Psalms 18:25-27 ESV
“With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
with the purified you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.”
This passage of Scripture is from the Old Testament. So, if we are going to apply any of this to our lives today, then we need to interpret what we read here in light of the New Covenant. If it agrees with the New Covenant, then we can teach or share it as though it is relevant to our lives today.
Now some people will say this sounds like us gaining God’s favor by our own works and that the New Testament teaches us that we are not saved by our own works but by God’s grace through God-given faith in Jesus Christ. And it is true that we can do nothing in and of ourselves to gain God’s favor or his divine approval, for all have sinned. But our salvation is not absent of works. They are just the works of God that God has called and equipped us to do.
And the thing of it is, there are works God has called us to do which are required of God for our salvation and for eternal life with God. First of all we must deny self, take up our cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) Jesus. We must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and be raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Sin must no longer be master over our lives, but Jesus is to be our only Lord, and we are to serve him.
Now we must no longer walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh, but now according to the Spirit. We are no longer to make sin our practice, but righteousness and obedience to our Lord are to be what we practice. We are to no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness. And we are to no longer let sin reign in our mortal bodies to make us obey its passions and fleshly and ungodly desires. But now we are to walk in the light as God is in the light, and not in sin, or we don’t have eternal life with God.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Co 10:1-22; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 5:9; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:6; Gal 6:8; Eph 2:10; Eph 5:10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 1 Thes 2:4; 1 Thes 4:1; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 2 Tim 2:4,21; Tit 2:11-14; Tit 3:8; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Heb 5:9; Heb 11:6; Heb 13:6; Jas 1:21-25; Jas 2:17; 1 Pet 1:1-2; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10,22-24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6]
Psalms 18:28-30 ESV
“For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”
Absolutely true! And how fitting with what was just talked about right before this. Again, we can do nothing in ourselves to earn or to deserve our own salvation. Only by the grace of God, through God-given faith in Christ can any of us be saved from our sins and have the hope of eternal life with God. But 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. And God’s grace delivers us out of our slavery (addiction) to sin so we will now be slaves of God and of his righteousness.
And it is only in the strength and power of God’s Spirit living within us that any of us can live the Christian life and resist Satan and flee temptation and live holy lives pleasing to God. Now by genuine faith in Jesus Christ we are empowered of God’s Spirit to stand strong against our enemy, Satan, and to stand strong in our walks of faith and holiness and righteousness, and to persevere in living holy lives, pleasing to God. But it is not just automatic. We have to choose to walk in obedience to God and do what he commands. And he will give us all we need to remain faithful despite all opposition.
Psalms 18:31-34 ESV
“For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
We do live in a day and time when the gospel of our salvation is under fire, when it is being adulterated in order to appease human flesh, and when many people, even many people professing faith in Jesus Christ, are living in deliberate and habitual sin against God as a matter of practice. They are buying into the lies of the enemy of our souls, and they are adopting this altered and half-truth gospel that does not require death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness as part of saving faith.
And so the church, overall, at least here in America, though not describing every single congregation, has lost its saltiness, and it is no longer shining the true light of the gospel for all to see. It has largely compromised with the world and with the flesh in order to appease human flesh and to attract the people of the world to the gatherings of what is called “church.” It is barely distinguishable between the church and the world these days. And so we who are still standing on the truth are in a great battle against our enemy who is the one behind this diluted and altered (lie) gospel.
But we don’t have to go this alone. Even if it feels sometimes as though we are standing alone against a great giant, like David did, while everyone else cowers in fear and stands on the sidelines, that is not the case. There are still many people, though few in number by comparison to the number of people in the world, who are standing on the truth and who are not compromising with the world. But all of us are getting our strength, courage, and encouragement from the Lord, or we would not be able to stand. And we are only able to fight this battle with the armor of God. Amen!
Do Not Fear
An Original Work / June 2, 2013
Based off John 14
Do not let your hearts fear.
Trust in God. Trust in Christ.
“In My house you will find
Many rooms I have
Prepared for you,
And I will come back
And take you to heav’n.”
“I will take you to be with Me;
You’ll be where I am.”
“I am the way and
The truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father,
Except he comes through Me,
So put your faith in Me,
And do all of what I command.”
“Whoever has My commands
And obeys them loves Me.”
“I did not leave you as orphans.
I sent you the Counselor;
The Holy Spirit to live in you.
He teaches you all things,
And He reminds you of Me.”
“My peace I give to you,
So do not fear, trust in Me.”