Praying to Jesus

Prayer

Prayer is one of the great privileges we have as Christians. Through prayer, we are able to make our requests known to God (Philippians 4:6), ask for help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16), cast our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7), and ask for forgiveness of sins (Acts 8:22). We are not to be negligent in this, but instead we ought to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

The Scriptures teach that we are to pray to God (Romans 10:1; 15:30; 2 Corinthians 13:7). Nowhere does the Bible command or authorize us to pray to any other. Some believe in praying to saints or deceased family members. The word of God speaks of no such practice in the life of a Christian. Though there are three persons of God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), brethren typically think of the Father as the one to whom prayer is addressed. When Jesus taught the multitudes about prayer in Sermon on the Mount, He presented a model prayer. This example prayer – which some refer to as the “Lord’s Prayer” – was addressed to the Father: “Our Father who is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9).

Does this serve as an exclusive pattern for our prayers today? That is to say, are we only authorized to pray to the Father? Many believe this is the case. They believe that whenever we pray, we are to pray to the Father. What about praying to Jesus? Some say we cannot do this. What do the Scriptures say?
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Jesus Christ: Prince of Peace

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

There are many terms and titles used to describe Jesus throughout the Bible. A few are found in the passage above. Isaiah, in prophesying of the birth of the Messiah, spoke of Jesus’ wisdom, power, deity, and eternality. But notice the last name – “Prince of Peace.” Jesus is the one who would bring peace. After His birth, the heavenly host proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14).
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Was Jesus a Liberal? (Part 3)

Was Jesus a Liberal? This is the accusation we set out to address. We have looked at His approach to Scripture, events in His life, and various teachings of His law. Do the things we have noticed fit into the definition of what it means to be “liberal”? Let us reexamine the terms used to describe the concept and see if Jesus fits the pattern.

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The Tempting of Christ

Matthew 4:1-11 contains the account of Satan tempting Christ. When we talk about “tempting” or “temptation,” we need to realize that there are two different uses for these words in the Bible. The first refers to a testing – that which comes from without. An example of this is when the Israelites tested God in the wilderness: “Where your fathers tried Me [tempted me, KJV] by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years” (Hebrews 3:9; cf. Psalm 95:9). The second use denotes a desire for sin – that which comes from within. James talked about this type of temptation: “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust” (James 1:14). So not everything you are tempted with is a temptation to you. That is, not everything you are tested with produces or reflects a desire to sin on your part. The action of the one acting as the tempter is the same, but the difference is our desire or lack thereof. Failure to make a distinction between the two can lead to confusion.
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Was Jesus a Liberal? (Part 2)

[Last month we began this study to examine the claim that Jesus was a Liberal. We identified what “liberal” means and examined how Jesus approached Scripture to see if He had a liberal mindset in doing so. This month, we will consider certain events in Jesus’ life and how the teachings of the gospel compared with the precepts of the Law of Moses.]

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Was Jesus a Liberal? (Part 1)

You may have seen it on a bumper sticker or some other place: “Jesus is a liberal.” That is the claim by some. What exactly does this mean? Is it a fair description of our Lord? We need to be careful with terms like “liberal” or “conservative.” Anyone who has studied the Bible very much knows that those terms are not found in Scripture. Generally, in the realm of religion, “conservative” means one is more careful and particular with their handling of the Scriptures and application of them. To be “liberal” means one interprets the word of God more loosely and takes liberties in application of Biblical principles.

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Our Sins and His Cross

Cross

Sin separates man from God (Isaiah 59:2). Jesus came to bring back peace between man and God (Ephesians 2:13-16). To do this, He needed to do something to remedy the problem of sin. Peter wrote, “Christ also died for sins once for all” (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus’ death on the cross was God’s solution for sin. But how did this fix the problem? Some teach that our sins were placed upon Christ and then, in essence, “nailed to the cross.” Is this what happened? It is a familiar concept. But is it a Biblical idea?

One passage used to justify the idea that Jesus took on our sins and carried them to the cross is 2 Corinthians 5:21. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” What does it mean that Jesus was made “to be sin on our behalf”? Isolating this verse from its context and ignoring related passages, there are three possible interpretations:
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