Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Which one are You?

(Originally preached at Forest Glen Baptist Church in Chicago Nov. 22, 1998: https://youtu.be/qAM9FXpBje4 )
Psalm 1
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish. (NKJV)

  1. The Godly persons character (1-3)
    1. What he does not do. (1)
    2. What thrills him. (2)
    3. What shall become of him. (3)
  2. The Ungodly persons state. (4-6)
    1. The statement of his character. (4)
    2. What shall become of him. (5-6)
Outline of the message:
    Introduction: Why the psalms?

  1. I enjoy both music and poetry personally.
  2. Psalms are the music of the Hebrews.
  3. We all go through joys & sorrows, the pain of sin and it’s consequences, the joy of being reunited in fellowship with the Father; We all have the desire to serve at times. and the desire to crush wickedness. God Himself even said, ‘Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.’( Deu. 9:13-15)
  4. We teach by music: 2 Examples...
    1. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.
    2. Oh, the Blood of the Passover lamb is applied to the door of my life; no power of darkness could ever withstand the force of the blood sacrifice.
  5. I advocate reading a book through in one sitting several times over the course studying a passage to get the forest view. Although the Psalms may be too large to read in one sitting it is still helpful.
  6. There are 9 types of psalms which cover the gamut of human emotion and existence.
  7. Psalm 1 is a didactic or wisdom or teaching psalm.
    Main Message
The Godly persons character (1-3)
    1. One who is Godly is happy. (blessed = happy)
    2. What he does not do. (1)
      1. Note that the text does not speak of individual sins, such as adultery or gossip, rather it speaks only of one’s overall attitude regarding a sinful lifestyle. Look at I John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
      2. He does not accept the counsel of the ungodly.
      3. He does not go in the direction of sinner
      4. He does not stand in the way of sinners to condemn them, (God is the one who justifies or condemns. Rom. 8:33-4) but he may point to the way of truth
        1. In reference to the Oct. 20 beating death of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, and the shooting of Dr. Barnett Slepian, who was shot on Oct. 23 by a sniper as he stood in his kitchen in Amherst N.Y., We should not, we must not, God FORBID, that we should take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth (Ex 21:23; Deu. 19:21). But someone will say to me, isn’t that biblical? I say to you, Christ fulfilled the old law and we live by a new law, the law of grace.
      5. Sarcasm has no place in his life - everyone is treated with regard to their personhood.
        1. Let me give an example to you of someone every person in this room knows, President Clinton deserves respect for two reasons: Personhood, and the office of President...
        2. But he claims to be a Christian, so either he needs a gentle but firm correction from a fellow Christian who is concerned, or he is lying. If he’s lying about his state of being a Christian then he needs salvation and we should be praying for him rather than bashing him.
    3. What thrills him. (2)
      1. God’s Word is exciting to him.
      2. Resulting in his being absorbed by His word day & night.
      3. Meditation can allow the Spirit to work on your heart in regards to the text studied.
      4. One ancient translation (The Bishops Bible) uses exercise as an analogy of meditation. You’ve heard the expression, ‘It’s a no-brainer’. Not here!
    4. What shall become of him. (3)
      1. Comparing his growth to that of a tree. (Redwoods illustration)
      2. Revelation comes from God for the purpose of helping man to live in harmony with God's will, whereas religion is man's attempt to order his path and to explain the world around him. The godly in every age live in accordance with revelation. From the Expositor’s Bible Commentary
      3. Planted by rivers - water gives life. Wherever people settle, there is a source of water.
      4. Yield fruit in season- He has seasonal growth. Which conversely means he does not grow continuously- tree rings show a yearly cycle.
      5. Fruit is a natural occurrence of the Godly persons life. (Eph. 2:8-10)
      6. His leaf does not wither- although a tree may loose its leaves annually, the Godly person does not loose his source of life. Leaves are what transform the energy of the sun into food for the tree.
      7. A withered leaf depicts death. The inability to receive energy and use it.
The Ungodly persons state. (4-6)
  1. The statement of his character. (4)
    1. Are the wicked happy? There is no reference to that here. Only when beating down others are they satisfied. (Prov 1:11-18, 12:6)
    2. Like the chaff- The Ungodly persons main characteristic is complete total waste of life.
    3. This person does not do anything which stands the test; it all blows away.
    4. Every religion apart from Christianity teaches salvation by works. What a sad waste of the efforts of millions. (Eph 2:8-10)
  2. What shall become of him. (5-6)
    1. The Ungodly will not stand in the judgment because who, being sinful, can stand up to God and His measuring stick? (John 3:18; I Cor. 11:32)
    2. Sinners will not be counted with the righteous. If you are a sinner with no savior to point to, your sins will be held against you.
    3. The Lord knows the way of the righteous- Our Lord will say to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.' (Matt. 7:22-23)
    4. The final destiny of the way of the Ungodly will perish. What they did will be gone. The way they went about what they did will be swept away.
    5. The Ungodly themselves will not perish, as is clear in Matt. 25:41, `Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
Conclusion: In our lives...
  1.  Review
    1. Godly people are happy and contented because they trust in Him Who will not fail.
    2. The Godly do not condemn the wicked in their wickedness. It’s not our job.
    3. God’s Word is source of their godliness.
    4. The wicked persons life is a complete total waste.
    5. Their way will perish; Everything they did, including the way they did it will pass away.
    6. The wicked will go to a terrible place that God never desired for them, to spend eternity.
  2. How are you living?
    1. Is it characterized by a delight in God’s Word and His ways?
    2. Is it characterized by a waste of life, waste of energy, a waste of time?
    3. What desires motivate your smallest choices? Would they stand the test?

If the answer to any of these questions does not satisfy you--- Please let the Spirit work in your life to use you as He pleases.
  • For us who are Christians-   Let us strive to please Him in all our ways
  • For those who are not-          Let this message stand as a warning, "Without Christ your life becomes a waste and you will spend eternity in a place never designed for you, Hell; but don’t let this discourage you for Christ is not willing that any perish (II Pet. 3:9)
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