Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
161 - Righteousness Brings Answered Prayer
I based this message on the final portion of James 5:16, which states, " . . . The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." We are righteous in the spirit because we're a righteous child of God, and we're becoming righteous in our minds through His Word and His Spirit. 1 Peter 3:12 tells us that God's ears are open to the prayers of the righteous. This provides us a second witness that God hears the prayers of the righteous. But there are problems we need to address. First, who are the "righteous people" these verses are referring to? For we read in Isaiah 64:6 that we are all as unclean things and our righteousness is like filthy rags. How do we rectify this apparent discrepancy? Who, based on Isaiah's statement, could be considered righteous in order to offer the prayers James speaks about? Unlike those in the Old Testament, which had to rely upon their obedience to the Law to obtain righteousness (the ones Isaiah is referring to), we have been redeemed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's our faith in the finished work of Christ that makes us righteous. We become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). The object of Christ's redemption is that man becomes right with God, therefore righteous in spirit. However, there's a second problem, how do we make sure our prayers are "effective and fervent"? This message helps to answer that question (Hebrews 11:6) and gives us confidence in the righteousness we have received in Christ.
Let me hear from you - Charles
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