::Quote::

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
I Timothy 6:12


Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15







Road To Holiness

Greetings in Jesus' name Saints. I would like to share an outstanding study on the first chapter of the Psalms, verse one. I will use notes and commentary written by Adam Clarke (1760-1832). Clarke was a late contemporary of John Wesley (1714-1791). John who? These men lived in a period of time when the Holy Spirit was calling and convicting thousands of souls; men, women AND children. These great revivals diminished through the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the advent of secular humanism and their recollection has all but been erased from Church history. ...And we do not know why, precisely. We do know that these days in which we live surround us with the most complete array of sensual, material and spiritual distractions than ever in the history of man. The "great" revivals of today are not seeing people coming out of their sins but rather blending God's mercy and forgiveness with the continuance of their sins. All the way to heaven...?

Today God's call to repentance yet goes forth, however the great wailing cry of penitent sinners at the realization of their wretchedness, for the saving mercy and grace of God has all but diminished to a whimper in a hurricane of Apostasy and unbelief. Holiness before God has become just a word, cheap colloquial rhetoric, a "thing to say", just a ragged ghost of the power true men and women of God once retained as a blessing for selling out life, limb and possessions to the True God of Creation. The deception has rapidly grown to embrace and become Religion itself and more precisely, to denature the true Gospel of Jesus Christ into a diabolical tapestry of catch phrases, dead works and total disobedience to the strict Word of God. Few have been called, few will be chosen. Few have completely sold out to Jesus Christ and His Righteousness. Fewer will ever endure the narrow way and find life (Luke13:24).

David's Psalms were written approximately 1000 years before the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ - Approximately 300 years before the first foundations of the city of Rome were laid. This first "chapter" of the Psalms is purported to be an introductory statement or preface to the whole book. Psalm 1:1 is another helping guide to those who seek to be truly holy before God after conversion.

Psalms1:1: 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.

...Blessed is the man] The blessedness described here comes as a result of one's avoiding every appearance of evil. (1Th:5:22) The word which we translate blessed, is properly in the plural form, blessednesses, or may be considered as describing the state of the man who has taken God for his portion; Oh the blessedness of the man!

And the word yah haish, is emphatic: THAT man; that one among a thousand who lives for the accomplishment of the end for which God created him! (Our version of "SOLD OUT"!)

...That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly] As Clarke puts it : There is a DOUBLE CLIMAX in this verse, which it will be proper to note: - There are three characters here, each exceeding the other in sinfulness...

1) The UNGODLY, -to be unjust; rendering to none his due; withholding from God, society, and himself, what belongs to each. He who has not God in him; who is without God in the world.

2) SINNERS, -"to miss the mark", to pass over the prohibited limits, "to transgress". This man not only does no good, but he does evil. The SINNER adds outward transgression to the sinfulness of his heart. (the former was without God, but not desperately wicked.) The latter adds outward transgression to the sinfulness of his heart.

3) SCORNFUL, -"to mock, deride". He who has no religion; lives in the open breach(defiance) of God's laws, and turns revelation, the immortality of the soul, and the existence of an invisible world into ridicule. He is at least a deist, and endeavors to dissolve, as MUCH as he can, the bonds of moral obligation in civil society. As the sinner exceeds the ungodly, so the scornful exceeds both.

The second CLIMAX is found in the words, 1) Walk; 2) Stand 3) Sit : which mark three different degrees of evil in the conduct of those persons.

NOTE THIS:

1) The ungodly man - one uninfluenced by God.

2) The sinner - he who adds to ungodliness, transgression.

3) The scornful - the deist, atheist, etc., who make a mockery of every thing sacred.

The UNGODLY man walks, the SINNER stands, and the SCORNFUL man sits down in the way of iniquity.

Mark certain circumstances of their differing characters and conduct...

1) The ungodly man has his counsel

2) The sinner has his way

3) The scorner has his seat.

