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← Are You Truly a Psalm 1 Man? - Tim Conway

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Showing Revision 8 created 12/04/2017 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. Brethren, please turn in your Bibles
  2. to Psalm 1.
  3. Our brother Craig said he felt inclined
  4. to preach from this psalm last week,
  5. but he didn't, because
    the week before that
  6. Brother Nathan Rages
  7. brought us a message on stability
  8. or stay-bility.
  9. And Craig felt that he didn't just use
  10. this psalm as a launching point,
  11. but kind of stayed here for quite awhile,
  12. so Craig thought to move on,
  13. but I think it's interesting
  14. that three preachers in a row
  15. have been impressed as I have as well,
  16. even before Nathan brought that.
  17. I've been thinking much about
  18. the first psalm.
  19. And I am inclined to take us there again,
  20. even after Craig was
    done preaching last week,
  21. I told Craig, I believe I am
  22. going to deal with Psalm 1,
  23. and, God helping us,
  24. let's look at it.
  25. Let's read it
  26. in its entirety.
  27. "Blessed is the man..."
  28. And I'll tell you, if we know Scripture,
  29. there are one in a thousand such men.
  30. "Blessed is the man
  31. who walks not in the
    counsel of the wicked,
  32. nor stands in the way of sinners,
  33. nor sits in the seat of scoffers.
  34. But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
  35. and on His law, he
    meditates day and night.
  36. He is like a tree planted
  37. by streams of water,
  38. that yields its fruit in its season,
  39. and its leaf does not wither.
  40. In all that he does, he prospers.
  41. The wicked are not so..."
  42. In fact, in the Septuagint, this reads
  43. as a double negative:
  44. Not so the ungodly. Not so.
  45. "...but are like chaff,
  46. that the wind drives away.
  47. Therefore the wicked will not stand
  48. in the judgment,
  49. nor sinners in the congregation
  50. of the righteous."
  51. Churches here are mixed,
  52. but as we heard in the first hour,
  53. every church has at least one devil in it.
  54. They're mixed here.
  55. They won't be then.
  56. "For the Lord knows
  57. the way of the righteous,
  58. but the way of the wicked will perish."
  59. This is a psalm.
  60. It's the first one.
  61. In it, you saw it,
  62. there's two men.
  63. There's one called (v. 1) blessed...
  64. is the man.
  65. And then when you look down in v. 6,
  66. "The Lord knows the way of the righteous."
  67. There's one man - the blessed man,
  68. the righteous man.
  69. And then there's another man.
  70. And you see him here.
  71. V. 4 - "The wicked are not so."
  72. V. 5 "The wicked will not stand..."
  73. V. 6 "The wicked will perish."
  74. We're all here.
  75. All mankind encapsulated
    in this one psalm.
  76. But see, I see a problem right off.
  77. I mean, as I read this,
  78. and I think about preaching it.
  79. I recognize, you - as you process this,
  80. that man has a built-in disposition
  81. to deny and reject that he is wicked.
  82. Nobody takes that term upon themselves.
  83. I know you've got certain crazy people
  84. out there that delight in such things.
  85. But I'll tell you, when
    really pushed to it,
  86. as far as their eternal welfare,
  87. as far as their standing before God,
  88. men sarcastically will talk about
  89. being wicked,
  90. or in their pride,
  91. they will try to outdo one another
  92. in evil deeds,
  93. but when they're pressed to it,
  94. men say, well, in the depths of my heart,
  95. really at the deepest level,
  96. I'm a good person.
  97. You see, I recognize
    there's a disposition.
  98. Why?
  99. Because the word just sounds too horrible.
  100. Wicked.
  101. It's too heinous.
  102. It's just too bad to describe me.
  103. And here's what happens:
  104. So, men think to themselves,
  105. Ok, I'm about to hear the righteous
  106. compared with the wicked.
  107. Well, I know I'm not wicked.
  108. So somehow or another,
  109. what's said of the righteous -
  110. it has to describe me.
  111. Maybe not perfectly,
  112. but I'm in there somewhere.
  113. Because I'm not wicked.
  114. I know I'm not that.
  115. So, somehow I've got to fit in over here.
  116. What's said of the wicked man
  117. can't possibly be true of me.
  118. You see, men, men... presuppositions -
  119. their ideas about themselves.
  120. In fact, what's interesting is how often
  121. the Bible has to tell us who we are.
  122. It's amazing.
  123. It has to tell wicked people who they are,
  124. and it has to tell the
    righteous who they are.
  125. Why?
  126. Because we have a real hard time
  127. getting that straight ourselves,
  128. even as Christians.
  129. Think about how often
  130. the New Testament is simply
  131. telling Christians who they are.
  132. We don't get it right.
  133. As Christians, we tend to think less
  134. of ourselves than we ought to.
  135. And as lost people,
  136. we tend to think far more of ourselves
  137. than we ought to.
  138. We have a real hard time
  139. getting this straight.
  140. And so God comes along
  141. and over and over and over again,
  142. He is telling us who we are.
  143. What we are.
  144. This is why the Bible goes
  145. to all these lengths
  146. to define us over and over.
  147. And you know what?
  148. There's nothing that tells us who we are
  149. like this book tells us who we are.
  150. Nothing describes us like this book.
  151. So, here's the thing,
  152. v. 4, the wicked are not so.
  153. You know what?
  154. If we could just tear that out -
  155. we don't want to do that,
  156. but if we did, if we just replaced it
  157. with "the man of the world..."
  158. intelligent, intellectual, wise,
  159. independent, fun-loving,
  160. free-spirited, free thinking, witty...
  161. you know what,
  162. we might get more
    people to be honest.
  163. Because the problem is, as soon
    as the word wicked comes up,
  164. oh, that's not me!
  165. But you know, if we
    redefined it a little bit,
  166. and put it in more acceptable terms,
  167. people would let their guard down.
  168. But that word wicked...
  169. what about that?
  170. It makes us think of wicked witches.
  171. The wicked - like the devil.
  172. But notice the simplicity of it all.
  173. Look at v. 4.
  174. "The wicked are not so."
  175. Just think about that.
  176. Think about the simplicity of that.
  177. The wicked are not so.
  178. There's no horns.
  179. There's no pointed hat
  180. and black cats here.
  181. They don't torture people
    in their basement.
  182. What is it?
  183. What's true of the righteous...
  184. not so.
  185. That's the wicked.
  186. They're not pedophiles.
  187. Pedophiles are wicked,
  188. but you get my drift here?
  189. This is just: show me
  190. what the righteous man is;
  191. the wicked man is just not like that.
  192. He doesn't have to run around
  193. being an axe murderer.
  194. He's just not like the righteous.
  195. You see, there's only
    two categories here, folks.
  196. And if you're not in the righteous,
  197. the blessed man category,
  198. you're in the other.
