ii 14; to be so devout at the Lord’s table, as if men were stepping into heaven, and so profane the week after, as if they came out of hell; to have the name of Christians while unholy is a scandal to religion, and makes the ways of God evil spoken of.

(7.) Sanctification fits for heaven: ‘Who hath called us to glory and virtue.’ 2 Pet i 3. Glory is the throne, and sanctification is the step by which we ascend to it. As you first cleanse the vessel, and then pour in the wine; so God first cleanses us by sanctification, and then pours in the wine of glory. Solomon was first anointed with oil, and then was a king. I Kings i 39. First God anoints us with the holy oil of his Spirit, and then sets the crown of happiness Upon our head. Pureness of heart and seeing God are linked together. Matt v 8.

How may sanctification be attained?

(1.) Be conversant in the word of God. ‘Sanctify them through thy truth.’ John xvii 17. The word is both a glass to show us the spots of our soul, and a laver to wash them away. The word has a transforming virtue in it; it irradiates the mind, and consecrates the heart.

(2.) Get faith in Christ’s blood. ‘Having purified their hearts by faith.’ Acts xv 9. She in the gospel who touched the hem of Christ’s garment was healed. A touch of faith purifies. Nothing can have a greater force upon the heart, to sanctify it, than faith. If I believe Christ and his merits are mine, how can I sin against him? Justifying faith does that in a spiritual sense which miraculous faith does, it removes mountains, the mountains of pride, lust, envy. Faith and the love of sin are inconsistent.

(3.) Breathe after the Spirit. It is called ‘the sanctification of the Spirit.’ 2 Thess ii 13. The Spirit sanctifies the heart, as lightning purifies the air, and as fire refines metals. Omne agens generat sibi simile [The Spirit at work generates its own likeness everywhere.] The Spirit stamps the impression of its own sanctity upon the heart, as the seal prints its likeness upon the wax. The Spirit of God in a man perfumes him with holiness, and makes his heart a map of heaven.

(4.) Associate with sanctified persons. They may, by their counsel, prayers, and holy example, be a means to make you holy. As the communion of saints is in our creed, so it should be in our company. ‘He that walketh with the wise shall be wise.’ Prov xiii 20. Association begets assimilation.

(5.) Pray for sanctification. Job propounds a question. ‘Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?’ Job xiv 4. God can do it. Out of an unholy heart he can produce grace. Oh! make David’s prayer your own’, Create in me a clean heart, O God.’ Psa li 10. Lay thy heart before the Lord, and say, Lord, my unsanctified heart pollutes all it touches. I am not fit to live with such a heart, for I cannot honour thee; nor die with such a heart, for I cannot see thee. Oh create in me a new heart! Lord, consecrate my heart, and make it thy temple, and thy praises shall be sung there for ever.

Use three: Has God brought a clean thing out of an unclean? has he sanctified you? Wear this jewel of sanctification with thankfulness. ‘Giving thanks to the Father, who bath made us meet for the inheritance,’ &c Col i 12. Christian, thou couldst defile thyself, but not sanctify thyself; but God has done it, he has not only chained up sin, but changed thy nature, and made thee as a king’s daughter, all glorious within. He has put upon thee the breastplate of holiness, which, though it may be shot at, can never be shot through. Are there any here that are sanctified? God has done more for you than millions, who may be illumined, but are not sanctified. He has done more for you than if he had made you the sons of princes, and caused you to ride upon the high places of the earth. Are you sanctified? Heaven is begun in you; for happiness is nothing but the quintessence of holiness. Oh, how thankful should you be to God! Do as that blind man in the gospel did after he had received his sight, who ‘followed Christ, glorifying God.’ Luke xviii 43. Make heaven ring with God’s praises.

From A Body of Divinity, published by Banner of Truth Trust

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2012!

DESIGNiam-flyers-2012

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Radio Announcement!

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2011 40 DAYS FASTING AND PRAYER PROGRAM

TOPIC: RESIST THE ENEMY AND HE WILL FLEE

Notes:

Fasting: 6am-6pm (Monday -Friday) 6am-2pm (Saturday – Sunday)

daily for 40 days

Praise and Worship

Scripture Readings and confession: Psalm 27; Psalm 18; Psalm 23; Psalm 24; Psalm 91; Roman 8; John 8:36; Joel 2: 32; Isa. 49:14-21; Isa 45;Isa 46:12-13;

We have 4 section and each prayer section is for 10 day equal to 40 days. Start 01 of December -2011 of January 2012

In your prayers: pray against the spirit of death and hell, in your environment, in our nation, in your family and in your life.

May God bless you.

 

Daily Personal Prophetic Declaration

Scripture Confession: Job 22:27-30; Prov. 18:21, Rev. 12:11

 

1. I will not lack any good thing in the name of Jesus.

2. I am the head; I am not the tail, in the name of Jesus.

3. The traps of my enemies will catch my enemies in the name of Jesus.

4. The fire of my enemies will burn my enemies in the name of Jesus.

5. The lions of my enemies will eat up my enemies in the name of Jesus.

6. Every witch doctor hired to curse me, run mad in the name of Jesus.

7. The charms of my enemies will destroy my enemies, in the name of Jesus.

8. The joy of my enemies will turn into sorrow in the name of Jesus.

9. As long as I live on this earth no power can be able to stand against me in the name of Jesus.

10. It is written that whatsoever a man sowed is what he will reap. I refused to reap what I did not sow, in the name of Jesus.

