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Is It OK to Pray to Christian Saints?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
July 26, 2022 6:30 am

Is It OK to Pray to Christian Saints?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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July 26, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 1018 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


Questions in this Episode


1. How do I forgive a Christian who continually hurts and sins against me?

2. I believe the Catholic teaching about praying to the saints essentially says that as we live life, we often forget who came before us. So Roman Catholics would not truly pray to saints, but they remember how God was faithful and close to the saints of old. What do you think of this?

3. Are there different classes of Christians?

4. What does it mean that we are made in the image of the triune God if we are not triune?

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Is it okay to pray to Christian saints best is one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with pastor Adm. Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Here's our phone number and you can call us right now for the next 25 minutes or so. It 833 book core that's 1-833-843-2673 course you can always post your question on one of our social media sites you can watch Israel live in the studio right now on our YouTube channel and sent him a question that way and of course you can always email us your question at questions at core, Let's go to the phones.

D is on the line from Nashville, Tennessee. The what your question for atrial notice that the preaching and teaching are part about forgiveness tends to focus on past incidents when there is some distance between the offender and the FND and that seems easy enough to understand are no longer going to feel the hurt feelings towards that person so you can be fairly certain when you have forgiven them. I'm wondering about situations where the offense is ongoing. You can't really put any distance between yourself and the other person and maybe you have tried to confront them and are not showing any willingness to repent or apologize or change anything and therefore the offense is likely to continue indefinitely. How then, if those hurt feelings are probably going to continue. How can you know that you have forgiven. So can I just ask a follow-up question there being a mom. So sorry to hear about the situation but are we talking about. This is his individual someone professes faith in Jesus Christ. Yes okay okay will in terms of the latter part of your question. How can we know that we forgiven them. I think I think for our part, you know forgiveness looks like not wanting to respond in kind. Not wanting the worst for this person. Often when somebody is hurting us yet we want to respond in kind and eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, and so forgiveness on our part and were always called to forgive even if this person doesn't understand and is unwilling to repent right there can't be restoration because there's no repentance.

But for us as believers, we can still forgive from the heart, and I think what that looks like is not wanting or expecting. Though the worst for that person, not plotting, you know, revenge, retribution, those kinds of things and then in terms of, you know actually engaging this person I think that the best advice I can give you Jim just thinking about what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 18 where he talks about church discipline that he outlines us in verse 15. If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you have gained your brother.

But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses, and if he refuses to listen to them tell it to the church and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

This is this is really important stuff. We often I think just to set aside this whole idea of of church discipline. But Jesus said look when when your brother or sister or someone sins against you in the family you know and then in the context of the believing community should go to that person. Tell them their fault, and it sounds like you've done that, the men and if they're unwilling to listen will maybe try to get some other people to go with you to to corroborate a there's a there's an issue here.

Go to this person. Is that your you're sitting what you're doing is hurting other people. It's also ultimately hurting you because you know sin.

Sin quenches the spirit of God and the work of God spirit in our lives in so that you need to repent and if they're still unwilling to listen to. This is an issue that needs to be brought before the church that is the leadership the elders in the church and so I think Jesus gives us a process for this and I think along the way, if the individual is continuing to sin right we we we we call it what it is we would call them to repentance. But we do from the heart. Seek not to retaliate, not to sin against them, but to forgive pleading with them that they might come to the light they might realize that what they're doing is really is really damaging to their own spiritual life and in its hurting others around them. And so the I want to just pray for you in the situation because I know how difficult these kinds of things can be within family and within the church, and so to pray that God gives you wisdom and ultimately that the Lord brings this other person to repentance, father, Lord, we know how devastating it is when when within the body of Christ with other Christians when there isn't peace when we sin against each other, Lord, and that's a terrible witness before the world we don't exhibit that unity that you give to us in your son Jesus and II pray for D right now this this difficulty. This conflict that he is and I pray that you would give him wisdom. I pray Lord that you would help him to forgive from the heart not not because you know this other person is earned forgiveness. But as we have been forgiven is D has been forgiven of all of his sins through faith and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that he would be able to forgive.

