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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

God Hears Your Prayers - Joseph Prince Ministries New Creation Church 01 Dec 2009

Romans 4:7–8
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

Some people think that if they were more “right” with God, then He would hear their prayers. For example, they sometimes believe that if they had not quarreled with their wives or had those bad thoughts earlier in the day, then God would answer their prayers.

God is not like that. He wants you to know beyond any doubt that you can always come to His throne of grace with boldness and have every confidence that you will receive His mercy and grace. (Hebrews 4:16) You see, because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, you are already right with God. You don’t need to do anything to make yourself more right with God.

In fact, by faith in Jesus, you have received the righteousness of God Himself! (2 Corinthians 5:21) And no matter how many mistakes you make, you will never lose that righteousness because in the first place, God gave it to you apart from your works. (Romans 4:5–6) In other words, God did not impute righteousness to you because you were good, but because you believed in Jesus.

Because of what Jesus has done for you at the cross, all your sins — past, present and future — are forgiven. God will by no means ever remember your sins or count them against you! (Hebrews 8:12, 10:17)

My friend, because Jesus has been punished for your sins, today, God is not counting your sins against you. This means that your sins won’t stop Him from hearing and responding to your prayers. So you can always run into His presence knowing that you can boldly stand in and enjoy His presence and His love.

When you know this truth, it is going to set you free in your relationship with God. You can talk to Him without fear or any sense of condemnation. You can practice His presence and trust that He always hears you. Should something happen at home or at work, you don’t always have to call for your church leaders — you pray and God hears you!

Beloved, you are righteous in Christ and God hears your prayers — all because of Jesus!

1 comment:

Nick said...

In my study on this topic, the Greek term “logizomai” is the English term for “reckon/impute/credit/etc,” (all terms are basically equivalently used) and when I look up that term in a popular Protestant Lexicon here is what it is defined as:

—————-
QUOTE: “This word deals with reality. If I “logizomai” or reckon that my bank book has $25 in it, it has $25 in it. Otherwise I am deceiving myself. This word refers to facts not suppositions.”
http://tinyurl.com/r92dch
—————-

The Protestant Lexicon states this term first and foremost refers to the actual status of something. So if Abraham’s faith is “logizomai as righteousness,” it must be an actually righteous act of faith, otherwise (as the Lexicon says) “I am deceiving myself.” This seems to rule out any notion of an alien righteousness, and instead points to a local/inherent righteousness.

The Lexicon gives other examples where “logizomai” appears, here are some examples:

——————-
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude [logizomai] that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Rom 4:4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted [logizomai] as a gift but as his due.

Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon [logizomai] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 8:18 For I reckon [logizomai] that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
——————-

Notice in these examples that “logizomai” means to consider the actual truth of an object. In 3:28 Paul ‘reckons’ faith saves while the Law does not, this is a fact, the Law never saves. In 4:4 the worker’s wages are ‘reckoned’ as a debt because the boss is in debt to the worker, not giving a gift to him. In 6:11 the Christian is ‘reckoned’ dead to sin because he is in fact dead to sin. In 8:18 Paul ‘reckons’ the present sufferings as having no comparison to Heavenly glory, and that is true because nothing compares to Heavenly glory.

To use logizomai in the “alien status” way would mean in: (1) 3:28 faith doesn’t really save apart from works, but we are going to go ahead and say it does; (2) 4:4 the boss gives payment to the worker as a gift rather than obligation/debt; (3) 6:11 that we are not really dead to sin but are going to say we are; (4) 8:18 the present sufferings are comparable to Heaven’s glory.
This cannot be right.

So when the text plainly says “faith is logizomai as righteousness,” I must read that as ‘faith is reckoned as a truly righteous act’, and that is precisely how Paul explains that phrase in 4:18-22. That despite the doubts that could be raised in Abraham’s heart, his faith grew strong and convinced and “that is why his faith was credited as righteousness” (v4:22). This is also confirmed by noting the only other time “credited as righteousness” appears in Scripture, Psalm 106:30-31, where Phinehas’ righteous action was reckoned as such.

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