3 Things Christian’s Should Know About Praying In Jesus’ Name

1. Praying In Jesus’ name means we depend on Jesus for access to God

The way to heaven is blocked up by our sins. There is no access for a sinful person to God without a Mediator.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jhn 14:6)

Jesus Christ is that Mediator. Jesus came down from heaven, died for sinners, and gathers them to himself by His effectual calling.

“If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” (1 Jhn 2:1)

“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Eph 3:12)

“Since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb 4:14,16)

2. Praying In Jesus’ name means we depend on Jesus for acceptance of our prayers

After Jesus intercedes for us by His work on the cross, he then tells us to go to his Father in his name, and ask what we need. He also gives us His Spirit to help us with our prayers.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 Jhn 5:14)

“I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (John 16:23)

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Rom 8:26)

3. Praying In Jesus’ name means we depend on Jesus for a gracious answer

We don’t always get the answer to prayers we want but we will always receive whatever we need to accomplish God’s will in our lives through Jesus.

“I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (Jhn 14:13)

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13)

7 Ways God Loves Us

1) God loves us with Atoning love.

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (Jhn 3:16-17)

God’s love for us is what motivated Him to send Christ into the world to save us. Christ paid for our sins, which had separated us from Him. This sacrifice not only brings us peace with God, it also brings us into a personal, loving relationship with Him. (Rom 5:1-5)

God’s atoning love through Christ is the source of all our spiritual blessings.

2) God loves us with Calling love.

“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Pet 2:9)

Another way God shows His love for us is by calling us out of the darkness of sin and into the light of fellowship with Him.

Even more, because God has called us to Himself, He promises to protect that relationship (Jhn 10:28) and never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5, 1 Thes 5:23-25)

God’s calling love is a promise to always be with us.

3) God loves us with Redeeming love.

“God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom 8:3-4)

Because of our sinful nature, we have no power to fulfill God’s law. But God’s love is shown through Christ who redeemed, or paid, the price we owed for our rebellion. (Gal 3:13)

God’s redeeming love frees us from guilt and fear.

4) God loves us with Justifying love.

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Rom 3:23-25)

God’s love is shown by justifying us (or declaring us innocent) by grace through faith in Christ. Christ is treated as if he were the sinner, and the sinner is treated as if he were the righteous one. God now sees us through Christ’s righteousness instead of through our sin.

God’s justifying love allows us to stand accepted before Him.

5) God loves us with Adopting love.

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”” (Rom 8:15)

God shows His love for us by not only forgiving us of our sins, but by going even further and bringing us into His family. He has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints. (Col 1:12) This inheritance includes salvation, strength, hope, peace, comfort, providence, fellowship and so much more!

God’s adopting love allows us to call Him “Father”.

6) God loves us with Sanctifying love.

“We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb 10:10)

Still another way God also shows His love is by sanctifying, or setting us apart, for His purpose. We’re sanctified in two ways: positionally and progressively.

We’re sanctified “positionally” when we come to Christ. In the Old Testament the priests would continually make sacrifices because they never permanently paid for sin. But Christ offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice and has paid for our sins once and for all. So we’ve sanctified, or set apart, to obtain salvation through Christ.

We’re also sanctified “progressively” throughout our Christian lives. Progressive sanctification isn’t about our salvation — we’re saved by grace and not by works (Eph 2:8-9) — it’s about how we live after we’ve been saved.

Progressive sanctification is the process of dying to sin and living for Christ by becoming more like Him. It’s about producing the fruits of the Spirit as opposed to producing the fruits of the flesh. (Gal 5:19-23)

God’s sanctifying love sets us apart for His special plans.

7) God loves us with Glorifying love.

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2)

Finally, God shows His love by glorifying us. Throughout our lives we’ll wrestle with sin, but we’re promised that the good work God begins in us will be completed. (Phil 1:6) When we go to be with the Lord our sinful nature will be left behind and we’ll like Him, and with Him, forever.

God’s glorifying love is the ultimate destination for Christians.

4 Ways We Draw Close To God

Christians draw close to God when…

1) Through Christ, we turn from sin to His grace, for forgiveness and mercy.

God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ (Eph 2:4-5, 13)

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:14,16)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt 11:28-29)

Learn More: What Is The Gospel?, How Do We Know We’re Saved?

2) We come to Him in prayer and lift up praises to Him.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)

Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. (Psa 147:1)

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. (Eph 3:17-18)

Learn More: Two Very Different Prayers, The 5 Finger Prayer

3) We read, trust and apply His Word daily.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17)

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (Jam 1:22)

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. (Ps 119:114)

Learn More: Living By Faith, 7 Commands For Christian Living

4) In faith we lay hold of His promises and live in His strength.

Abraham did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. (Rom 4:20-21)

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.(2 Cor 12:9)

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises. (2 Pet 1:3-4)

Learn More: The Christian’s Strength, Where To Put Your Troubles

4 Things The Gospel Frees Us From

Learn more about the Gospel: What Is The Gospel?, How Do We Know We’re Saved?