  199. You're just not like the righteous.
  200. That's it.
  201. That's the wicked.
  202. We need to see this for what it is.
  203. The wicked are not so.
  204. Brethren, this is God's teaching.
  205. That's what Psalm 1 is.
  206. What we come to right here -
  207. it was spoken by David in the beginning,
  208. but this is no invention of man.
  209. This is inspired language.
  210. This is God defining humanity.
  211. There are only two alternatives here.
  212. You see it.
  213. Men are so disposed
  214. to think in degrees.
  215. Right?
  216. It's not just black or white.
  217. We like to think in degrees.
  218. We like to think
  219. somewhere in the middle.
  220. That there's other alternatives.
  221. But we're not given that.
  222. There's no middle ground somewhere here.
  223. See, we tend to think,
  224. well, come on, are you
    righteous all the time?
  225. Well, you know, I'm a sinner,
  226. but I'm not that bad.
  227. I'm not wicked.
  228. So, I'm somewhere in the middle.
  229. Scripture doesn't allow that.
  230. We tend to think that way,
  231. but Scripture doesn't allow this
  232. thinking in degrees.
  233. It's pretty radical.
  234. Boy, how often does Scripture do this?
  235. It's everywhere - in the Old Testament
  236. and in the New. Everywhere!
  237. That Scripture comes along and says
  238. Bang! Bang!
  239. Two camps.
  240. You're in one or the other.
  241. Radical. No in-between's.
  242. That is such the language of Scripture
  243. over and over and over.
  244. Only two men in this psalm.
  245. No middle ground.
  246. Either one or the other.
  247. We're looking at two men.
  248. Just two.
  249. You're like one.
  250. Or you're not so.
  251. So, let's consider this.
  252. Let's consider the first four words.
  253. "Blessed is the man..."
  254. I've got five "P's"
  255. that I want to use to describe just this:
  256. Blessed is the man.
  257. The first is this.
  258. The first "P": Plurality.
  259. There's a plurality of blessednesses.
  260. Martin Luther points out,
  261. and I needed somebody else to tell me this
  262. because I can make my way through Greek,
  263. but Hebrew is out there.
  264. Luther says in the Hebrew,
  265. the word "blessed" is plural.
  266. It's literally blessednesses.
  267. All blessednesses are the portion
  268. of this blessed man.
  269. All things are well
  270. with a man like this.
  271. Spurgeon calls it
  272. the multiplicity of blessings.
  273. You want to be this guy.
  274. This means everything is good.
  275. Everything is blessed.
  276. Blessednesses.
  277. The second "P" is
  278. the propensity towards blessedness.
  279. What do I mean by that?
  280. Propensity.
  281. The desire.
  282. We desire this.
  283. All men desire this.
  284. Brethren, as was mentioned by Craig
  285. last week, happy, blessed,
  286. blessed is the man.
  287. There are places such
    as Deuteronomy 33:29 -
  288. "Happy are you, O Israel!
  289. Who is like you?
  290. A people saved by the Lord."
  291. Yes, this word can be translated
  292. directly: "happy."
  293. The happinesses - it's plural.
  294. All the happinesses of the man
  295. that's described here.
  296. And here's the thing.
  297. You think with me here.
  298. Of all that God could have done
  299. in starting out the book of Psalms,
  300. the very first one,
  301. the very first line,
  302. He hits us with the thing
  303. that all men have a propensity for;
  304. that all men long after:
  305. happiness.
  306. We are all anxious to be blessed.
  307. When we hear Esau,
  308. remember how he was?
  309. With his father Isaac?
  310. "Bless me, even me also, O my father!"
  311. Bless me!
  312. That's how we all are.
  313. We want it!
    We want it!
  314. See, he was faced with the fact
  315. that he was losing it.
  316. And he was desparate.
  317. Bless me!
  318. We all want that blessing.
  319. And you know what gives man
  320. even the ability to make it
  321. from one day to the next
  322. is hope that ultimately,
  323. he will receive that.
  324. Hell is such hopelessness
  325. because it's all gone.
  326. The blessednesses - all gone.
  327. But this is the longing
    of the soul of man.
  328. Right here at the beginning
  329. of the very first psalm.
  330. The third "P":
  331. The positivity of blessedness.
  332. What do I mean?
  333. "Blessed is the man."
  334. Is. I put stress on "is."
  335. It's not just that he will be.
  336. He is.
  337. The first psalm is God telling us
  338. that blessedness is not
    just for the future.
  339. You can be sitting here right in this room
  340. in this world at this time
  341. and be a man or woman
  342. of all blessednesses.
  343. I mean, you can sit here
  344. and be the absolute envy -
  345. if the truth were to be known -
  346. the absolute envy of all mankind.
  347. You have that which all men want.
  348. There's a positivity here.
  349. It's attainable.
  350. In this world, it's attainable.
  351. No matter if it's 106 degrees out.
  352. It's attainable.
  353. No matter if you're going through trials.
  354. It's attainable.
  355. That's the thing.
  356. Go with David some time
  357. and visit the nursing home.
  358. Or, come with John Sytsma
  359. when he goes over to Nepal,
  360. and you look at one of these Hindi people
  361. in their seventies or eighties.
  362. You look at the old people
  363. there in the nursing home.
  364. Their faces - empty, hollow,
  365. and they're just sad.
  366. Why?
  367. They've lived their lives.
  368. So many promises of happiness.
  369. When we talk about
  370. "blessed is the man,"
  371. they're one in a thousand.
  372. You know what the other 999
  373. are doing all the time?
  374. The pleasures of sin for a season.
  375. And those little pleasures in sin,
  376. they're saying, "Try me! You'll be happy!"
  377. "Try me! You'll be happy!"
  378. And you're grasping at the wind.
  379. You're grasping at mist.
  380. Because there's pleasure for a season
  381. and then it's gone.
  382. And you spend a whole life doing that
  383. and all these promises of happiness.
  384. And you get to the end
  385. and their religions haven't done it.
  386. Their false gods have not done it.
  387. And in all their old age,
    you look at them,
  388. they're miserable.
  389. They're out of their minds.
  390. They just cuss and they swear
  391. and they're mean.
  392. You go there.
  393. Isn't that how they are?
  394. Just nasty old people.
  395. Why?
  396. Just hopeless.
  397. They're getting to the end
  398. and everything has proven empty.
  399. It's just emptiness.
  400. Only fear looms before them.
  401. Happiness is one of
    the most elusive things
  402. in this world.
  403. You have a world out there chasing it,
  404. and few there be that find it.
  405. Few actually lay hold on it.
  406. But, the promise here is
  407. that there is a blessed man.
  408. It's attainable.
  409. That's the thing.
  410. And oh, brethren,
  411. don't we hear it in the
    very blood of Christ.
  412. If anything whispers "blessedness,"
  413. it's that blood.
  414. The next "P" - the fourth:
  415. The place of blessedness.
  416. By "place," I mean,
  417. where is it to be found?