11. I refuse to share my husband /wife with another person in the name of Jesus.

12. Surely there is no bewitchment targeted against me and my family will ever prosper in the name of Jesus.

13. Anything taken from my body which my enemies are using to manipulate me receive fire and torment my enemies in the name of Jesus.

14. Any calabash/pot which my enemies are using to cook my marriage be shattered to piece in the name of Jesus.

15. Thou personality of failure sharing my body with me jump out and die in the name of Jesus.

16. I will see the goodness of the Lord all the days of my life in the name of Jesus.

17. My head shall be lifted up above my enemies, in the name of Jesus.

18. I refuse to wear the shoes of my parents in the name of Jesus.

19. My children will not wear my shoes in the name of Jesus.

20. I may cry in the night; but my joy will come in the morning in the name of Jesus.

21. My crying will become my dancing in the name of Jesus.

22. My sackcloth will become my garment of gladness in the name of Jesus.

23. I will not be delivered to the will of my enemies in the name of Jesus.

24. I will not fear in the time of evil in the name of Jesus.

25. I am like a green olive tree in the house of the Lord, in the name of Jesus.

26. The light of God in me will not become darkness in the name of Jesus.

27. I refuse to be led by evil spirit in the name of Jesus.

28. I refuse to help my enemies to destroy me in the name of Jesus.

29. I reject bewitchment in the name of Jesus.

30. I refuse to walk the paths of unrighteousness in the name of Jesus.

31. I refuse to deny my God in the name of Jesus.

32. No matter the opposition, I will possess my possession, in the name of Jesus.

33. No matter the distractions I will remain focused and reach my goal in the name of Jesus.

34. Where others have been rejected, I will be accepted, in the name of Jesus.

35. Any Goliath like situation defiling the name of the Lord in my life receive stones of fire and die, in the name of Jesus.

36. Death cannot stop me, poverty cannot stop me in the name of Jesus.

37. I refuse to carry any satanic load in the name of Jesus.

38. My environment will not swallow me in the name of Jesus.

39. The enemy will not use me as a bad example in the name of Jesus.

(Prophecy as the Spirit of the Lord gives you utterances!)

 

 

1st DECEMBER – 10TH DECEMBER

Section One

Scripture Reading: 1 Thess. 3:12-13; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Rom. 6:18-23; Ps. 51; Isa. 52:1-3

TOPIC: SPIRITUAL CLEANSING

1. I soak myself with the blood of Jesus (family, work, business, etc)

2. I put on complete armour of God

3. I cleanse and disconnect myself from any satanic pollution in the name of Jesus.

4. I cleanse and disconnect myself from every sexual pollution in the name of Jesus.

5. I cleanse and disconnect myself from any occultic pollution in the name of Jesus.

6. I cleanse and disconnect myself from every witchcraft pollution in the name of Jesus.

7. I cleanse and disconnect myself from every gossiping and backbiting pollution, in the name of Jesus.

8. I cleanse and disconnect myself from all forms of perversion, In the name of Jesus

9. I cleanse and disconnect myself from environmental pollution, in the name of Jesus.

10. I cleanse and disconnect myself from tribal pollution , in the name of Jesus.

11. I cleanse and disconnect myself from generational pollution, in the name of Jesus.

12. I cleanse and disconnect myself from all forms of false religion, in the name of Jesus.

13. I cleanse and disconnect myself from familiar spirits, in the name of Jesus.

14. I use the broom of fire to sweep this environment in the name of Jesus.

15. I command the brimstones of fire to fall upon this environment, in the name of Jesus.

16. Let the flood of the blood of Jesus flow in this environment, in the name of Jesus.

17. I cleanse and disconnect my (prosperity, health, marriage, academic, office, business, houses, cars, position, etc.) from any satanic pollution.

18. I cleanse and disconnect myself from evil family pattern, in the name of Jesus.

19. I cleanse and disconnect myself from any foundational bondage, in the name of Jesus.

20. I cleanse and disconnect myself from the bondage of marital failure, in the name of Jesus.

21. Every serpentine poison injected into my heart be flushed out in the name of Jesus.

22. I cleanse and disconnect myself from academic failure, in the name of Jesus.

23. I cleanse and disconnect myself from any household witchcraft, in the name of Jesus.

24. I cleanse and disconnect myself from every ungodly relationship, in the name of Jesus.

25. Every rope/chain / padlock, which has connected me to any ungodly man / woman, be destroyed by the blood of Jesus.

26. I cleanse myself from any altar of sexual immorality, in the name of Jesus.

27. I cleanse and disconnect myself from any altar of (stealing, lying, anger, jealousy, strife, envy, mocking, slandering, in the name of Jesus.

28. I cleanse and disconnect myself from any altar of miscarriage, barrenness, sickness, in the name of Jesus.

29. I cleanse and plant myself on Christ Jesus the Rock, in the name of Jesus.

30. I cover my prayer with the blood of Jesus and the fire of the Holy Ghost, in the name of Jesus.

31. Thank You Lord for answering my prayers in the name of Jesus.

(Pray as the Spirit of the Lord gives you utterance!)

