Psalms 25:4-5 ESV
“Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.”
The object of God’s saving grace in our lives is not just so we can be forgiven of our sins, escape hell, and go to heaven when we die. It is that we might walk in the ways of the Lord and no longer walk in the ways of the flesh and in sin. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And he died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15).
So, when we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith we will not take the viewpoint that we have just now gotten our “get-out-of-jail-free-card,” or that we have just secured heaven for ourselves as our “fire insurance” against ending up in hell when we die. Our salvation is not a free ride to heaven while we continue to walk in the flesh and in sin. Heaven forbid! Our salvation is deliverance from slavery to sin so we are now slaves to God.
And our salvation is also not a one-time decision we make in our lives to believe in Jesus that secures us heaven when we die, but it is walking in the light as God is in the light, and it is walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and it is, by the Spirit, putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and it is denying self and dying with Christ daily to sin and walking in obedience to his commands. For salvation is progressive sanctification.
So, if we are truly in Christ, by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. The old has gone, the new has come. Now we are no longer living in enslavement to sin, but now we are living as slaves to righteousness in the power of God, by his Spirit, according to the will of God.
Thus, now we also desire to know the ways of the Lord, and to be taught his paths, and to be led in his truth so that we might walk in his ways and do what he says and live holy and godly lives which are pleasing to him for the praise of his glory. And we learn those by studying the Scriptures in context and by listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit directing us in the ways that we should go, and by not resisting the Spirit by going our own way.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Jn 15:1-11; Jas 1:21-25; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2]
Psalms 25:8-10 ESV
“Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.”
Amen! Yes, God shows his goodness and his kindness to us by instructing us in the right way, which is the way of holiness and righteousness. It is not good or kind to leave us still in slavery to sin, still wandering far from the Lord, still deliberately and habitually committing the same sins over and over against God, and against our family members, and against other people. God’s grace delivers us from our slavery to sin. Amen!
The Lord instructs us in the right way and he teaches us his ways all throughout the Scriptures. We can’t miss it! Paul did not teach the kind of gospel that many are attributing to him today. He taught the same as Jesus, and the same as John and James. He taught repentance and obedience and submission as necessary components of saving faith in Jesus Christ. And he taught if we do not repent and obey that we will not have eternal life.
Yes, we do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. No amount of our own good works will ever secure salvation for us. But God’s gift to us is not freedom to keep living in sin while claiming heaven as our eternal destiny. God’s gift to us is freedom from addiction to sin so that we can now walk in holiness and in obedience to our Lord in the power of God’s Spirit. For if we continue to live in sin we will not inherit the kingdom of God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]
Psalms 25:14-16 ESV
“The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.”
Now, this is critical that we get this. This is taught both in the Old and in the New Testament. If we want to be in intimate fellowship with God via faith in Jesus Christ and to be regarded by God as his friends, then we need to walk in the fear of the Lord. We need to honor God, and obey him, and follow Jesus in his ways, and be doers of the word and not hearers only. We need to be those who walk the walk and who don’t just talk it.
Today so many people are buying into a half-truth (false) gospel which does not require or which actually discourages honoring God as Lord, and following in his ways, and doing what he commands, and forsaking our sins. And that is because they are following the teachings of humans in their deceitful scheming instead of following the teachings of God’s Word in their context. For God still regards faith as obedience and disobedience as unbelief (1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13).
And if we are those who are still teaching the truth of the gospel as is taught in the Scriptures, in context, and if we are taking it to heart and if we are walking in the ways of the Lord, in the fear of the Lord, and in holiness and righteousness, we will be hated, rejected, persecuted, shunned, ignored, pushed away, kicked out of gatherings, invited to leave, given messages that we are not “one of them,” and so forth. So, a life of faithfulness to Jesus Christ can be a very lonely life, so we are thankful for his friendship.
Mighty in Power
An Original Work / June 17, 2019
Jesus, our Savior, reigneth forever;
Mighty in power, His name we honor.
He’s our refuge from all evil.
God our righteous, He’s our fill.
He satisfies us with all His blessings.
We magnify Him. Our praise to Him sing.
Glory and honor, praise to the Father,
Perfect in wisdom, He is our vision.
He delivered us from all sin
So, in Christ, we’d be forgiven.
He purifies us. His love will guide us.
He is beside us, holy and righteous.
Our Holy Spirit, comfort in sorrow,
Strength in our weakness, hope for tomorrow.
He gives courage to be bold in
Witnessing for Jesus Christ.
He teaches all things about our Savior.
New life in Jesus, we found His favor.