Meditate on God’s Word continuously.

The New Testament teaches that the Bible is the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians. 6:17) …… It is a weapon that we are to wield against the enemy.

Jesus modelled this when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matthew. 4:1-11) …… When Satan enticed Him, Jesus spoke the Scripture aloud in response …… Eventually, God’s powerful Word wore down the enemy and he left the Saviour alone.

Our battles as Christian believers are spiritual battles …… We fight against Satan and his demonic forces (Ephesians. 6:12); therefore, we must wage war against them with spiritual, not physical, weapons.

Our weapons are the Word of God and prayer …… To speak God’s Word is to release it and empower it, to unleash its conquering power against the enemy …… By speaking God’s Word, we swing the sword of the Spirit against our deadly, destructive foe.

As we focus our thoughts on the Bible, we learn more about God and His ways …… We learn that God’s holy commands flow from His loving heart and that they protect and guide us throughout life.

Through obeying God, we learn to appreciate His commands because God showers His favour and blessings upon us …… We become the blessed person of Psalm 1.

  1. The result (v. 3).

The blessed man (or woman) is compared to a tree, but not just any tree …… He is not like a wild seedling that randomly sprouts in an inconvenient place.

He is like a tree intentionally planted in a carefully chosen spot: …… by the river where it will receive plenty of water for its growth …… where it will have every advantage to become fruitful.

  • God is presented throughout the Bible as a husbandman or gardener …… His relationship with Israel is portrayed as that of an owner and dresser of a vineyard (Isaiah. 5).

He is seen diligently cultivating His choice vine, the Hebrew nation …… Those reached by the Saviour are called “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord” (Isaiah. 61:3) …… Jesus also described the Father as the vinedresser and believers as branches of Christ, who is the True Vine.

  • The Father’s work in pruning and cultivating fruit is again emphasized …… A believer is also portrayed as a field that is sown and watered, a field in which God produces an increase (1 Corinthians. 3:7-9).

Planted also indicates that the blessed individual is firmly fixed …… Like a deeply-rooted tree, the righteous are secure when the winds and storms of life rage against them.

The strong root system also delivers fresh water from the river, which produces abundant fruit …… The tree flourishes …… Its leaves do not wilt and fall off …… Its foliage is rich, thick, and lush.

  • As ones who are blessed, our lives are flourishing and fruitful …… Like a well-watered tree, we produce spiritual fruit when we delight and meditate in God’s Word.
  • The blessed man is prosperous in all that he does …… Prosperity may include earthly possessions, but God’s richest blessings have nothing to do with material blessings.

Scripture speaks of a more valuable prosperity, the prosperity of the soul …… True prosperity in our lives is producing the fruit of God’s Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience …… Bearing the fruit of God’s Spirit is the result of loving God’s Word and obeying it.

Also note this: water in the Scripture is a symbol of the Holy Spirit …… It is the Spirit who produces fruit in our lives …… Water is also a symbol of the Word, specifically of the washing and cleansing effect of Scripture.

Sin can quickly make us unfruitful in the service of the Lord …… Living in obedience to God’s Word protects our fruit from becoming contaminated, diseased, and destroyed by sin.

We must constantly evaluate how much time we spend in God’s Word, especially in comparison to the amount of time we spend on other interests.

Our spiritual growth depends on our attention to God’s Word …… as Christians we need to pay attention to the words of the Apostle Peter who wrote:

“As new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter. 2:2).

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Christ’s God Chosen Cornerstone – Audio Sermon

Christ, God’s Chosen Cornerstone

The above is the latest of my sermons to be published on my podcast, this is an exposition on 1 Peter 2:4 – 8, there are more sermons available on http://norfolkman.podomatic.com

Chosen to be Holy and Blameless.

ImageGod has chosen us to be holy and blameless. This is a wonderful verse. Just imagine! God determined before the world was ever created that He would have a people…

•  who would be “in Him,” that is, in His Son, Jesus Christ.

•  who would be “holy and without blame.”

•  who would live “before Him in love”—forever and ever.

This means a most wonderful thing; God wants us to be with Him. God does not want us separated from Him, gripped by sin and shame, sorrow and pain, death and hell. God wants us to live forever and ever with Him. In fact, note that God has determined that some will live with Him and Christ. He has “chosen us”—chosen believers—to live with Him. No amount of rebellion and rejection, cursing and denial of Him will stop His purpose and plan. God will have a people who will live with Him, and He will continue to choose us until He has the number He has purposed.

Now, note the great blessing of God: that we should be holy and without blame before Him.

1.  The word “holy” means to be set apart and consecrated to God. It is the same word that is used for “saint” in Ephesians 1:1.

2.   The word “blameless” means to be free from sin, dirt, and filth; to be above reproach and without blemish; to be without fault and defilement.

Simply stated, the great blessing of God is perfection; God has chosen the believer to be perfect. But note: the believer’s perfection is in Christ and in Christ alone. No man—not even a believer—can live a perfect and sinless life. No man is righteous or ever will be. Jesus Christ is the only Person who has ever lived a sinless and perfect life; therefore, He is the only Person who has the right to live with God. Our only hope of ever living with God is to believe in Jesus Christ—believe so much that God will take our faith and count it as the righteousness of Christ. This is the glorious gospel: God loves us so much that He has accepted us in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He has taken our faith in Christ and counted it as the righteousness of Christ. Therefore, we are acceptable to God because we trust in Christ and in His righteousness—accepted as being perfect in the perfection of Jesus Christ.