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How Do I Pray Through the Psalms?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 26, 2021 5:18 pm

How Do I Pray Through the Psalms?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 26, 2021 5:18 pm

Episode 628 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

 

CoreChristianity.com

 

1. What generation is passing away in Matthew 24:34?

2. How should the church view cultural changes in regards to homosexuality?

3. In Genesis 9, it says that "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image." Does this mean that the bible condones capital punishment?

4. How do I pray through the psalms?

5. If Jesus is God, why does he call himself the Son of God?

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Does the Bible justify capital punishment? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can also post your question on our Facebook or Instagram or Twitter accounts, and you can email us with your question at questions at corechristianity.com. Well, Adriel, this is our second week of live broadcasts here on CORE Christianity.

We are so excited to take our listeners' calls live. And one of the questions that I have for you is, did you always know you wanted to be a pastor? No, I think actually I did. Actually, when I was younger, boy, I went through wanting to be all sorts of things. I wanted to be a football player. I wanted to be in the army. I wanted to be a court reporter at one point. Yeah, a court reporter. So my grandmother worked in a prison, and so she would talk to me about her job. And I don't know how she ended up talking to me about the court reporters, but I remember thinking, oh, that'd be kind of a cool job.

I'd get to type all day, that kind of a thing. So I wasn't brought up in the church particularly, and so it wasn't until later. In high school that I really, I think, had an encounter with Christ through the Word of God, and it was there that I started to feel a sense of call to the ministry as I studied the scriptures and more and more came to understand what the Word of God teaches and how wonderful the gospel is.

I just wanted to be able to share it with others and also to teach the Word of God. So really, I would say that was kind of the beginning for me. Did you know as a teenager that God was calling you to be a pastor someday? Yeah.

I mean, I wasn't 100 percent certain. I knew I wanted to serve the Lord. I thought initially maybe that would be in the context of missions, so maybe be a foreign missionary. And then as I kept reading scripture, studying the scripture, I just had this desire to teach the Bible. And so over time, I felt more of a call to pastoral ministry in particular.

And of course, you know, at that age, you never know 100 percent what you're going to do when you're older. But I just wanted to, I pursued that basically. I said I'm going to pursue that.

I'm going to pursue this. And God in His kindness began to open doors for me. Actually, Bill, the first sermon I ever preached, I was 18 years old. It was at this little tiny church in Southern California, and the pastor invited me to give a sermon. And I think the sermon was probably 14 minutes long or something like that. I was so nervous. And if you're listening and you were there for that sermon, I just want to say I'm sorry.

So, yeah. We are so thankful that God called you to the ministry, because obviously it's a calling that He's placed on your life in a big way and He's using you. And for our listeners that don't know, Adriel pastors a church that was a church plant in San Diego, California, and it has grown and it's thriving. And his parishioners, his congregation just loves hearing the word every Sunday from Adriel.

So thank you, Lord, for leading Adriel Sanchez into the ministry. Well, let's get to our first call of the day, and this is Alan calling in from Brea, California, with a question about the book of Matthew. Hi, Alan. Hi. So what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Well, first off, I want to thank you so much for your program. It's great to have you on the air for us listeners.

Thank you. I apologize if someone else has asked this question recently, but it's one that crosses my mind lately, especially in the times we're living in. It comes from Matthew 24, 34. Truly, I tell you, this generation shall certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Are we the this generation Jesus is talking about in the Scriptures? Yeah, really good question, and it has been asked before, but I think it's one of those questions that we want to keep taking because there's so much confusion. And also, like you said, a lot of people read this passage and they wonder, is this talking about my generation, our generation specifically?

And so I think it's really important for us to understand the context. And if you go back, Alan, to the beginning of this chapter in verse 1 of chapter 24, Jesus left the temple and was going away when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down. Now, one of the reasons why the disciples are saying this is because when you looked at the temple there that the disciples were looking at, it was absolutely magnificent. The Jewish historian Josephus talks about how when the sunlight would hit the temple just right, it looked as if the thing was on fire, glowing.

These white stones overlaid with gold, absolutely beautiful. And so the disciples are saying, Hey, check out this wonderful temple. And Jesus responds and he says, you know, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down. And then you look at verse 3, as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately saying, Tell us when will these things be and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age. So it seems like Jesus is talking about two different things here in this chapter. One, the destruction of the temple.

When will these things be? That is, when will one stone not be left upon the other? And what will be the signs of the end of the age, your second coming? And I think when Jesus says this generation will not pass away until all these things have come to pass, I think he's referring there specifically to the destruction of the temple. And that's something that happened in 70 AD.

The Roman legion came and just laid Jerusalem to waste. The temple was destroyed and that's something that was prophesied. And so a lot of what you have happening there in terms of Jesus' teaching in Matthew chapter 24 is referring to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. And so now that doesn't mean that this passage doesn't relate to us. I mean obviously there's all sorts of teaching there that I think we can glean from, but he also is talking about in Matthew 24, the end of the age, his second coming. And one of the things that he specifies later in this text is the importance of being ready, of being watchful, of being filled with the Spirit as we anticipate the second coming of the Lord. And so that's our job as Christians is to be watching and waiting and walking with the Lord as we see the quote-unquote signs of the times.

But specifically, the generation that he's referring to was the generation there that saw the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, Alan. This is CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Here is our phone number if you have a question for us. It's 833-The-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Rachel from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hi Rachel, welcome to CORE Christianity. Hi, I was wondering as a Christian, how can I articulate my views on homosexuality and gay marriage in the current cultural climate? Yeah, this is one of the things, Rachel, that I think for believers is growing more and more difficult. I mean, it seems like the biblical sexual ethic is completely rejected by our culture.

I mean, it really is. Everything that the Bible says about sex and sexuality, it seems to me that our society, our broader culture is rejecting that. And so the question is, how do we as Christians hold fast to the truth of God's word while still engaging broader society, broader culture?

First, I think we just have to be confident in what the scripture teaches. And I think the Bible in various places makes it absolutely clear that homosexuality, that gay and lesbian relationships are a sin. They're condemned in the Old Testament in places like Leviticus 18. Very clearly in Romans chapter 1, this is something the apostle Paul says, Romans chapter 1, beginning in verse 26, For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions, for their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature. And the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men with men committing shameless acts with men, with other men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And so there have been people who have tried to sort of get around these various passages of scripture in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

And frankly, I just think there's no way around it. This is how the church historically for the last 2,000 years has understood God's revelation. And so when people nowadays say things like, oh, well, you know, everybody else has been reading those passages incorrectly, I think that's just out there. I mean, Paul is very clear, the Old Testament is very clear.

So again, the question is, how do we engage the broader culture? Well, one, I think we don't treat gay and lesbian relationships or homosexuality as this sort of unpardonable sin. It's like other sins that ultimately are forgivable by the blood of Jesus Christ. And that's actually what the apostle Paul says in another letter in 1 Corinthians chapter 6. He says, beginning in verse 9, Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?

Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such, Paul says, were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. And so I think what's really important for us to understand is that there is hope that the gospel is bigger than this sin, that the blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient. And so we point people to that hope in Christ. We don't downplay the reality of what sin is. I mean, homosexuality is a sin, so we don't embrace the sort of cultural narrative on sexuality and homosexuality in particular. We stick with what the word of God says, but we hold out the hope of the gospel to those who struggle with sexual sin and who are engaged in these kinds of relationships. And we recognize that, I mean, that's why Jesus came.

He came to seek and save the lost. And so we want to have that kind of heart, that missionary heart that engages the people around us with the hope of the gospel, not minimizing their sin, but maximizing the power of the gospel to forgive sin by pointing people to the risen Christ, Rachel. Rachel, thanks so much for your call. Thanks for being one of our listeners there in Tulsa. We appreciate you. No worries. Thank you.

Have a great day. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and we answer your questions about the Christian faith every day. We have an amazing team of people behind us producing this program, people that write the core articles for our website and produce our core Bible studies.

These are the resources that help you and other believers more fully understand the gospel and have the confidence to share your faith. But, you know, we can't do any of it without your support. And that's why we'd like to ask you to come alongside us and become a regular supporter with a monthly donation of twenty five dollars or more.

