The Lord has gifted his church with many wise and faithful guides to God’s truth. In our continuing series on biblical prayer, we will look at the sixteenth-century reformer John Calvin’s teaching on prayer and how we are to pray as the way we exercise faith and receive God’s benefits each day.
In the opening section of Colossians, Paul teaches us that our prayers should include thanksgiving for the way our brothers and sisters respond to God’s work in their lives, as well as intercession that they would know and do God’s will, so that He would be pleased with our walk that is worthy of the Lord Jesus.
Developing an effective prayer life is challenging, but Paul’s faithful fellow-minister, Epaphras, shows us by his own prayer life that true intercessory prayer for our fellow Christians’ sanctification can be achieved through persistence and endurance.
The biblical command to bear with one another is one of the most important commands in the New Testament, but also one of the most difficult to accomplish while living in community. Bearing with the sinfulness and shortcomings of others is part of living out who we are in Christ, and if we could learn to consistently live out this simple exhortation, it could dramatically transform our relationships with each other. In this Scripture text we’ll see that the apostle Paul lays out practical ways we can begin to live out this essential Christian grace.
Since we all sin against one another all the time, confession and forgiveness are essential building blocks of every healthy and lasting relationship. But what constitutes a true confession? What does true forgiveness look like? Only through faith in the One who had nothing to confess and everything to forgive do we find grace to live in peace with one another through the rigors of everyday life.
The apostle Paul indicates in several New Testament passages that believers are to teach one another. Such instruction can take place formally or informally, and it also includes some aspects like admonishing and rebuking one another that may be difficult to do, but are important for mutual edification and the health of the body of Christ.
Speech is a wonderful gift from God, but the apostle Paul in various passages reminds believers that sin’s corrupting influence causes us to use God’s good gift to lie to, grumble against, and pass judgment on, one another. Yet in Christ, we are to put those things off. Instead when we talk to one another, our speech must be seasoned with salt, and we should speak to one another with Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. This is how citizens of God’s kingdom ought to speak to one another.
Though often treated as an optional activity for God’s people, singing is a gift from God to help us know Him better and proclaim His glory in the world. We will look at why singing really does matter in the life of God’s people, ultimately through the Savior whose voice was temporarily silenced so that our voices never would be again.