The local church is the physical representation of the larger body of Christ in a particular place at a particular time. It is the nexus of the Christian life; the place where the means of grace for sanctification are found. God's design for His people is that we do life together, and we can't be fully obedient to Him unless we're connected with His people. Church discipline is one of the means of grace He has provided for the preservation of His people and the purity of His church, and it is one of the corporate duties we fulfil in the context of our commitment to one another.
The church of Jesus Christ is commanded to take sin seriously because we are called to be holy. We do this by covenanting together in a local church and committing to following our Lord's instructions concerning how to deal with sin within the context of that community. Christ has provided a universal, step-by-step set of instructions for how to do this which is commonly referred to as church discipline. When we embrace these divine directions in obedience and seek to rightly understand and apply them, we will find that discipline is a means of grace for His church.
The first thing Jesus said we ought to pray for is "Father, hallowed be your name." But what does that mean, who does God want to do the hallowing, and how does this help inform our priorities in prayer and in life?
Jesus teaches us to begin our prayers not with praise, confession, or thanksgiving properly speaking—not that it's wrong to do so—but by simply addressing our Father in heaven before proceeding to talk to him about what we need.
Most Christians struggle with prayer because most Christians simply don't know how to pray. In the so-called "Lord's Prayer," Jesus teaches us to pray by providing a simple outline of six requests that are grounded in the priorities of God for us.
How should we pray? Thankfully Jesus answers that question for us, but before he does, he lays out a set of preliminary instructions and assumptions concerning prayer that are crucial for us to understand if we are going to be heard by God.
Lacking the desire to pray is a universal Christian experience—and one of the most universally discouraging. Why is praying so difficult? In this first message in our series on the "Lord's Prayer" passage in Matthew 6, we'll take a look at some foundational practical and theological realities that underly the work of prayer.
Firm Foundation Bible Church is a non-denominational Christian church in Prescott Valley, AZ. We believe in salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, and we are committed to the expository, verse-by-verse preaching of God’s all-sufficient, authoritative Word.