Psalms 19:7-8 ESV
“The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart.”
The Law of the Lord under the New Covenant is the Gospel of Jesus Christ which includes all teachings related to our salvation and to our walks of faith in our Lord. It is the perfect law, the law of liberty that James talked about in James 1:25. The one who looks into it and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing, James said.
And that gospel teaches us that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, for this is the reason for which Jesus died on that cross. It instructs us that we are to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions, and that we are to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. For it teaches us that sin should no longer have mastery over our lives but Christ should now be our Master.
And it does revive our souls, for by faith in Jesus Christ it turns us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. For it teaches us to put off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
We can count on the Word of God being true. Now there are many different translations of the Scriptures, so only the original writings are perfect. So we do need to be discerning about what translations we use, and if only one is available to us then we just need to trust the Lord to lead us to all truth and to help us to discern if a translation is not hitting the mark. But that is why we are given the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.
But the word of God should be a joy to our hearts, and by it we should gain wisdom and understanding. And so we need to be dedicated to getting into the word each day and to drinking in its truths and letting the Holy Spirit speak truth to our hearts. And then like James said, we need to be doers of the word and not hearers only. We need to be those who are putting into practice what we are learning through the word by the Spirit each day.
[Jas 1:22-25; 1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14; Ac 26:18]
Psalms 19:8-9 ESV
“The commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.”
We who believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, who have surrendered our hearts to the Lord, who have forsaken our sinful practices, and who are following our Lord in obedience to his ways, as a matter of life course, are to be walking in obedience to the Lord’s commands. But these aren’t the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, and purification laws, but they are the law of liberty, the teachings of the gospel of our salvation.
Jesus summarized the law and the prophets into two commands, to love him with our whole being and to love our neighbors (other people) as we love ourselves. If we are doing this we are obeying our Lord in all things because to love God is to obey his commands. To love God is to do what he tells us to do. It is to forsake our sins and to follow him in obedience. And it is to not deliberately and habitually sin against him and our fellow humans.
And the fear of the Lord is to give him honor, respect, obedience, worship, and submission to him as Lord of our lives. It is to die with him to sin and to live to him and to his righteousness. It is to go with him wherever he leads us and to do and to say whatever he gives us to do or to say. It is to make him truly Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives and for us to be his servants who do his bidding. For he owns us and now we belong to him.
[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Jas 1:22-25; Matt 22:36-40; 1 Pet 2:24; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; Rom 2:6-8]
Psalms 19:10-11 ESV
“More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.”
The teachings of Jesus and the teachings of the New Testament Apostles and any teachings from the Old Testament which teach the same messages are to be desired more than anything of this world which is only temporary and which is passing away. We are to hunger for the word of God and to thirst after his righteousness. And we need to be studying the pure Scriptures in their context so that we are getting the correct teaching from them.
Reading and studying the Scriptures should never be a drudgery. They should not be something we ignore or that we cast aside or that we put off to another time and then we end up not getting into the word each day. Doing that is like ignoring our physical hunger and forgetting to eat food or to drink liquids until we begin to physically deteriorate for lack of nourishment. We need to daily nourish our souls, too.
Now the Scriptures are not fun and games. They are not generally entertaining, either, though they may have their humorous spots. But they aren’t supposed to be so we can have a few good laughs. So we should never make jokes about the Scriptures but we should take them seriously. And we shouldn’t just read the parts which make us feel good inside, but we should read the parts that convict us of wrongdoing, too.
The Scriptures are filled with teachings, instructions, lessons, examples (good and bad), encouragements, promises, hope, healing, and forgiveness. But they are also filled with warnings, and many of those warnings are given to the church, to those professing faith in Jesus Christ, and some of those warnings let us know what constitutes faith which saves and what behaviors will keep us out of the kingdom of heaven.
So, we need to read them all, and we need to heed them all, and we should not cherry pick the ones we like and skip over the ones we don’t like. For the truth is that Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and that we might live to him and to his righteousness. And if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin and not in walks of obedience to our Lord, then we will not inherit eternal life with God. So we need to take that to heart and do what God says.
He Reached Down
An Original Work / February 3, 2014
Based off Psalm 18
How I love You, Lord, my Rock and my strength.
My God is my fortress; I hide in Him.
He is my shield and the horn of
My salvation, whom I praise.
I have found my refuge in Him.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
Drew me out of waters so deep, I’d sink.
He delivered me from Satan
And my slavery to sin;
Gave me hope of heaven with Him.
My God turned my darkness into His light;
Opened up my blinded eyes; gave me sight.
As for God, his way is perfect.
He gives strength to stand secure.
I have found my vict’ry in Him.
My Lord lives! Praise be to my Savior God,
Jesus Christ, who died on a cruel cross.
He is my Rock and the source
Of my salvation, whom I trust.
I will give praise always to Him.