You can join what we call the inner core and be part of the team that makes this show possible. Now, by becoming a member of the inner core, we'll also send you a signed copy of the book that started it all, Core Christianity, Finding Yourself in God's Story. That book was written by our founder, Dr. Michael Horton. Now, much like the radio program, the book unpacks the essential beliefs that Christians share in a way that's easy to understand.

It also shows why these beliefs matter to our lives today. So to join the inner core and get a copy of that book, just head over to core Christianity dot com forward slash inner core. That's core Christianity dot com forward slash inner core. Or you can call us at eight three three the core. That's eight three three eight four three twenty six seventy three. Let's go to another question.

This is an email that we received. And Trent says this in Genesis chapter nine. It says, whoever sheds the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed for God made man in his own image. Does this mean that capital punishment is endorsed in the Bible? Yeah, well, I mean, capital punishment is something that was practiced throughout the pages of scripture, certainly under the old covenant, the sort of mosaic civil law.

There were grounds for capital punishment. You think about the various things that are described in places like the Book of Leviticus. And then and a lot of that is rooted, as you note there, in the Book of Genesis and in the covenant that was given with and to Noah.

And so you also think of another place in scripture that oftentimes people will go to. It's in Romans chapter 13, again, related to the job of the civil government in society. It says in Romans chapter 13, verse one, let every person be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed. And those who resist will not or will incur judgment, for rulers are not a terror to bad or to good conduct, but to bad.

Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. So right there, Paul is referring to the exercise of capital punishment by the civil government.

You see it also in Peter, in First Peter chapter two, I believe. And so it's something that is within the sphere of what government, the civil authorities, can do. Now that doesn't mean that every situation, or in every situation, it's being endorsed per se by the Bible, or even encouraged primarily. I think this is just what Paul is saying in terms of, hey, this is within the sphere of what the civil government can do. Part of the job of the civil government in broader society is making sure that evil wrongdoing gets punished. And really that evil should be defined by scripture, what the word of God says, and how God reveals that which is good to us through just natural revelation. You think about this idea that everyone has of right and wrong from their very birth. It's the part of the civil government to help to enforce that reality and carry that out. And so the Bible allows for this.

I don't know that I would say that it's trying to endorse it in every case per se, though. And so that's how I would approach that question in particular. Romans 13 is a great passage to look at. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And Adriel, let's get to a question from Katie in West Covina, California. Hi, Katie, thanks for joining us. Thank you so much for having me.

I really appreciate it. My question is, I'm really wanting to grow in my prayer life this year, so I'm wondering how to best approach praying through this psalm. Katie, that's awesome, for one.

I think a lot of times when we start the new year, we as Christians will talk about, I really want to read through the Bible in a year, and so we're getting our Bible reading plans together and that kind of a thing. But I love that you're focusing on prayer. And I've never talked to a believer, Katie, who has said, I think I just get prayer right.

That's one of the areas of my life that I just have it down. I think all of us could grow in our prayer lives. And so using the book of Psalms is one of the ways, one of the tools that I think God gives us to do just that, to grow in our prayer lives. And I think that there are a couple of different ways that you can approach using the psalms as a tool for growing in your prayers.

One, there are different genres of psalms throughout the Psalter. There are some psalms that really focus on those times in life where we feel like God is distant. Those psalms are called laments. You think about singing the blues, and typically in these psalms of lament, the psalmist is saying to the Lord, God, why have you left me?

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Psalm 22 or Psalm 88, for example, that's the darkest, loneliest lament in all of the Bible. And sometimes I think when we as Christians are experiencing those feelings in our own lives, we can go to the psalms of lament. And so it's just sort of where our heart is in that moment. And I encourage people, when you're there, go to those lamentations in the psalms, the psalms of lament, and make them your own.

Now, we're not always there, though, lamenting. Sometimes it's thanksgiving that we bring to the Lord. And so there's an entirely different genre in the Psalter called the psalms of thanksgiving, where the psalmist is praising God for something wonderful that the Lord has done, for God's forgiveness or for God's provision.