Also, from the heart. This this person who is sinning against him and and hurting him that I pray for this person is well Jesus what you bring them to repentance. Would you help them to see the error of their ways and ultimately be at work in in in bringing restoration and healing to this relationship, please do give give D wisdom and strength and grace Lord in the midst of the situation we pray in Jesus name, amen. Just a follow-up question for you a drill. Let's say were looking at Jesus's no call to us in Matthew about how to go undergo church discipline. What if the individual goes to a different church.

Let's say your work. That's a Christian you work with. But you're going to two different churches. How would you carry out that form of discipline then yeah a minute. It does get pretty pretty messy when you when you think about because that's often the case I were talking about a believer who may be goes to another church and so II think you know you go to that person individually first and then and then maybe you if you if you have mutual friends that are closer who are also note be able to come alongside of you on to address this issue than during the next the next step. But if if the church is a solid church that this other person goes to the you know where there's elders, there's care for the flock it's happening. I think that at some point you could even reach out to them and say we have this issue were having this issue. I've actually really appreciate I've had I've had phone calls from pastors and other churches, and in my city run that related to related pastoral issues in our church are members of our church with other churches and adjusting a great way for us to be able to work together for the good of those people that were ministering to.

And so, maybe even reaching out to the elders of the pastor there at that church and saying hey I'd like some help resolving this issue for the glory of God and effort for the peace of someone in your church and also for my peace as well. Great counsel. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Here's the number it's 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 just to mention that we have a great resource available for you today.

It's on a new book actually some very historic book, but we're offering it new on this program. It's the wonderful book of confessions by St. Augustine Yasin Augustine's confessions and I mentioned yesterday via through the first day we offered this resource. This book is really been huge in my own life and when I first read it back in college was unlike my eyes were opened right to the church than just start in the 1960s, but that people have been worshiping Jesus and loving Jesus for hundreds of years and you get a glimpse into the life of this individual St. Augustine how the Lord brought him to faith and money to say one of the things I really love about this book is it's it's really devotional even though he's sharing his his story.

The story of his conversion, you're getting something theology in there but you're also getting a lot of prayer throughout the confessions of this are to stop and and pray and ask God questions or worship God weaving the start of the quotations from the Psalms throughout the work, so that when you're reading it is actually it's actually really edifying, encouraging most devotionals I want to encourage you to get this book.

St. Augustine's confessions. It's yours for a donation of any amount, and I know that it will really encourage you in your walk with the Lord. You can find that by going to our website at core, again core Look for confessions by Augustine.

This is core Christianity and we do receive voicemails and emails on a regular basis.

In effect, if you want to call us outside of our regular hours here on the air. You can leave voicemail anytime here's the number it's 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673.

Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Marcus I and I prayer Mary and I think teaching of prayer. Mary is all I do believe that crazy and remembering his or her company of Scripture, but I believe what is more so remembering about remembering that God really close people showing a miracle.

I may have upon matter that may help me further understand this really will be.

You have a blessed day you Marcus thank you for that question. I think I'm I'm really on the same page as you know, that's different than what the Roman Catholic Church teaches Roman Catholic Church teaches that you can ask the saints intercede on your behalf that there there listening and can go to God for us as the sort of mediators not on the same level as is Jesus because he's the ultimate mediator between God and man. But this is what the Catholic Church teaches the problem is I don't medically find any evidence for that in holy Scripture. You do have. I think examples of the saints of God before us being you know pointers if you will to Christ and to his goodness. I think of Hebrews chapter 11, where you have that great Hall of faith. These witnesses who have gone before us were testifying of the truth of the gospel in the glory of God.

But there's no indication in Scripture that were supposed to be praying to them are asking the departed saints to pray for us.

Some of the Protestant reformers they they highlighted the fact is, it is not something a doctrine that you see in the Old Testament or the New Testament. You have a hard time making a case for this because you don't you don't have this command anywhere but somewhat also argue from other places in the Scriptures it it just it just something that that we shouldn't do.