  418. Notice this:
  419. Look at v. 2.
  420. "His delight is in the law of the Lord
  421. and on His law he
    meditates day and night."
  422. Now, brethren, hear me carefully.
  423. There is not a text,
  424. and you won't find it.
  425. Never found it in my Bible -
  426. not any of the Bibles I've ever owned.
  427. You will never find a beatitude that says,
  428. blessed is the man who hungers and thirsts
  429. for blessedness.
  430. You won't find it.
  431. It's not there.
  432. Where is blessedness to be found?
  433. Happiness is not to be found
  434. in just seeking to be happy.
  435. Think with me here.
  436. What does this man desire?
  437. The law of the Lord.
  438. He meditates on it day and night.
  439. Why? Because in
    that he finds his God.
  440. In that he finds life;
  441. he finds his Christ, his Messiah.
  442. (Incomplete thought)
  443. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
  444. for righteousness.
  445. They will be satisfied.
  446. Brethren, think of this.
  447. Think of this truth.
  448. If you grab for happiness,
  449. you miss it.
  450. It just turns to mist.
  451. It slips away.
  452. It's only the man or the woman
  453. who actually seek for something else
  454. that find happiness.
  455. Do you notice that?
  456. Or listen to Psalm 119:2.
    Don't turn there, but listen.
  457. "Blessed are those who
    keep His testimonies,
  458. who seek Him with their whole heart."
  459. You see?
  460. We seek Him. We find blessing.
  461. We seek His Word. We find blessing.
  462. We seek His righteousness.
  463. We find blessing.
  464. We seek first the Kingdom.
  465. We find all things.
  466. Is that not how Scripture is?
  467. Oh, brethren, that's a principle
    you don't want to lose.
  468. Because men desire blessing.
  469. They desire happiness.
  470. And most miss it,
  471. because they look for
    it in the wrong place.
  472. Fifthly, the person of this blessedness.
  473. Blessings and happiness
  474. are not tied to the man's circumstances.
  475. You need to see that.
  476. See, the world tends to think,
  477. blessed is the man that
    gets a beautiful wife.
  478. Blessed is the man that comes into money.
  479. Blessed is the man that
    can afford to get that car,
  480. buy that house.
  481. Blessed is the man that
    (fill in the blank).
  482. ...gets the promotion at work.
  483. But do you notice nothing in this psalm
  484. has to do with circumstances?
  485. It's the person.
  486. It's who he is, not the
    circumstances in his life.
  487. That's critical.
    That's crucial.
  488. Blessings and happiness
  489. are tied to who you are,
  490. not what's happening in your life.
  491. To who you are.
  492. To what your relationship is with God.
  493. What your relationship is with the Word.
  494. That's the issue.
  495. Now, there's those five "P's"
  496. that have to do with "blessed."
  497. Now, let's just broaden out
  498. and think about the whole psalm.
  499. Brethren, hear me carefully.
  500. This psalm is an entire indicative.
  501. There's no command here.
  502. Now, I recognize Hebrew doesn't
  503. necessarily have indicative verbs,
  504. but in the Greek, in the Septuagint,
  505. that's exactly what it is.
  506. What am I getting at?
  507. You don't want to know
    all about Greek and Hebrew.
  508. But what am I getting at?
  509. My point is this:
  510. This psalm doesn't command
    you to do anything.
  511. Look. Should you go to this psalm and say,
  512. hey, I ought to be more
    disciplined in the Word.
  513. You know, when you get indicatives,
  514. they do imply, they suggest imperatives.
  515. When you're told a fact,
  516. they do sometimes imply
  517. a responsibility on our part.
  518. That's true.
  519. I don't deny that.
  520. And there's many other places where
    you find this to be a reality.
  521. But hear me carefully.
  522. I am not going to preach
    commandments to you here,
  523. because this psalm does not do that.
  524. This psalm basically lays down facts.
  525. Notice, nothing in this
    psalm is telling you
  526. or seeking to encourage you directly
  527. to not walk in the counsel of the wicked
  528. or to stand in a certain place
  529. or to sit in a certain place.
  530. It's not commanding you.
  531. It's not encouraging you
    to be in the Word.
  532. It's not encouraging you to be a tree.
  533. It's not encouraging you to be fruitful.
  534. Not directly.
  535. You hear what I'm saying.
  536. It basically is a statement of fact.
  537. You say where are you going?
  538. I'll tell you where I'm going.
  539. You know the problem too often
  540. when you preach a text like this,
  541. is people go away -
  542. especially the wicked -
  543. they go away thinking,
  544. oh, I need to do better at that.
  545. That's not what this is.
  546. This is a statement of fact.
  547. It's a description.
  548. It is God coming along and He's saying
  549. you want to know what
    a righteous man looks like?
  550. Here's what he looks like.
  551. You want to know what a wicked man is?
  552. He's not that.
  553. That's basically what's happening.
  554. Make sure you see that.
  555. You say why?
  556. Because this isn't a
    pep rally to do better.
  557. This is a searching.
  558. This is a spotlight shining on all of us.
  559. It's not an encouragement
    to go out and strive,
  560. or to go out and run better.
  561. This is a spotlight shining on you
  562. that proves who you are.
  563. Make sure you see that.
  564. The issue is not so much
  565. that you need to strive harder,
  566. as much as it is the living God telling us
  567. what is true of all of us.
  568. So, notice this.
  569. V. 1 is, "Blessed is the man who
  570. walks not..."
  571. The negative.
  572. Before you get the positive in v. 2.
  573. "His delight is in the law of the Lord."
  574. You get the negative.
  575. The negative is first.
  576. Isn't that similar to -
    I think of Isaiah 55 oftentimes.
  577. Let the wicked forsake his way,
  578. and the unrighteous man his thoughts,
  579. and let him return unto the Lord.
  580. So you get the negative first:
    forsake your way.
  581. The positive: return to the Lord.
  582. Or when Jesus came in the New Testament.
  583. What did He say?
  584. Repent!
  585. Repent is a change of mind.
  586. It is that change of mind about sin,
  587. about Christ.
  588. There's this turning from sin.
  589. There's a reversal in life.
  590. There's a forsaking and then believing.
  591. Calling upon the Lord in faith.
  592. We often get this negative
  593. before the positive.
  594. Why?
  595. You know what the danger is?
  596. You come along with just the positive
  597. and people think I need
    to tack that on my life.
  598. Nope, that's not it.
  599. That's never how it is.
  600. There's first turning.
  601. There's a forsaking.
  602. There's things we step back from.
  603. There's things that the blessed man
  604. no longer involves himself in
  605. before we get to the positive.
  606. That's the way God often
    does it in Scripture.
  607. Man in this world - evil,
  608. he's wrong; he's vile -
  609. and God's way is essentially different.
  610. And it's not just you
    staying on your own way,
  611. and your old way,
  612. and then tacking on God's way.
