September 27, 2022 following Alex Hardt’s sermon of September 25.
I was pondering justice this morning after Pastor Alex’s sermon and looked up the definition of justice. It seems justice is equal treatment of all members of society and has to do with our conduct of being just or righteous, having moral principle and then receiving reward or punishment based on our actions. I want to also note that Fairness is getting what we deserve while Biblical Justice is Jesus getting what we deserve, so we could have what Jesus deserves. This is complicated by the fact that due to our fallen nature we cannot be right, just or totally principled, therefore we deserve punishment not reward. Perhaps the Psalmist in Psalm 130 realized this and was pleading with God for His justice and righteousness to reign in his life.
He cried out to God in verses 1 and 2 as he begs for mercy and for the Lord to hear his pleas. The psalmist knew that God was accessible and would hear his prayers. He also knew that he was a sinner. Do you know for sure that God hears your prayers? Here are a couple of verses to reassure you: James 4:7-8 “ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.” You need to humble yourself before God, turn from evil ways and seek God. Psalm 34:17 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” God promises to listen to the righteous, so that begs the question, how does one become righteous? Here the answer is easy to understand, JESUS. 1 John 5:1 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” Romans 3:22” This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,” God promises to hear our prayers if we belong to him through faith in Jesus. For answers, we need to seek to align ourselves with His will and seek what He desires. We are not to seek for God to fulfill our own selfish desires. James addresses our motives in James 4:1-3 and concludes “You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” We need to ask in faith seeking God’s will be done.
Knowing that you are a believer, filled with His Holy Spirit gives us right standing before God. We still need to seek cleansing and seek to walk in obedience to His ways. The psalmist realizes this as he speaks of forgiveness, desiring to be whole before His God and to be able to wait patiently for His answers. Hard stuff to do but God empowers us through His Spirit to be able to cling to Jesus and lean upon Him.
I love the psalmist’s conclusion in verses 7,8. These are our memory verses for this week.
“Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
Israel stands for all who believe in Him as their God and Savior. Look at these wonderful promises. By putting our Hope in Jesus we will receive His unfailing love and be fully redeemed! The psalmist knows that apart from God there is no redemption. He has no power to redeem himself for he is lost without God. God’s redemption is cleansing and will remove our sins so that they are remembered by God no more. Two of my favorite verses about God’s forgiveness are: Micah 7:19 “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” Isaiah 43:25 ““I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. How great is our God!
Have a great week basking in His forgiveness, hope and love.
Hope Unites | Is Jesus Just?
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Sermon series, "Hope Unites." Today Alex Hardt teaches from Psalm 130
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