I think of Jeremiah chapter 15 verse one is a section 1 of the text that was in debate around this question. Where God is talking about the judgment it's coming on on his people for their idolatry for their sin and we read this Jeremiah 15 verse one the Lord said to me, though, Moses and Samuel stood before me. Yet, my heart would not turn toward this people send them out of my sight and let them go is something about what what God is saying it even if Moses and Samuel. These great quote unquote saints were standing before me, interceding for these people I wouldn't I wouldn't listen to them is sort of, you know, a statement that's being made, but suggested here is that they're not standing there as intercessors for the people of the saints aren't there standing, praying for Israel if you will. I know what are they doing well there in heaven there there worshiping the Lord and so you just don't have any indication in the Scriptures that we should pray to them, and that there focused on on the affairs of of our lives specifically and so but here's what we do and prayers.

We go directly to God through Jesus the mediator between God and man who who gives us this boldness of access to the throne of grace, so that we don't need to go around through the saints if you will go directly to God through Jesus. And this is one of the benefits Marcus of the new covenant that our sins have been washed away that were justified in Jesus Christ, so that I can go directly to the God's throne of grace boldly is the author of Hebrews says to get the help that I need and so one of my concerns you know when people talk about praying to the senses and they think they can they can have this view of God that he's just so that I just really can't approach him. He's not approachable. I need to go to these different saints and therein at their getting you to help me getting good got God's good graces in and through them.

My prayers are going to be answered when in reality it that minimizes the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and justifying us and giving us that freedom of access to the father that we have right now through his priestly work and so go directly to God through Jesus and pray and know that God receives your prayers, not because they're perfect not because we are perfect because were coming to the perfect one, Jesus Christ.

I meant thanks for that. I drew your listing the core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open right now.

If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life doctrine, theology, or maybe how your Christian walk up plays out in today's world with some of the stresses and strains on what it means to be a Christian following Christ in our current culture give us a call right now 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 let's go to Aaron who is calling in from Missouri. Aaron what your question for pastor. Israel a while back I will make fun of you know that Anton came to the world.

You keep my birth yeah think you will there in John 1518. You know Jesus is talking about our relationship to him, and how does the world treat him we knew so many rejected him them.

They they crucified him. Why, because he testified of the world that its deeds were evil.

People didn't want to hear it in Jesus is that if you follow me if you're my children, my disciples, before you have a hard time with you as well. Don't don't think that just because you're a follower of Christ that everything's in a be easy that everybody just got a love you know.

In fact, when were when were speaking the truth about sin, about the judgment is there to be people who reject the sins I think that's one of the things that Jesus is getting out there in John chapter 15 and then on and also I think it would we just live lives that are in accordance with God's law.

People who reject the law of God are also to be upset with us they're going to begin to disagree with us. They might even feel condemned, judged because of how were choosing to live and they realize that there's this this dish area where they fall short, and so I think that sometimes that can bring about. Also this this sort of conflict with with the world. Specifically, though I don't know that every time we stand up for someone or do the right thing in and people don't like it that we use it with us must mean I'm I'm suffering for Jesus. Although I do want to commend you Aaron for for standing up for your coworker who was being ridiculed, my mind goes to Proverbs chapter 31 verses eight and nine which say this, open your mouth for the mute for the rights of all who are destitute, open your mouth, judge righteously defend the rights of the poor and needy, and so we see somebody being picked on and not cared for not treated well. I think I think one of things God calls us to do is to speak up this open our mouth for those who are being on behalf of those who are being mistreated and it sounds to me like that's what you did. And, of course. Of these people who were were ridiculing this individual. You don't like that than they can have an issue with you as well but but you know, praise God. I think that what you did was a good thing and may the Lord bless you and and hopefully the Lord gives you opportunities through that to share about Christ. With this individual may be that you stood up for but also with those others who were being harsh toward this individual. So God bless Aaron thank you for your question Aaron, thanks so much for listing the core Christianity and for standing up for the faith in your workplace. We appreciate that we do receive emails here at the core and you can email us anytime if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Here's our email address its got this one from Zachary a drill. Zachary says I attended church that teaches there are two types of Christians overcoming Christians and defeated Christians. They teach that overcoming Christians are those who frequently obey the Lord's commandments. Walt defeated Christians frequently disobey. As a result, defeated believers will be temporarily punished to hell, to purify them before entering heaven.

