Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: Synergism: Opening The Door to God’s Indwelling Power

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Synergism: Opening The Door to God’s Indwelling Power

Chapter Ten

The Impact of Spiritual Defilement (Uncleanness) Upon Prayer

“Let your heart soar on the wings of prayer to places your hands cannot reach.”

Seldom do Christians ever consider the broad spiritual ramifications of the impact of sin in their lives and the defilement before God that sin causes. Any sin that is not repented of, abandoned and confessed to God, and cleansed by the Blood of Christ (I John 1:9) makes that Christian unclean and defiled before God. Until that uncleanness is cleansed, that believer is out of “fellowship” with God and all spiritual blessing upon his/her life is lost. In our salvation, God creates a new union with the believer, which provides all believers with the possibility/potential for spiritual empowerment. However, unity with the believer, through which empowerment flows, is dependent upon the believer’s being clean before God and living in “fellowship” with Him.

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word {Logos} of life {the “Word of life” is used here to refer to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as equal to the “breath of life;” Gen. 2:7}; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship {koinonia; a working partnership in the work of the ministry} with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship {koinonia; a working partnership in the work of the ministry} with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (I John 1:1-9).

As we consider the practical aspects of each person in a local church as we are networked together in the “work of the ministry” through the omnipresence of God, what are some absolute essentials necessary for us to see the supernatural working of God through the Spirit filled lives of His individual distribution centers of grace. The first step in missions/evangelism/disciple making is always SUBMISSION!

1. Absolutely no spiritual fruit can be produced apart from “abiding in Christ.”

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).

Since this is an emphatic Truth, how should this Truth prompt us to pray one for another in our everyday, moment-by-moment walk with God “in light” (I John 1:7)?

2. We must understand that there are two Gods; there is a big “G” God and a little “g” god. Believers partner in prayer with the big “G” God to thwart the workings of the little “g” god.

1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Ephesians 2:1-3).

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:10-13).

1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (II Corinthians 4:1-7).

Understanding the spiritual reality of the existence of these two supernatural beings, how should the Truths from these three texts prompt us to pray one for another in our everyday, moment-by-moment walk with God? Make a list of prayer needs prompted by your knowledge of the Truths in these three texts.

Although Satan is a powerful enemy, he is still just a created being who’s power is very limited compared to God’s power. “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). How should this knowledge impact your boldness in prayer & witness?

3. The “grace of God” is the supernatural enabling of a believer’s life, ministry, witness, and prayer through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. Anything attempted for the Lord apart from, and without, that supernatural enabling is an attempt to do God’s work in the power of the “flesh.”

7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift {charisma}, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace {charis} of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (I Peter 4:7-11).

2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. 5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be alway with grace {charis}, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:2-6).

4. Sin defiles the believer, his ministry, and his prayer life before God. Sin is any action, thought, or emotion that is out of alignment with the will (Word) of God. We tend to minimalize thought sins and emotion sins. For instance, pride is a sin that defiles a believer just as much as adultery. Remember, “pride made a devil out of an angel” (Tom Ferrell).

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18).

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled” (II Corinthians 10:3-6).

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence {desire for the forbidden}, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:1-11).

5. Perhaps the most wasted and abused resource of God’s grace in the Christian’s life is the amount of time we waste trying to do God’s work in our own strength and in defilement before God because our attempts at missions (“the work of the ministry”) are not bathed in the prayerful declaration of our own absolute dependency upon His empowerment. Power from God flows from prayer to God that comes from a heart that is pure with God.

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:16-18).

If we understand the necessary condition of personal righteousness before God in practical sanctification before our prayer life can be either “effectual” or “fervent,” how should this knowledge preface the priority of our prayer life before we begin to make our requests known unto God through prayer?

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (I Peter 3:15).

6. The primary purpose in prayer is that God will be glorified (revealed in all His wondrous attributes) through answered prayer. The primary purpose in prayer is NOT to have our prayers answered.

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:12-14).

If our desire for answered prayer is truly motivated by the desire to see God glorified, how critical is it that this attitude and desire become the prefix to prayer and how should this truth be communicated through our prayer?

7. Prayer that moves God is prayer that keeps the eternal Kingdom of God at the forefront of all that we ask God to do. Although God’s provision of the material needs of this physical life are important, we must be careful they must never be given priority over things that have eternal consequences. If the Christian is living in “fellowship” (synergism) with the Holy Spirit, God has promised that material needs will be provided. Therefore, the believer who “lives by faith” does not need to constantly be asking God for these provisions. In stead, he should be BELIEVING God for these provision. When our spiritual priorities are in order, God takes care of our minorities.

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:25-34).

The priorities of our prayer life should be preoccupied with the supernatural, spiritual workings of God. The moment a spirit-filled believer engages God in prayer, Satan engages that believer in spiritual warfare. If Satan can keep you from being spiritually empowered by the indwelling Spirit of God through tempting you into sin, or by misdirecting the priorities of your life away from prayer, witnessing, and making disciples, he does not need to worry about anything you do because it will be spiritually powerless any way.

Understanding these matters should greatly direct how we pray one for another and what we should be praying about. Understanding these matters helps us grasp the reality of spiritual warfare and helps understand that we should expects sharp, hostile opposition to the things we attempt to bring God glory through our lives. Discuss and formulate a theology of prayer that encompasses all the truths from this short study. Discuss and list specifics that we need to pray about and pray for both for ourselves, our local church ministries, and for missionaries throughout the world.

AUDIO MP3 at link below


Anonymous comments will not be allowed.

No comments: