In Your Righteousness Deliver Me
Psalms 31:1-5 ESV
“In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
“For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.”
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who is God, and who is our creator God, and who is the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – left his throne in heaven, came to earth, and was born in the likeness of men. Then he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death on a cross for the sins of the whole world (Jn 1:1-34; Php 2:5-11).
He came to redeem us from our sins, i.e., with his blood shed for us on that cross he bought us back for God so that we would now be God’s possession, and so we would now honor God with our lives. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us.
He became our deliverer via his death on that cross and via his resurrection back to life. For he died on that cross to deliver us out of our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin and to empower us to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God, and so that we might now be slaves to God and to his righteousness. He didn’t die just to forgive us, but to transform us.
Via God-given and divinely persuaded faith in Jesus Christ we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are given new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Now we walk (in conduct) no longer according to our flesh, but according to the Spirit who empowers us to forsake our sins and to walk in obedience to our Lord.
Now we are being led by the Spirit of God and not by our flesh. This is not to say that we will never sin again, but that sin is no longer our master. Sin no longer controls what we do. But now we are living under Holy Spirit control. For God’s grace, which brings salvation, trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives.
When Jesus was at the point of death on the cross he “called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46 NIV).
And when we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, we die with Christ to sin, and into God’s hands we commit our spirits, too. For the Christian life is a life of surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord (owner-master) of our lives, and it is a life of commitment to him and to his design and purpose for our lives, and it is a walk of obedience to his commands (New Covenant).
[1 Co 6:19-20; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 2:1-2; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6]
Because of My Adversaries
Psalms 31:6, 11-16 ESV
“I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,
but I trust in the Lord.
“Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach,
especially to my neighbors,
and an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have been forgotten like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many—
terror on every side!—
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.
“But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, ‘You are my God.’
My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
Make your face shine on your servant;
save me in your steadfast love!”
As followers of Jesus Christ we are not to hate people, but we are to hate their evil deeds. So, we should hate the act of paying regard to worthless idols, and we should not participate in idol worship ourselves.
And an idol is anything to which we give our hearts, passion, desire, loyalty, affection, attention, and commitment in place of or over and above our passion, loyalty, devotion, and commitment to Jesus Christ as our only Lord.
We are to hate wickedness and evil and sin because of what it does to people, to those sinning and to those being sinned against. For even many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are living sinful lifestyles and are practicing sexual immorality, lies, cheating, stealing, and committing adultery, etc. For they believe God’s grace gives them permission to keep living in sin.
So, when we choose to not follow after the idols of this world, and we choose to make Jesus our only Lord, and to walk in obedience to his commands, and to go where he sends us, and to say what he gives us to say, we are going to have enemies, and many of them may be fellow professers of faith in Jesus Christ, and they may be church pastors.
We will face opposition, in other words, if we are following Jesus wholeheartedly, and if we are holding fast to the gospel that Jesus and his NT apostles taught, and especially if we are sharing the truth of the gospel out in the public, or even with other professers of Christ. For many people today are following a diluted gospel made to appease human flesh.
And those who are teaching (spreading) this diluted half-truth (lie) gospel message are not content with just spreading their lies, but they are literally attacking the truth of the gospel and those who are teaching the whole counsel of God and they are convincing many people that the lie is the truth and the truth is a lie, and people are following them by the droves.
They are accusing the true gospel of teaching “works-based salvation” and they are accusing those of us who are teaching the true gospel of teaching a false gospel and of being self-righteous, legalistic, crazy, hyper-religious, bigoted, hateful, and intolerant of those who believe differently from us or whose lifestyles are not acceptable to God.
And much pressure is being exerted to attempt to get us to back down from the truth and to build bridges of compromise with people who believe differently from us so that we can all unify together as one people regardless of beliefs or practices. But we must persevere, and we must keep our trust in the Lord, and we must put our times in God’s capable hands.
Trust and Obey
Words by John H. Sammis, 1887
Music by Daniel B. Towner, 1887
When we walk with the Lord
in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise,
not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove
the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do,
Where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
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