Today we will begin to study Psalm 119. It is the longest and perhaps the most beautiful of the Psalms. Each verse is a golden nugget of wisdom which together creates a treasure of acumen, insight, and understanding.
Verses 1-4 read,
“Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
4 You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.”
According to Strong’s Concordance, the word for blameless is tamim, תָּמִים. It means complete, intact, unblemished, and one who is perfect. What!?! How can we be expected to be perfect? We are not and cannot be perfect! But Jesus is! 1 Peter 1:15-23 reads,
“but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;”
God called us to be holy, and He wouldn’t ask us to do something unless He gave us a way to do it. What is the way to blamelessness? Jesus. He came and lived perfectly, He laid down His life like a spotless sacrificial lamb to pay the debt for our sin. And He gives us righteousness. (Romans 3:21-26). We are now considered blameless, One day we will be perfect and without sin at all, but in God’s eyes it is already done. Jesus death and resurrection if the demonstration of the promise of eternity. (2 Timothy 1:8-10).
We walk in the Law of the Lord, not the Law of Moses. While we walk we are being made over more and more like Christ each step of the way. While our hope is promised and as good as done, we still conscientiously strive to carry out God’s Word, His will manifested. And in doing so we pursue His Kingdom, we strive toward the goal of being the perfect reflection of Jesus. Philippians 3:12-21 reads,
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
We do that through faith and obedience. It takes only the tiniest bit of faith to take that first step and obey God. Then God takes that little seed of faith and grows it into a huge and sheltering tree of life. In Mark 9:14-29 A man brought his son, who had an unclean spirit which caused him to have horrible seizures, deafness and muteness to Jesus. Verses 21-23 of that passage read,
“And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Then Jesus cast the spirit from the boy and healed hm. The boy’s father had only enough faith to ask Jesus to heal his son. He was filled with doubt. The disciples had already tried and failed to heal the boy. But the man took his tiny mustard seed of faith and obeyed God by asking Jesus. His belief, surrounded by his unbelief was enough. All things are possible for one who believes. It doesn’t say “All things are possible for one who has no shred of doubt.” Let God take your drop of faith amidst your sea of doubt and grow your faith until it displaces every particle of that doubt.
It is that continuous stepping of faith, one step at a time which leads to our growth and gives us a faith and a peace which baffles people. One obedient step after one obedient step leads to a steady walk. Verses 5-8 read,
“Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!”
Walking by faith, diligently obeying The Lord and keeping His commandments as our focus leads to our maturity. With each step The Holy Spirit in us transforms us to reflect Jesus. With each act of obedience the Spirit grows stronger in us, replacing our flesh (our sin nature) with Himself.
What commandments do we have as people saved by grace? We have the great commission, which gives us our objective and assignment on earth.
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
We have the two great commandments which encompass the entire Law of Moses and every word of the Prophets.
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40).
We have Jesus’ New Commandment.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34).
We have other commandments as well, such as bee baptized. (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 2:38) and take the Lord’s Supper, also known as Communion. (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34). There are more and we follow them, not because those commandments save us, but because we love Jesus and we thank Him for our salvation. We long to please Him and obedience pleases Him. Obedience grows us, makes us more like Christ and is a testimony to the lost.
In our earthly bodies and on this earth, we are not yet perfected. We are a work under way. But we are in progress and will be brought to perfect completion on the Day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6). But the great news is that when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He credited us with righteousness. (Romans 4:20-25). We are reconciled to The Father in a union which cannot be torn. (John 17:20-21, Romans 8:31-39 ). He chooses not to consider our sins. (Hebrews 8:12). And the Holy Spirit is at work in us conforming us to the perfect likeness of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).
So walk in faith, even if your faith is miniscule. Trust that The Lord will grow that faith until your doubt is miniscule. One day our faith will be rewarded as our hope is manifested in Jesus’ return and the New Heavens and New Earth replace the present heavens and earth. I will leave you with the reminder of that awesome promise in Revelation 21:1-4.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God] 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”