Teaching Rebels God’s Ways: Psalm 51 (part 14)

“I will teach rebels your ways,

and sinners will return to you.”

(Psalm 51:15 {Psalm 51:13 in English Bibles})

 

What then should be the outward response of the believer to the forgiveness of God?   While praise is usually the first thing that comes to mind—and it is an essential response, and part of David’s psalm—there is another response that is oftentimes missed.  That response is to begin to work to teach others of the ways of God.  And notice, this is not just telling others how God has blessed you, but it is teaching them God’s ways.  That means deliberate application of God’s holy law as a teaching tool to guide others in the ways of holiness.

Yet, there is a catch—how is it that you can teach others to live a holy life if you are not modeling it yourself?  How is it that you can model it if you do not study the scriptures and diligently apply them to yourself?  Beloved, be well aware that God is a forgiving God, but never forget that in repentance, our God expects us to turn from our sinful ways and walk a path that glorifies him in every way.  And then, in walking on that pathway, teach others the ways of God—by word and deed.

Friends, spend some time thinking about what it means to be genuine in your testimony before the world.  What do unbelievers believe about God as a result of getting to know you?  What would your co-workers or your neighbors say about the way you live out your faith in all aspects of your life?  What would your spouse or children say?  Do your actions match the words that you speak?  Dear loved ones, so often in our lives there is not parity between our words and our actions, yet Christ needs to be the reason and the motivation behind everything we do.  It is our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior that defines who we are, down to the very fibers of our innermost being, and it is this relationship that must define all our actions, and our actions need to be visible enough to point others to Christ.

One last note on sin and transgression:  it is rebellion against God.  Do not downplay sin in your life or in the life of those around you.  Don’t simply say, “well, it was just a little lie” or “everyone else does it.”  When you justify sin like this, what you are really communicating is that God is as capricious as you and I are, and were he capricious, he could not be holy.  God cannot condemn one sin as rebellion and pass over other sins as if they were not, that is the behavior of sinful men and not of a holy and righteous God.  Sin is sin and it must be condemned and punished, and loved ones, if you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ, he bore that punishment for you.  When you say that your sins are not so bad, you are also saying that Christ’s sacrifice and death is not so important, and oh, loved ones, what a wretched statement that is.  Such a statement can only come from the pits of hell and the children of the evil one.  Do not let your actions make you smell of the sulfur of the Lake of Fire.  Live for Christ and His holiness and proclaim his righteousness and grace in all that you do.  Let your witness guide others in the paths of righteousness for Jesus’ name’s sake—Amen!

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