Who Speaks Truth

Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 9:51 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “For Our Nation.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 15 (NIV84).

A psalm of David.

Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.

Blameless Walks

If we want to live (abide) in God’s holy presence, among his family members, and with him as our covering of protection, and as our refuge from the storms of this life - in sweet fellowship and communion with him - then we must walk blamelessly, not in the sense of in absolute sinless perfection, but in accord with the truth of God’s word; with integrity and purity of mind and heart, and in unadulterated commitment and surrender to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God (See: 1 Jn. 1-5).

So, how can we do this? We can’t! In our flesh dwells no good thing. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. We can do nothing to earn or to deserve to be included in God’s household. That is why God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins so that we could be made righteous by the blood of the Lamb. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can we be declared blameless in God’s sight, yet such faith is not merely some nod in God’s direction, either. True Biblical faith requires that we die with Christ to living according to sin and self, and that we are raised with him by the Spirit of God to walk in newness of life, no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit who is now within us (See: Luke 9:23-25; Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6-8; 2 Co. 5:15; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24-25).

In other words, this is not just Old Covenant teaching. This is New Covenant teaching, too. True faith shows itself to be genuine by what we do, not in works of the flesh, but in humble surrender to our Lord God in cooperating fully with his work of grace in our lives. If we are claiming to have faith in Jesus Christ but we are still walking according to the flesh, then we are liars. Again, this is not suggesting that we will live in sinless perfection, or that we will never fail, but rather that we are surrendered to our Lord, committed to obedience to his word, submissive to his will for our lives, and that how we live our lives day in and day out should match what we say we believe, i.e. that Jesus Christ did save us from not only the punishment of sin but from the control sin had had over our lives before we met Jesus.

Speaks Truth

God knows who is speaking the truth and who is telling lies. There is nothing hidden from God’s sight. We live in an age of deception. TV and the internet have greatly expanded the possibilities for so many different ways in which people can lie to one another and deceive and trick one another. We have to be so discerning, and pray, pray, pray so that we do not fall prey to deception. Not one of us is exempt, either. Deceivers are very stealthy. In other words, not all deception is easily discerned because so much of it is mixed or masked with just enough truth to make it look real or to sound legitimate. We have to be bathed in the word of God and not filling our minds with the filth of this world, though, if we are going to be discerning of what is in error. And, we have to continually test what we hear to see if it is consistent with God’s word and with his divine character and will.

The sad reality here, though, is that we are not talking about a problem that exists merely among the unsaved of this world. Deception is rampant in the church, too, and coming from the shepherds of the people, and from the people themselves. So many Christians are living no different from people in this world. They watch all the same TV shows, tell the same jokes, and try to make everyone happy, comfortable and entertained so they don’t feel bad about their sin. They have bought into a fake gospel message which then they disseminate so that others can have the same false hope as them. This fake gospel requires nothing of the “sinner turned saint” at all – no death to sin, no submission, no surrender and no obedience to God’s words. He does not have to walk uprightly at all. There is no need for the fear of the Lord, because he has his ticket into heaven, so he is good to go.

Because of this, many people pray a prayer thinking they have their ticket into heaven and thus have carte blanche to continue living how they want without guilt and without need for remorse. Or, maybe they have been Christians for many years, and they used to believe in the gospel taught by the apostles, but they have since gotten so caught up in sin that they are looking for a loophole (a way out), and so this fake gospel fits the bill. Freedom in Christ for them means sin doesn’t matter to God anymore so they can toss away those boundaries God set in place for us and discard them as though they are nothing because they have bought into the lie which says obedience and surrender to God and to his word is “legalism” and true grace releases them from such “legalism.” Yet, this makes no sense, because they are contradicting the very words of God in Tit. 2:11-14:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

No Wrong

As those who love God and who have been called according to his purpose for our lives we must walk in the Spirit and in obedience to the Word of God. If we are truly walking in the Spirit, by faith, and we are daily submitting our flesh to the control of the Spirit within us, then we should also love our fellow humans with a godlike love. This means we will not willfully or purposefully do what is harmful to others, by God’s standards of what is harmful, not by human standards. What is harmful is hating, murdering, lying, cheating, stealing, slandering, gossiping, persecuting, punishing, committing adultery, and saying harsh and mean-spirited words meant to hurt them, et al. In 1 John we read that if we say we love God but we hate our brothers, we are liars.

Who Honors

Lastly, we must be a people of God who hate what God hates and who honor what or who God honors. We have this so backwards in today’s church. What is vile is honored among men, even in the church - among Christians - and what God decides is honorable is despised. The church shies away from talking about sin, judgment, damnation, obedience and surrender to Christ and to his word because it makes people uncomfortable and it might offend some people they want to have come back to their meetings. Much of today’s church likes to keep it light and happy, non-judgmental, and non-threatening. So, they alter the gospel to make it fit with today’s culture so that they can attract large crowds of people into their meetings, and so the world will feel comfortable and will want to come back. They are so concerned about not offending people, but they are not concerned that they are offending God.

And yet they will allow and will promote movies in their worship services via the use of movie clips as sermon illustrations, thinking they are connecting with the people. They are, but many of these movie clips come from R-rated movies or from movies with sexual promiscuity, nudity, filthy language, sexual perversion, and/or which glorify treating others different from us with disdain and with disregard and/or with mockery.

Even pastors will use religious humor in their sermons which mock God and his word, and they think nothing of it. And, yet these same pastors will preach against those who take God seriously and who hold to the gospel as taught by the apostles, and they will bring them to public mockery or will teach their people to not encourage participation by such people. I have heard pastors stand on the platform and tell people in the church that if they are not on-board or “on the same page” with the leadership in their man-made goals and marketing schemes that they should go someplace else. I have had at least two pastors tell me they would be glad to help me find someplace that would be a “better fit” for me. One of them told me he was warned in his training to avoid people like me with strong convictions. Is this what God’s word teaches us? That we should avoid other believers because they hold to the truths of God’s holy word as taught by the apostles?

We need to put away all of these schemes and idols of human origin and we need to humble ourselves before God in submission and surrender to his will, and we need to take God and his word seriously. He will judge his adulterous church, yet not to destroy her, but to rescue her from her adultery so that he can revive and renew her. God is calling to his church to repent and to return to him. Honor him as holy and stop giving honor to what is vile.

For Our Nation / An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.