 

 

11th DECEMBER-TO 20TH DECEMBER

Section Two

Scripture Reading: Judges 6:25-28; Deut. 9:1-3

TOPIC: PULLING DOWN THEIR ALTARS

Prayer Points

1. I soak myself with the blood of Jesus

2. I put on complete armour of God, in the name of Jesus

3. I shake the foundation of any altar containing my destiny with the fire of the Holy Ghost, in the name of Jesus.

4. Anything taken from my body on any satanic altar becomes fire in the name of Jesus.

5. Any sand taken from my feet which the enemy is using to manipulate me become fire in the camp of the enemy in the name of Jesus.

6. Any hair taken from my head which the enemy is using to manipulate my glory bring trouble in the camp of my enemy, in the name of Jesus.

7. Any altar containing my clothes be burned down by fire, in the name of Jesus.

8. Any altar containing my nails be roasted by fire, in the name of Jesus.

9. Any altar containing my blood be consumed by fire in the name of Jesus.

10. Any altar containing my baby carrier be roasted by fire in the name of Jesus.

11. Any altar containing my first hair catch fire, in the name of Jesus.

12. Any altar containing my name, die, in the name of Jesus.

13. I send fire to the camp of my enemies, in the name of Jesus.

14. I send fire to my father’s house in the name of Jesus.

15. I send fire to my mother’s house in the name of Jesus.

16. I send fire to my village, in the name of Jesus.

17. I send fire to the house where I grow up, in the name of Jesus.

18. I command any altar of limitation containing my destiny, catch fire and release my destiny, in the name of Jesus.

19. Holy Ghost fire, possesses my body, possess my soul, possess my spirit, in the name of Jesus.

20. Holy Ghost fire consumes every altar in the heavenlies, on the land, in the water containing my destiny.

21. Every witch-doctor in charge of my case be roasted by fire in the name of Jesus.

22. Let my blood become poison in the stomach of my enemies, in the name of Jesus.

23. Let any organ of my body become poison in the mouth of my enemies, in the name of Jesus.

24. Every evil diviner divining against me, run mad in the name of Jesus.

25. Every counsel of the enemy given against me become foolishness, in the name of Jesus.

26. Every familiar spirits sharing my body with me, jump out and die, in the name of Jesus.

27. Any evil house caging my life, what do you think you are doing, be blown away, in the name of Jesus.

28. Every demonic egg representing my life be shatter to piece in the name of Jesus.

29. I release myself from the bondage of my village, in the name of Jesus.

30. I release my self from the bondage of my tribe in the name of Jesus.

31. I release myself from the bondage of my generation, in the name of Jesus.

32. I release myself from the bondage of my former schools (slot in the name of all the school you have attended)

33. I release myself from the bondage of any occultic church which I have ever attended, in the name of Jesus.

34. I release myself from any evil association, in the name of Jesus.

35. I release myself from any unfriendly friends, in the name of Jesus.

(Pray as the Spirit of the Lord gives you utterance!)

 

21st DECEMBER – TO 30th DECEMBER

SECTION THREE

Bible Reading: Luke 11:21-22, Isa. 54:2-4; Joel 2:23-27; Isa. 49:14-21,

Heb. 1:13-14, Hag 2:8

Praise and Worship

TOPIC: RECOVERING MY GOODS

 

1. I charge my prayers with the fire of the Holy Ghost, in the name of Jesus.

2. I recover my goods from the warehouse of the strong man, in the name of Jesus.

3. I command any strongman in charge of my good, be arrested by fire in the name of Jesus.

4. I command you that strongman to release my goods and die, in the name of Jesus.

5. Thou warehouse of the strongman caging my destiny; be invaded by the angels of the Lord, in the name of Jesus.

6. Thou warehouse of the strongman caging my blessing, be invaded by the angelic army of God, in the name of Jesus.

7. Angelic army of God, with weapon of warfare in your hands, enter into the warehouse of the strongman and recover my goods, in the name of Jesus.

8. Thou storeroom of the strongman, caging my life, release my life and die in the name of Jesus.

9. Angelic army of God go to my father’s house and recover my goods, in the name of Jesus.

10. Angelic army of God, go to my mother’s house and recover my goods, in the name of Jesus.

11. Angelic army of God, go to my village and recover my goods, in the name of Jesus.

12. Angelic army of God, go to my any house which I have ever lived and recover my goods, in the name of Jesus.

13. Angelic army of God, go to the foundation of my tribe and recover my goods, in the name of Jesus.

14. Angelic army of God go to the foundation of my village and recover my goods, in the name of Jesus.

15. Angelic army of God, go to the foundation of my generation and recover my goods, in the name of Jesus.

16. I walk out of any satanic house, in the name of Jesus.

17. Angelic army of God, go to my place of birth and recover my goods, in the name of Jesus.

18. Angelic army of God, go to the heavenlies, go to the water, go to the land; and recover my goods, in the name of Jesus.

