Converting the Soul
Standard;Ps 19:1 <<To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.>> The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world.
The heavens declare the existence of God. No other testimony is needed. The sky is common to all on earth. To all terrains, to all cultures. We share the same moon, the same sun, the same stars. Clouds, storms, deep blue skies. Who put them there?
The heavens are the graffittied railway cars that say “God was/is here!” Can anyone seriously gaze at the sky and deny the existence of God?
As immense as the sky is.....God is larger.
As faithful as the sunrise and sunset is....God is more faithful.
As sure as the stars guide, God's guidance is even surer
As stormy as the clouds can be....God's wrath is stormier.
As peaceful as the most serene sunrise....God's peace is infinitely more serene.
In them (the heavens) He has set a tabernacle (a tent) for the sun,
5 Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
6 Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
And just as nothing on this earth can escape the reality and the effects of the sun, nothing on earth can escape the reality and the effects and the presence of a holy God.
Ps 139:7 Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence?
7 The law (the Torah which comes from a Hebrew Word (yara) which means to aim or point) This is one of the purposes of the written Word of God. It is to point us to the way. Ultimately, this Word points us to Jesus who said in Jn 14:6,
Joh 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The Law of the Lord, (the pointer of the Lord) is perfect, (that is, complete, without error. Ps 119:160 “ The entirety of Your Word is truth.” “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet....helping you along the way.
All that is needed to find the way of salvation is found in these pages
It is perfect for converting the soul. What does it mean to convert a soul? It means to restore to it's original condition. Many of you can recall the words of Psalm 23, “He restoreth my soul,” same word as used here for converting. The original condition of the soul of man is found in the Garden of Eden, unstained, unmarred, by sin, Adam and Eve were in perfect fellowship with God.
How many of you remember Homer Formby? He had a line of products that people would buy to restore old furniture. If you look at the front of your bulletin, you will see a typical before and after photo of furniture restored.
Well that “before” photo on the left is what your soul looks like without Jesus. So this Word is perfect for pointing us to Jesus , who is the Homer Formby for our soul, restoring our soul to what it was created to be.
Yes, this Word, can do all that as it points out our sin, and shows us our need to be restored, our need for a Savior, and then it shows us a Savior who lived a perfect, sinless life, then died on the cross to pay for all the sins of the world. And
“Joh 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
Mr 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Not only is this Word good for restoring our soul....for salvation, but, it helps maintain our soul as well.
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; (God's sworn testimony, His promises of Scripture, when believed and trusted will bring godly wisdom to the simplest of minds.)
Not only that, but:
8 The statutes (the rules of His kingdom) of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; (His “do's and dont's will ultimately bring rejoicing to His children because His do's and dont's were designed to help us function as we were made to function. (If furniture could have feelings, how would the one on the right feel compared to the one on the left.)
God's Word is designed to bring out the best in you. Jer 29:11 For I know the purposes which I am purposing for you, says the LORD; purposes of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
You don't use a chainsaw to trim weeds. You don't use a fork to eat soup. That's not what they were made for! And human beings were, and let's go thru the ten commandments here, not made to ignore God or worship other things, we weren't made to curse or swear, we weren't made to ignore a day of rest, or to be disrespectful to parents or to murder other human beings, or to be unfaithful to our spouses, or to steal, or to lie, or to be discontent with what we have been given by God.
To engage in these activities is to steal the joy that comes from being what you were intended to be.
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; (Like eye salve, the commandment (The Ten commandments as a unit) are authoritative prescriptions that give you spiritual sight
God (the doctor) has written the prescriptions. Jesus (the insurance company) has paid for the prescriptions, now let the Holy Spirit pharmacist dispense them in your life.
The ten commandments are authoritative prescriptions for Christian living. They are spiritual pills....that's why God put them on tablets. They won't save you, (only Jesus can do that by grace thru faith, but they serve as great check ups to see if you are spiritually healthy. But they won't do you any good unless you ingest them. As the Lutheran, Catholic, and Episcopal liturgy says:
Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
Do you want to keep that furniture (your soul) looking good? Then have a healthy fear of the Lord. He has the power to bring judgment into your life. He has the power to rock your boat, to shake up your world for the sole purpose of warning you to not bring damage to the soul that was refurbished at an awful price.
Remember, your soul does not belong to you. It was paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. He doesn't want you to get careless with it, he doesn't want to turn it back over to the devil.
David understands the gravity of the situation. He understands what sin can do to his soul and so he prays:
12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.