  613. There is a forsaking of your way.
  614. And a coming to God's way.
  615. That's the issue.
  616. "Blessed is the man who walks not
  617. in the counsel of the wicked,
  618. nor stands in the way of sinners."
  619. Not.
  620. Brethren, this is desire
    being described here.
  621. God's not giving a commandment.
  622. There's a desire.
  623. And I know, someone says, exactly!
  624. Negative.
  625. Of course, that's how it starts out.
  626. That's what Christianity is in
    a lot of people's minds.
  627. Of course, that's exactly
    how Christianity is.
  628. You can't do this.
    You can't do that.
  629. But, brethren, listen to me.
  630. This is not a psalm of "thou shalt not's."
  631. This is a man who desires the Word of God,
  632. the law of the Lord.
  633. This is a man who has a heart
  634. that hungers after this.
  635. He delights in it.
  636. And because he delights in that,
  637. he disdains what's against it:
  638. the ways of the world,
  639. the ways of the devil,
  640. the ways that are wrong,
  641. the ways of the scornful,
  642. the ways of the sinner.
  643. They're repulsive to him
  644. because he delights in the law of God.
  645. That's the idea.
  646. Brethren, we have to
    get this in our heads.
  647. Christianity is not just this set
  648. of external laws that tells us
  649. don't do this, don't do this...
  650. Christianity is a transformation of heart
  651. where our delights are
    now towards the Word
  652. and we don't want that.
  653. There's a distaste.
  654. We don't love what we used to love.
  655. Christianity is God changing us
  656. so that we don't desire
  657. the counsel of the ungodly.
  658. We delight in the Word of Christ.
  659. And brethren, we find His yoke easy.
  660. That's the reality.
  661. Notice the progressiveness
  662. of this first verse.
  663. He doesn't walk in the
    counsel of the wicked.
  664. And then it's "stand."
  665. You've got a man walking,
  666. and then it's like the man stops walking
  667. and he stands.
  668. And then the man sits.
  669. It's progressive what?
  670. (Incomplete thought)
  671. It is a digression.
  672. It's like there's motion and then he stops
  673. and then he sits.
  674. It's like this increasing grip of sin.
  675. (Incomplete thought)
  676. Lloyd-Jones called it paralysis of sin.
  677. The blessed man avoids it.
  678. And what is this?
  679. What does he avoid?
  680. You say, the wicked, the sinner,
  681. the scoffer... brethren, where are they?
  682. Think about your life.
  683. There's voices,
  684. We have these voices.
  685. Things are coming in the eyes
  686. and coming in the ears all the time.
  687. We see things.
  688. We hear things.
  689. Where are these voices in this world?
  690. We have means of commication today
  691. like they never had in any other time.
  692. Think of the channels through which
  693. these things come.
  694. Brethren, you know what they are.
  695. Friends.
  696. How often does Scripture
    speak about companionship?
  697. You want to be a fool?
  698. Hang out with the fools.
  699. Plain and simple.
  700. Social media.
  701. You can hang out with people.
  702. You spend your time there.
  703. Brethren, what kind of voices are these?
  704. The wicked, the sinner, the scoffer...
  705. they're voices that take you
  706. off of running this race like you should.
  707. They're voices that turn us away
  708. from God and godliness.
  709. They scoff. They mock
  710. at the ways of the righteous.
  711. They scoff and they mock
  712. at the ways of Scripture.
  713. It's all that's adverse to
  714. and against and radically,
  715. essentially the opposite
  716. of what's in v. 2:
  717. Loving the law of the Lord.
  718. It's everything that's opposed to that.
  719. It's everything that shuns that.
  720. It's everything that smirks at that.
  721. It's everything that
    slights the ways of God.
  722. That's what we're talking about.
  723. What we're talking about here
  724. is the blessed man;
  725. is the man who looks at the friends
  726. in his life and says,
  727. you know what?
  728. I am not going to spend time
  729. with those people anymore.
  730. Because you know what?
  731. I want to spend time in the Word.
  732. And there's something in their lives,
  733. there's something in their words
  734. that opposes this.
  735. And I'm not walking there.
  736. And I'm not standing there.
  737. I'm not going to stop
  738. and I'm not going to sit.
  739. You see, it's almost more
  740. of a progressive stagnation in sin.
  741. I'm not going to do it.
  742. I'm not going to go there.
  743. I'm going to evaluate social media.
  744. If that movie is going to take me somehow
  745. away from what pleases God,
  746. why am I going to go do that?
  747. Why?
  748. Entertainment?
  749. Oh you're going to entertain yourself
  750. by going and standing
  751. in the way of the sinner.
  752. Is that it?
  753. You see, the righteous
    man doesn't do that.
  754. Now, brethren, hear me again.
  755. I'm not saying, ok, you better size up
  756. what you're doing on Facebook
  757. and you better size
    up what you're doing
  758. with the TV and with movies
  759. and with all the technology.
  760. No commandments here.
  761. Listen, brethren, what
    you need to recognize
  762. is God is telling you what we are.
  763. See, if you're the guy that perpetually
  764. has to look at your life and say,
  765. well, I'm massively failing there.
  766. Brethren, it's not God telling you
  767. you need to get your act straight.
  768. It's God telling you who you are.
  769. Do you recognize that's what's happening
  770. in this psalm?
  771. He's saying look at your life.
  772. If you walk in the way of the ungodly;
  773. if you stand in this place of sinners;
  774. you sit there among those who
  775. slight the things that are godly -
  776. He's telling you what you are.
  777. Because if you say,
  778. no my delight is in the Word.
  779. Hey, this is all opposed to that.
  780. And see, if you say,
  781. no, I'm a blessed man
  782. because I delight in the Word.
  783. Ok, there's going to be proof.
  784. And the proof on the negative side
  785. is what you no longer do.
  786. You see, there's evidence.
  787. That's the point.
  788. This is indicative.
  789. This is indicating what is true.
  790. I'm not here today to tell you
  791. to clean up your act.
  792. There are definitely texts
  793. that talk about purging
    that out of your life
  794. which ought not to be there,
  795. and cutting off and gouging out.
  796. No question about that.
  797. But brethren, what this is saying to us
  798. is not so much that that's
    what you need to do,
  799. it's saying to us,
  800. if you're the blessed man,
  801. that's what you already do.
  802. That's already true in your life.
  803. That's already a reality.
  804. Brethren, this is not commandment.
  805. This is fact.
  806. God is not admonishing us specifically
  807. to be holier.
  808. He's telling us the truth about
  809. what holiness looks like.
  810. And that holy man is that blessed man.
  811. He's telling us that if
    you're that blessed man,
  812. you're not going to run with
    that same crowd you ran with.
  813. And you're not going
    to do the same things
  814. on the Internet you used to do.
  815. And you're not going to do the same things
    at the movie theater you used to do.
  816. And you're not going to do the
    same things in front of the television.
