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Why Pray if God Ordains All Things?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2021 1:00 am

Why Pray if God Ordains All Things?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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February 9, 2021 1:00 am

Episode 638 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

1. How should the church observe communion and take the Lord’s Supper?

2. Must a born again Christian be extremely zealous about the things of the Lord?

3. Should pastors perform special prayers just for men in the worship service?

4. In Mark 11:24, Jesus says, “I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Doesn’t this contradict the idea that God has ordained things to happen prior to our praying for them? What is the purpose of praying if God has already ordained something?

5. Can man be holy and righteous, and even if we are not perfectly holy and righteous

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Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World by Michael Horton

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Why does Jesus ask us to pray when God has already ordained all things that just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call this right now with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or twitter accounts and you can email us anytime at questions@thecorechristianity.com all right, Israel. Are you ready to rock 'n' roll and take some live calls. I am ready to rock 'n' roll. Yet, people, people should call and were excited about today's broadcast. Let's go to Donnie from Rowville Indiana Donnie welcome to core Christianity will doing well. Donnie Inc. you for calling was, or what your question, what are call this this is dirt about a little bit.

I was reading one night I came across a passage in first Corinthians chapter 1121 Paul tells the Corinthians, when you come together, therefore into one place. This is not me.

This is not to eat the Lord's supper. We have to go back to verse 17 and 18 in the same chapter where he saying now this that I declare unto you. I praise you.

Not that you come together for the better but for the worse. Verse 18 says. First of all, when you come together in the church. I hear that there be divisions among you and I partly believe it.

I know of the divisions that he's talking about in verse 18 are different than what we have going on today, but divisions are still divisions you know I mean that that's right don't get what what's your question here from this passage. If I can apply can continue here for mom. I guess my question really goes to in verse 22. What have you no houses to meeting drinking or despise even Church of God and shaming that have not. Is he talking about when we leave our homes which have food and drink to go to a building to no partake in more food and drink for humble. In verse 23 Paul tells us that he received of the Lord that which also he delivered unto you. My Bible has a cross reference the ghost of chapter 15 verse three first Corinthians yeah so are you asking that I just want to get to your to your question here Donnie but this seems to be available. One thing I'll say is this one thing we get from first previous Chapter 11 is the importance of this meal for Christians today and it seems like the Corinthian church, and we obviously need you right there at the beginning there and in verse 17 and following the creditor had a really hard time with this and there were divisions that were taking place among those in Corinth people in Corinth were suing each other. There was sexual immorality are all sorts of things happening there and they're coming together to take the Lord's supper to participate in this holy meal that Jesus himself instituted for the church for all time and yet they are doing so in an unworthy manner and that's what policy to get a little bit later there now. One thing I do want to say it. And this is something that we need to get in.

It sounds like you were getting to this as well when you're talking about you not where they in their homes, having meals and then coming to the church there something unique and special about the Lord's supper and I think so often in the church today Donnie we can downplay minimize the importance of the Lord supper to go back just a couple of chapters in first Corinthians chapter 10 in verse 16. Paul said the cup of blessing that we bless is it not a participation in the blood of Christ, the bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ. When we gather together when the church gathers together to take the Lord's supper.

We have communion. Participation is the Greek word coined in EL with the body and blood of Jesus. In other words, this is a place where we have intimate fellowship with the risen Lord Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. I think that's that something fundamental for us as Christians to understand it. So before coming to the communion meal with divisions within our hearts, not walking and repent is that there's a real problem and that's why Paul is rebuking them there in first Corinthians chapter 11 because that's what was happening there and they're coming together with these divisions dare not coming in faith as they shouldn't. And he's going to say in verse 27 whoever therefore eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself then and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup for anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself, and let me to say one more thing, because I think this is really important for for you. Listening right now. A lot of times people think about communion. They say it. I don't feel worthy. I don't feel worthy enough you like and I can take the Lord's supper. This idea of communion with the body and blood of Jesus on on one end, you know people. I think minimize it and and downplay it and do what the current intraday but I did. On the other. And people can feel like I'm just not worthy. And so I'm not going to participate in this. The Lord's supper communion is for broken sinners. It's for Christians who aren't worthy, but who are coming in faith, saying, Lord, I need your grace. I need your mercy, and so I just want to encourage you to do one have a high view of this meal that Jesus instituted for his church for all time and to do exactly what the apostle Paul says here and we observe the Lord supper, but we do it in a in a particular way in faith believing, and when there are issues a week we set those aside. Wheat we repent of those things and we come to the table, knowing that we need the grace of God Donnie thank you for for that question for getting us into this really important passage here at the beginning of the program. This is core Christianity with pastor Averill Sanchez. Our phone lines are open right now and we would love to talk to you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, pick up your phone and call us at 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 let's go twos that grew from Fayetteville, North Carolina hi Sandra, welcome to core Christianity were doing well thank you for calling. What's your question. My question is that is it possible for all Christian not to have the like. The desire of God's word, or a desire to fulfill her.

