Psalms 119:137-140 ESV
“Righteous are you, O Lord,
and right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.
139 My zeal consumes me,
because my foes forget your words.
140 Your promise is well tried,
and your servant loves it.”
I think there is a lot of confusion within the church over this whole transition the Jews who believed in Jesus went through when the Lord took them away from the Old Covenant and he brought them into the New Covenant which he has now with his people who have died with Christ to sin and who are now living to him and to his righteousness. For the word “law” is used to describe both the Old Covenant ceremonial laws and the law of the gospel of Christ, which is “the law of liberty” for Jesus set us free from slavery to sin.
And so many people have come to believe that their salvation from sin is lawless and thus they do not have to obey the Lord or forsake their sins or submit to Christ as Lord. They believe no works are required of them at all since we are not saved by our own works. But works are not absent of our salvation. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them. And we must obey our Lord in practice or we will not inherit eternal life with God.
[1 Pet 2:24; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Acts 5:32; Lu 9:23-26; Matt 7:21-23]
So, although we who believe in Jesus do not live under the Old Covenant, we are not lawless. We still have rules to follow. They are God’s moral laws which Jesus summed up into two, which are to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbors as ourselves. For love does no willful harm to a neighbor. And so love is the fulfillment of the law. But love is of God and God is love, and so love is righteous, godly, upright, morally pure, honest, and trustworthy, which we should be if we love God and other humans.
And his moral laws, his boundaries which he gave to us, are for our good to help us to live holy and godly and pure lives to the glory of God. And we are taught in Scripture that if we do not obey our Lord’s commands (New Covenant), in practice, that we don’t love God and we don’t know God and he does not know us, and his Spirit does not dwell within us. So obedience to our Lord’s commands is required for salvation from sin and for eternal life with God as is also dying with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily.
And my zeal does consume me because the Lord’s foes, who then become my foes, forget the words of the Lord willfully, and deliberately and habitually they live in sin, and they are on a sinful course, and consistently they deny the Lord and refuse to obey the Lord even though many of them profess to know Jesus and are convinced their sins are forgiven and that heaven is guaranteed them even though they know the Scriptures that teach that those who do not obey the Lord will not inherit eternal life with God.
And this just breaks my heart! I grieve over this. I grieve over the knowledge that so many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are relying on a lie and a false promise of heaven when they die and that one day they are going to stand before God and proclaim him as Lord with their lips, and they will enumerate the many things they did on this earth in his name, and he is going to tell them plainly, “I never knew you! Depart from me you workers of lawless” (see Matthew 7:21-23) because they did not obey God.
Psalms 119:141-144 ESV
“I am small and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is righteous forever,
and your law is true.
143 Trouble and anguish have found me out,
but your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever;
give me understanding that I may live.”
Jesus Christ, when he walked this earth, was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows who was acquainted with grief (see Isaiah 53). And if we are his followers, and if we are dying with him to sin and living to his righteousness, then we should be despised and rejected of other humans, too. We should be treated like Jesus was treated. We should have people falsely accusing us of evil we did not do, and we should have people trying to trip us up, and we should have people taunting us and playing mind games with us, too.
And we should have people opposing what we are teaching and fighting against us and attacking us because we are speaking the truth of the Scriptures. And we should have Satan attacking our minds and emotions, trying to get us to be afraid, and trying to get us to give up and to retreat. For that is his goal to try to defeat us so we will stop sharing the truth of the gospel, and so we will stop talking about sin and slavery to sin and of our need to repent of our sins and to walk in obedience to our Lord.
But we must hold on to the truth that we know and not be intimidated by those who want to take us out. And that truth is not our truth but the truth of the Scriptures. And this is a spiritual battle to be fought with spiritual weapons of warfare and not in our flesh. And the battle we are speaking of here is against Christ and his gospel, and so if we are teaching the gospel and we are calling sinners to repentance, then Satan will be against us, too, and he will try to stop us for he doesn’t want the truth to be heard.
And in times like these we need to call on God and pray for godly wisdom and understanding, for some of these situations can be troubling to our minds when we don’t understand them. And so we need to pray for understanding, but also be willing to accept that we are not going to understand everything, and so we just have to turn these situations over to the Lord Jesus and just rest in him and trust in his counsel and wisdom. And then we can move forward in peace, letting Christ rule our hearts.
[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:22; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]
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.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
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.
Caution: This link may contain ads