Not Hiding Your Deliverance
Psalms 40:9-10 ESV
“I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.”
Where is the congregation of the saints of God today? It is wherever two or three true believers in Jesus are gathered together in the name of Jesus, under his authority, and according to his will and purpose (Matt 18:20).
For, a building is not the church, and a church denomination is not the church, and a business of men called “church” is not the church. As well, a body of people incorporated under the state and called “church” is not the church, but it is a state church or an institutional church which is not the true church, the body of Christ, with Jesus as her only head.
And what is the “great congregation”? It is a large gathering of people assembled together out in public, which includes true followers of Jesus (the true church) and the people of the world. It is the assembled multitudes whom Jesus addressed when he lived on this earth, but not limited to just that time period or to one particular location.
When I think of this in terms of my life today, the “great congregation” is really the internet where multitudes of people from most all nations gather together to talk, to listen, to share thoughts, ideas, talents, music, Scriptures, and biblical teachings, among many other things, much of which is not good, but is worldly, of the flesh, and is wicked and immoral.
So, if we are ones who are proclaiming the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the great congregation, a lot of us today are doing this on the internet on various sites, some of which are social media sites, and some of which are Christian discussion sites, and some of which are on personal blogs or other locations where we still have the freedom to do this.
And if we are doing what this says, we are teaching the true gospel of salvation from sin, which is a message of deliverance from slavery to sin and of being given new lives in Christ Jesus to now be lived for his glory in his power and strength. We are teaching that we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and that we must now live to Christ and to his righteousness.
We are not those who are hiding the message of deliverance from our slavery to sin and of becoming slaves of God and of his righteousness. We are not hiding what the Scriptures teach regarding true faith in Jesus which is divine persuasion as to God’s will and purpose for our lives, which is then shown genuine by our walks of obedience to our Lord Jesus (Rom 6:1-23).
And we are not hiding the true meaning of God’s love and grace, either. For, Jesus died on that cross so that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And God’s grace instructs us to say ‘No!’ to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14).
Who Delight in My Hurt
Psalms 40:13-15 ESV
“Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
who delight in my hurt!
Let those be appalled because of their shame
who say to me, ‘Aha, Aha!’”
I see two possible ways this passage can go here. Consider here that the Psalmist, perhaps personifying Jesus Christ to some extent, declared that he was faithful to the task of sharing the “Good News” in the great congregation, that he did not restrain his lips, and he did not hide the truth of the gospel from his listeners, but he was faithful to speak the truth.
Well, what happens to us who openly share in the “great assembly” the truth of the gospel, when we do not hide the fact that Jesus died so that we might be delivered from our bondage (addiction) to sin so we would no longer walk in sin? We may experience some encouragement, but we will also be ground up and attacked, even by other “Christians.”
And this is because the “gospel” that is largely being spread and taught and accepted today does not teach dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. It does not teach that we must forsake our sinful practices to now walk in obedience to our Lord according to his ways. And so people take offense when we teach the truth of the gospel Jesus taught us.
So, in this case, the prayer to God would be for him to rescue us in some way from the impact of being attacked and fought against and rejected and hated and thought ill of just because we are teaching the truth. And I think the cry for help would be for us to have the strength and courage and wisdom to keep pressing on and to not give up, too.
Now, there is another way to look at this, too. There is a lot of pressure coming from those who are teaching a diluted (cheapened) gospel message to conform to their way of thinking. And there is a temptation, perhaps, to want to go with their way of thinking for then we would not have to fight off the temptation to sin, for we’d be convinced our sins no longer matter.
So, for those who may be vacillating between the cheap grace gospel and the true gospel of salvation, they may be crying out to God for help and deliverance from that temptation to fold and to yield to temptation. And they may be praying for God to protect them from those who are trying to lead them astray and who are putting the pressure on them to conform to the adulterated gospel.
For, those who delight in our hurt are the ones who are teaching this false gospel, with a false message of salvation and of eternal life with God, which is leaving its adherents still dead in their sin and bound for hell on the promise of heaven. That hurts! And they are the same ones who are attacking (hurting) those of us who are sharing the true gospel.
May All Who Seek You
Psalms 40:16-17 ESV
“But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
say continually, ‘Great is the Lord!’
As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!”
So, we have some encouraging words here to help us to persevere in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ and to keep on in sharing the truth of the gospel. We need to get our focus off what other humans are trying to do to us, and we need to spend time with our Lord rejoicing in him and in his great salvation he provided for us from our bondage to sin.
And to love his salvation is to love the fact that he died, not just to forgive us our sins, but to set us free from our slavery to sin so we can now be slaves of his righteousness, and so we can now walk in holiness and purity of devotion to him, in obedience to his commands, in his power and strength.
For, it is no salvation at all if it leaves us still in bondage (addiction) to sin, still deliberately and habitually committing the same sins over and over again, going nowhere, bearing no fruit of righteousness in our lives, but living pitiful and miserable lives because we won’t yield to God.
So, if you have this idea of salvation as only forgiveness of your sins and the promise of heaven when you die, but that you are left to still “struggle” with habitual and premeditated and deliberate sinful practices, that is not salvation! That is not freedom! That is hell, because you have been sold a “bill of goods” that are good for nothing, and you will die in your sins.
So, please take this to heart. Read these Scriptures in their context and you will see the true hope of our salvation is not just forgiveness of sin and heaven upon death:
[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 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
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.
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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