The Gospel for Christians

Monthly Archives: January 2010

Binding and Loosing (Matthew 16:15-19)

“Satan, we bind you in the name of Jesus!”

What should we think of this prayer? Does God teach us in his Word to “bind Satan”? That is the question I want to take up in this post, based primarily on Matthew 16:19.

“Binding satan” has become a very common practice in certain circles of the evangelical church. Some Christian leaders are presenting this as the fundamental need in evangelizing the remaining unreached peoples of the world. Satan and his demons must be “bound,” they say, through prayer, so that people can be “loosed” from their captivity and come to Christ.

One thing is certain, more dependance upon God expressed in prayer is a very good thing, and I am convinced that without prayer my own work among an unreached people is going nowhere. But just as with anything else in our Christian faith, our prayer practices need to be grounded in what God himself has taught us about prayer.

I cannot say everything in this post that needs to be said about spiritual warfare nor treat all of the Bible passages relevant to this particular practice, but I want to show that Matthew 16:19 does not support the practice of “binding Satan.” To the contrary, I think that this brief study will show that such praying distracts us from what we should be doing, which is to declare the gospel, calling people to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ in faith, all the time clinging to God in prayer and asking him to do what only he can do, which is change sinners into saints. Continue reading

More about the house on the rock (Matthew 7:24-27)

One reader posted a comment to my last post and rather than answer him in the comments section, I thought I would make a new post to handle his question:

Here was John’s concern…

I’m going to be the little trouble maker here. I’m just thinking and would like your thoughts. I’ve think you’ve made an interesting point and upon reading this, this is the only time i’ve heard rain, floods and winds referred to as final judgment. My question would be “are those whose house is built on the rock going to go through the final judgment? Was not the rain, floods and winds poured out on Christ? Are believers going to be judged in the same manner as unbelievers? If this passage is referring to “final judgement”, it appears that it is the same exact judgment on both believers and unbelievers….although the results of the judgement are remarkably different.

John, you brought up an important point concerning what God’s judgment is, so I am happy for the opportunity to clarify. Continue reading

How to Build Your House on the Rock (Matthew 7:24-27)

Perhaps, like me, as a child you often sang the cute little song based on Matthew 7:24-27

The wise man built his house upon the rock

The wise man built his house upon the rock

The wise man built his house upon the rock

And the rains came a tumblin’ down…

But when Jesus tells us at the end of the Sermon on the Mount to “build our house on the rock,” what is he referring to? How do we actually do this?

Continue reading

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