Sometimes when working with furniture there can be imperfections that are hidden. You don't see them right away. The refinishing process has not gone deep enough and little cracks or imperfections can surface. And so David says, “Go get em' God. Go dig up the imperfections, show them to me that I might confess them and receive your cleansing and forgiveness.
13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
The King James says, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins, let them not have dominion over me; then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
Presumptuous sin.......the great transgression. It's when you know it's wrong, but you do it anyway. It's like purposely putting a hot cup of coffee on the beautifully refinished coffee table, knowing full well it will leave an ugly ring. No, it's worse than that, you can always superficially cover up the ring and pretend it isn't there. No it's worse, it's like it's like taking a key and purposefully ruining the finish.
That's what presumptuous sin does to your soul.
And David prays earnestly, “ God don't let me do it! Tackle me! Ground me! Take away the keys to the car! Do whatever it takes to keep me from going there! (Parents should understand this about their children. They want you to stop them from crossing a line. They don't want the green light to the motel room on prom night!
O God, don't ever let me presume upon your grace. That's what a presumptuous sin is, presuming on the grace of God. Don't ever let me think that I can do what I please and you are obligated to forgive and restore me! Don't let me purposely do damage to my restored soul!
Nu 15:30 But the soul who acts with a high hand, whether of the native or of the alien, the same blasphemes the LORD. And that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
By the way, if you read on in Numbers you see this law was immediately applied to a man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath. He was taken outside the camp and by God's command stoned to death. You see God's command was clear, He said in Ex 35:3, You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath Day.”
But this man's attitude was, “I'll build a fire whenever I feel like it!” I can always confess it as sin later on....it'll be taken care of. Well he paid for it, and he paid for it so that he would serve as an example for you and I. This is not about breaking a Sabbath law, it is about presuming upon God's grace and pushing God to the point where He will cut you off from His grace.
Do you really want to play with that kind of fire? I tell you in the church today we have a whole slew of professing Christians playing with matches. Do you want to mar that piece of furniture which is your soul to the point that God just tosses it out?
It's not that He can't restore it. There is no sin you have committed that he won't or can't forgive. There is no soul that cannot be restored. It's the faucet of your “I don't care” attitude that slowly squeezes off God's rich supply of mercy and grace.
Heb 10:29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will be thought worthy to receive punishment, the one who has trampled the Son of God, and who has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy ( a common, a cheap) thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
No wonder the Psalmist calls it the great transgression!
Ro 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? Certainly not!
Oh, but we are all guilty of presumptuous sins aren't we? We know we shouldn't join in the character assassination around the water cooler. There is even a check in our spirit....but we plunge on ahead anyway. We know we shouldn't say that word or think that thought but we go ahead anyway,
We know we shouldn't shack up, cheat, divorce, or remarry after a divorce, but we do it anyway.
Is there any hope? Yes there is and don't miss it in this Psalm. He says don't let them (presumptuous sins) have “dominion over me. Let our presumptuous sins be the exception and not the rule.
It's when those presumptuous sins dominate our lives that we have a problem. Don't let cheap grace govern your actions, because if you keep regarding grace as cheap......you know, easy come, easy go.......God may choose to show you how easy it can depart from you.
And without His grace, you can't call on Him to be saved if you tried!
Saul lost it through his willful disobedience in overstepping his bounds as king and wept and pleaded to have it back. But to know avail.
You've seen it, I've seen it. We've seen it in people who have walked away from the faith just so they can continue in a sinful lifestyle. Presumptuous sin is governing their lives. They may claim to be holy and even attend church, but in their presumptuous sin, they are trampling on the grace of God and playing with fire.
How about you? Are there presumptuous sins in your life? Are they dominating you? Are they calling the shots rather than God's Word? Well, you've come to the right place. You've heard the right message.
You have not been put to death for your presumptuous sins, you haven't died in them. You still have breath in your body and you like the thief on the cross, are still able to call on the Lord for forgiveness through heartfelt repentance and confession. God is waiting for you.
2Ch 15:2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.
Isa 55:6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.
Ac 2:21 And it shall be that everyone who shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
You shall be refinished, you shall be restored!
Now, that you and I have been made aware of the dangers of presumptuous sins. Pray with David that the Lord would do whatever it takes to restrain you from committing them. He knew where his redemption, his restoration came from. He knew where the strength to remain redeemed and restored came from and so he concluded:
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
Let his prayer be our prayer this day and forevermore. Amen