19. Angelic army of God go to the grave and recover my goods; in the name of Jesus.

20. I puncture the strength of my enemies, in the name of Jesus.

21. I paralyse the confidence of my enemies, in the name of Jesus.

22. Every satanic army hired to resist my command; be consumed by fire in the name of Jesus.

23. I recover my virtue in the name of Jesus.

24. I recover my blessings from the warehouse of the strongman, in the name of Jesus.

25. I recover my husband/wife from the warehouse of the strongman, in the name of Jesus.

26. I recover my blood from the altar of the strongman, in the name of Jesus.

27. I recover my life (blessing, peace, marriage, etc.) from the altar of the strongman, in the name of Jesus.

28. I recover any organ of my body from the altar of the strongman, in the name of Jesus.

29. I recover the wealth of my nation from the warehouse of the strongman; in the name of Jesus.

30. I recover the marriages of my nation from the altar of the strongman, in the name of Jesus.

31. I recover the youths from the altar of destruction, in the name of Jesus.

(Pray as the Spirit of the Lord gives you utterance)

 

 

31st DECEMBER – 9TH JANUARY 2012

Section Four

Bible Reading: Job 38:12-15; Luke 10:19; Matt 18:18; Josh. 1:5; Jer. 1:10;

Job 22:28

Praise and Worship

TOPIC: TAKING AUTHORITY OVER THE YEAR 2012

Prayer Points

1. I destroy the shield of the enemy over this year in the name of Jesus.

2. I paralysed the confidence of the enemy in this year in the name of Jesus.

3. I take authority over the creation of God, in the name of Jesus.

4. I take authority over year 2012, in the name of Jesus.

5. I take authority over every conspiracy of the enemy against me in my office, business, family, children this year, in the name of Jesus.

6. I take authority over the army of the enemy in this year, in the name of Jesus.

7. I take authority over every plans of the enemy against the children of God this year, in the name of Jesus.

8. I take authority over every financial bondage this year, in the name of Jesus.

9. I take authority over any marital bondage this year, in the name of Jesus.

10. I take authority over any health bondage this year, in the name of Jesus.

11. I take authority over any bondage of sickness this year, in the name of Jesus.

12. I take authority over any calamity assigned against the children of God this year, in the name of Jesus.

13. I take authority over any operation of darkness, in the name of Jesus.

14. I take authority over any voice assigned to condemn me this year, in the name of Jesus.

15. I take authority over any trap of the enemy designed against the children of God, in the name of Jesus.

16. I take authority over the spirit of last days this year in the name of Jesus.

17. I command every conspiracy against me and the children of God this year scatter by fire in the name of Jesus.

18. I take authority over every spirit of rebellion assigned against the children of God this year, in the name of Jesus.

19. I take authority over every spirit of failure assigned against the children of God this year in the name of Jesus.

20. I take authority over the spirit of miscarriage this year, in the name of Jesus.

21. I take authority over the spirit of stagnancy assigned against the children of God this year, in the name of Jesus.

22. I take authority over the spirit of limitation this year in the name of Jesus.

23. I take authority over the spirit of manipulation designed against the children of God this year in the name of Jesus.

24. I take authority over the spirit of seduction designed against the children of God this year, in the name of Jesus.

25. The wind will not blow against me this year, in the name of Jesus.

26. The sun will not rise against me this year, in the name of Jesus.

27. In this year 2012, I rededicate everything I have to the Lord, (mention them) in the name of Jesus

28. I command every plan of the enemy against GGDEM, to scatter by fire in the name of Jesus.

29. I break to piece every calabash of curses prepared against me in the name of Jesus.

30. I silence every storm of life that assigned to swallow any member of this our ministry in the name of Jesus.

31. I pull down every evil construction; constructed against me in the name of Jesus.

32. Blood of Jesus, overshadow my life in this year 2012, in the name of Jesus.

33. Blood of Jesus overshadow the usa, in the name of Jesus.

34. Blood of Jesus protect our president,his wife,family and leaders in the name of Jesus.

35. Healing power of God, heal our nation; in the name of Jesus.

36. Resurrection power of God; resurrect the destinies of us; in the name of Jesus.

37. Thou demon of suicide; I break your confidence and backbone in the name of Jesus.

38. Thou demon of alcohol , drug abuse I command you to be roasted by fire; in the name of Jesus.

39. Light of God, enter in every house this year and shine, in the name of Jesus.

40. In this year 2012; none of my family member shall know defeat, in the name of Jesus

(Pray as the Spirit of the Lord gives you utterance)

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Psalm For December

Sing Praises to God, Sing Praises!

Psalm 47

A short psalm that shows how much the writer wanted to praise God.  Again, many commentators believe that this is actually a psalm of David, written either after a great victory, or more probably when the ark entered Jerusalem.  The latter seems more appropriate (2 Samuel 6).  In fact 1 Chron. 16 which records the ark being placed in the temple records a similar psalm (Actually repeated in Ps. 96 and others).    IT was truly a time when David outwardly showed his praise and gratitude to God.   It is a psalm whose main message is a call to praise God.  That God is worthy of praise is something we have seen in the psalms over and over.  But this psalm tells us some things about HOW to praise Him.

