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Pray This Way: The Divine Pattern of Righteous Prayer, Part 3

In Matthew 6:5-15, Jesus contrasts two fundamentally different ways to pray—unrighteous prayer in contrast to righteous prayer. The prayers of the scribes and Pharisees were unrighteous because they didn’t know God as their Father (6:5-8). The scribes and Pharisees had built their theology and practice around works-based righteousness. Their righteousness was exterior and superficial. As a result of their works-based righteousness, the scribes and Pharisees exchanged an inward righteousness for an outward show of piety. In contrast to the unrighteous prayers of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus commends to His disciples a pattern of righteous prayer (6:9-13). Jesus’ divine pattern focuses on six major themes of righteous prayer all of which center on God the Father. These six themes reveal the true character of God the Father and show how adopted sons pray to their heavenly Father. The first theme Jesus gives is that righteous prayer focuses on the knowledge of God as Father (v. 9b). Righteous (genuine) prayer belongs to the adopted sons of the Father. Because God’s sons are loved by their heavenly Father they in turn love Him and possess a zealous desire to see His Name treated as holy in both themselves as well as throughout the world. This leads us to the second theme of righteous prayer: Righteous prayer focuses on the honor of the Father. v. 9c Jesus teaches us to pray, “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name.” Following the filial address, “Our Father in heaven” is this first petition (ascription) of six. There are at minimal three ways we honor our Father’s Name. First, we honor our Father's Name in our theology (how we think about Him).

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Pray This Way: The Divine Pattern of Righteous Prayer, Part 2

In Matthew 6:5-15, Jesus contrasts two fundamentally different ways to pray—unrighteous prayer in contrast to righteous prayer. The prayers of the scribes and Pharisees were unrighteous because they didn’t know God as their Father (6:5-8). The scribes and Pharisees had built their theology and practice around works-based righteousness. Their righteousness was exterior and superficial. As a result of their works-based righteousness, the scribes and Pharisees exchanged an inward righteousness for an outward show of piety. In contrast to the unrighteous prayers of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus commends to His disciples a pattern of righteous prayer (6:9-13). Jesus’ divine pattern focuses on six major themes of righteous prayer all of which center on God the Father. These six themes reveal the true character of God the Father and show how adopted sons pray to their heavenly Father. The first theme Jesus gives is that righteous prayer focuses on the knowledge of God as Father (v. 9b). Jesus begins this model prayer with a filial address, “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven. . .” The very first truth Jesus would have us to learn about righteous prayer is that it is an expression of childlike, reverential trust in God the Father. This filial address is intended to encourage us to pray. Jesus commends adoption-driven prayer. Righteous prayer is rooted in the highest privilege of the gospel, namely adoption as sons of God. Righteous (genuine) prayer belongs to the adopted sons of the Father.

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Pray This Way: The Divine Pattern of Righteous Prayer, Part 1

In Matthew 6:5-15, Jesus contrasts two fundamentally different ways to pray—unrighteous prayer in contrast to righteous prayer. The prayers of the scribes and Pharisees were unrighteous because they didn’t know God as their Father (6:5-8). The scribes and Pharisees had built their theology and practice around works-based righteousness. Their righteousness was exterior and superficial. As a result of their works-based righteousness, the scribes and Pharisees exchanged an inward righteousness for an outward show of piety. In contrast to the unrighteous prayers of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus commends to His disciples a pattern of righteous prayer (6:9-13). Jesus’ divine pattern focuses on six major themes of righteous prayer all of which center on God the Father. These six themes reveal the true character of God the Father and show how adopted sons pray to their heavenly Father.

Amen

Amens

Demonstrate the Charity of Good Citizenship

Paul’s letter to Titus reveals how mission dominated his thought, and this applies to his view of the church in the world as well. Thus, in chapter 3 of Titus, Paul issues four directives to help believers live as models of good citizenship so that they may facilitate rather than hinder the evangelistic mission of the church and thus positively benefit their unbelieving neighbors (3:8). Thus far in our study, we have examined three of the four directives. I. Remember The Duties Of Good Citizenship. 3:1-2; II. Remember The Source Of Good Citizenship. 3:3-7; III. Deal With The Threats To Good Citizenship. 3:8-11. Paul concludes chapter 3 by issuing one final directive to Titus to help believers model good citizenship: IV. Believers Should Demonstrate the Charity of Good Citizenship. 3:12-15. Such charity by God’s people testifies to their obedience and thankfulness, glorifies God, adorns the gospel and facilitates the church’s mission in the world.

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Threats To Good Citizenship, Part 4

In chapter 3 of Titus, Paul issues four directives to help believers live as models of good citizenship so that they may facilitate rather than hinder the evangelistic mission of the church and thus positively benefit their unbelieving neighbors (3:8). We have examined in detail Paul’s first two directives: I. Remember The Duties Of Good Citizenship, 3:1-2. II. Remember The Source Of Good Citizenship, 3:3-7. Continually reminding believers of the source of their salvation is a necessary pastoral task because there are always threats that seek to corrupt the believer’s good citizenship (3:8-11). The corrupting influence of the Cretan false teachers poses a significant threat to the Cretan believers’ modeling of good citizenship. The false teachers embodied the worst of the Cretan vices and by their false teaching and licentious living they were destroying the newly established churches in Crete (1:11). In response, Paul, in 3:8-11, gives Titus three action steps for counteracting the threats of false teachers in the church. A. Paul teaches that believers must devote themselves to good works (3:8). B. Paul teaches that church leadership must avoid foolish disputes (3:9). However, there are times when more decisive action is needed in order to guard the peace and purity of the church. This brings us to the third action step for counteracting the threats of false teachers in the church. C. Church Leadership Must Discipline Divisive People. vv. 10-11. In Titus 3:10-11, Paul sets forth a three-step disciplinary process for dealing with divisive persons.

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