Psalm 119:1-8 ESV
“Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!”
When we believe in Jesus Christ, with God-given and divinely persuaded faith in Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-17).
We are reborn of the Spirit of God to newness of life in Christ Jesus via dying with Christ to sin so that we can live with Christ to his righteousness. Now by the working and power of God’s Spirit within us we are able to walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh (Rom 8:1-17).
But this walk according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, is not optional. It is required for our salvation from sin and for our eternal life with God. We must no longer live in sin, making sin our practice. For the grace of God trains us to say “No!” to the flesh and “Yes!” to the Spirit (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Tit 2:11-14).
So, obedience to our Lord and submission to his Lordship are also required. We must be obeying our Lord as a matter of practice or we don’t know Jesus. If we say, “I know Jesus,” but we are not obeying (keeping) his commandments, then we are liars, and the truth is not in us (1 Jn 2:3-6).
As followers of Jesus, we are to truly follow (obey) him and to go where he leads us and to do the things he commands us to do.
And we are to seek him with our whole hearts, with the core of our beings, with our minds, emotions, intellects, wills, and strength. This is submission. This is surrender. We are no longer in the driver’s seat of our lives, but Jesus is now King over our lives. Our lives are truly given over to him.
Another thing God requires of us is that we continue in him, that we abide in him, and that we are steadfast in faith and in our walks of obedience to him until the day that we die, or until he returns for us his bride. Then we will not be put to shame, but we can have confidence that we will have eternal life with God. We will not be forsaken.
[Jn. 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-11; Rom. 11:17-24; I Co. 15:2; Col. 1:21-23; II Tim 2:10-13; Heb. 3:6, 14-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11; I Jn. 2:24-25]
Psalm 119:9-16 ESV
“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.”
If we want to keep our way pure, it begins with everything discussed in vv. 1-8. If we don’t first have that foundation, then we are trying to be pure in the flesh, and the flesh is not opposed to the flesh, so it will likely win out. We can’t defeat flesh with flesh. We can only defeat flesh by the Spirit.
So, the only way we can remain pure is by safeguarding our walks (our conduct, our habits, our practices) according to (in agreement with) God’s word. So, we have to be those who study the Scriptures and who are walking in obedience to the word of God, or we won’t walk in purity.
For, there are many people today who are claiming faith in Jesus Christ who are living in sin, living according to the flesh, addicted to various types of sin, who are willing and eager to depart from what they know is right to follow after what they know is wrong and then to excuse it away under the guise of God’s grace.
But to live like that, and to claim faith in Christ, is outside (apart from) the teachings of Scripture and God’s divine purpose and will for our lives. It is outside God’s moral boundaries he set down for us to abide by. So, to live like that is to depart from faithfulness and purity of devotion to our Lord.
Yet, they will claim that they are in right relationship with the Lord solely because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, and that nothing is required of them. So, they give a false impression of what it means to be a follower of Christ, all the while the lusts of the flesh are raging within them.
But they are living by the flesh, going after what feels good, without regard for the Lord or for what he wants from them, and with total disdain towards him and his commandments. And this is because their “faith” is totally based on self, not on God, for it leads them to do what their selfish hearts desire, regardless of the consequences or who gets hurt by them.
Approval and Acceptance
They want God to approve of them, to accept them, and to be faithful to them, but they are not willing to live holy and godly lives, presenting their bodies to God as living sacrifices, which is what is acceptable and pleasing to God (Rom 12). So, it is all about them and it has nothing to do with Jesus.
So, in order to justify their sinful lifestyles but to still claim salvation from sin and eternal life with God they have altered the gospel to make it more appealing and acceptable to the flesh, which then gives them permission to live however they want without guilt and without conscience.
And this is exactly where many people are today who call themselves Christians. Some of them blatantly state that they don’t have to obey the Lord, that they don’t have to repent of sin, and they don’t have to submit to Christ. Others will make a pretense of doing all those things, though, while still living to the flesh and secretly following the cheap grace gospel.
So, they will profess faithfulness, love for God, and the desire to obey him, while they cheat on him in secret (not secret from God) and they live closet lives of the lusts of the flesh, adultery, deception and unfaithfulness. So, even though they say they hate sin, their actions speak the opposite.
They, too, may make many promises or false commitments to change course, to leave their lifestyles of sin behind them, to be faithful to God and to spouse, only to continue living the same way, committing the same sins many times over, as a matter of habit, while willfully choosing to cheat, lie, deceive, betray, and to be unfaithful.
But the only way to come out of that slavery to sin is by faith in Jesus Christ which dies with Christ to sin and lives to Christ and to his righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit, and by the Spirit makes it a practice to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live a self-controlled, upright, and godly life while one waits for Christ’s return (Tit 2:11-14).
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.