A. Ward Brandenstein

What Are We To Do? (Week seventeen)

 

Part 4 – What are we to do?

CHAPTER 5 – Living The Christian Life continued…

Our Conduct Or Behavior As Believers

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In Ward Brandenstein’s introduction to chapter five he writes: “The Christian life is intended by God to be far more than simply a religious experience or the practicing of religion.  It is the living of life that is in balance, that is fulfilling, and that is free of regrets.  It is literally Christ living out His life through the individual.  That does not mean that the individual becomes passive and uninvolved.  Rather, it is an active participation of the person in a submissive dependency to Christ’s headship over himself.  To the extent that each believer willingly submits himself to Christ’s will and way, Christ’s righteousness will be a practical result and a benefit to that person.  This is not something that God demands of the Christian, but is something God has provided and leaves up to the individual to choose and follow willingly. In order to understand this principle of being willingly submissive to Christ, it would be well to consider several commands and admonitions that will clarify the part the believer will need to play to realize fulfilled life as a Christian.”

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The Christian life is
A WALK, A RACE, A WARFARE, FRUITFUL,
A LIFE OF PEACE, A REST, A LIFE OF PRAYER.

 

The Walk is One of Obedience (continued)

 

The Christian Life is a Life of Prayer. (Part Three)

PATTERNS FOR PRAYING

The following prayers are suggestions of types of prayers for the unbeliever or new Christian to pray which he may build upon and change as he learns to pray in his own words.  The important point is to be sure that the prayer is from the heart.  It is helpful to think of prayer as a child’s speaking with his father.

FOR ONE WHO NEEDS TO RECEIVE CHRIST AS SAVIOUR

Prayer:  Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and that I need a Saviour.  I accept Jesus Christ as my Saviour, as my Lord, and my Life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and for giving me the gift of eternal life.  Fill me with your Holy Spirit, and lead me in the paths You would have me to go.  I ask this of You through Jesus Christ, my Lord.  Amen.

God’s Answer:  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, Romans 10:9.

For additional verses and studies concerning salvation, please see How Life In Christ Is Received, Chapter 2.

FOR A BELIEVER WHO REALIZES HIS IDENTIFICATION WITH CHRIST

Prayer:  Dear Father in heaven, I thank You for sending your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to earth, to be made sin in my place and to suffer death for sin, so that I might be made the righteousness of God in Him. I believe that when He was on the cross, I was co-crucified; when He was buried, I was co-buried; when He was resurrected, I was raised with Him to walk in newness of life; and when He ascended to the heavenlies, I was made to be seated in the heavenlies in Him.  I now consider these truths to be constantly a part of who I am, and I submit myself to the Holy Spirit to teach me every day the way these truths are to be a reality in my daily walk.  I thank You for Christ’s life within me and for the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

God’s Assurance: Therefore, we are buried with Him by baptism (of the Holy Spirit) into death, that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin,Romans 6:4,6.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ (by grace ye are saved), And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,Ephesians 2:4‑6.

For additional verses and studies concerning identification, please see Fact Number 50, United with Christ in Death, Burial, Resurrection and Ascension (Identification).

FOR CHRISTIANS TO CONFESS ACTS OF SIN TO RESTORE BROKEN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

Prayer:  Dear Father in heaven, I thank You that Jesus took my sins and bore them on the cross.  Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who lets me know of those acts which I have done that are sins.  Father, I now confess that the (anger, lustful thoughts, jealousy, lying, stealing, or the deed committed) is sin in your sight and was borne by Christ on the cross.  By your mercy and grace, I thank You for your forgiveness.  I pray that You will fill me anew with your Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

God’s Assurance: Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness…I Peter 2:24.

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive (at the cross) us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.(I John 1:7,9)

Note:  Confess means “say the same thing” as God says.  What He says issin, we are willing to say is sin when we are made to see it by the Holy Spirit’s conviction.  This is God’s provision when we are burdened with “guilt feelings”.

As the believer is willing to confess sins when they are committed, there is assurance in knowing that Jesus Christ is doing His work as the believer’s Advocate in the heavenlies. (See I John 2:1 in No. 14, Accuser of the Brethren, under “Who Satan Is.”

FOR THE BELIEVER’S DELIVERANCE FROM OPPRESSION

(First, all known sin should be confessed. See prayer to confess sin above.)

Prayer:  Dear Father in heaven, thank you for victory over Satan through Christ’s redeeming work on the cross and through His resurrection. I pray that you will bind Satan and protect me, my family, and my home from his attacks.  You have said, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you,” James 4:7.  I resist the devil, in Jesus’ name, and I pray for your Spirit to be in control of me now and to fill my life.  I pray for your will to be accomplished in my life.  I claim the victory I already have in Christ Jesus, and claim your promise in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  Thank you for Your deliverance. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

(There are times when it is necessary to pray audibly a prayer such as this, as there are some instances in which the oppression does not stop until an audible prayer is spoken.)

One may also claim in the prayer the promises of God from His Word, such as John 14:13,14; I Thessalonians 5:24; I John 4:4; Psalm 91; Ephesians 6:10-18; Psalm 1, 23.

FOR THE BELIEVER TO WALK IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

Prayer:  Dear Father in heaven, I thank You for Your Presence and Life dwelling in me.  I thank You that I am dead to sin through Christ, and I present my members to Your Holy Spirit to be used as instruments of righteousness unto You.  May Your Spirit fill me and control me, through Jesus Christ, the Lord, and may Christ’s resurrected life be lived in me.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

God’s Assurance: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Gal. 5:16)

For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law but under grace.  Being, then, made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. (Rom. 6:14,18)

FOUR ELEMENTS OF PRAYER FOR BELIEVERS

Praise, Confession, Petition, and Thanksgiving are essential components for effective praying for a believer to follow.  These elements or components of prayer are found in The Lord’s Prayer, Luke 11:2-4; Matthew 6:9-13.

 

Next Week: Epilogue & Bibliography

Copyright © 1996 A. Ward Brandenstein

Used with permission.

 

A. Ward Brandenstein

Pastor Ward earned an M.A. in Guidance and Counselling from Eastern Michigan University after taking special courses in psychology at Wayne State University, and earned a Bachelor of Theology (Th.B.) from Baptist Bible College and Seminary with Greek and Hebrew studies, and earned a diploma from Philadelphia Bible Institute (now Cairn U.), including New Testament Greek studies. His knowledge of the Bible and close walk with God are appreciated by all who know him and have sat under his teaching. Pastor Brandenstein and his wife Rose Ann reside in California, teaching college level singles and married couples, young professionals, and retired pastors and missionaries.

 

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