Don’t Walk in Ungodly Counsel

Psalms 1:1-2 ESV

“Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.”

You know that this is not speaking about just the obviously wicked. For those who stand out as obviously wicked are not as likely to deceive people into believing their lies, because their lies are more blatant. For remember how Jesus warned his disciples against the “yeast” (the spreading influence of what is typically concealed; the spreading nature of evil) of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (claiming moral standards to which one does not adhere).

The people we need to watch out for the most are those who appear godly and righteous and/or who are in positions of authority and leadership and influence within the gatherings of what is called church. They may be pastors, elders, deacons, Bible teachers, youth leaders and the like. And what they may be teaching may come from the Scriptures or it may sound biblical, but oftentimes it is not biblical and/or it is taken from Scriptures which are removed from their context and twisted to say something else.

So, does it say this in Romans 10? “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” And this? “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Yes, it does! Yet do we ignore the rest of Romans and the rest of the New Testament and build our doctrine of salvation on these few verses? Certainly not!

In Romans it Says

In Romans 1 all are warned against suppressing the truth of God by their ungodliness and unrighteousness, that the wrath of God is revealed against such as this. And in Romans 2 we are warned against hypocritical judging, i.e. against judging others and yet doing the same things that they do. Then it goes on to describe such people as those with hard and impenitent hearts who are storing up the wrath of God for themselves on the day of God’s wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. And then we are told that God will render to each one according to his works (Romans 2:6-10).

Then in Romans 6 we learn that by faith in Jesus Christ we are baptized into his death. We are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him. For our old self is crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but so we would be slaves to God and to his righteousness. Thus, we are to no longer let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions, for if we do, that will end in death, not life.

Then in Romans 8 we read that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For if we live according to the flesh, we will die. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the body, we will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. And to be led by the Spirit means that we are walking in obedience to our Lord and we are doing what he says to do and we are no longer living in deliberate and habitual sin.

Then in Romans 11, speaking to non-Jewish believers in Jesus Christ with regard to the fact that unbelieving Jews, i.e. those who do not believe in Jesus, have been cut off from God’s vine and that Gentile believers in Jesus were grafted into the vine, Paul warned that they should not be arrogant. For, he said that they were not to become proud but to fear God, for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither would he spare them. For if they did not continue in God’s grace they, too, would be cut off.

But we need to understand here what that grace means. For we are saved by God’s grace through faith, and this is not of ourselves lest any of us should boast. But his grace delivered us from our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we might now be slaves to God and to his righteousness. His grace granted us the faith to believe in Jesus and to repent of (turn away from) our sin, and that faith originates with God so it will submit to Christ, forsake sin, and walk in obedience to the Lord (Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Lu 9:23-26).

Psalms 1:3-4 ESV

“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”

So, we need to be very careful regarding the teachings and counsel that we receive, making sure that it is wholly biblical (in the context as a whole) and that it is not a mixture of truth and lies. And we need to test everything we hear and read no matter who it is coming from, even if the person is widely accepted and revered as godly. For remember that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness but they are wolves in sheep’s clothing out to deceive.

And then we need to make certain that we are walking in the truth and not in the lies and that our delight is in the counsel and the gospel of Christ and that daily we are dying to sin and to self and that we are walking in the counsel of the Scriptures (taken in context) in obedience to our Lord, and that we continue in these walks of faith steadfast until the very end. And then we have true hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God based on the truth and not on the lies and not on Scriptures taught out of context.

Then we are blessed of God in what we do and we will bear spiritual fruit for God’s heavenly kingdom in keeping with repentance. We will be at true peace with God and God will use us in the lives of others in the sharing with them the truth of the gospel (the whole counsel of God) and in showing them the love of God which sent Jesus Christ to die for us on that cross so that we might be delivered from our lives of slavery to sin and now serve God with our lives as slaves of his righteousness.

Psalms 1:5-6 ESV

“Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.”

The wicked are not just those regarded as unsaved because they make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. The wicked are all who make sin their practice, who deliberately and habitually sin in defiance of God and of his commands (New Covenant) and in rebellion against the Lord. So, you can profess Jesus as your Lord and Savior but if you do not walk in obedience to his commands but you deliberately and habitually do what your sinful heart desires, then you are wicked, not righteous in God’s sight. For the righteous are those who make righteousness their practice (1 Jn 3:4-10).

So, if you want to have the true hope of salvation from your slavery to sin and the hope of eternal life with God, you must die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, and you must walk in obedience to his commands, in practice until the end, and sin must not be your practice or you will die.

[Lu 9:23-26; 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 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; Ac 26:18]

Sweet Beulah Land

By Squire Parsons

I’m kind of homesick for a country
To which I’ve never been before.
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won’t matter anymore.

I’m looking now, just across the river
To where my faith, shall end in sight
There’s just a few more days to labor.
Then I will take my heavenly flight.

Beulah Land I’m longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand
There my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land

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