The “gospel”, from the Greek word evangelion, literally means “good news.” In ancient times, the evangelion (“good news”) was proclaimed from city to city to celebrate the accession of the new king to the throne upon the death of the old.

That is exactly what is being proclaimed in the gospel of Christ: the gospel is the joyful proclamation of the reign of Christ (literally, of God’s “Anointed One”), the rightful heir to the throne of David who lived and died and rose again to glory.

The gospel is the announcement that the blessing for which all of us long – more, better, richer, purer life – is available to us, even now; and this blessing is all bound up in the person and work of Jesus, “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

The gospel is the most powerful message of human liberation that has ever been proclaimed on earth. The gospel gives us:

1) Freedom from bondage of sin

“God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Rom 6:17-18)

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (Jhn 8:36)

2) Freedom from the condemnation of God’s moral law

“Christ was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Rom 4:24)

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering…” (Rom 8:1-3)

3) Freedom from fear of death

“‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:55-57)

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:20-21)

4) Freedom to live boldly in the assurance of God’s love for us

“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb 4:15-16)

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

– Adapted from JD Grisham’s Dust & Glory: The Meaning & Implications of the Gospel of Grace

3 Things That Define Us As Christians

1) Christians Are Gospel People

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” – Romans 1:16

Christians are people with a distinctive story.

We are people who follow Christ and believe that He died for our sins, was raised from the grave, and through faith in Him we have forgivness, a relationship with God, and everlasting life. We believe this not only with our heads but also in our hearts.

For Christians, this gospel is the source of our basic identity; we define ourselves by our relationship to Jesus Christ.

2) Christians Are Bible People

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…”
– 2 Timothy 3:16

Christians are people with a distinctive authority.

We believe that God is our ultimate authority, and that the Holy Scriptures are His authoritative self-revelation. For Christians, our ultimate standard is God, who speaks in the Bible.

3) Christians Are Church People

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
– Galatians 6:2

Christians are people with a distinctive community.

We believe that the church is the particular context within which we are to live our lives.

It is within the community of the church that we worship God, hear his Word, and receive the sacraments. It is within the community of the church that we are loved for, cared for, encouraged and held accountable.

Jules Grisham

Is It Fair For Christ To Pay For Our Sins?

Is it fair for Christ, who was innocent, to be punished for our sins? Isn’t it unjust to punish someone who is innocent, even if he’s willing to be punished?

In order to understand how Christ’s atonement can be fair and just, we must first understand our relationship with Him.

We’re one with Christ. We’re united with Him. He willingly takes our sin and gives us His righteousness.

Imagine two companies. Company A agrees to purchase Company B, which has great debt that it can’t pay. When Company A buys Company B, they willingly agree to absorb their debt and pay it. Company B’s debt is legally transferred to Company A.

In the same way, Revelation 5:9 teaches that Christ has bought us…

“With your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

And again in 1 Corinthians 7:23…

“You were bought at a price.”

When Christ purchases us, we become one with Him, and He willingly agrees to have our sin debt legally transferred to Himself. This is taught in 2 Corinthians 5:21…

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

We’re so closely united to Christ that His death is our death and His resurrection is our resurrection. This beautiful promise is made in Romans 6:5…

“If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”

The 3 Steps of Repentance

“Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation…” – 2 Corinthians 7:10

To repent means to change one’s attitude towards sin and God. It’s a change that must occur in both the mind and the heart.

In Matthew 27:3 Judas repented in his mind but not his heart. In other words, he had a sense of regret or remorse, but he remained in his sin instead of turning to God for forgiveness.

Repentance of the mind and the heart leads to salvation and consists of three steps:

Step 1 – Recognize Your Guilt

The idea here is that we understand who we are and where we stand before God. 1 John 1:8 tells us that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” While Romans 6:23 tells us the “wages of sin is death”.

The first step in repenting involves understanding that we are sinners and stand under God’s judgment.

Step 2 – Trust That God Will Forgive You

In Psalm 51 David wrote, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.”

Repentance is not only acknowledging our sin, it’s also recognizing that God is willing and able to forgive our sin.

We’re promised in Hebrews 8:12 that God will “forgive our wickedness and will remember our sins no more.

The second step in repenting involves believing that God will forgive us.

Step 3 – Turn From Sin, To God

Once we realize that we stand before God guilty of sin, and that He is willing to forgive us, we must then come to Him to receive that forgiveness. We come to God the Father though Jesus Christ, who is God the Son.

John 3:16 declares that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” 1 John 4:10 tells us that Christ is “the propitiation [or payment] for our sins.”

Because Christ paid for our sins, Romans 3:24 tells us that we have been “justified freely” through Him, and we now stand before God innocent.

The final step in repenting involves calling on Christ to save us from the penalty of sin. Acts 2:21 promises that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.

