God’s Teaching on Anxiety is Clear, Compelling and Direct

Just as Matthew 6 is Jesus’ great statement on worry, Philippians 4 is the apostle Paul’s charter on how to avoid anxiety.  These passages are the most comprehensive portions of Scripture dealing with our topic and therefore are foundational to understanding how God feels about anxiety and why He feels that way.  The teaching is clear, compelling and direct.

– MacArthur, John; FOUND: GOD’S PEACE – Experiencing True Freedom From Anxiety in Every Circumstance; David C. Cook Publishing; Colorado Springs, CO; Copyright 1993, 2015; Location 44

Watching the Early Church Pray for Everything in Joy

Watching the early Church pray for everything for joy:

  1. The Early Christians called on God to exalt His name in the world.  (Matthew 6:9; Psalm 9:2)
  2. The Early Christians called on God to extend His kingdom in the world (Matthew 6:10; Revelations 21:4)
  3. The Early Christians called on God for the fullness of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13; Ephesians 3:19; Acts 4:31)
  4. The Early Christians called on God to save unbelievers. (Romans 10:1; Matthew 13:44; Luke 15:7)
  5. The Early Christians called on God for healing (James 5:13-15; Acts 8:7)
  6. The Early Christians called on God for strategic wisdom. (James 1:5; Colossians 1:9, 3:16)
  7. The Early Christians called on God for unity and harmony in the ranks (John 17:20-21; Philippians 2:2)
  8. The Early Christians called on God to help them know Him better. (Colossians 1:10; Ephesians 1:17)
  9. The Early Christians called on God to help them comprehend the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:14, 18)
  10. The Early Christians called on God for a deeper sense of assured hope. (Ephesians 1:16, 18, Romans 15:13, 5:2, 12:12)
  11. The Early Christians called on God for strength and endurance (Colossians 1:11, Ephesians 3:16; Nehemiah 8:10)
  12. The Early Christians called on God for their faith to be preserved. (Luke 22:32, 21:36; II Corinthians 1:24; Philippians 1:25)
  13. The Early Christians called on God that they might not fall into temptation.  (Matthew 6:13, 26:41)
  14. The Early Christians called on God to complete their resolves and enable them to do good work. (II Thessalonians 1:11, Colossians 1:10, Acts 20:35)
  15. The Early Christians called on God for forgiveness for their sins. (Matthew 6:12)
  16. The Early Christians called on God for protection from the evil one.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p.143-146

Lead Us Not Into Temptation…

In addition to prayer about sins in our lives and areas of character in which we need to grow, it is also good to pray that we will be kept from temptation (Matthew 6:13) and that we will be alert to and not be blindsided by temptation when it does come.  Finally, in our planned time of prayer, it is good to pray along the lines of Hebrews 13:21, that God will work in us what is pleasing to Him, for He knows far better than we what really needs to happen in our lives at any given time.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 141

Commanded Not Only to Love, But Who to Love

Not only does Scripture command Christians and churches to love, but it also tells us who we are to love. 

  1. We are to love God (Matthew 6:24; 22:39)
  2. We are to love our family (Ephesians 5:25; 6:1-4; Titus 2:4)
  3. We are to conduct ourselves in such an honoring and respectful way that our church leaders find it a joy to pastor us, which is a practical way of loving them (I Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 13:17)
  4. We are to love fellow Christians (I John 3:14)
  5. We are to love our neighbor even if our neighbor is a despicable person (Matthew 22:39; Luke 10:30-37; Romans 13:9-10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8)
  6. We are to love strangers (Hebrews 13:2)
  7. We are to love even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-45; Luke 6:32)

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 195

We Are, By Nature and By Choice

Every person since Adam is a sinner, both by nature and by choice (Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Romans 3:23).  Everyone (except  Jesus Christ) is, from conception, sinful by nature and corrupted to the very core of his or her being and therefore incapable of doing anything that pleases God (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:10-18; 8:7-8).  Thus everyone, except Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:15), sins (I John 1:8) by breaking God’s holy laws (Psalm 14:1-3; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10; I John 3:4), because they are sinners in their hearts (Proverbs 4:23; 17:19; 20:9; Matthew 6:21; Luke 6:45).  Therefore the question is not whether people will sin against one another, but rather how they will deal with that sin.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 165

The Royal Family Code

Often called the charter of God’s Kingdom, this sermon (The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7) could equally well be described as the royal family code, for the thought of the disciple’s sonship to God is basic to all the main issues of Christian obedience with which the Sermon deals.  This is worth showing in detail, especially since the point is so rarely given its proper weight in exposition.

First, then, adoption appears in the Sermon as the basis of Christian conduct.  This basic orientation comes out in three all-embracing principles of conduct which our Lord lays down.

  1. the principle of imitating the Father. (Matthew 5:44-45; 48)
  2. the principle of glorifying the Father. (Matthew 5:16; Matthew 6:9)
  3. the principle of pleasing the Father. (Matthew 6:1-18)

Second, adoption appears in the Sermon as the basis of Christian prayer.

Third, adoption appears in the Sermon as the basis of the life of faith – that is the life of trusting God for one’s material needs as one seeks his kingdom and righteousness.

– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, copyright 1973, pages 211-213