Jesus’ Model Prayer - Part 6
And forgive us our debts, (trespasses) as we forgive our debtors (those who trespass against us).
●And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. ●For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:11-15)
WHAT I HAVE BEEN CALLING, “Jesus’ Model Prayer” is called by most people: “The Lord’s Prayer.” The most accurate title for the prayer is: “The Disciples’ Prayer” for two reasons. First, the occasion of the prayer came in response to a request from Jesus’ disciples to teach them to pray. And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. (Luke 11:1)
SECONDLY, THE PRAYER RELATES TO THE SIN OF THE ONE WHO OFFERS THE PRAYER. Jesus did no sin, had no trespasses and therefore could not pray that part of the prayer. Nevertheless, it has been called “The Lord’s Prayer” for centuries, is older than the English language, and it will remain so. This is somewhat like calling a building the church meets in: “the church.” The building is not the church. But, we “go to church.” i.e. we go to the church building. That is set in concrete and we are not going to change it. Neither are we going to rename: “The Lord’s Prayer.” Nevertheless, we should be acquainted with the alternate terms: “The Disciples’ Prayer” and with “Jesus’ Model Prayer.”
THIS PRAYER, AND THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT ARE TWO OF THE GREATEST documents in the Christian faith because of the subject matter and because they are extremely condensed. They are also two of the greatest challenges to understanding what they mean. As much as I would like to park the Jeep for weeks and explore all the roots to “The Lord’s Prayer,” this is not the format or the vehicle for doing it. I will try to select a few summary statements that will put the prayer in context with the rest of Scripture. I read this truism many years ago: “He that would teach most simply, must know most thoroughly.” The dictionary is the most accurate of any book but is also probably the most boring. The problem comes in explaining the word “kingdom.”
SOME BIBLE STUDENTS THINK THEY SEE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN the “Kingdom of Heaven” and the “Kingdom of God.” (Kingdom of Heaven is used only in the book of Matthew, about 32 times) After reading various writers who tried to distinguish the two kingdoms, I gave up on it many years ago. The Scofield Bible is the main promoter of making a difference. Walvoord and some other respected names got on board. I assume that the two terms are the same and hold open the right to be wrong about it. I applaud the efforts of the writers, Walvoord in particular.
THE MAIN THING WE WANT TO AVOID TODAY is the assumption that “Thy Kingdom come” is a prayer for the church to dominate the world. The church and Israel are not the same thing. The church and “the kingdom” are not the same thing. The church is not going to save the world and is not going to dominate the world. The church is commissioned to preach the gospel of Christ to every creature. Our mission is to “persuade” people if we can. A kingdom is headed by a king and by its nature: “commands” and “rules.”
THE CHURCH IS A TEMPORARY FUNCTION IN THE PLAN OF GOD to preach the Gospel of Christ, the message of eternal salvation. The church cannot command. The church cannot rule. The Kingdom of God will command and will rule. The church will be merged into the Kingdom of God. It is hard for some to distinguish between God’s dealing with the individual and God’s dealing with the nation of Israel. They are not the same. The best commentary I see on this distinction is by Warren Wiersbe and his explanation of Romans 11:16-24. If we do not understand the permanence of God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then we are going to be struggling and floundering to find our way through many parts of the Bible.
THE OLIVE TREE (ROMANS 11:16-24). (BY WARREN WIERSBE) (Please turn in your Bible and read.) “This is a symbol of the nation of Israel (Jeremiah 11:16-17; Hosea 14:4-6). Please keep in mind that Paul was not discussing the relationship of individual believers to God, but the place of Israel in the plan of God. The roots of the tree support the tree; again, this was a symbol of the patriarchs who founded the nation. God made His covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He cannot deny them or change them. Thus, it is God’s promise to Abraham that sustains Israel even today.
“MANY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE DID NOT BELIEVE. Paul pictured them as branches broken off the tree. But he saw an amazing thing taking place: other branches were grafted into the tree to share in the life of the tree. These branches were the Gentiles. In Romans 11:24, Paul described this “grafting in” as “contrary to nature.” Usually a cultivated branch is grafted into a wild tree and shares its life without producing its poor fruit. But in this case, it was the “wild branch” (the Gentiles) that was grafted into the good tree! “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22).