She would auto did a very positive foot at present you as you be a true born-again Christian and not have those desires.

It's a really good question. You know I have just been preaching to first John and throughout that letter in first John. John talks about all of these sort of signs that an individual's been part of the born-again person believes in one of the things it that John highlights there throughout his letter is the importance of love in particular love for the body of Christ, that is, the people of God that we know we been born again. When we love the brothers. John says they are in first John the fact of the matter is, though I think each of us can say we struggle with love and hate is not easy to love, especially when God calls us to love people who are difficult to let me think of what Jesus himself said, not just to love our friends, the people that we enjoy loving but to love even our enemies.

And so we have to be really careful when were sort of looking within to try to determine whether or not you know, am I really born he do I have enough fruit do I do I do enough good things in order to to prove to myself that I'm saved. And yet at the same time brother. I think it is clear that when a person has an encounter with the grace of God when we are born of the spirit as Jesus talked about in John chapter 3 that there is this fundamental change that happens in an individual and that we begin to desire to long for God himself for his word and for fellowship with other believers. No, that'll never be perfect in us because we still have sin, but I think it is a really really is a sign of the fact that God has worked in individual the spirit of God is at work in our lives when we when we want to have fellowship with other Christians and when we hunger and thirst for the word of God I and this was my experience and I know everybody's expenses little bit different but I remember years ago before I would even have called myself a Christian. You know I was hearing the gospel. I was learning these things and finally one night after just thinking about that the word of God and being convicted of my sin. I remember praying to the Lord and sing God. Yeah, I know that I need your grace, but I really don't want to go to church.

The idea fellowship with other believers and going to church on a Sunday morning to seem so boring to me and I'm just crying out to the Lord's and got help and all of a sudden the strange thing happened to me that God answered that prayer it I river waking up the next morning and actually desiring to go to church. That was after the first time I think I ever I ever had that desire in my life. I think that was really the grace of the Holy Spirit in my life and so I would say yes brother that is a sign that God is at work in us, but we want to be careful that when we struggle with that because there are times even for genuine believers where where it's hard for us to get into the word and an even fellowship is difficult when that's the case, we shouldn't just jump to the conclusion that well I must not really be a child of God then know we go back to the promise of the gospel, God has said, and we rest in that and we pursue love for for the Lord love for his word and left for the body of Christ, thanks for your question rather know we've talked a lot of people who ask similar questions about our faith and feelings and should we know base our relationship with Christ on how we feel at a particular time and I know you've stressed very clearly that no that's not what our faith is based on the I know our faith is not based on our feelings and too often today, when people just think about spirituality and religion. It's it's sort of confused with feeling right. I feel this so it must be true. I don't feel anything here so it must not be true, the spirit of God must not be working there and that's just never. We know what were called to look to when were trying to determine whether or not something is real. Don't trust in your feelings. Trusting the word of Jesus trust what God is said I meant this is core Christianity with pastor Averill Sanchez and we are offering a very special resource this week is one that a drill has produced himself. It's called seeing Jesus you want to tell us more about that.

Yeah we been talking about this resource now for a few days, hopefully, are not getting tired about hearing about it, but we really are excited about.

