Psalm 149:1-4 ESV
Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the godly!
Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.
We who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives are to give him praise, honor and glory with our lips, and with our lives. For, if our praise and adoration of God is lip service only, it is empty praise. True praise of our Lord is given by how we conduct our lives for his glory, in walks of obedience to his commands. But, we also need to praise him with our lips.
We are to praise him in the assembly of the godly, i.e. in the gatherings of the church, the saints of God. And, these assemblies can be anywhere at any time of day. They can be formal or informal. And, they don’t have to be face to face, either. For, we can gather together on the internet, or via phone calls, or social media, or group texting or chats or video calling.
And, what is for the Lord’s praise? It is anything that magnifies him as the holy God that he is, that worships him with our lifestyles, and that is in agreement with his Word, with his divine character and will, and that promotes his righteousness, holiness, purity and faithfulness. So, for our lives to be for his praise, they must be yielded to his Lordship over our lives.
And, for our verbal praise of our Lord to truly be for his praise, then our words must be in line with his written words in scripture. The gospel message we share, thus, must also be in agreement with scripture, i.e. with the whole counsel of God, taken in context.
For, it is the humble whom he adorns with salvation, i.e. it is those who have surrendered their lives to him, and who have submitted to his Lordship, and who have repented of their sins who he adorns with his salvation. For, it is those who walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God who are saved from their bondage to sin and who have eternal life with God.
[Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9]
Psalm 149:5-9 ESV
Let the godly exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands,
to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishments on the peoples,
to bind their kings with chains
and their nobles with fetters of iron,
to execute on them the judgment written!
This is honor for all his godly ones.
Praise the Lord!
When we share the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we expose sin for what it is, we call for repentance, and we warn of divine judgment. We teach the truth of the gospel which says faith in Jesus Christ is dying with Christ to sin that we might live with Christ to his righteousness and for eternity.
And, we teach that those who walk (live) according to the Spirit have eternal life with God, but those who walk (in lifestyle) according to the flesh, will die in their sins and will face eternal punishment in hell. This is the judgment that is written in God’s Word, and we execute it in the sense of declaring it.
Yet, those who are still walking in darkness, who are still living to please the flesh, who are selfish, self-centered, pleasure-driven, flesh-driven people, even if they profess faith in Jesus Christ, they are likely to be opposed to the truth of the gospel, and thus they will be opposed to us, too.
And, those in positions of authority over us may ask us to stop sharing the true gospel of repentance and obedience to Christ Jesus, our Lord. For, some of these people truly are serving Satan with their lives, and so they don’t want the truth to come out, and they don’t want the assemblies of the church to know the truth about their salvation, either.
For, the truth offends people, and they don’t want to offend their customer base, but they want to entertain them and to coddle them in their sin so that they will want to come back to the church gatherings.
They don’t want their sins exposed, either, or for people to know that if they walk (in practice) according to the cravings of their sinful flesh that they don’t have the promise of heaven when they die. For, they want them believing the lie. For, Satan is behind the lie, and he doesn’t want anyone genuinely saved from their sins and going to heaven when they die.
The Wicked Betray
So, those who are spinning their webs of deceit in order to trap people in their sins while promising them heaven when they die, will be threatened by those who are spreading the truth of the gospel. Thus, they will come against the true gospel in order to destroy it and its messengers.
Out of the wickedness that is in their hearts, thus, they will spew out venom against those who are teaching the truth. And, they will spread slander about them and about what they are teaching, too, for their goal is to stop the spreading of the gospel and to keep people believing the lie.
For, they are not concerned in the least that people are believing a lie and that they will be judged by what they do, and that they will enter into hell thinking that they were going to heaven. For, those who are spreading the webs of deceit are selfish, gluttonous, greedy and destructive people whose goal is only to satisfy the sinful cravings of their own flesh.
So, we need to put on the armor of God with which to fight against the wiles of the devil and against the lies which are being spread which are keeping people trapped in their sins with no true hope of deliverance from bondage. And, we need to use that Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, with which to fight against those lies with the truth.
For, the lies which are being spread are an obstruction to people truly being set free from their bondage to sin. So, that Sword of the Spirit is much like a toilet plunger in that it frees those obstructions which are keeping people’s sins from being flushed away. And, those obstructions are the lies.
For, the lies say that we can have faith in Jesus Christ, but that we don’t have to obey the Lord or repent of our sins or submit to his Lordship. But, the truth says that we will reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (decay, death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8).
And, it is the truth which sets us free, because it lets us know that Jesus Christ died on that cross, not just to free us from the punishment of sin, and not just to promise us heaven when we die. But, he died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. In other words, He died to deliver us from our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we might become slaves of his righteousness. And, this is the truth! (1 Pet. 2:24)
Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed
Hymn lyrics by Isaac Watts, pub.1707
ref. by Ralph E. Hudson, 1885
Music by Ralph E. Hudson, 1885
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.
But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away
’Tis all that I can do.
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!
Wednesday, August 7, 2019