Note: In the Bible, to take one's seat also means to RULE! Is there wickedness in high places?

The ungodly man is unconcerned about religion; the type of "good" man who will end up in hell. He is neither zealous for his own salvation, nor for that of others: and he counsels and advises those with whom he converses to adopt his plan, and not trouble themselves about praying, reading, repenting, etc.

There is no need for such things; live an honest life, make no fuss about religion, and you will fare well enough at (the end). Now, "blessed is the man who walks not in this man's counsel;" who does not come into his measures, nor act according to his plan.

The sinner has his particular way of transgressing; one is a drunkard, another dishonest, another unclean. Few are given to every (form) of vice. There are many covetous men who abhor drunkenness; many drunkards who abhor covetousness; and so of others. Each has his easily besetting sin; therefore, says the prophet, let the wicked FORSAKE HIS WAY. Now, blessed is he who stands not in such a man's WAY.

The scorner has brought, in reference to himself, all religion and moral feeling to an end. He has sat down - is utterly confirmed in impiety, and mocks at sin. His conscience is seared (1Tm:4:2); and he is a believer in all unbelief. Now, blessed is the man who sits not down in his SEAT. Note that there are countless "believers" with the same manner of conscience!

He who walks according to the counsel of the ungodly will soon, stand to "look on the wag of sinners" or (become comfortable in their presence, accepting, condoning them); and thus, being off his guard, he will soon be a partaker in their evil deeds. He who has abandoned himself to transgression will, in all probability, soon become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin; and sit down with the scorner, and Endeavour to turn religion into ridicule.

The last correlation we find is: 1) The seat answers to the sitting of the scornful. 2) The way answers to the standing of the sinner; and 3) the counsel answers to the walking of the ungodly.

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. Proverb 4:14-15

The great lesson to be learned from the whole is, sin is progressive; one evil propensity or act leads to another. He who acts by bad counsel may soon do evil deeds; and he who abandons himself to evil doings may end his life in total apostasy from God. When lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and when sin is finished, it brings forth death (Jas:1:15). Solomon the son of David, adds a profitable advice to those words of his father: "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men; avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away;" Prov 4:14 15.

As the blessedness of the man is great who avoids the ways and the workers of iniquity, so his wretchedness is great who acts to the contrary: to him we must reverse the words of David: "Cursed is the man who walketh in the counsel of the ungodly; who standeth in the way of sinners; and who sitteth in the seat of the scornful." Let him that readeth understand.

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The remainder of Psalms, chapter 1, tells us our lot for being obedient to Father

and walking in his Way :


Psalms:1:2-6 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. 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.

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But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,

deceiving your own selves. Jas:1:22

Great "words" from this "old timer" Clarke aren't they. Do we sit down to studies like this in our Sunday school classes or in the privacy of our quiet time at home? Do the scriptures open themselves up to us as we study? Do we want them to? When is the last time any of us have taken hold of our own words about what we "preach" to ourselves and others and begun to LIVE it? Holiness is as much a "WORK" as our striving (agonizing) to enter into Life (Luke 13:24)! I would say an integral part, wouldn't you? Is agonizing a breeze? Get sober!

For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. Jas:1:23-24

We must not just hear and speak these words among ourselves and others thinking this will make us "holy" before others and God! Talk is cheap! God knows the heart. Holiness is achieved by being DOERS of God's Word. Making an effort to WALK the talk. If this cannot be implemented, we must consider that some part of the DESIRE and LOVE of the Truth must be missing from within us. Hard stuff here, but to be considered.

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work,

this man shall be blessed in his deed. Jas:1:25

That "perfect law of liberty" is Jesus Christ, Salvation. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (Joh:8:36). That "blessedness" of Psalms 1:1 is applied here in James! And note that we are blessed in the DEED, in the DOING! The WORKS!

