Monday, August 25, 2014

Four necessary ingredients for Godly living

Romans 16:25-27 "Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen."

Introducing four ingredients for Godly living
As you study Psalms 109-111 and Romans 16 together, you discover four necessary ingredients for Godly living: 

1. God's Sovereign Goodness
2. God's Inerrant Word
3. Blood Redemption 
4. The Spirit-led (Spirit-filled) heart.  

Foundation #1 God's Sovereign Goodness
On the first read through of Psalm 109 and 110, it may appear that both are opposite, since the Psalmist is being oppressed by his enemies in 109 and seeing prophetic fulfillment in 110.  However upon closer inspection you discover God's Sovereign Goodness as preserving the writer in 109 and being the source of Psalm 110.  In fact it is in Psalm 111 that you see such goodness praised, as well as see His Sovereign Goodness closing out Romans 16. Romans 8:28 reminds us: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.'

Foundation #2: God's Inerrant Word
By beginning with God's Sovereign Goodness as the first foundation for Godly living, we move onto the second: God's inerrant Word.  When we speak of inerrancy, we are simply saying that every word that is in the Bible is true, accurate and without any mixture of error. The character of scripture as being without error finds its source in the fact that God Himself cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2). Essentially, God cannot lie when He speaks words; the Bible is the written Word of God, therefore the Bible is without error. 

Psalm 109-111 all make direct or indirect references to God's covenant to David in 2 Samuel 7:8-16.  The Loving kindness of God shown in that passage sustains the Psalmist in 109, enables the Psalmist to the see Christ reigning in 110 and causes him to praise God in Psalm 111.  God's inerrant Word is the source of the Gospel of salvation spoken of in Romans 16:25.  

If the Bible were not the inerrant Word of God, we could not trust it to relay accurately the Sovereign goodness of God, His dealings with men like David nor trust that the Gospel woven throughout its pages was of saving value. Christian growth requires an inerrant Bible revealed from the Sovereignly Good God. 

Foundation #3 Blood Redemption
The third foundation, blood redemption, is looked forward to Psalms 109-111 and spoken of in Romans 16.  Psalm 111:8 for example reminds us of God sending His redemption and Romans 16:25-26 states that the Gospel would not be possible without God having sent His Son.  Hebrews 12:2-3 underscores the priority of Christ's accomplished work for the Godly life: "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."  So in seeing those three foundations for Godly living: God's Sovereign goodness, inerrant word and Blood redemption, lets look at the final foundation: Spirit-led heart.  

Foundation #4 Spirit-led heart
The Spirit-led or Spirit-filled life is what gives the basis for Christian experience following salvation.  The Holy Spirit is the One who led the Psalmist to write what He wrote under the unique grace of Divine inspiration.  The Holy Spirit enables the saints of God to have glowing testimonies like the ones mentioned in Romans 16.  The Holy Spirit ministers to every Christian by way of three primary ministries: His indwelling of the child of God, His illumination and filling. 

From the moment a person is born again unto and by saving faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells or takes up residence inside the heart or human spirit of a person, bearing witness that they are children of God. (Romans 8:14-16; 1 Corinthians 3:16). 

The second ministry, illumination, defines how the Holy Spirit leads us into the scriptures and His ministry of sanctification that cleanses us to make us more like Jesus.  It is that third ministry, the filling of the Holy Spirit, where the Christian every day heeds the Spirit by the scriptures in active obedience and passive yielding. By the Spirit's leading we are becoming in experience whom God has declared us to be in position: children of God and co-heirs with Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:16-17)  The Spirit-filled life is such a vital foundation because it is all about the Holy Spirit getting more and more of you.

Closing thoughts:

Today we looked at four important foundations for the Christian life: 
1. God's Sovereign Goodness
2. God's Inerrant Word
3. Blood Redemption 
4. The Spirit-led (or Spirit-filled) heart. 

Let these four foundations be ones upon which you live for Jesus Christ to the glory of God.

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