Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19980617.htm
LUKE: GOSPEL OF CERTIFYING THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
Part XLI: The Credibility Of Christianity Via The CERTAINTY Of Its
Lesson: If our priority in life is fixed on seeing God's program of separation from sin become a reality in our lives, and fostered in this world, and if we have needs in life that we must have to see our role in fostering that program promoted, Go d wants us to know that our requests will be solidly heard and answered by God, and that with useful, edifying provisions! Accordingly, such answers to prayer vindicate the Christian faith as being true.
- If Christianity is the true faith, one should expect that the prayers of its adherents would be very effective.
- That is the point Luke reveals in recording Jesus' revelation about prayer in Luke 11:5-13.
- The Credibility Of Christianity Via The CERTAINTY Of Its Answered Godly Prayer, Lk. 11:5-13.
- Luke's gospel was written to show the credibility of the Christian faith to Theophilus, Luke 1:3-4.
- Thus, Luke recorded Christ's word on the certainty of answered prayer for those who pray in God's will:
- When Jesus taught His disciples to pray in Luke 11:1-4, He instructed them to couch their requests for life's needs within the framework of promoting God's discipleship program on earth:
- Five of the items believers are to pray for deal with promoting God's discipleship program on earth: (1) they were to pray that God's reputation (His name) be viewed as separate from sin, 11:2a; (2) they were to pray that God's k ingdom come on the earth as it exists in heaven, Lk. 11:2b; (3) they were to pray that they were submissive to God's will in their lives that promoted His separateness from sin in their lives, Lk. 11:2c; (4) they were to pray for cleansing from sin in th eir lives and relationships with God and others, Lk. 11:4a and (5) they were to pray about being protected from situations that could lead them into sin, Lk. 11:4b.
- In keeping with this great focus on God's discipleship program of excising sin out of their lives, the believers were to request God's daily provisions so they could sustain their lives in the process, 11:3.
- Having said as much on praying in the will of God, Jesus went on to emphasize the certainty of answered prayer were it in the will of the Father in Luke 11:5-13:
- Using the Parable of the Persistent Friend, Jesus showed that prayer in the Father's will actually will be heard and answered by the Father: (1) Jesus revealed that if a man's friend asked him for bread at night, if he was persistent, the man would eventually get up and get him the bread just to get back to sleep, Luke 11:5-8. (2) Accordingly, Jes us commanded His disciples to keep on asking (pres. impv.), keep on seeking (pres. impv.) and keep on knocking (pres. impv.) in prayer unto the Father as they prayed in His will as those prayers would certainly be answered, Lk. 11:9-10.
- Then, using the Parable of the Asking Son, Jesus showed that prayer in the Father's will shall be answered with good gifts: (1) Jesus revealed that if a son asked his father for a stone, a fish or an egg that his father certainly would not respectively give him a stone, a serpent or a scorpion, Lk. 11:11-12. In other words, a father would not give what was u seless (a stone for bread) or dangerous (a serpent or a scorpion for a fish or egg respectively). (2) According to Jesus, if earthly fathers who are sinful know how to give good gifts to their sons for whom they care, certainly the sinless Father in heaven will only give what is useful and edifying to His followers who ask needs of Him in prayer, Lk. 11:13a. (3) Specifically, Jesus referred to the gift of the Holy Spirit that, in pre-cross eras, could be received by asking unlike i n the church era where God has given every believer His Holy Spirit forever, cf. Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:11-13 versus Ps. 51:11b.
Application: (1) If we have experienced a lack of answered prayer, it is not due to a flaw in the Christian faith but due EITHER (a) to a need to shift our priority in life away from living only for this life and focus on promoting God's discipling process, or (b) the need to BELIEVE God will answer a prayer properly prayed in His will. Be confident that anything we request in the will of God is certainly going to be answered, 1 Jn. 3:22; Jn. 14:13-14.