Posts Tagged ‘righteousness’

National Day of Prayer Tomorrow (Thurs., May 6)

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 by Diane Chandler

Almost two years after Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated president of the United States, he issued a proclamation on March 30, 1863 declaring a National Day of Prayer and Fasting.  Just a few months earlier, Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, proclaiming that all slaves, in the eyes of the federal government, were free.  However, the United States was anything but united, and slaves were anything but freed.  Slavery bitterly tore the United States in two deeply divided camps. And the Civil War raged on.

In the midst of this, President Lincoln called the nation to prayer.  He knew that no other earthly power would be able to resolve the deep divisions of our nation.  Lincoln wrote, “And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”

Tomorrow on Thursday, May 6, 2010, our nation will celebrate the 59th National Day of Prayer. Similar to Lincoln’s day, our nation is deeply divided with social and political problems that defy human solutions.  In addition, we face unprecedented global challenges and environmental disasters.  Across our nation tomorrow, people will gather for prayer at churches, municipalities, and homes.  Will you be one of them?

If it is true, as the Scripture states and President Lincoln acknowledged, that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” (Ps. 33:12a) and that judgment begins with the family of God (1 Pet. 4:17a), then why are we (the Church) not repenting and interceding on behalf of our nation?  Will it take another 9/11 to force us to our knees in crying out to God in repentance?

In light of tomorrow being the National Day of Prayer, I’m asking you to do two things. First, take at least 5-10 minutes of your day tomorrow to pray for our nation.  Offer up prayers of repentance to God for violating His precepts.  Humbly pray that He would have mercy upon us and return us to Him.  Pray for the church of America to rise up to her prophetic calling. Second, pray regularly for our nation and leaders.  “When man works, man works; when man prays, God works.”

  • What is the role of the church in calling our nation back to God? 
  • If you agree with Timothy’s exhortation to pray and intercede for all those authority (1 Tim 2:1-2), then why have we relinquished our role to pray for our nation’s leaders and a return to God’s righteous standards? 
  • Do you see unprecedented judgment coming to our land because of turning our backs on God’s precepts?

Do we really need to hang on to justification?

Friday, April 30th, 2010 by Dale M. Coulter

Not too long ago, in his commentary on Galatians,  J. Louis Martin, proposed to change the way the Greek term behind justification is translated to rectification. I think this is an interesting proposal and one we should seriously consider. Here’s why:

Photo courtesy of Juergen Kurlvink

One of the perennial problems with understanding justification is that the English word family does not correspond well to the Greek word family. As anyone who reads the Greek NT soon discovers, all Greek terms connected to justification stem from the same root (dikaiosunē). To convey the meaning in English we rely on two families of terms: justification and righteousness. Justification derives from Latin and is closely connected to justice (justificatio, justificare, justus) while righteousness, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, stems from the Saxon term rihtwis. Rihtwis is a compound term from right and wise that means upright or in a right manner (think about the use of wise in otherwise). The move to two English sets of terms obscures the close connection between righteousness and being set right.

So, maybe it’s time to fix this little mishap and choose an English term that allows one to stay in the same linguistic family. Read the rest of this entry »