We know that people today, there's this is huge need for us to rightly understand who Jesus is and so this is a devotional resource it it's can it be something that I think will lead you into a deeper love for Jesus. That's what it's what it's all about is not about just the sort of mental exercise were growing in our knowledge, growing in knowledge is really important, but we grow in our understanding of who Jesus is, so that we might love him and and serve him and so I think that this resourcing Jesus will help you do that and it's free for you. You can get a hold of the building and you have the information on how to do that right. All you have to do is sign up to get a free copy by going to our website at a special URL core, Christianity.com/Jesus_Christianity.com/Jesus. You can also call us at 833-843-2673 for help getting any one of our offers. That's 833.

The core let's go to Amanda who is calling in from Nashville, Tennessee Amanda, welcome to core Christianity will Amanda, thank you for calling. We spent some time in Nashville last year a little bit and it was really delightful as their exit with Bill and so good to hear from you. Great city, what's your question okay well we interim pastor who every single Sunday morning without fail, where he will do a prayer and all the men come up to the altar and he said that the women are just to pray for the man because men have more responsibility and that he had turned his back and whispers to amend this prayer and I know that the not everyone are sorry that the EM description referring to. I believe have to deal in the context of the marriage, not everyone married Mary, and I was just wondering how is this debacle. What are your thoughts on that. Now me, I could see how it might sorta come off as this is just kind of a special time for the guys in the middle of the worship service as is happening during the worship service you are saying worship service okay yeah well I'm not very familiar with your church tradition and kind how they order the worship service.

I know that there are some traditions that that you know in terms of the individual leading the service.

They focus on having the pastor do it, or one of the elders in the church or or some other man in in that way, but the reality is, is all of us as members of the body of Christ are called to prayer and to worship in first Corinthians 14 you have men and women praying in the context of the worship service and so one thing that I think we have to be careful with is that were not discouraging that and and certainly also not making people feel like you know this is this is not for me. I mean actually it's sort of interesting. We sometimes throw around the word liturgy to describe what's happening during the worship service network simply means the work of the people who what Jesus Christ has accomplished for us. Amanda, we are a priesthood of believers we we all of us are called to worship the Lord to draw near to the Lord in the context of the worship service, we have no different things that we do not everybody is getting up there in preaching the word of God, but all of us ought to be participating and so hot. Like I said I'm not entirely sure why it is that this interim pastor has has gone this way in and I why I you know I want to be careful not to make any judgments because I just don't know the situation the concerts what is trying to accomplish.

But I do know that we should all be encouraged to pray to worship to hear the word of God and to participate in the worship service and so and then that that's I think as far as as I can go with with that dizzy encourage prayer for the women later and in the context of the service.

Now all the men and we pray pray together and kind of well one thing I know to say this is the pastor one encouragement that I would have for you is maybe approach you know this interim pastor and and just say hey I'm kinda confused about this. Can you explain it a little bit more and try to understand why it is that were doing this and where it fits in the context of the teaching of Scripture that I think that that could be helpful. I think it's important for us and we have those kinds of questions.

I appreciate it when members of my church do this with me when they approach me and say hey can you help me understand this little bit more and maybe maybe there's something there and that could be a fruitful discussion and so may the Lord bless you, thank you so much for for calling Amanda and pipe.

I just hope that you continue to worship the Lord and draw near to him.

Interesting question. Haven't heard that one before.

Having heard about a pastor doing up for yeah yeah well I really appreciate that question Bill and and that it is an interesting one so important for us to think through why we do what we do in worship.

This is core Christianity with pastor Gabriel Sanchez and let's go to a voicemail we received from a listener named Sandra and Holly from Berkeley, New York question and the question marks going far east said that if you believe in praying for one only needs that we praying for it will happen if he needs to love God, then you will think anything is not, it will not comping then lying praying and believe that you will have to hand it is not in any way an excellent question, and so so why pray, if God is already ordained everything that's got to take place. We know that God is sovereign. We know that God's sovereign will is always accomplished what he is decreed from eternity past, Paul talks about this in Ephesians chapter 4 argument Ephesians chapter 1 verses four through 11 particular, in verse 11 there were Paul talked about God causing all things to work together according to the counsel of his will, and if that's the case why pray well. Prayer is not the way in which we change God's mind is something that we think like this you know the more I pray that I'm sort of bending God's will to my will. Actually it's the opposite. Prayer is how we align ourselves with the purposes and will of God in the world and this is a great mystery, but it really is so beautiful God has decreed that the way in which he is going to accomplish his purposes in the world is through the prayers of his people.

