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OceanSide church of Christ

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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (48)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    Some questions that are asked are very specific to a situation (Ex., job interview questions).

1.      Why should we hire you?

2.      What is your greatest strength?

3.      What is your greatest weakness?

4.      Why are you leaving your current job?

5.      Why do you want this job?

 

B.      The questions you ask on our Q&A Night are specific only in that we try to give a Bible answer to the questions.  Your questions, however, can range from Dan to Beersheba.

 

C.     Tonight, we want to answer three of your questions.

 

I.                   QUESTION #1:  Praying to Jesus

 

A.    Stated:  Is it okay to speak to Jesus in prayer or in songs?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      This is a question that is very controversial, especially with regard to the prayer aspect of the question.  (NOTE:  Most have no problems with songs being sung in praise to Jesus.  He is God.  He is worthy of praise.  There is no specific legislation about singing to the Christ).

2.      Let’s keep one point in mind.  Our answer should never be based upon how we “feel” about the issue.  Our answers should always be grounded in the truth of God’s Word.

3.      When it comes to prayer, like Creation and salvation, all three members of the Godhead play a part.  However, their roles are different.

a.      God the Father is the recipient of our prayers (Matt. 6:9).

 

After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

 

1)      When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He taught them to pray to the Father.

2)      Question:  Is there a passage of Scripture that teaches us to direct our prayers to Jesus or the Holy Spirit?

3)      Interesting point:  During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He never prayed one prayer to the Holy Spirit, even though the Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead.

b.      Jesus’ role in prayer is that of a mediator (I Tim. 2:5)

 

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

 

1)      Jesus is the go-between.  He knows what it is to be both God and man. 

2)      John describes His actions as that of an advocate (I John 2:1).

 

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

 

c.       The Holy Spirit also is involved in prayer at times.  Sometimes He is an intercessor for us (Rom. 8:26).

 

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

 

d.      POINT:  When God sets forth the roles that each member of the Godhead plays in prayer, man is not at liberty to change those roles. 

e.       Questions:

1)      Which prayers are we supposed to direct to the Father and which prayers are to go to Jesus Christ?

2)      When we pray directly to Jesus, who is our mediator?

3)      If we can pray to the Father or the Son because they are God, then we should also be able to pray to the Holy Spirit.  Which prayer is He to hear?

4.      Objections:

a.      The apostles prayed to Jesus in when selecting an apostle to fill Judas’s place (Acts 1:24).

 

And they prayed, and said, Thou Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou has chosen.

 

1)      Answer #1:  This was a very unique event.  Apostles were ambassadors of Jesus Christ.  It was He who chose the original twelve.  Therefore, He had to choose the replacement for Judas.

2)      Answer #2:  How do we know they were praying to Jesus?  The word “Lord” could refer to the Father.

a)      It was the Father who had given the apostles to the Christ (John 17:9).

 

I pray for them:  I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

 

b)      Note what Paul says about his apostleship (I Tim. 1:1).

 

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandments of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.

 

b.      Stephen prayed to Jesus in Acts 7:60.

 

And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.  And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

 

1)      If we keep the verse in its context, what we have is Stephen talking to the Christ because he seen Jesus (Acts 7:55).

 

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

 

2)      This was not a pray like the ones we pray.  He saw Jesus and spoke to Him.  When we see Him in the hereafter, we will be able to speak with Him as well.  That does not constitute prayer.

5.      When men pray, they need to pray to the Father.  Jesus will mediate on their behalf.  The Holy Spirit will intercede when it is necessary.

6.      A final point:  Because I believe we should pray to the Father, I will not sing the song:  “Just A Little Talk with Jesus.”  If I cannot speak and teach you to pray to Jesus, I cannot sing and teach you to pray to Jesus.  It is a matter of Scripture and consistency.

 

II.                QUESTION #2:  God’s Power Over Animals

 

A.    Stated:  Can God command wild animals to protect people? (kids)?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      As the Creator, God has power over the heavens and the earth, things visible and invisible, angels, men, animals, the heavenly hosts, and all of the elements.

2.      If God so desires, He can command any aspect of His creation to obey Him.

a.      The sun and moon (Josh. 10:12-13a)

 

Then speak Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.  And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.

 

b.      Balaam’s donkey was allowed to speak by God (Num. 22:28).

 

And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

 

c.       The winds and the sea obeyed Jesus (Mark 4:39).

 

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

 

3.      The correct answer to the question is:  “Yes, God can command wild animals to protect people.”

4.      The next question might be:  “Does He do this?”

a.      We cannot answer that question for certain.

b.      In His providential care of man He might command the animal kingdom to come to the assistance of a person who is in need.

 

III.             QUESTION #3:  The Meaning of Penitent

 

A.    Stated:  What is the meaning of “penitent”?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      The word “penitent” is a form of the word “repent.”

a.      Repent is a verb.  Peter told those on the day of Pentecost to “Repent, and be baptized…” (Acts 2:38).

b.      Repentance is a noun (Luke 24:47).

 

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

 

c.       Penitent is an adverb.

1)      The word is not found in the Bible.

2)      Example:  “He has a penitent heart.”  This is a heart that is willing to repent of sins and transgressions.

2.      Two examples:

a.      When Ananias came to Saul in the city of Damascus, he found him in a penitent condition.

1)      He was blind and had to be led by the hand (Acts 9:8).

2)      He did not eat or drink for three days (Acts 9:9).

3)      He prayed to God (Acts 9:11).

b.      The Philippian jailor manifested a penitent heart at his conversion.

1)      He had thrown Paul and Barnabas into the prison cell and locked their feet in the stocks after they had been scourged (Acts 16:23-24).

2)      Upon hearing the saving news of the gospel through Jesus Christ, he showed he had a penitent heart (Acts 16:33).

 

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his straightway.

 

3.      A penitent heart carries out the command to repent and moves the sinner on through the conversion process. 

4.      NOTE:  Until the sinner repents, he cannot be saved (Luke 13:3).

 

I tell you, Nay:  but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

 

a.      There must be a death to sin.

b.      There must be a radical change of heart that leads to a change of actions and that results in a change of life.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    We have looked at three questions.

1.      The first involved prayers to Jesus.

2.      The second centered in God’s command of the animal kingdom.

3.      The third revolved around the command to repent.

 

B.      Recently, I put up a Facebook post entitled, “Confession Yes, Repentance No.”

1.      There are many people who are willing to confess their sins.

2.      However, some of these individuals are not willing to repent of their sins.

3.      In order to be forgiven, both actions have to transpire. 

a.      A person repents.

b.      Then, he can confess that sin to God.

c.       When that happens, God forgives.

4.      NOTE:  This deals with the child of God who sins.

 

C.     The alien sinner must also repent.  He must do this prior to baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38. Luke 24:47; Acts 17:30).