The past months we have been diving into prayer, and particularly the “Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:9-13. That passage begins with Jesus giving saying, “Pray then like this…” In these words, the verb “pray” is in the imperative tense, so this is a command. Jesus is telling us to do something, and as one of your pastors I say when Jesus gives us a command, we ought to be obedient to him!
This command, by the way, is in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount, and is flanked before and after with a series of commands: “Go!” “Be reconciled!” “Do!” “Do not!” “Give!” “Love!” “Seek!” “Judge not!” “Take out!” “Ask!” “Enter!” “Beware!” The list continues.
There are many ways in which Christians have and continue to respond to God’s commands, and you can probably find some theologians much better known than us who will argue for each of them. While you may find some who suggest that these different approaches are new, arrived at with the advantage of modern theological principles, tools, or even revelations, the truth is that Solomon’s words still are true:
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us. – Ecclesiastes 1:9,10
Generally, these responses to God’s commands fall into one of three categories: antinomianism or “Cheap grace,” legalism, or obedience.
We will be discussing all three of these responses over the next few weeks on this blog. Please check back, and (even more importantly), please follow the examples of the Bereans by checking are words against those of the Scriptures and challenging us if you find them in conflict!
[The Bereans] received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. – Acts 17:11b
“Cheap Grace”: Monday, April 3rd
“An Introduction to Legalism”: Wednesday, April 4th
“Legalism: The Trap of Brinksmanship”: Friday, April 6th
“Legalism: The Trap of Rigorism”: Saturday, April 7th
“Legalism: The Trap of Hopelessness“: Monday, April 10th
“Legalism: The Trap of Hypocrisy“: Wednesday, April 12th
“The Response of Obedience“: Friday, April 14th
“Obedience: A Gift of God’s Grace“: Saturday, April 15th
“Obedience: Evidence of Saving Faith“: Monday, April 17th
“Obedience: What Its Lack Implies“: Wednesday, April 19th
“Obedience: Submission vs. Compliance“: Friday, April 21st
“Answering the Call to Obedience”: Saturday, April 22nd