Friday, February 07, 2014

Exhortation: Alert, Praying In The Spirit

22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:22-27 ESV)

We are exhorted throughout God’s Word to persevere even in the most rugged of circumstances. We are given a promise of what awaits those who do persevere, the adoption as “sons” and redemption of our bodies, which is positional for all truly in Christ. Yet, we look forward to these and other promises with eyes of faith. This temporal part of our life as Christians can be quite a battle with the flesh to the point of crying out like the Apostle Paul, “O wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:7-25) Weakness in this battle is directly attributable to a lack of praying as we should, while, conversely, victory in this battle is directly attributable to proper praying in the spirit, that is, in harmony with the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than according to one’s own agenda. There are many “church” things out there that are not good for us. These “church” things are the product of those scoffers who have entered the Church to divide it. 
17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. (Jude 1:17-19 ESV)
We are in this “last time.” These people with their own agenda have entered the Church following their own ungodly passions. They pervert the truth for their own profit. They are worldly people devoid of the Spirit and in order for us to persevere to the end, we must turn from them and have no part in their ministries. How are we to know to turn from these people? We must pray and walk in the knowledge given to us by God as we do this.
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21 ESV)
The way to minimize the influence of these false prophets and teachers is to live proactively as a δοῦλος (slave) of Christ (Jude 3). I know so many Christians who are proactive Southern Baptists, or proactive Presbyterian, et cetera. However, this religiosity is not the same thing as being a proactive δοῦλος of Christ nor will it provide them with the same level of discernment and knowledge of God. What does it mean for us to build ourselves up in our most holy faith? These who are proactively serving Christ as He wills are building themselves up in their most holy faith by building on the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11) and cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20) in Christ. God has given us the wonderful gift of His Word written down by the apostles and prophets so that we can build ourselves up by the Word of God.
We are also to pray in the Holy Spirit. What does this mean?
End quote. 
Read the entire article here.

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