One author (Maclaren) believes that this is a Messianic psalm looking toward a kingdom which would be for all men.  The Superscription is typical, the work being assigned to the chief musician and described as a psalm of the sons of Korah.

I.   I.       God is worthy of praise (1-4)

a.  A call to clap and shout praise to God.

i.   Clapping and shouting would be outward manifestations of inward gratitude.  The psalmist is calling for praise that is public and even attention getting.  This is one unashamed of his LORD.

ii.   LESSON: We know that we ought to praise God.

1.  When we praise God our outward actions OUGHT TO demonstrate the gratitude and love we have for Him.   People should see how much He means to us as we worship and praise Him.

2.  Every act of worship we are commanded to participate in praises God in one way or another.

a.  As we sing together – we lift up our voices in praise to Him.  James 5:13 says, “Is anyone cheerful, let him sing.”  Our joy should cause us to want to sing.  Especially when that is what we are told to do – Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, etc.

b. As we pray to Him – we follow along and as appropriate we say Amen. Prayer, like singing is a fruit of the lip (Heb. 13:15).

c. Our giving is to be from the heart and cheerfully (1 Cor. 16:1-3, 2 Cor. 9:6-7).  While we do not brag or even reveal how much, our attitude as we give shows forth.

d.             As we study – do we open our Bibles?  Are we like the Bereans searching the scriptures (Acts 17:11).

e. As we partake of the Lord’s Supper we proclaim His death and are to do so  “in a worthy manner” which the text (1 Cor. 11:23-33) shows includes both how we do and our attitude.

3. Let our praise be outward as well as from the heart.

a. John 4:24 – it must be in Spirit AND in truth to be pleasing to Him.

b. Each of these acts is personal, BUT our desire to participate is visible to others.  What are we telling them?  Consider the improper attitude of Malachi 1:11-14.

c. BUT, let us NEVER, NEVER let our acts be done to be seen by men (cf. Matthew 6:1, 5, 16, etc.)  All that we do must be with humility!

iii.   What about hand clapping and shouting today in worship?  This is not authority for it for several reasons.

1.  It has been present in the denomination world for a while now, especially among the charismatic churches.  You see on television all the time where health and wealth are touted.  But is there authority for such?

2.  The passage we are studying was under the Old Law and thus it is NOT a source of authority for us.  We cannot do anything by the authority of the Old Law.  Christ did away with it (cf. Hebrews 8:13, Christ in saying a new covenant has made the first obsolete.

3.  Further, it is believed by many that such things as clapping and shouting were NEVER commanded by God, but simply tolerated.  This is also believed to be true of instrumental music. There were many things God tolerated under the Old Law, cf. Acts 17:30, Matt. 19:8.

4. Usually such outward expressions are more for those around than praising God.  Watch a “service” on television at a mega-church.  Sometimes the clapping erupts because of what is said (sometimes scripture, but often a joke or some poignant observation about society), but at other times it is directed specifically toward the one speaking OR PERFORMING!  It is about entertainment AND attracting attention to one’s self. BRETHREN, GOD DOES NOT NEED SUCH!  He has told us HOW to worship Him.  He recognizes our praise as it comes from the heart (see above) AND as it is according to His pattern (John 4:23-24, Colossians 3:17).
NOTE: This observation equally applies to instrumental music.  They stand or fall together.

b. Why is God to be praised?

i.      For the Lord Most High is awesome.  “To be feared” – NASU, “terrible” – KJV, ASV.
The idea in this is that He is to be held in reverence or awe.  The word in Hebrew is most often translated as fear (in its various forms), secondly as “terrible”.
The idea of the word is, “to fear, to revere, to be afraid” (BDB).  Vine’s defines it as, “to be afraid, stand in awe, fear.”
The point is God is worthy of praise because of His great power over us.  Fearing God involves being afraid of Him and His wrath – but only if we are rebellious and sinful.  (NOTE: Perhaps this is the point the psalmist is trying to convey if this is read by foreign nations)   When we obey and know Him, fearing God means that we show Him the greatest of reverence and respect.  We hold Him in awe.  IT is in that way that David means this word.
Because of its modern usage the word terrible is most unfortunate in our text because it is misunderstood to mean of the worst kind.  While God’s judgment and wrath against the ungodly are of the worst kind (which is the intent of the text), the wording seems to say God is of the worst kind (which is totally false).
I like the word awesome, because it means that God is to be held with the highest of wonder in our lives.  WE cannot fully know His greatness in anything, whether it be His wrath or love.  But the word awesome presents the same problems because of its use in modern language as well, the word being used cheaply.
HAVING said all this, God is worthy of praise because of who He is – awesome and fearful (terrible).

ii.      He is a great King(2-3)

1. God is THE ruler of the world.  When this psalm was written it was the in days where kings ruled the earth and nations, whether David or some other time.  Power and authority were established with might and conquering.  There were many arrogant kings who wanted to rule the world by defeating nations around them.  For those who enjoyed a measure of success, it was short-lived!

2. BUT, God IS King over all the earth, subduing all under Him.

3. NOTE: Let us consider this as we think of our Lord being our king – Col. 1:15-17, Phil 2:9-11, etc.

iii.  He will choose our inheritance (4)

1.  This is not teaching that man does not have free will, but rather that God is in control.  His way CAN and will prevail.

2.  The godly want Him to direct them – Jeremiah 10:23 (it is not in man to direct his own steps), Psa. 119:105 (Your word is a lamp to my feet).  We need to be like Paul in Acts 9:6  who said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

3.  The excellence of Jacob – His way IS excellent.
God always wants what is best for us and would NEVER steer us in the wrong direction.

II. II.   Praise Him in Song (5-7)

a. Because God is worthy, let us praise Him!

b. God has gone up with a shout – What God has done here is known and visible.  Just like the psalmist wanted to shout and clap, so God’s actions are “with a shout”.

c. Sing praises – The psalmist calls for singing.  Just as Moses did in Deut. 31:19-21.
We SHOULD sing and we know it.  But NOT because the psalmist mentions it here, rather it is commanded – Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16.  We do what we do because tells us to!

d. Sing praises TO God – not to man.  God is the one they were worshipping.  The same applies to us.

e. Why? Because God is worthy we need to praise Him.  He is king as the psalmist has already noted.

f. With understanding – what they did was to be coherent and with meaning.  Just like us – 1 Cor. 14:15

III.  III.    God reigns over nations (8-9)

a.  Again we see Him in control – These verses emphasize the reign of God over all nations.

b. He reigns over the nations, KJV – the heathen.  God rules ALL.
It may seem like the ungodly are running things.  They are in a way, but ONLY to the degree that He allows.  AND He is aware of their ways and will judge accordingly.

c.  The people of the God of Abraham – usually the term has reference to God’s people.  God’s people are a part of all the earth.  Back then it was the Jews.  But remember that Abraham had many more people (Ishmael who had 12 sons & his 6 sons through Keturah – Gen. 25:1-2).  The point is this could be looking to ALL who are His – cf. Galatians 3:29.

d.  The shields of the earth.  A shield would describe that which protects.  Here it is natural forces and things.  Like men, nature also submits to God.  This is seen throughout the history of the Old Testament, and in figurative language.
NOTE also Romans 1:20 which notes that His invisible attributes are clearly seen… in nature.

And thus we see another psalm, this one, a psalm of PURE praise to God.  Let us always remember the importance of praising God, not only when we assemble together, but throughout our lives: whether it be our example, our teaching others or as we worship Him in our homes and throughout the day.  Are you praising God?

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December Bible Study

Walking According To The Spirit
Romans 8:1-11

The Context

A.      The first few verses are believed by many to be a summary of what Paul has said thus far about our justification by God’s grace through our faith.  In times past we have extensively studied these passages noting that all men are guilty of sin (1-3) and that through God’s grace by sending Jesus Christ to die, our sins are forgiven. (3:24-26, 5:12-21, 6:23, etc.)  Our part in receiving forgiveness is described in terms of our faith (ch. 4-5) considering examples such as Abraham and David which we have noted was an obedient faith that did whatever God commanded.  Furthermore Paul has established 1) That we cannot continue in sin so that God’s grace may abound (6:1-14). 2) That we cannot sin because we are not under physical law (such as the Law of Moses) but under grace (6:15-7:6). 3) Furthermore, the Law of Moses is NOT sin (7:7-12), though it condemned sin.  4) The Law, being good, was not what produced death (7:12-25), it was breaking the
law that led to hopelessness.  That brings us to chapter 8 where Paul is concluding all of this.

B.       Concerning the word Spirit in chapter 8.

Without question, this chapter is challenging, because contextually, the word spirit (pneuma) has reference to several different things throughout this chapter.  At times it refers to our spirit – or the will or mind that drives us and at other times it has reference to the Holy Spirit.  There is also the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ.  And there is the Word as a product of the Holy Spirit (vs. 2).  What I say in this lesson is MY understanding at this time.  It is possible that with further study, I might change my interpretation.  Thus I encourage you to study this context and put all things together, and come to a conclusion about what the various uses of this word means and where.  BUT I will say this, regardless of the use of Spirit in various verses, the overall message is clear – WE OUGHT TO WALK ACCORDING TO THE SPIRT AND NOT ACCORDING TO THE FLESH!

C.       Vs. 1 – There is therefore now no condemnation (a verdict of condemnation) to those who are in Christ Jesus -
As opposed to those who are NOT in Christ – one who is carnal and sold under sin, a wretched man (7:14, 24)

a.        These do not walk according to the flesh – a reference to sinful appetites

b.       But they walk according to the Spirit. This is describing one who desires to follow after God instead of his fleshly desires and he does so (see 7:25).
My understanding here is leaning toward the mind of man as opposed to his flesh.  In other words, he has made up his mind that he is going to follow God.  AND his direction is according to the dictates of the Spirit of God (i.e. His Word) which is mentioned in vs. 2.
NOTE: The KJV, NKJV and perhaps other versions use a capital “S” here indicating a belief that it has reference to the Holy Spirit.  Maybe it does, but in the original all letters were capital letters, so there is no distinction.

