And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Psalm 1, The Simplicity of the Christian Life

Sermon notes. 
Again dear saints, I am publishing my study notes from yesterday's sermon.  It is my prayer that you are reviewing the message as a means of growing this week.  These, as usual, are merely an outline and a set of prompts to remind myself of what it is I should say in the worship service.

PSALM  1 The Simplicity of the Christian Life

By the title it might be understood that the Christian life is a simple pleasure and an easy accomplishment.  Nothing is further from the Truth.  The life of a Christian is actually a spiritual warfare that often reaches the physical realm.  Persecutions, the consequences of the fall, and that uttermost battle of the personal sinful flesh all bring great misery and complex diversity of influences upon us. 

However that may truly be, this message is about the simplicity of the Christian life as it pertains to our very existence.  Many sermons today, many books on “How to this and that” albeit with good intentions, tend to complicate matters.  We get lists of What, When, and Why, but these are only of benefit when we first have the basics.  This sermon today is all about the basics.  It is where to begin.  It is that which will serve as the first layer of building upon the foundation of the cross.  Thus, what Christ has begun sets the standard for the next step, this is our worshipful response to what He alone can do.  Everything else we are to do as a Christian starts here.

 We start with blessedness, despite the conflicts of sin all around us. 

·         Let us understand blessedness as God does

·         Let us call sin what it is sin.  IE affairs are adultery,  stress is lack of faith in the promises of God,  Remember it is more powerful than you, but quivers and runs at the Word of God.

This then follows that in a Christian’s walking, standing, and sitting we who are blessed have no part in sin.  To mingle the Holiness of the Christian with sin is to forfeit victory.

Walk might equal the general influences that you allow daily to come upon your life.

Stand is much akin to what you allow to go on around you that influence you as “truth” or a standard for living.  It may not affect you directly but it is that which is allowed to be tolerated.  This is like taking for granted something that has been told you without checking facts.

Sit is those things that you have judged to be true.  Many of us need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.  Past value judgments from our old nature may be influencing us now.  (prejudices, ideas on who God is…)

The Christian is in a state of fleeing/avoiding the walking, standing, and sitting of the wicked, sinner, scoffers.

The Christian finds blessedness in putting off these old ways.

How does he find stability and blessedness?

He puts on the law of God by meditating on it Day and Night.
He finds it a grand delight. Thus the delights of the things of God help him to flee evil and to find his peace and blessedness in the presence of God, despite circumstances. 

Think about law here.  Not just the Ten Commandments, but the actual parameters of who God is and our relation to Him.  This deals with His nature and His promises.  It deals with Biblical history and Biblical hope.  We often fail to know God because our walking, standing, and sitting fail to think through a deep understanding of God’s presence in all of life.

 This world has many delights.  But they all can be so much better when our heart is centered on God.  Thankfulness is one of the most blessed attitudes.  The fruits of the spirit describe the joy a person has when they walk stand and sit with God.  The world strives for this blessedness, but without God it is all counterfeit.

It is our duty to delight in God.

 The Christian that delights themselves in God is like a tree planted by streams of water.  This analogy gives us much hope.

·         In season, by just abiding, the tree has fruit to show for its simplicity of being in Christ.

·         It is always a source of shade.  Trees need water and it is available to this tree simply by remaining firmly planted by God.

·         In all that the Christian does, he prospers.  It is not worldly prosperity, but spiritual.  Even failures are accomplishments in growth.  Because the person is meditating day and night on “the Law” of God they are able to take into account the very presence of God in their walking, standing, sitting.

Remember, wickedness is like chaff.  Worthless.  Please think of your wickedness as being a worthless pursuit.  There is no value in evil, rather there is loss and punishment.  Evil is the object of the wrath of God.

There is judgment, the righteous stand, the wicked perish. 

Be deeply rooted by staying with God.  Don’t transplant yourself from whim to fancy.  Abide in Him, for this Psalm is a promise of great hope.