Psalms 119:153-160 ESV
“Look on my affliction and deliver me,
for I do not forget your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me;
give me life according to your promise!
Salvation is far from the wicked,
for they do not seek your statutes.
Great is your mercy, O Lord;
give me life according to your rules.
Many are my persecutors and my adversaries,
but I do not swerve from your testimonies.
I look at the faithless with disgust,
because they do not keep your commands.
Consider how I love your precepts!
Give me life according to your steadfast love.
The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”
If we are following Jesus Christ with our lives wholeheartedly, in surrender to our Lord and to his will for our lives, and if we are holding fast to the truths of Scripture as taught by Jesus and his New Testament apostles, and if we are not wavering from those, we are going to be opposed.
For, genuine biblical salvation is far from the wicked who have altered the gospel message to make it more acceptable and appealing to human flesh and to the people of the world. For, they are those who are addicted to sin and to self-indulgence. And they are those who are intoxicated to sin and are drunk on its morsels of seductiveness and enticement.
And they are those who, although they pretend to be your friend, are really your enemy, for the message they are bringing is not the true gospel, but it is a diluted and cheapened form of the true gospel. They are pretending that what they are telling you is the truth, but in truth it is a big fat lie!
They are promising you hope and a future while they are leading you in the path of destruction. For, what they are telling people is that we can believe in Jesus, be saved from our sins, and have eternal life with God guaranteed, which can never be taken away, but that we don’t have to repent of our sins, follow Jesus in obedience, nor do we have to submit to him as Lord.
The Gospel Jesus Taught
But that is not the gospel Jesus taught. It is not the gospel that his New Testament apostles taught. Jesus taught that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, die daily to sin and self, and follow Jesus in obedience to his ways.
Paul, contrary to what some people want you to believe, taught the same thing Jesus taught, that we must die with Christ to sin and to self, that we must be changed in heart and mind, and that we must now follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his ways.
Both Jesus and Paul taught us that if we do not leave our sinful lifestyles behind us to follow our Lord in obedience to his ways, but if we continue living in deliberate and habitual sin against God, and sin is what we practice, and righteousness is not our practice, that we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God.
They Want to Destroy Us
But if this is what you are sharing with others, although you will have some people who will support you and agree with you, the vast majority will not, and you will be opposed by those who are pushing the cheap grace gospel on people, and they will try to persuade you to come their way, and if they can’t persuade you, they may attempt to destroy you, instead.
But, in reality, they are destroying you already if they can convince you to buy into the cheap grace gospel and to reject the true gospel of grace. And whatever destruction they may cause in your life because of your stand on the truths of Scripture are temporary, for heaven is your eternal home.
Sometimes our adversaries will try to trick us or to trip us up with our words, and they will lie about us, and twist our words, for their goal is to destroy us so that we will cease to share the gospel in its fulness. Their goal is to silence us, and they will use trickery to accomplish their goals.
We have no control over much of this. We can pray for wisdom to not be led into any traps, but sometimes we can be led into traps just by loving people with Christ’s love and by ministering to them and to their needs. But we do need to be wise and discerning and to be on the lookout for traps, too.
And we need to pray for the grace of God in our lives to endure unjust persecution and opposition, and that we would not cave to oppression, and that we would not fear opposition, but that we will commit our lives over to the Lord and trust him fully to accomplish his purposes in our lives.
And then we need to remain steadfast in our walks of obedient faith in our Lord and in doing his will despite all opposition from the wicked. We must not let them get the best of us, but we must persevere in following Jesus wherever he leads us and in doing and saying whatever he commands.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2]
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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