While the overcoming Christians will not suffer. Is this concept supported by Scripture and is this teaching something to leave my church over okay Zachary one know that concept is not supported by Scripture and to yes I would say this kind of teaching is something that you should leave a church over because it's it's a meter since he is out to be like what what this is his salvation by works. Kind of got you got it you don't do good, so that ultimately you get into heaven but if you don't do well enough you have to go to hell for a period of time and then you can get into heaven after being purified. I was weird sort of purgatory ID but that's not even what the Roman Catholic Church believes about purgatory. This idea of going to hell and then going to have that's impossible. And so it sounds to me like there's a lot of confusion here, but we do sometimes have these the sort of ideas that right there is this this me to look the Christian life is tiered you have the disorder, ordinary Christian life where were struggling and it's in his 90s and then you have the victorious spirit filled Christian life. Or you just have that that victory over sin at the I think it's better to do away with this sort of two-tiered understanding of Christianity just say look the entire Christian life is a fight is a struggle they're going to be seasons where you feel like you're doing really well. There can be other seasons we feel like man your your your wrestling your struggling but in the midst of all of it. Jesus Christ holds on to you and he doesn't lose any of his sheep were clinging to the grace of God and were striving after the things of the Lord are called to follow the Lord to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ to grow in good works to grow in love.

This is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit in us or always in a fall short of that right. We we we we don't perfectly fulfill the law of God, at least not here on earth that something that Jesus did, so that in him we might have life, and for that we might begin to follow and to obey the Lord.

I love the way the Protestant reformer Martin Luther talked about this in in some of his discussions on what's called antinomianism. It's this idea that we don't need a lot of guidance now that we just reject the idea of good works, he says, look believers in Jesus Christ fulfill the law of God in two ways. One perfectly through the imputation of Christ's perfect righteousness for us. That is when you believe in Jesus you're justified in the righteousness of Christ is imputed to you so that you can stand before God confidently on the day of judgment your child of God, justified okay so in that sense we fulfill the law perfectly.

It's it's the perfect righteousness of Christ given to us.

But then, by the grace and gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives is that justified we begin to in this formal sense begin to imperfectly fulfill the law got so Paul talks about in Romans chapter 8 we as believers are fulfilling the righteous requirements of the law, not so that we can be justified to get saved all over again and not nuts that we don't lose our salvation. Again, it sounds like this is some of the issue that's been brought up here with the teaching of this church so that we might grow in grace and honor Christ in our lives and this is this is exactly what God calls us to insert.

Sounds like this discharges is really misunderstanding the teaching is really misunderstanding the doctrine of salvation the doctrine of justification, the doctrine of eternal judgment going from heaven or hell to heaven after you've been purified for a time just minimizing the did the justifying act of Jesus Christ. As I was a yeah they would when churches are getting that much wrong and especially these core Christian doctrines you need to consider you. You need to go somewhere else where the word of God is to be faithfully taught you not to be put under this burden of why I have to have to do this that and the other otherwise. God is in a semi to hell for a period of time that is not what the Bible teaches. And so Zach I hope you do get into a solid church brother God bless you. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez time for one more email, and a drill. Derek wants to know this. He says since humans are made in the image of God. Is it correct to say that each human is three persons of one substance and what exactly is substance is that a term in Scripture.

Yeah, I think that I would say it's it's correct to say that know I'm being made in the image of God, especially early on and in the early chapters of Genesis, we heard were talking about the fact that God has made us his own that we reflect his glory were called to reflect his goodness were called to rule in one sense that's what you see early on in in Genesis is that man made in the image of God's call to rule over the creation God is the great King and Adam and Eve there in the garden were like his his vice regents is rulers there made in perfect righteousness, holiness, the knowledge of God in the fall and so the image of God was was Marty wasn't totally taken away. But now we don't reflect God as we should. I think when when you trace it will be made in the image of God means it were each kind of our own, you know, individual Trinity, three persons, one substance your your your your merging together a very I think I think we think about God, the creator and then us.

This creature should be bringing those together. I think a little bit too closely. In a way that doesn't reflect well God is as he's revealed himself in his word, and so that we talk about the substance of God that was part of your question. Were talking about God is by his very essence is glory his power believe in God, the holy Trinity, one substance. Thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at core, and click on offers and the menu or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 when you contact us.

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