Gamma 15 – Sermon on the Mount (Study 10)


The Lords Prayer (I)


John Goh012 207
Dr Lee Fook Sin019 230
Moh Ee Lin019 273
Ng Cho Hoo012 878
Susanah Ng012

Kindly contact any of these Gamma Facilitators. They will be hosting Zoom meetings for Discussions every Wednesday starting from April 1, 2020.


Please look at the questions and discuss the answers. The case histories are designed to let you apply what theoretical knowledge you have gleaned from the study. There are intentionally many more questions and case histories than you can manage in one session but this is designed to
cover the many and varied needs of the individuals in the church hence please pick and choose which ones to discuss as long as it gets people sharing and applying the Word to real life situations. Never feel obligated to finish all the questions. The answers will be posted on the web the next day

The understanding of God as our Father is fundamental to our prayer stance because we no longer come to him as terrified subjects cowering before Him but we come to Him as His beloved sons. Treasured and loved we come to God in prayer as children come to sit on the lap of a loving gentle Father who loves us and gave up His Son for us. This understanding conveys the sense of intimacy, access and a relationship that is unbreakable. It immediately takes us away from the stance of a employee- Employer relationship where there is a risk of a transactional relationship based on fear and compliance instead of one where obedience is inspired by love and a genuine desire to emulate the Father and reflect Him for His glory.

This kind of imagery might be troublesome if some of us have very poor human models of fatherhood who have been abusive or biased and have made us feel small and useless. This kind of human models can easily be superimposed upon God rather unfairly because our human fathers are the only models we have known in our lives. Hence it is important that the model be one based on the Father and Jesus rather than whole sale from our own family experience.

To be fair, the bible has already stated that God is Spirit (John 4: 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth) and spirit means there is no physical or material body hence notwithstanding the male gender language God is does not have the anatomical distinctive of a human male.

Both male and female are made in the image of God hence both genders reflect something of who God is. However believers have always understood God as Father based on His relationship with the Son Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places)

A brilliant anwser by Lee Gatis (1)
“It is true that ordinary language is inadequate to describe the nature and being of God. But that does not mean we are free to play with the language we use with reference to God, to make our own theological points. Language is very powerful in shaping people’s views and shaping our culture. So we must be careful with it and not misuse its power.

In Scripture, it is true that there are female metaphors applied to God: he is like a woman in labour (Isaiah 42:14), like a considerate, comforting mother (Isaiah 49:15; 66:13), like a mother eagle (Deuteronomy 32:11-12). Jesus compares himself to a mother hen (Matthew 23:37). These particular poetic images and analogies are not common, but they are there, and they are glorious. Though interestingly, God is not called our Mother, or referred to as “she.”

For some reason, God chose to speak to us at a particular time and in particular places, and in such languages that enshrine what is thought by some to be irredeemably “patriarchal language.” Feminine language was available — many ancient cultures had goddesses — but for some reason God chose not to utilise it in his written word when referring to himself.

Overwhelmingly, God is referred to in the Bible as Father, and by use of masculine pronouns. As the apostle John puts it, “our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). Jesus Christ, of course, is the Son of God not the Daughter of God, and is described as “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3).

God’s fatherhood is not patterned after ours, as if he is using a human metaphor to grasp at a way of telling us something ineffable about himself. Rather, every fatherhood on earth is named after his fatherhood (Ephesians 3:14-15).”

We are not free to think of or address God in terms other than that revealed to us in the Word of God. Hence any attempt to recast God as other than our Father will be considered as in idol as we are recasting Him in categories of our own design in order that some feminists or transgender folk might not feel excluded When the bible was written , it was done in such a say as to convey theological truths and not specifically designed to exclude women. In fact the Bible is the most liberating document produced in its time.

Addressing God in a gender neutral manner will also loose the intrinsic nuances that are vital to communicating some of his attributes to us. It was Jesus himself who taught us to pray “Our Father” ….we should not pray otherwise.

First of all in ancient time especially in our experience with the Roman society only males were adopted and it was a very privileged position to be adopted especially where it elevated unknown folk to the highest office of even emperors. The use of the term sons of God should alone be a testament as to the equality of women who are equally adopted as Gods children as their male counterparts.

“Our response to women who say they do not feel included by such language should be to explain to them that such usage does not in fact “exclude women”—the original author did not intend such an exclusive meaning, the translators did not intend such a meaning, and that is not the meaning the words have when interpreted rightly in their contexts. People who aren’t aware of an inclusive, generic meaning for “he, him, his” can learn it in a moment. But we also must say that we have all been told a lie—for it is a lie that such usage is “exclusive.” We have been told this not by Bible translators but ultimately by secularnfeminism, which is trying to make these patterns of speech illegitimate. Poythress said that we have all been affected by such feminism, whether we are aware of it or not. It becomes a problem when it tells us that we cannot use certain forms of English expression which are needed for precise Bible translation. We need to be aware of such pressure in our culture, and not give in to it but teach otherwise”(2)

The Lord’s Prayer puts us into the proper perspective as rather than our own needs first it is Gods glory n kingdom first because He deserves to be glorified first who who He is as our Creator, our `saviour, the lover of our souls. Hence it is only right and fitting that He be glorified first.

The part of the parader ensures that we are there to pray because He is beautiful and glorious not because He is useful to us to get us what we early want in life which is our narrow goals and petty ambitions.

The worship also lifts us our hearts in confidence and awe as we are immersed into His world and can rest in His glory and goodness which will lift our spirits as we are again enthralled by His beauty and His power. We express our praise of who He is and this fills us with joy and confidence giving us the proper perspective of who it is we are addressing in the rest of the prayer

Augustine says that change only comes to us when we change what we love because we are what we love. Do you agree? How does the inclusion of worship make this a reality in our lives? Can you share how it has affected your life?

Tim Keller very clearly provided a useful structure for recasting our worship into 1. Thinking 2. Expressing 3. Appraising, 4. Beholding and 5. Resting Do you think this is practical in your prayer life. Share how each aspect of such an approach helps you to understand and worship properly? How does appraising change or deal with our daily anxieties of life?

Tan Cheng Lai was a dedicated leader at the 3rd Baptist church. He was tasked with leading bible study for 3 different groups during the week and was well respected by his peers and those he led. After 5 years of such an intense schedule he felt burnt out. It turned out that he was very conscientious in his preparation but when it came to personal prayer he was struggling all the time. He said it was the workload but really he felt bored during prayer and many times his prayers for advances at work were not answered and it would seem like God was making him wait for ever. He wanted to reduce his service time but felt guilty if he reduced his commitment.
A. Why is Cheng Lai burnt out?
B.Suppose you are his leader what how would you go about helping Cheng Lai

Answers are available now.