God uses his people to accomplish his will and so we pray and we have confidence when we pray, and John says this in first John chapter 5 verses 14 and 15 that we pray anything. According to the will of God. He hears us and and he answers our prayers and so this is really important for us. It gives us confidence. We pray knowing that when we pray according to the will of the Lord. He answers is now there are times instances we don't know whether or not something is God's will and even though situations were encouraged to pray to trust in the Lord to seek him to seek and persistently to be like that persistent widow that Jesus talked about in Luke chapter 18, but I think it's recognizing that God accomplishes his sovereign will. The prayers of his people and what a beautiful thing that is that God is invited us to be a part of this if you will. He uses you and he uses your prayers, your listening to core Christianity with pastor a drill Sanchez. Let's go to Bill who is calling in from Southern Illinois hi Bill how are you I'm doing well today. I read the Bible. I don't know how many times am still confused about holiness and righteousness like get their definition of what is holy and what is righteous how they manifest in our lives cannot be kinda holy and or kinda right is reading is that your Amram not man. So many guiding good questions there built up yet two different words that were holy, and the word righteous. The word holy often times in the Old Testament was related to first first to God right God is holy. Think of the angels around his throne. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. Isaiah chapter 6, but also related to the worship of God that you think of the tabernacle and the temple, the holy instruments there of the table is really closely related to Israel's worship. The covenant people referred to as God's holy people in the New Testament. If you think about and in first Corinthians, you know church that the Christians there despite the fact that they are struggling with sin. We are talking about that earlier on the program there described as as holy as those who have been sanctified in Jesus Christ. Oftentimes we see the word holy in the word sanctifier sanctified in the New Testament. It's the same word it's being used in in the Greek language the Hebrews leader in the book of Hebrews the author.

The Hebrews refers to the Christians to whom he is writing as holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling its own one synthetic we can say positionally as believers through our union with Jesus Christ by faith we are holy. That's white. But why so often. New Testament Christians are referred to as saints again. It's the same word that the word holy is holy ones were holy by virtue of the fact that we belong to and are connected to Jesus Christ, the holy one and the word righteous. It gets oftentimes associated with the word just in the New Testament it's more of a sort of legal term that the doctrine of justification that Paul teases out in places like the book of Romans. In the book of Galatians that oftentimes deals with this idea of righteousness and end thereto we are as Christians by faith in Jesus Christ justified as a liberal as a Christian you are holy because you belong to the holy one, Jesus Christ, are united to him by faith and you are righteous justified because God has forgiven you all your sins by faith in Jesus, his son and he has credited to you the righteousness of his son Jesus Christ. And Paul talks about this in Romans chapter 4 verse five into the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, that is the that counts is righteous, the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteous as righteousness.

Just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works. Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered now to the other party or question their bill will. How then can we still struggle with them if were holy and were righteous and it doesn't sort of make sense. Luther, the Protestant reformer.

He talked about how were simultaneously at the same time just and sinful and so positionally in Jesus Christ, you are holy you are justified and yet so often like the Corinthians who were referred to as holy ones we wrestle with sin. We struggle, we struggle to live in light of our new identity. What God has done for us in Jesus. And that's good to be a battle that we experience for the rest of our lives as believers. But we can be confident to do the work of Christ.

That battle, our struggle doesn't keep us from belonging to the Lord, or cause us to fall out of God's good graces because Jesus has already declared us righteous and we are holy through our faith in him.

And now as as followers of Christ we get to live in light of that new identity bill and it's so important is that to a drill that we don't get discouraged when we do mess up that we we fall back on that incredible promise that we have that we are sealed and that we don't need to to no stress. Obviously, we want to repent of sin. But if we get discouraged.

The point if we feel like God is abandoned us. That's not the this not the truth, yet know it, it's not the truth.

Cannot you know I think about what Paul says again thinking through that doctrine of justification, and in Romans chapter 5. He begins by talking about how since we been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. You and I right now by faith in Jesus can have peace with the holy God, not because were perfect because the perfect when Jesus Christ died to atone for each and every one of our sins. Thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer.

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