We must extricate our own selves from the World around us. Need we review the "World"? Sure, why not : The World's ways, it's thoughts, it's vain amusements, it's perishing hopes and unfruitful goals and pursuits, it's traps and it's sins.

Folks in Clarke's and Wesley's day had little in the way of worldly diversion compared to us today but what they did have was still enough to cause the loss of one's soul! As I stated in the opening of this study, "We do know that these days in which we live surround us with the most complete array of sensual, material and spiritual distractions than ever in the history of man."

All of Hell has come against us and the goal of the enemy is to deceive EVEN the Elect! And what comes after deception? The death of the soul folks. Take a good long look in the mirror of the Word folks. What stares back may just lead some of us to full recovery of our spiritual senses. Laying hold of the Kingdom of God is no rhetorical endeavor. It requires commitment and LOVE of the God who rendered His Grace, Mercy and Salvation to us. This SHOULD be a natural consequence of our regeneration? Take up your cross, every pound of it, every splinter. Make your calling and election sure. Examine yourselves whether you be in the Faith! PROVE YOURSELVES! (2Co:13:5)

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jer:17:10

What is really in your hearts? I'd be the last to know or even perceive. I will say that no matter what you say or even do, the Lord God, the final Judge knows the intents of your heart and you cannot hide any of it from Him. We cannot conceal out true intents from God nor live under (or hide under) any shadow after we have come into His mighty Light. His Light will either cause us to flower and produce good holy fruit or it will burn us to the very depths of our soul. Pray we do not become disqualified (reprobate)!

Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. Jer:23:24

If Godly living (Holiness) is just something to speak of in the company of spiritual "peers" or when it's convenient to dress up your facade, you aren't a doer. You are a clanging cymbal, an empty drum, a HIDER! You are afraid of something, possibly IGNORING? the True, full conviction of the Holy Spirit, the love of the Truth and/or the gift of Faith that results in good works, good fruits, in your life. Now is not the time to stumble over what you try to hide from your God! If you cannot freely bare your entire soul and conscience to the God you claim as Father and Savior, you have a problem. Do you truly love God and His commandments? Do you truly love your brethren?

Ours is to obey God's commandments. God's commandments are meant to LEAD us into HOLY living. How can any of us who have been washed and regenerated think any other way? If we have truly been transformed by (our) renewing of our minds (Ro:12:2), how can we falter and balk at the pursuit of humble, personal holiness before God? If we were told to be holy because He is holy (1Pe:1:16), do you not think this is possible to achieve? Who equips us? Sears? ...Billy Graham? How can our God be a liar? Ponder these things when you work out your own salvation and examine yourselves.

In the final analysis, we should have no other thought but to be content with what God has given to us OR taken away! But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1Tm:6:6) Add that to your Faith! We should be lowly and supple, humble and holy before this mighty God and before our world. Let's get real with ourselves. Get away from the World! Strive to enter into Life; Not in thought but in DEED (1Jo:3:18)! Live Jesus Christ in you. ...If He's in there. Fear and tremble Saints. Fear and tremble.

I pray this has helped, Saints. I need it as much as you do. Get on that narrow way or walk away. Commit yourselves to one course of action or the other. There is no in-between. ALL of your soul, not just the "parts" you may choose to take with you or leave behind, will eventually arrive in one of two places; Home or Hell. You are going to look back on your life someday from a point from which you cannot return to change anything. You will be facing either torment or bliss for the way in which you lived the gift of the earthly life you had been given! And no one can live a Godly life unless God Himself is living it through one. Is He? Are we surrendered to His will? Think about that please. Always. Time is short.

...I lift you all up. I covet your prayers as well. May God bless and keep you in His Way. Amen.

MANY GIFTS AND HOURS TO SQUANDER

MANY LIES AND VOICES

BROAD AND NARROW WAYS TO WANDER

ONLY YOU SHALL MAKE THE CHOICES

And if the righteous scarcely be saved,

where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

Amen




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