And so we can use the psalms of thanksgiving or the psalms of praise or the psalms of wisdom. All these different genres that we're able to pull from and incorporate into our own lives, no matter what season we're in as believers. One of the other things I just love about this, just sort of a side point, is the Christian life has these seasons.

It's not always the mountaintop experience. It's not always the victorious Christian life, like you sometimes hear people speak of it. A lot of times, in fact, the majority of the psalms are lamentations.

It's the people of God coming near to the Lord and saying, God, I don't sense your presence. I don't feel you right now. I'm struggling. I'm struggling with my circumstances. I'm struggling with my sin. It's crying out to the Lord. And so you can, I think, Katie, you can go to these different genres within the Psalter and use them, depending on where you are in a particular place in your life. Now, one other thing you can do is you can just say, hey, I want to pray through the entire Psalter, so maybe every day I'm going to pray a different psalm or pray through the psalms and just make it my own. I'm going to pray it as if it were my words. I'm aligning my heart with what the psalmist is saying.

And I think that that's another really wonderful thing that you can do as well. And just that point there that I just made about making it your own, aligning your heart with what the scripture is saying, with what the psalmist is saying, that's key because we don't want to just pray mindlessly. And Jesus talked about that in Matthew chapter 6. I love this passage. When he introduces the Lord's Prayer, in Matthew chapter 6 he says, when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do because they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Do not be like them. And so as you're praying the psalms, don't just pray them mindlessly, but really, as I said, seek to align your heart with what the psalmist is saying. And I think it will just have a real powerful effect on your prayer life, Katie.

Katie, thanks so much, and we appreciate your commitment to God's word and praying through the psalms. Yeah. How exciting. Thank you so much. I'm so glad I called. Thank you for calling. Thanks for being a regular listener here at CORE Christianity.

We really do appreciate you. Well, here's a question that came in, an interesting question that came in from Jane. She says, I believe that God is three persons in one, but every single time I hear Jesus referred to as God's Son, I flinch. I can explain the teaching of the Trinity to someone else, but in my head, I don't understand why Jesus calls himself Son when he is God. He seems more of an emissary when he says he is God's Son. I want to know and believe it with all my heart, but I can't get a grasp on it even enough to fathom it. Can you help me understand this?

Yeah. Well, I don't blame you for not fully understanding the Trinity, Jane. I mean, it really is the great, one of the great mysteries of the faith. God has revealed himself to us as one God, Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 4, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, but three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are one God.

They're distinct, differentiated by what we might call their personal properties. The Father is unbegotten. The source, if you will, the Son, is eternally begotten of the Father. He's the eternal Son of God. The Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son.

That's how theologians have talked about this great mystery. And the reason we refer to Jesus as the eternal Son of God is because that's how the Bible speaks. In various places, in John chapter 1, verse 14, in John chapter 1, verse 18, in John chapter 3, verse 16, and in John chapter 3, verse 18, Jesus is referred to as the only Son of the Father. The Greek word that's used there is monogenes, and it's sometimes translated as unique or one of a kind, but really in the way it's used in the ancient world, it's in the context of being begotten, this eternal Son of the Father. And that's how the earliest Christians understood this, that Jesus is eternally the Son of the Father.

Now, that's different than when we think about sonship and those kinds of familial relationships. It's just sort of an analogy that God gives to us. When we think about the mystery of the Trinity, it's really not an easy thing to define what it means that Jesus is the eternal Son of the Father. But one of the things that's highlighted, and that Christians have highlighted for a really long time, is that Jesus as the eternal Son of the Father by nature, that is, he's equal with the Father in power and glory. One God has made you and I the sons and daughters of God by grace. You see, by nature we are not the children of God. Actually, we're told that we're the children of wrath by nature. Jesus is the eternal Son of God by nature, and he's made you and I the sons and daughters of God by grace.

How? Through adoption. We've been adopted into the family of God, and so that's why it's so important for us to understand these crucial doctrines, the doctrine of the Trinity, how God has brought us into his family by faith and through his Son, his eternal Son by nature. Brothers and sisters, we belong to the Lord through Christ. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-31 00:54:02 / 2023-12-31 01:03:47 / 10

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