Once we have repented and come to Christ for forgiveness Ephesians 2:19 tells us we are “no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.

Would You Drink From A Dirty Glass?

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
– Romans 3:23

Many people believe that they can work their way to heaven. But no amount of good deeds can ever save us from God’s judgment because our hearts are corrupted by sin. Unless God gives us a new heart we cannot be saved.

Think of it this way…let’s say I offer you a glass of water. You look at the glass and notice that it looks dirty.

You say: “You know, this glass looks dirty.”

I respond: “Oh, the glass is contaminated with deadly bacteria, but don’t worry, it’s filled with spring water.”

Would you drink it? Of course not, because it doesn’t matter how pure the water is, the glass has contaminated everything within it.

Think of the glass as our hearts and our deeds as the water which fills the glass. Some people lead very bad lives — they fill their glass with ditch water. Others lead average lives — they fill their glass with tap water. Still others lead, by human standards, wonderful lives — they fill their glass with spring water. But it doesn’t matter whether your glass is filled with ditch water, tap water, or spring water, the glass is dirty. In the same way, the good deeds you offer God to earn your salvation are contaminated by sin and He cannot accept them.

But God will give a new glass to any one who asks.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
– Ezek 36:26

What did our Romans 3:23 say? “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But Romans 3:24 offers us hope because God offers to “justify us freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

While our hearts are contaminated with sin, Christ’s heart is pure, and His work is pure. He has lived the life we could not. To those who call on Him, He offers to credit His life to their account. They are now “justified by His blood” and “saved from wrath through Him.” (Rom 5:9)

Our good deeds, then, are not done to earn our salvation but done out of appreciation of our salvation.

God doesn’t take good people and make them better, nor does He leave bad people without hope. God, through Jesus Christ, takes sinners and makes them a new creation, forgiven, able to stand blameless, able to be called children of God.

A Look At The Gospel (And How It Works)

The word gospel means “good news”. The best description of the gospel is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:

“I declare to you the gospel…by which you are saved, if you hold fast that which I preach to you – unless you believed in vain. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

Let’s break these verses down and see what we discover.

“I declare to you the gospel…by which you are saved, if you hold fast that which I preach to you – unless you believed in vain.”

The first thing we learn about the gospel is that it’s the message by which people are saved from God’s judgment.

God has chosen to save us – not because of any work or deed we’ve done – but by His grace, through faith in Christ. Salvation is God’s gift to us. (Eph 2:8, Rom 6:23)

Now let’s take a look at how the gospel works.

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that He was buried…”

God is perfect and we aren’t. We sin and are separated from God when we fail to live up to His standard. (Rom 3:23) We do this by either by not doing what He requires of us or by doing what He has forbidden us to do. Sin can occur in thought, word, or deed.

So before we go to heaven something needs to change. Our sin needs to be paid for.

To do this God became a man – Jesus Christ – lived the perfect life you and I couldn’t, and died on the cross as a payment for our sins. We find this taught in Romans 8:1,3:

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.

If we call on Christ to save us from our sins, are sins are charged to His account and He pays for them (1 John 2:2). We are then “born again” (1 Peter 1:23) and able to enter heaven (John 3:16).

“…He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

After Christ died for our sins He didn’t stay in the grave. After three days He rose again.

When Christ was raised from the grave, it showed that the sacrifice He made was sufficient and accepted by God the Father.

If we put our trust Christ to pay for our sin we too can look forward to God raising us one day.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9)

What good news that is!

Learn More: How Do We Know We’re Saved?

The ABCs of Christianity

Admit, Believe, Consider, Do…the ABCD’s of Christianity.

A

There is something to Admit

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23

Christians are people who admit that they are weaker, guiltier, and more sinful than they would have ever dared admit.

By nature and by choice we are not in a relationship with God — even though it is for such a relationship that we were created.

And that at the root our lives are self-centered rather than God-Centered, and that we are helpless to break this pattern without the power of God.

B

There is something to Believe

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

Christians are people who believe that God loves us so much that he sent his only Son to earth to become a man, Jesus Christ, and that Jesus died on the cross as our substitute and was raised from the dead in order to offer us complete forgiveness.

Through Christ, we are more loved, valued and accepted by God than we would have ever dared imagine.

C

There is something to Consider

“Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” – 2 Tim 3:12

Christians are people who are not naïve, but who have counted the cost of following Jesus.

Being a Christian involves acknowledging Jesus’ authority and lordship in every area of life, welcoming his work to change us from the inside out, and rejoicing to spend time with him and with his followers in the life of the church.

D

There is something to Do

“The man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” – Romans 4:5

Christians are people who have received Christ as Savior and Lord by self-consciously turning from sin, self-centeredness, and self-righteousness (the Bible calls this “repentance“) and trusting in Jesus alone for forgiveness and acceptance by God (the Bible calls this “trusting faith”).

– Jules Grisham