  817. Because these are all the avenues
  818. by which those voices come.
  819. You're not going to do the
    same thing with family.
  820. You're not going to do the
    same thing with friends.
  821. You're not going to do
    the same things with radio.
  822. You're not going to do the
    same thing with songs and music.
  823. Why?
  824. Because look, you've
    got to bring this home.
  825. The counsel of the wicked,
  826. the way of the sinner,
  827. the seat of the scoffer.
  828. This is real.
  829. You have to put familiar faces on this.
  830. This is not just this
    ambiguous thing out there.
  831. This is your life.
    This is my life.
  832. And I'll tell you this,
  833. what He's saying is the blessed man
  834. is a man who suddenly is not
  835. doing all sorts of things
    that he used to do.
  836. And one of the primary rationales,
  837. one of the primary motivations,
  838. one of the primary movers in all of this
  839. is not external laws.
  840. It's what he delights in.
  841. He now delights in the Word of God.
  842. And so, naturally, if
    you delight in something,
  843. you don't delight in
    that which is opposed
  844. to the something
    that you delight in.
  845. That's the reality here, brethren.
  846. And notice this last one.
  847. Because, I think this is key.
  848. "Nor sits in the seat of scoffers."
  849. You know what a scoffer is?
  850. Or a scorner?
  851. They're somebody who mocks.
  852. And even in the church,
  853. we get those who scorn
  854. and they scoff and they mock
  855. and they make light of
  856. anyone they see who seems more radical.
  857. You know what you get in the church?
  858. You get these people
  859. who they want to keep a clear conscience.
  860. And they come to Scripture,
  861. and they see something there,
  862. like they look at modesty
  863. and they think what that means
  864. is I need to wear a dress that's down
  865. to the floor.
  866. And you know what?
  867. They're not being legalistic.
  868. They're not coming along
  869. and they're not pressing
    that on you and me.
  870. They look at Scripture and they say
  871. don't set anything that's vain or useless
  872. before my eyes.
  873. And they say, you know what?
  874. I think TV altogether is vain and useless.
  875. And so they're seeking to do it.
  876. And if you're the guy
    that's always out there
  877. saying legalism, legalism, legalism!
  878. You're likely in the seat of that scoffer.
  879. When you look at people
  880. who are trying to
    keep a clear conscience
  881. and they're eradicating things,
  882. and they say my eye offends,
  883. and so I'm getting rid of that.
  884. I'm tearing it out and
    I'm casting it from me.
  885. And they're people of conscience.
  886. And they're walking through their life
  887. and they're going to the Word
  888. and they delight in the Word
    and they're looking in the Word
  889. and they're saying my conscience says
  890. oh, look what I find here.
  891. Now look, you may look at them and say,
  892. you know what?
  893. Their conscience has not been
  894. most accurately informed,
  895. because if you think about other places
  896. in Scripture...
  897. And you know what,
    that may be true,
  898. but don't mock and don't
    slight at such people
  899. who are trying to
    keep clear consciences
  900. before God.
  901. And they're meticulous
  902. and they're diligent.
  903. I remember one time when I was down
  904. at Stockdale,
  905. and a woman came and she had been
  906. wearing a head covering before that,
  907. and then she wasn't
    wearing the head covering.
  908. I said where's your head covering?
  909. Did you study Scripture and
  910. you came to another conclusion?
  911. She said, no, just
    because the people here
  912. don't wear them.
  913. I said you better get
    that thing on your head.
  914. Why? Because she thought
  915. that's what the Lord wants her to do.
  916. And if that's what you think the Lord
  917. wants you to do,
  918. and whether it comes down
  919. to how you raise your children
  920. or how you love your wife
  921. or how you drive your car,
  922. or what you do at work -
  923. brethren, Spurgeon said it one time:
  924. better to live according to this Word -
  925. how you interpret it
  926. and be wrong,
  927. than to not do that.
  928. You understand what he's saying.
  929. He's not saying bad doctrine's good.
  930. He's saying you need to live up
  931. to the light of the lamp that is
  932. shining at your feet from this book.
  933. And how you look at it -
  934. it's not what everybody else is doing.
  935. You do what you believe that God
  936. wants you to do from that book.
  937. And you seek to live
    with a clear conscience.
  938. And you know who the scoffer is?
  939. They're the people always shouting
  940. "legalism" in the church.
  941. Oh, that's legalistic.
  942. They're just legalists.
  943. You be careful.
  944. You just be careful.
  945. Because I tell you what,
  946. if you're that person
    who's always looking
  947. and you're looking
    down your nose
  948. at other people who are really
    trying to walk before the Lord,
  949. and they're trying to walk
    with a clear conscience,
  950. and they're trying to please Him
  951. and they're trying to be meticulous
  952. to God's Word -
  953. you look at them and
    you call them legalists -
  954. you have been sitting
    in the seat of the scoffer.
  955. Let me tell you.
  956. I'm not telling you don't do that.
  957. Repent of that.
  958. Of course, there's a place for that.
  959. What I'm telling you is this:
  960. What God is doing is showing
    you who you are.
  961. Not what you ought to be.
  962. He's showing you who you are.
  963. So, notice his delight.
  964. His delight is in the law of the Lord.
  965. And on His law, he meditates
  966. day and night.
  967. Again, brethren, this is not a commandment
  968. for the Word of Christ
    to dwell in you richly.
  969. There is a commandment like that.
  970. There's instruction like
    that in Scripture.
  971. I'm not saying that there isn't.
  972. I'm just saying this psalm
  973. is basically - the gist of it
  974. is that God is telling us the truth
  975. about ourselves.
  976. Oh, brethren, the blessed man
  977. is that man who has come to this
  978. entirely new relationship
  979. with the Word of God.
  980. Look, again, I'm telling you.
  981. Brethren, I am not here to tell you
  982. if you've not been in the Word,
  983. you need to get in the Word.
  984. What I'm telling you is
    if you're not in the Word,
  985. it's because you don't
    delight in the Word
  986. and Scripture is telling you
  987. who and what you are.
  988. That's the issue.
  989. That's what's happening here.
  990. The blessed man -
  991. he's the man that it's just not theory
  992. for him to say
  993. that man shall not live by bread alone,
  994. but by every word that proceedeth
  995. forth from the mouth of God.
  996. He knows that.
    He believes that.
  997. His life reflects that.
  998. The exact same truth you heard
  999. from our brother in the first hour
  1000. from John 8.
  1001. Listen, Jesus says it.
  1002. Again, it's not a commandment.
  1003. It's a fact.
  1004. He says if you abide in My Word,
  1005. you are truly My disciples.