D.      Vs. 2 – The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus

a.        What is the law of the Spirit of Life? It would be that law which gives us life in Christ Jesus, namely the word of God.  Compared to the Old Law which was described in chapter 7 as “a law of death” because it did not give ultimate direction toward one’s salvation, the New Law gives us hope once and for all – and that is in Christ Jesus (He died for us)
Lesson: We need the word of God to put us on the right path – 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2:15; Hebrews 6:12-14 – With “solid food” our senses our trained so that we can discern between good and evil.

b.       The Spirit is He who revealed this law to us via the apostles, etc. – John 16:13, etc.

c.        This law has made us free from the law of sin and death – indulging the sinful appetites

E.       Vs. 3 – A verse that contrasts the Old Law and the New Law

a.        What was the fault of the Old Law? One of its major weaknesses was that it could NOT take a way sins (cf. Heb. 10:1-4, etc.)  Why was it weak through the flesh – because it required PERFECT obedience –which man WILL NOT do (Romans 3:23).

b.       But God took care of that “flaw” by sending Jesus, in the likeness of sinful flesh (NOTE it does not say His flesh was sinful – but He came in the likeness [similitude – Strong; a figure, image…representation - Thayer] of flesh.) of it.
Lesson: The point being Christ became human thereby being able to understand us and appease God’s demands – Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 4:15

c.        He came “on account of sin” – for the sake of sin.  RE: Every verse that talks about Jesus dying for our sins

d.       He condemned sin in the flesh – The word condemned means to pass judgment against or to find guilty and pronounce sentence. – In Jesus’ coming, God pronounced judgment against sin in the flesh – He declared sin worthy of judgment.  AND then He provided the remedy (2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13, etc.)

e.        The whole point of this verse is our hope

F.       Vs. 4 – In condemning sin in the flesh, Jesus fulfilled the righteous requirement of the law

a.        What is that righteous requirement? The law called for condemnation of those who broke it, and reward for those who obeyed it.  But it also provided means through which sins could be forgiven – namely sacrifices, etc.  However, these sacrifices were not permanent – Hebrews 10:1-4.
Thus as Jesus came, He died once and for all satisfied God’s demands – Romans 3:25, Colossians 2:13-14, etc.

b.       It is fulfilled in those who walk according to the spirit rather than the flesh.  We notice here that the word “walk” means the direction one chooses or the manner of one’s life.  Here is one who with his mind he serves the law of God rather than following his lustful passions (1 John 2:15-17; 3:4-9 – we cannot sin and please God)

c.        Lesson: Here we have a reminder of the two paths that are continually presented throughout scripture.
We must never forget that we are at war – 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.
We are wrestling, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, etc. (Ephesians 6:10-11).
Galatians 6:16-18 tells us to not walk after the flesh to fulfill its lusts.  Vs. 19-25 describe the two sides as “the works of the flesh” vs. the “fruit of the Spirit”

d.       Let us never forget that Satan is doing all that he can to pull us away from God and toward him.

G.       Vs. 5 – BECAUSE, (gar) the way you live is dictated by what you think.

a.        You are either living according to the flesh or according to the Spirit – the use of spirit here is still in context with what we have said thus far – your will which is based upon God’s word.

b.       Lesson: Notice that one can CLAIM to follow God all day long, but if his actions are contrary to that, he is NOT following God – 1 John 2:3-4, 5:2-3; Matthew 15:11, 17-20, etc.

H.      Vs. 6-8 – Gives us the importance of this

a.        To be carnally minded – following after the flesh – is death (cf. Romans 6:23)

b.       To be spiritually minded – brings both life (as opposed to death) and peace – the true inner peace we have because we are at peace with God.

c.        Vs. 7-8 explain the importance of this contrast – namely the fact that the carnal (fleshly) mind is enmity (at odds, the actions of an enemy) against God.
Lesson: You HAVE to make a choice.  You cannot straddle the fence and be pleasing to God.
The flesh CANNOT be subject to the Law of God – it stands opposed to what God’s law is – James 4:4 says that to be friends with the world is to be at enmity with God.  Jesus taught you cannot serve both – Matthew 6:24.  How many in this life want BOTH?

d.       Notice clearly that those who are in the flesh (following worldly lusts) CANNOT please God.

In all of this the point is HOW ARE YOU GOING TO LIVE YOUR LIFE?  Are you going to give into and serve your fleshly desires, or are you going to serve God with the Spirit? The servant of God needs to choose the latter.

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Bible Studies for the month of November

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.

Amen.

Luke 11:1 (NIV) One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

The Lord’s Example Prayer

In this study we discuss insights into the prayer outline (in ALL CAPs) Jesus gives us. Rather than racing through this by rote, let us meditate on each element so that we might pray with understanding (1 Cor 14:15). As Larry Lea put it, the idea is to pray through the Lord’s prayer “r-e-a-l s-l-o-w”. To begin, spend five or ten minutes on each phrase, letting each steep and soak in. Let the Holy Spirit reveal other Scriptures (beyond these listed here to get you started) that apply to each phrase, and meditate on the meaning and application in your life each day.

Mat 6:9-13 (NIV) “THIS IS HOW YOU SHOULD PRAY: (Phi) “PRAY THEN LIKE THIS–

(KJV) OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN, (Phi) OUR HEAVENLY FATHER

Gal 4:6 (NIV) Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out “Abba, Father”.

