Elder's Prayer - November 11, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
What is the Gospel?
As Paul states in Romans 1, it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,
Titus 3:5–God saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy.
In verse 3 of that passage, Paul reminds us that we–everyone of us–needs to be saved. Why? because we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
How should we interpret that? Not good!
It means that we–all of us–have a sin problem to which there is only one solution–it is only by the power of our God, according to his mercy–not because of any righteousness we may think we possess, that we are saved from his wrath against sin.
Our Savior is Jesus Christ–God incarnate–who came to earth to live, die and be resurrected–so that we may be reconciled to God, and set free from the power of sin.
How are we, in light of the gospel, called to deal with our sin?
Our sins have been forgiven by God–atoned for by the blood of Christ. We are no longer under the power of sin, but sin remains, and scripture tells us we are to confess and forsake it–repent of it.
How does scripture instruct us regarding confession of sin?
We’re told in Hebrews 4 that, Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, we are to hold fast our confession. Why?
Verse 15-Because we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Therefore–verse 16–we can, with confidence draw near to God’s throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. This is how we are to deal with sin.
The pattern of the Christian life is sin, repentance and renewal–by God–at the throne of his grace.
Let’s draw near to him today, together and confess and forsake our sins with confidence that he will renew us
Let’s bow together and take a moment to first confess and forsake those personal sins that plague each of us.
Lord your word tells us that whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but if we confess and forsake them, you promise we will obtain mercy.
We come before you today to do just that–to confess our sins and seek your mercy and renewal.
Search our hearts O Lord–help us to discern the sin hidden deep within us.
Sins that we are often too blind to see.
The idols of our hearts, which manifest themselves in so many ways – those sinful desires and expectations that our flesh craves–help us to recognize them and put them to death so that we may live lives that are increasingly holy and pleasing to you.
Renew us Lord–help us to delight ourselves in you and when we do you promise to give us the desires of our transformed hearts.
May your Spirit create in us new desires–a clean heart.
A heart that increasingly dies to self and lives for you and for others.
We ask this with confidence knowing that our great high priest, the Lord Jesus Christ intercedes for us at your throne of grace.
Hear our prayer today O Lord. In Christ’s name we pray.