  1006. He's not saying abide in My Word.
  1007. Yes, there's places where you can find
  1008. such statements,
  1009. but there are these factual statements
  1010. made all through Scripture,
  1011. that if you are His disciple,
  1012. His Word abides in you.
  1013. Not just that it should.
  1014. And if it doesn't, it shows who you are.
  1015. That's what He was saying to these people.
  1016. Listen, brethren, be honest.
  1017. This is the truth about the blessed man.
  1018. On the whole,
  1019. if you were to drag this man into court,
  1020. and accuse him of being a Bible lover,
  1021. guess what?
  1022. There's evidence to convict him.
  1023. Where are you?
  1024. Oh, isn't it amazing?
  1025. The first psalm - blessings
    which everybody wants.
  1026. And it's got to do with where
  1027. the Word of God is in your life.
  1028. The first first is the negative of that.
  1029. It's the contrary.
  1030. You avoid all those voices that
  1031. are not like this.
  1032. But you delight in the Word.
  1033. You say, I've never killed anybody.
  1034. The wicked? They're not so.
  1035. In other words, if you take them
  1036. into the court room,
  1037. and you say prove that you're a lover
  1038. of the Word,
  1039. the wicked are not so.
  1040. And so if there isn't evidence,
  1041. the wicked is not so.
  1042. Well, I own a Bible.
  1043. In fact, I have three.
  1044. That's not what's being said here.
  1045. Do you delight in it?
  1046. You say, yeah, I delight in it.
  1047. Are you meditating on it day and night?
  1048. Can you go three days,
    four days, five days, seven days
  1049. and you're not in it?
  1050. You see, again, brethren,
  1051. this is not telling you what you ought
  1052. to be doing.
  1053. This is telling you what you are.
  1054. This is the delight of the man.
  1055. Look, what you don't want to do
  1056. is walk away from this message and say,
  1057. well, you know what?
  1058. My delight is really in video games;
  1059. hanging out with my friends;
  1060. listening to the new music.
  1061. You know, what I find delight in
  1062. is sex and money and fun...
  1063. I guess I better start reading my Bible,
  1064. even though it's not what
    you really delight to do.
  1065. You see, it's not doing that.
  1066. It's saying no, the truth is
  1067. if you can leave that Bible on the shelf,
  1068. there's not a panting
    in your soul after it.
  1069. Look, I recognize there are dry seasons.
  1070. But do you hear what's being said?
  1071. On the whole, I don't have to
  1072. invent a bunch of exceptions here.
  1073. And I don't have to define this
  1074. in super amounts of detail.
  1075. Because God doesn't think it's
  1076. that necessary to do it.
  1077. He simply says this,
  1078. the blessed man delights
  1079. in the law of the Lord
  1080. and in that law, he
    meditates day and night.
  1081. Period.
  1082. That's what God says.
  1083. I don't need to amend that.
  1084. I don't need to add to that.
  1085. And brethren, what you need to ask
  1086. is be honest.
  1087. Does that reflect your life?
  1088. Because if it doesn't,
  1089. the wicked are not so.
  1090. Like I said, the wicked isn't just wicked
  1091. because he's torturing
    people in his basement.
  1092. The wicked is just the guy
  1093. that doesn't delight in the Word.
  1094. He's not like the righteous person.
  1095. That's what we have here.
  1096. The righteous man -
  1097. he hungers.
  1098. There's something desirable.
  1099. Why?
  1100. Why?
  1101. Because the Spirit has opened his eyes
  1102. and this Word is now living.
  1103. And when he looks into it,
  1104. it's like... Wow!
  1105. There's wisdom.
  1106. It opens the window to the glory of God.
  1107. And in these pages,
  1108. he sees Christ.
  1109. He's never seen anything like it before.
  1110. He might have looked
    at it when he was lost,
  1111. but now it's just altogether new.
  1112. Don't fool yourself.
  1113. If you're able to be away from this Word;
  1114. it's just a dry, dead letter,
  1115. and basically being in it is a chore.
  1116. It's like you know when you assess
  1117. your Christian life,
  1118. it's like, well yes, I read.
  1119. Yeah, I've kind of got that in place
  1120. these last few days.
  1121. I've really forced myself.
  1122. I disciplined myself.
  1123. Although typically, I can go long seasons
  1124. with watching a whole lot more TV
  1125. than I ever get in the Word;
  1126. and be on the Internet a whole lot more
  1127. than I'd ever be in the Word.
  1128. Exposing myself to all sorts of voices.
  1129. Brethren, let's just be honest.
  1130. His delight is in the law of the Lord,
  1131. and on His law, he
    meditates day and night.
  1132. And the wicked are not so.
  1133. So we have a picture here in v. 3.
  1134. The righteous man - the blessed man,
  1135. he is like a tree
  1136. planted by the streams (plural)
  1137. of water that yields its fruit
  1138. in its season.
  1139. And it's leaf does not wither.
  1140. In all that he does, he prospers.
  1141. The wicked are not so,
  1142. but are like chaff
  1143. that the wind drives away.
  1144. We're given this picture.
  1145. And again, brethren, I'm going to
  1146. keep emphasizing this.
  1147. This tells us the truth about ourselves.
  1148. Nothing tells the truth about us
  1149. like the Bible does.
  1150. Spiritually speaking,
  1151. all men are either (incomplete thought).
  1152. Have you ever been -
  1153. I don't know up and down
  1154. the San Antonio River -
  1155. I don't think I've seen much of the river
  1156. other than right here in San Antonio.
  1157. But I've been to different places
  1158. on the Guadalupe River.
  1159. Have you ever seen those cypresses?
  1160. Oh, there are some downtown
  1161. along the Riverwalk.
  1162. You know those cypresses?
  1163. Great big, massive trees.
  1164. And you know where they grow?
  1165. They only grow right alongside the river.
  1166. You can try to plant them other places,
  1167. but if you don't give them steady water,
  1168. they just don't make it.
  1169. Great big trees,
  1170. like a great big cypress tree
  1171. planted along the Guadalupe River
  1172. with roots that go down into soil
  1173. that's moist and life-giving
  1174. all the time.
  1175. That's what the righteous is like.
  1176. The unrighteous - a pile of chaff.
  1177. You know what?
  1178. When we look at each other
  1179. like we can look at each other right here.
  1180. I can't see that difference,
  1181. but it's true.
  1182. Spiritually speaking,
  1183. if we could pull back the veil,
  1184. some are these massive cypress trees,
  1185. planted along the rivers (plural).
  1186. Rivers.
  1187. Abundance.
  1188. And some are just a pile of chaff.
  1189. That's the comparison here.
  1190. Tree. Chaff.
  1191. You see the difference?
  1192. Your life. My life.
  1193. Tree or chaff.
  1194. What's your life like?
  1195. It's just radical difference.
  1196. You see, there's no shades here.
  1197. There's no degrees here.
  1198. It's not like, well, you've got
  1199. a chaff-y looking tree over there.
  1200. No, none of that.
  1201. You're one or the other.
  1202. People don't tend to realize
  1203. the radical difference between
  1204. the Christian and the non-Christian.
