To set up the passage, we need to look at the progression and planting in Psalm 1
The progression begins with opening your ears to the wrong voices and culminates with sitting in the seat of the scoffer. A scoffer is someone who sits in condemnation of everything. Once you’re there, it’s really hard to get up from that seat because you become rooted there. Christians are not exempt from this.
Watch the entire sermon here:
The Primary Command:
1. Press On To Maturity (vv. 1-2)
Leave the simplicity of the gospel - it’s the foundation you build on, not the place you live.
2. God Is Sovereign (v. 3)
There is a settled determination to pursue spiritual growth and theological depth. Resources are brought to bear on this.
There is also an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty and His permissive will governing all things. Two sides to the same coin: God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Responsibility
3. Falling Away
This passage does NOT teach that a true believer can lose their salvation.
Philippians 1:6 – For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
These verses teach that there are many in the church who are fully convinced they’re saved, but they’ve never repented and placed their faith in Christ. In the end, they’ll fall away and wont’ be saved.
The warning is to examine the fruit of your life. Salvation always leads to sanctification. Those who are saved will produce fruit. Read the parable of the soils in Mark 4.
4. Where’s the Fruit?
Loop back to Psalm 1
Rather than listening to the wrong voices and sitting in the seat of the scoffer, plant yourself by the good streams of living water. It matters who you spend time with and listen to. You will be influenced.
How To Plant Yourself
by Streams of Living Water
• Read More
• Pray More
the more you read the Bible
the more you’re planting yourself by streams of LIVING water
the more you’ll enjoy God and love Him.
the more you pray, the deeper your communion with Christ will be
God speaks to us through His Word. We speak to Him through prayer.
• Engage More
The Christian life is far more than just a few hours on Sunday morning. We need to engage not just in the worship gathering, but throughout the week. Sunday morning is the icing on the cake from the past week and also the foundation of next week. You’re handed a bag with ingredients and a recipe each Sunday. Bring it back next week for the icing (rinse, wash, repeat).
A CAKE RECIPE:
Monday - read yesterday’s sermon passage
Review the Head, Heart, and Hand of the passage.
Pray for yourself and your family to digest and apply the Scripture.
Tuesday - repeat Monday’s review. Be sure you’re on target with whatever Bible reading plan you’re on (If you need help with one, contact me and I’ll help you find one).
Pray for those you know well in the church. Those in your home group, Sunday school class, or discipleship group. Pray that they can digest and apply the Scripture to their lives. Pray Colossians 1:9-14 for them.
Wednesday - Read last week’s passage and this coming Sunday’s passage together. Look for connections. You might want to go back a few more verses or ahead a few to keep the context and flow of the passage together.
Pray for others in our church. Expand outside of your “usual group” and pray for others. Pray for any specific needs you know of. Pray that the Lord would be at work in our midst.
Thursday - Repeat yesterday’s reading. Continue with your usual reading plan.
Pray for the pastors as they prepare for the service. Thursdays are typically fully devoted to sermon prep for me and I covet everyone’s prayers as I seek the Lord’s direction for the message in my study.
Friday - Read the passage for this coming Sunday. Think about what the major emphasis of the passage could be. (Don’t forget about your own regular reading plan)
Pray for yourself and fellow church members that we would all prepare our hearts for our time together this Sunday morning.
Saturday. - Read the passage a couple of times.
Pray for everyone leading in the service and in Sunday school tomorrow.
Remember: Sunday morning actually begins on Saturday night both spiritually, and practically. What can you do on Saturday to make tomorrow morning’s getting out of the house and to church go smoother?
• Serve More
Everyone is called to serve Christ in the context of their local church in some way. This is not a call to add one more thing to your serving list. If you’re not serving - you need to start NOW (contact a pastor to find the best place to serve). If you’re serving already, the “More” is a call to fine-tune how you serve. You might need to drop one area in order to serve better in another. You might need to switch all together. The idea here is to bring your skills, abilities, passions, and resources together in the best possible mix to most effectively serve Christ in your church. Talk to one of the pastors about this - any of us would be happy to help you think through the best way for you to serve.
The Bottom Line?
Remember the main thrust of this passage:
Press on to Maturity - what are you going to do this week to grow in sanctification and in your knowledge of God?
Falling Away - You can be in the church your whole life, hear all the sermons participate in all the classes and home groups, go on the trips, be a leader, serve on committees, and still be headed to hell…..
You can be right ABOUT the Gospel
And not be right WITH God
When a meal is set before you:
Don’t just taste it. You must chew it and swallow. Just a taste can be sweet, but there’s no real benefit.
Turn away from your self-righteous ways
from self-centered thinking and place your faith in Jesus Christ alone.
The Head must contain the information.
It must move to and affect the Heart.
The evidence - the fruit - is seen in the Hands.
Hosea 10:12 –
Sow with a view to righteousness,
Reap in accordance with lovingkindness;
Break up the unplowed, hard packed soil of your heart - fallow ground,
Indeed, it is time to seek Yahweh
Until He comes and rains righteousness on you.
The call to those who are saved and serving:
Pray this: Lord, show me unplowed, hard-packed soil of my heart
Show me the thorns and thistles in my life
Uproot me from the seat of scoffers and guide me to plant myself by streams of living water and use my life to produce vegetation useful for those for whose sake it was tilled - let my life not just be blessed personally, but also be blessing from to others as well.
I look forward to preparing the icing for your cake next Sunday! It’s my favorite day of the week!!
Soli Deo Gloria!