Monday, March 28, 2016
The Godly Versus The Ungodly
Modern Christians have adopted a style of music called Praise and Worship, implying that the church did not praise or worship properly until the style was created. In Colossians 3:16, Paul directed the Christians , “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” He makes a similar statement in Ephesians 5:19-20. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”
Psalms and Hymns are both songs of praise and worship, dedicated to God. They are worship and praise because of the content of the music rather than the style. As Christians, we are commanded to sing Psalms, Hymns, and spiritual songs. This is important because music often affects our emotions in ways that other means of teaching do not. The book odf Psalms is a collection of religious songs from David’s day, with many written by David himself. They set examples of what songs that please God and strengthen Christians should be like.
This very first Psalm contrasts the attitude of the man who pleases God and the one who does not. It also contrasts the results of the different attitudes.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
The man who God blesses is the man who doesn’t follow worldly advice, but seeks God’s word. He doesn’t associate with or go along with those who disobey God’s word, and he doesn’t question God or his authority. He focuses on what God has said, devoting himself to the study of the scriptures, rather than the study of the writings of the famous theologians and pulpiteers, fulfilling the command in II Timothy 2:15-16. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”
II Timothy 3:14-17 carries this thought a little further. “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Taking the time to learn all of God’s word provides everything we need to fulfill the commission god has given us. As a result, the person who does so will be like a fruit tree, such as an apple, planted close to a river where it always has sufficient water. The leaves don’t dry up, the branches grow strong and healthy and the fruit develops properly.
“The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Psalm 1:4-6)
Those who focus on other things, ignoring God’s teachings are like a bunch of dried up leaves the wind blows away. There is nothing of lasting value in what they have done. In I Corinthians 3:10-15, Paul describes how the works will be tested.
“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (I Corinthians 3:10-15)
Unfortunately many have tried to build everything on something other than the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. Even their foundation is just a bunch or dried leaves and grass, and when their works are tried by fire, there won’t even be a foundation left. The Lord will be able to distinguish which is which, and will destroy what those who don’t obey him have accomplished.
As Matthew 7:20-23 warns, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”