To say that the olive tree, with its natural and grafted branches, is a picture of the church would be a great mistake. In the church, “there is no difference”; believers are “all one in Christ Jesus” (Emphasis added.)
(Galatians 3:28). God does not look on the members of Christ’s body and see them as Jews or Gentiles. The olive tree illustrates the relationship between Jew and Gentile in the program of God. The “breaking off of the branches” is the equivalent of “the fall” (Romans 11:11), “the diminishing” (Romans 11:12), and “the casting away” (Romans 11:15). To read into this illustration the matter of the eternal destiny of the individual believer is to abuse the truth Paul was seeking to communicate.
PAUL WARNED THE GENTILES that they were obligated to Israel, and therefore they dared not boast of their new spiritual position (Romans 11:18-21). The Gentiles entered into God’s plan because of faith, and not because of anything good they had done. Paul was discussing the Gentiles collectively, and not the individual experience of one believer or another.
IT IS WORTH NOTING THAT, ACCORDING TO BIBLE PROPHECY, the professing Gentile church will be “cut off” because of apostasy. 1Timothy 4:1-16 and 2Timothy 3:1-17, along with 2Thesslonians 2:1-17, all indicate that the professing church in the last days will depart from the faith. There is no hope for the apostate church, but there is hope for apostate Israel! Why? Because of the roots of the olive tree. God will keep His promises to the patriarchs, but God will break off the Gentiles because of their unbelief.
NO MATTER HOW FAR ISRAEL MAY STRAY FROM THE TRUTH of God, the roots are still good. God is still the “God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6; Matthew 22:23). He will keep His promises to these patriarchs. This means that the olive tree will flourish again! God Himself (Romans 11:25-36)
PAUL SAVED HIS BEST WITNESS FOR THE LAST. He proved that the very character and work of God were involved in the future of Israel. Men may dispute about prophecy and differ in their interpretations, but let every man realize that he is dealing with God’s people, Israel. (End of quote: Warren Wiersbe)
THE CHURCH IS A PART OF THE COMING KINGDOM OF GOD and the coming Kingdom of God is going to dominate the world. This principle is illustrated in the function of the temporary Mosaic Law. Jesus said Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17-18)
HE WAS SPEAKING OF THE CEREMONIAL PART OF THE LAW and not the moral part of the law. His death, burial and resurrection fulfilled all the ceremonial part of the Law of Moses. The moral part of he law is: “love God,” and “love thy neighbor.” That part of the law did not pass away and will never pass away.
WHEN WE LOOK AT A ROSE BUD, it is beautiful to behold. But it's destiny is to grow into a beautiful rose flower. When it performs its mission, it will no longer be a rosebud, but something even more beautiful and endowed with an enticing fragrance. In the same way, the church will perform its purpose of calling sinners to repentance. One day it will be incorporated into the long-awaited kingdom of God on an eternal basis. The wording of this Biblical truth may not be done well-enough in this article to gather agreement from everyone who reads it. But, that is what I believe the Bible teaches.
THERE IS MORE THAN ONE JUDGMENT AND THERE IS MORE THAN ONE RESURRECTION. The finished form of all that God is doing will result in the finished “Kingdom of God.” Eventually there will also be a new heaven and a new earth in which dwelleth righteousness. (2Peter 3:13)
Next: We will take up “forgive us our debts.” Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
AUGUST 20, 2018 – MONDAY
A.M. Psalms 116-118 P.M. 1Corinthians 2
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psalm 91:1-2)
(Write verse on scrap of paper and put in your pocket to memorize.)
Song for Today:
The Lord’s Prayer (4:26) (Andrea Boelli w/orchestra and choir)
Give plenty of time for connecting. You may need to adjust your volume.
AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR CANCER RESEARCH 10 CANCER PREVENTION RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Be a healthy weight. 2. Be physically active. 3. Eat a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans. 4. Limit consumption of “fast foods” and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars. 5. Limit consumption of red and processed meat. 6. Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks. 7. Limit alcohol consumption. 8. Do not use supplements for cancer prevention. 9. For mothers: breastfeed your baby, if you can. 10. After a cancer diagnosis: follow our Recommendations, if you can. (July 2018)