Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sermon on the Mount 21:Hypocrisy and the Ethic of the Kingdom--Prayer

If you missed the audio of the previous sermon, just follow the link to our page on Sermon Audio and you will find it.

No commentary from me this time; just enjoy the sermon as we continue to hear Jesus' "Gospel of the Kingdom".

Part 21: Hypocrisy and the Ethic of the Kingdom--Prayer

Brief Sermon Overview:

In introducing His kingdom's ethic, Jesus first showed, through a series of contrasts/comparisons, that it stands upon the fulfillment of the Law of Moses. From there He applied the same sort of approach to three notable examples of Israel's practical piety (6:1-18). The second of those involves prayer, and in this passage Jesus effectively demonstrated that authentic prayer belongs only to those who have been renewed and reconciled to God in Christ. The reason is that prayer expresses actual communion between God and men, and there is no communion where a human being is estranged from God. What the world calls "prayer" is really only one more manifestation of fallen humanity's enslavement to a self-referential, self-centered existence. Thus prayer is itself a central feature of the ethic of the kingdom of heaven - the kingdom of the new creation.

7 comments:

satire and theology said...

"What the world calls "prayer" is really only one more manifestation of fallen humanity's enslavement to a self-referential, self-centered existence."

A good point, and a reason I would not participate in a multi-faith service.

Russ:)

Greg said...

Prayer is a supernatural form of fellowship with our supernatural Creator and Savior. Using it for self sure is a misuse of this gift. "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:3).

That said, I do catch myself praying the same prayer, time after time, or neglecting to pray for those who I know really need it. We're creatures of habit, but must be constantly vigilant to stay true to our call to be creatures of God.

I think I'm starting to ramble; I better get to bed. :)

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Russ,

I agree completely with your statement about not participating in a multi-faith service. It's one thing to "respect" other faiths (which we should do only so far as we recognize and honor the imago dei inherent in every human being), but it's quite another to participate with the "ungodly" in their sin. Darkness has no share in the Light.

Thanks Russ

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Greg,

Good night (or, by now...Good Morning!).

Authentic prayer is and always will be something that we will struggle with at times. Since we're not yet "glorified" and perfected, the flesh will constantly fight with the spirit. And this is a good thing in the sense that this struggle forces us to live this life by Faith and not by sight, so-to-speak. We're saved by faith and we're called to continue to walk by faith.

The fact that we don't always pray as we should or, for that matter, live as we should presses us to constantly "keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith...."

The vigilance that you speak of is necessary for our growth--in life and prayer. We must constantly be reminded (which the NT does over and over again) who we are as Children of God and to, therefore, walk accordingly. In Christ we are New Creations, Children of our Father; that is our calling and we should be faithful as Brothers and Sisters to remind one another of this.

Thanks Greg.

jeleasure said...

Happy Thanks Giving!

satire and theology said...

One problem with a multi-faith service for me, there are many, would simply be that besides the fact we would not all be worshipping the same true God, if I was to lead prayer I would insist in praying in Jesus name.

Some would not mind, but perhaps some would, but that is how I roll.;)

Great Googly Moogly! said...

"but that is how I roll.;)

LOL! "Solid"