  1205. The roots of this tree go deep down.
  1206. This man whose heart and mind
  1207. and soul - the roots go down deep
  1208. into the words of Christ.
  1209. The law of the Lord.
  1210. They go down into His commandments,
  1211. His Word, and they're
    pulling the nutrients up.
  1212. You see, didn't Christ say,
  1213. "Sanctify them by Thy truth.
  1214. Thy Word is truth."
  1215. The sanctifying power of the Spirit of God
  1216. comes through - his
    delight is in this law.
  1217. And in this law, he looks in.
  1218. He sees the character of God.
  1219. He sees the beauties of Christ.
  1220. And it's transformative.
  1221. Those roots go down.
  1222. The chaff? The chaff has no roots.
  1223. You look at your life.
  1224. No real roots in here.
  1225. You don't memorize this.
  1226. You don't meditate on this.
  1227. The Word is not controlling.
  1228. Instead, you've subjected yourself
  1229. to worldly opinions.
  1230. Worldly counsels.
  1231. Worldly mindsets.
  1232. All the time, you're being bombarded.
  1233. So it's very easy to put
    a little Christian title
  1234. on music that's otherwise just ungodly.
  1235. We can Christianize just about everything.
  1236. But the truth is,
  1237. the man who spends a lot of time
  1238. in this Word -
  1239. he can smell out the difference.
  1240. He's not just looking at the name
  1241. because you can be like Sardis.
  1242. You can have a name, but you're dead.
  1243. And the person whose heart
  1244. and mind and soul
  1245. are down in the depths of this
  1246. moisture-rich soil of the Word of Christ,
  1247. they can tell those things.
  1248. Because it gives them discernment.
  1249. They see.
  1250. Which are you?
  1251. A tree versus chaff.
  1252. They have nothing in common.
  1253. The tree is fruitful.
  1254. The fruits of the Spirit.
  1255. You see, there's a person
  1256. who spends a lot of time in this book.
  1257. Their roots are planted here.
  1258. And that Word abides in them.
  1259. It stays.
  1260. They're not hearers only.
  1261. But they're doers.
  1262. And they go forth
  1263. and as they do the Word,
  1264. this fruit of the Spirit,
  1265. they go up and it's rich.
  1266. By this, our Father is well pleased,
  1267. that we bring forth much fruit.
  1268. There's an abundance of fruit.
  1269. Love - the fruit of love.
  1270. And there's joy.
  1271. And there's the fruits of the Spirit.
  1272. Chaff is not fruit.
  1273. Chaff is the stuff on the outside
  1274. of the kernel or the grain.
  1275. It's the stuff that gets taken off
  1276. and it's winnowed away.
  1277. The wind blows it away.
  1278. You don't want it.
  1279. It's useless.
  1280. There's no good use for it.
  1281. Nothing like a tree at all.
  1282. It's entirely different.
  1283. There's no roots.
  1284. There's no fruit.
  1285. The fruit that it brings forth -
  1286. the fruit in this person's life
  1287. is really useless.
  1288. So, the question is this,
  1289. will you be honest with yourself?
  1290. Is the Word of God your light?
  1291. Your sustenance? Your love?
  1292. Your portal into the very mind of Christ?
  1293. Is that not what we're told?
  1294. We have the mind of Christ.
  1295. I can go into the recesses
  1296. of the mind of Christ in this book.
  1297. And the Spirit reveals and teaches me.
  1298. Brethren, is that what it is?
  1299. The window into the very glories of God?
  1300. The wicked are not so.
  1301. Let's be honest.
  1302. Be honest.
  1303. You say, wow, if I'm going to be honest,
  1304. I'm in the category of the wicked.
  1305. It makes me very uncomfortable.
  1306. I don't like that title.
  1307. But I don't know much how I can
  1308. put myself in this other camp.
  1309. How do I get to where
  1310. you're saying the blessed man is?
  1311. Notice v. 3.
  1312. "He is like a tree planted
    by streams of water."
  1313. Isn't that interesting
  1314. that God moves David
  1315. (incomplete thought);
  1316. We know that some trees -
  1317. a seed falls.
  1318. It germinates.
  1319. And you get a tree.
  1320. But you know what's interesting?
  1321. That's not the picture.
  1322. The picture is of a tree
    that gets planted.
  1323. I've planted a lot of trees.
  1324. Trees just don't end up there,
  1325. unless they get planted.
  1326. And a tree doesn't plant itself.
  1327. Someone puts it there.
  1328. And there's only one
    way that you get planted.
  1329. See, this is what I don't
    want to have happen.
  1330. Don't say to yourself
  1331. I'm not like that,
  1332. so I better get my act together
  1333. and get like that.
  1334. And so you know what I'm going to do?
  1335. I am going to go home
  1336. and even though I haven't been
  1337. in the Word much
  1338. and there's dust on the cover...
  1339. And Spurgeon said one place
  1340. many of you can write damnation
  1341. in the dust on your Bibles.
  1342. The way out of this is not to go home
  1343. and clean the dust off
  1344. and open it.
  1345. Reading Scripture is not
    how you get planted.
  1346. I'm not saying it's a bad thing.
  1347. You can find the Christ in these words.
  1348. Undoubtedly.
  1349. But brethren, the ticket here...
  1350. The path
  1351. is not to say, well,
  1352. I better start coming to church more.
  1353. Better get in the Word more.
  1354. I better start doing, doing, doing.
  1355. Don't say that to yourself.
  1356. Though I would really rather play
  1357. video games and watch movies
  1358. and spend endless hours on Facebook.
  1359. And though I'd rather hang
    out with my friends
  1360. and do a thousand other things.
  1361. I better force myself into the Bible.
  1362. Though I find it dull and lifeless,
  1363. for me - life, vigor, living it up...
  1364. it's watching the game.
  1365. It's in sports.
  1366. It's in freedom.
  1367. That's where it is.
  1368. Even though I really don't
  1369. have a love for the brethren.
  1370. I don't have a love for
  1371. the breaking of bread
  1372. and remembering Christ and what He did
  1373. and singing those songs.
  1374. I don't really have a love for all that.
  1375. I don't have a love for
    the apostle's doctrine
  1376. and for that preaching
    that goes on,
  1377. and for the Word,
  1378. and no love of prayer.
  1379. But I better get my act together
  1380. because I don't want to lose my soul.
  1381. Brethren, look, you don't need religion.
  1382. That's not how you get planted.
  1383. I think, "And can it be?"
  1384. You remember Charles Wesley?
  1385. John Wesley?
  1386. George Whitefield?
  1387. You remember where they were?
  1388. The holy club.
  1389. They gave their money.
  1390. They visited people in prison.
  1391. And you know what, in the end,
  1392. the Spirit of God convicted them all -
  1393. it was a hopeless path,
  1394. and they were helpless.