1 Pet 1:23 (NIV) For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

Heb 12:5-7 (NKJ) And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

1 Pet 1:17 (NIV) Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

1 Jn 2:29-3:3 (Phi) You all know that God is really good. You may be just as sure that the man who leads a really good life is a true child of God. Consider the incredible love that the Father has shown us in allowing us to be called “children of God”–and that is not just what we are called, but what we ARE… This explains why the world will no more recognize us than it recognized Christ… Here, and now, my dear friends, we ARE God’s children. We don’t know what we shall become in the future. We only know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is! Everyone who has at heart a hope like this keeps himself pure, as Christ is pure.

Eph 3:14 (NIV) For this reason I kneel before the Father…

(KJV) HALLOWED BE THY NAME. (Phi) MAY YOUR NAME BE HONORED;

Many find it useful to meditate on God’s nature as revealed in adjectives associated with His name in Hebrew.

SHALOM Peace/Rest/Contentment Is 53:5, Hb 4:9-10, Jn 14:27, Plp 4:7, Cl 1:20-22

ZIDKENU Righteousness/Perfection 2 Cor 5:21, 1 Cor 1:30, Rom 1:17

M’KADDESH Sanctifies/Purifies 1 Cor 6:9-11, 1 Thes 5:23, Rom 8:29

SHEMA Is There Ex 3:13-15, Ez 48:35b, Ep 2:21-22, Hb 13:5b

ROPHE Heals 1 Pet 2:24, Rom 8:2, Gal 3:13, Col 2:13-14

YIRA Who Sees/Provides 2 Chr 16:9a, Gen 22:14, Ps 34:15-18

NISSI Banner/Captain Ex 17:15, Jn 12:32, Is 11:10, 2Co 2:14a, So 2:4

ROHI Shepherd/Companion/Friend Prov 18:24b, Ps 23, 1 Pet 2:25

YESHUA Jesus/Salvation Ex 15:2, Is 12:2, Mt 1:21, Ac 4:12, Pr 30:4

Prov 18:10 (NIV) The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.

Rom 10:13 (NKJ) For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

(KJV) THY KINGDOM COME. THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

Luke 17:21 (KJV) “…the kingdom of God is within you.”

Rom 14:17 (NIV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

John 4:34 (NIV) “My food”, said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me…”

Mat 26:39,42 (NIV) “…Yet not as I will, but as you will… May your will be done.”

Mark 3:35 (NAS) “For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”

Eph 5:10,17 (NIV) …find out what pleases the Lord… understand what the Lord’s will is.

Mat 16:19 (Phi) “…whatever you forbid on earth will be what is forbidden in Heaven and whatever you permit on earth will be what is permitted in Heaven!”

C.S. Lewis: “Thy will be done, by me now!”

(KJV) GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD, (Phi) GIVE US EACH DAY THE BREAD WE NEED FOR THE DAY,

Prov 30:8 (NIV) Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty or riches, but give me only my daily bread.

Ex 16:14-20 (NIV) When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” ["Manna", in Hebrew] For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs…’ No-one is to keep any of it until morning.” However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell.

John 6:32-35 (NAS) Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” They said therefore to Him, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

Phil 4:6-7 (Phi) Don’t worry about anything whatever; whenever you pray tell God every detail of your needs in thankful prayer, and the peace of God, which surpasses human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.

(KJV) AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS. (TEB) FORGIVE US THE WRONGS WE HAVE DONE, AS WE FORGIVE THE WRONGS OTHERS HAVE DONE US.

Luke 11:4 (NAS) And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

Luke 11:4 (Phi) And forgive us our failures, for we forgive everyone who fails us.

Mark 11:25 (NAS) “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.

Mat 6:14-15 (NIV) “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Eph 4:32 (NAS) Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Col 3:13 (NKJ) …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.

(KJV) AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL: (Phi) KEEP US CLEAR OF TEMPTATION, (Jer) BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE.

Luke 22:40 (NIV) …”Pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Eph 6:11-17 (NIV) Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes… Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

2 Thes 3:3 (NIV) But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

2 Tim 4:18 (NAS) The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

(KJV, only) FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOR EVER.”

1 Chr 29:11 (NIV) “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.”

1 Cor 4:20 (NIV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

Eph 6:10 (NIV) Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Ps 145:10-13 (NIV) All you have made will praise you, O Lord; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations…

Isa 42:8 (NAS) I am the Lord, that is My name! I will not give My glory to another…

Benediction

Jude 1:20 (NIV) But you, dear friends, build yourself up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

Eph 6:18 (Jer) Pray all the time, asking for what you need, praying in the Spirit on every possible occasion. Never get tired of staying awake to pray for all the saints.

Rom 8:26-27 (Phi) The Spirit… also helps us in our present limitations. For example, we do not know how to pray worthily, but his Spirit within us is actually praying for us in those agonizing longings which cannot find words. He who knows the heart’s secrets understands the Spirit’s intention as he prays according to God’s will for those who love him.

Acts 2:42 (NIV) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Acts 6:4 (KJV) But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

1 Thes 5:17,19 (Phi) Never stop praying… Never damp the fire of the Spirit.

Deut 4:7 (NIV) …The Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him…

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