  1395. Religion is never the way.
  1396. We talked about Luther.
  1397. Blessednesses - Luther tried it.
  1398. Went to the monastery.
  1399. Religion never works.
  1400. That's not the ticket.
  1401. That's not how you get planted.
  1402. You say, how? Tell me.
  1403. Tell me.
  1404. The answer is this:
  1405. it's found in John 3:3.
  1406. It's, "Truly, truly, I say to you,
  1407. unless one is born again,
  1408. he cannot see the Kingdom of God."
  1409. Yeah, but you didn't
    tell me anything to do.
  1410. Again, you're just stating the fact.
  1411. What does this look like?
  1412. Brethren, here's what it looks like.
  1413. Jesus said - same discourse -
  1414. When the Spirit comes,
  1415. He is going to convict men of sin,
  1416. of righteousness,
  1417. of judgment.
  1418. And you know what happens?
  1419. God plants us.
  1420. And you know what happens?
  1421. Sin. Something begins to happen,
  1422. and the Spirit causes it to happen.
  1423. You think about it.
  1424. Conviction.
  1425. Where does that happen?
  1426. You might say the conscience.
  1427. But it happens in the mind.
  1428. The Spirit begins to cause us
  1429. to think different.
  1430. Suddenly, sin... sin!
  1431. And maybe at first, you're even agitated.
  1432. That was what was true with me.
  1433. Not that I'm the standard,
  1434. but I remember in the very beginning,
  1435. this emptiness; this hollowness.
  1436. And I just wanted Him to leave me alone.
  1437. God, leave me alone
  1438. and let me go back and enjoy...
  1439. and much like Pilgrim
    in Pilgrim's Progress,
  1440. you get worldly wise men.
  1441. Go try religion.
  1442. And that's where he went.
  1443. He went hiking up there.
  1444. Sometimes we get upset.
  1445. But brethren, I remember clearly
  1446. the night the Spirit of God showed me
  1447. my sin was wicked and I deserved hell,
  1448. and if God didn't put me there -
  1449. and you see, that's the
    conviction that comes.
  1450. We start to feel this weight of sin.
  1451. Salvation has to do with sin.
  1452. And Jesus said that He did not
  1453. come for the well.
  1454. And it is not until we're unwell -
  1455. and it's the Spirit of God who causes
  1456. that to happen.
  1457. Not just to freak out
  1458. because we happen to hear a message
  1459. and it says I must be one of the wicked.
  1460. Brethren, it's when you want your sin
  1461. dealt with.
  1462. It's the Spirit of God causing
    something to happen;
  1463. beginning to disturb us.
  1464. Sin becomes disturbing.
  1465. We can't just coddle with it anymore.
  1466. Something is happening.
  1467. Something begins to happen.
  1468. And maybe at first,
  1469. you don't know that
    it's God that's doing it.
  1470. But something begins to happen to you.
  1471. And something that
    never happened before.
  1472. Something that hasn't
    happened like this before.
  1473. And then, righteousness...
  1474. there's this desparate sense -
  1475. this in itself isn't salvation,
  1476. because I have a feeling
  1477. the rich, young ruler felt this.
  1478. But you begin to get this sense:
  1479. something's missing.
  1480. I need more than I have
  1481. to get right with God.
  1482. Do we know that religion isn't doing it?
  1483. You see, that's what the Wesley's
    and Whitefield were trying.
  1484. This holy club.
  1485. They were trying to do all their stuff.
  1486. But John Wesley looked at those Moravians,
  1487. and he said, I'm missing something.
  1488. Something isn't there.
  1489. You see, the Spirit convicts of sin,
  1490. and righteousness - or a lack
  1491. of our righteousness.
  1492. The fact we need more than we have.
  1493. The fact we need something.
  1494. And then judgment.
  1495. I'm not ready to stand before God.
  1496. I'm not ready for this.
  1497. I'm not ready.
  1498. And then something is
    happening in the soul.
  1499. Brethren, it doesn't always look identical
  1500. in everybody,
  1501. but that's what Christ said
  1502. that the Spirit of God would do.
  1503. And that's what happens.
  1504. When people are being born again,
  1505. the Spirit of God is doing something
  1506. in the heart of men
  1507. concerning sin and righteousness
  1508. and judgment.
  1509. And then you know what happens.
  1510. He came to exalt Christ.
  1511. And there, in our despair,
  1512. is all the crutches, and all the counsels,
  1513. and all the things we rested on,
  1514. and all our hopes
  1515. and all that we put our stock in.
  1516. It's just crumbling away
  1517. and we can't find...
  1518. I need something else.
  1519. And sometimes the Spirit of God
  1520. lets people get to
  1521. an amazing place of despair.
  1522. But look, it doesn't matter how much.
  1523. That's not the issue.
  1524. The issue is that then
  1525. the Spirit causes the scales to fall off.
  1526. That's what happened to Paul.
  1527. The scales fell off.
  1528. Of you've got it in 2 Corinthians,
  1529. it's like the veil is pulled back.
  1530. And just like God said in the beginning,
  1531. let there be light.
  1532. He shows us this glorious light
  1533. in the very face of Jesus Christ.
  1534. And you know what begins to happen?
  1535. We hear this message of salvation
  1536. and the Spirit speaks to us.
  1537. It's for you.
  1538. It's for you.
  1539. It's relevant to you.
  1540. This crucified Christ.
  1541. And we see that.
  1542. We see that this message is for us.
  1543. We hear those life-giving words.
  1544. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
  1545. and you will be saved.
  1546. And like that lady,
  1547. we become convinced,
  1548. if I can just touch the
    hem of His garment,
  1549. I'll be healed.
  1550. Brethren, that's what happens.
  1551. We accept the truth.
  1552. You accept the truth
  1553. that Christ Jesus came into the world
  1554. to die for sinners.
  1555. And that is music to your ears.
  1556. That there is a way;
  1557. there is a remedy;
  1558. there is a Doctor;
  1559. there is a way to be healed.
  1560. You believe that truth for you.
  1561. And you will come to look up and recognize
  1562. God has planted me
  1563. beside these waters
  1564. and I long after that book
  1565. and for the truths and the promises in it
  1566. and the Word of Christ.
  1567. Brethren, it's not a
    psalm of commandments.
  1568. It's a psalm that says it like it is.
  1569. The Word of God shows us who we are.
  1570. Father, I pray
  1571. this message would
    go deep into the hearts.
  1572. Lord, if there are imperatives
  1573. and responsibilities and instruction
  1574. for us to take practically
  1575. to apply to our lives.
  1576. Then may it be taken
  1577. and may it be practiced
  1578. and may it be applied.
  1579. But Lord, I pray that this Word
  1580. would be what it seems like
  1581. You intended it to be.
  1582. A light to shine and expose and reveal
  1583. the very character of every one of us
  1584. in this room.
  1585. And I pray that it would have that effect.
  1586. I pray it in the name of
    our Lord Jesus Christ,
  1587. Amen.