God’s Twin Graces: Light & Truth! Psalm 43:3-5

Text: “O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy Holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles.”

Psalm 43:3.

Good morning, Christian enlightened by truth!  You and I are not floundering around in the darkness of man’s so-called ‘scientific’ and ‘educated’ opinions.  No!  We are walking in the light of God’s truth; we are focused on King Jesus Christ, the light of the world!  Hallelujah!

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  (John 8:12)

‘Religion’, of every hue and diverse mode, purports to teach a way that man can approach unto God and join with Him in unity and fellowship forever.  However, genuine Christianity - the Bible-believing, born again, variety - possesses the only God-directed way of Eternal Salvation contained within the precious pages of our KJV Bible.  We have God’s own inspired (God-breathed) Word on this vital matter:

“Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)

We are enlightened, Spiritually, by God’s truth, because the Lord Jesus Christ IS ‘the Truth’, and He IS the true ‘light of the world’.  All other ‘religions’ are false religions that lead nowhere but Hell and its torments forever.  Either this is truth, or God is a liar!

“Jesus saith unto him (Thomas), I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”  (John 14:6)

Our Bible text for this morning’s lesson, verses 3 & 4 of Psalm 43, reveal to us God’s twin graces – light and truth – and His Son, Jesus Christ is known by both concepts.  Christ IS light, and Christ IS truth personified.  Praise His Holy Name!

The Psalmist is crying out to God for both ‘light’ and ‘truth’ to lead him to the ‘Holy Hill’ of God; for without genuine Spiritual ‘light’ and ‘truth’, no sinful soul can ever be Eternally saved.  The unsaved soul must cry out to God for these two graces, if the Lord grants him/her faith to do so.  Only those elected to receive Salvation, in Eternity, before the foundation of the world, will ever be blessed with these vital twin graces.  Fact.  Many others will hear with their ears the Gospel message of Salvation in Christ alone, but they will not, cannot, respond – for the Lord God has rejected, ‘passed over’, them in Eternal reprobation.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give unto them Eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man (including ourselves!) pluck them out of My hand.  My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are One.”  (John 10:27-30)

Only God’s chosen ‘sheep’ are called to Salvation and saved – no ‘goats’ are called or saved.  The Lord God only grants His pre-ordained, elect, ‘sheep’ faith to truly believe.

“When the Son of man (the risen Jesus Christ) shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”  (Matthew 25:31-46)

Many today falsely believe that souls can be saved by making a ‘decision for Christ’.  Nonsense!  People can make all the ‘decisions’ they wish, but if the Lord God has not elected them to Salvation and written their name in the Lamb’s Book of Life – before the very foundation of the world – they will never be saved.  This is the Gospel truth!

“For unto us (the sheep) was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them (the goats): but the Word preached did not profit them (the goats), not being mixed with faith (the gift of God) in them that heard it.”  (Hebrews 4:2)

The Lord God only grants His gift of faith to those whom He has chosen (elected) to receive Salvation.  Without this true, God-granted, faith – a sinner’s soul can never be saved.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves (you cannot whip it up!): it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man/woman should boast.  For we (God’s elect) are His workmanship, CREATED in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before (in Eternity) ordained that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Reader, what I have thus far set forth in this weekly Bible Lesson IS merely the ‘light’ and the ‘truth’ of God’s twin graces of Eternal Salvation in Christ Jesus and in His Cross alone.  I have not set forth any of my own personal opinions, thoughts, or imaginations.  I have merely quoted God’s Own Word, and given the Lord God’s Own Divine Authority – chapter and verse – to prove the truth of what I have written.  One either believes it or one does not!

“For unto us (the sheep) was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them (the goats): but the Word preached did not profit them (the goats), not being mixed with faith (the gift of God) in them that heard it.”  (Hebrews 4:2)

Verse 3. “Light and truth.  “In the day that thou eateth thereof, thou shalt surely die!” Adam ate, and in that day became the subject of sin and death.  This was truth executing judgement.  But light arose around the darkness; beams of mercy tempered the heavy cloud.  The promise of the Great Deliverer was given; then faithfulness was enlisted on the side of grace and became engaged for its bestowment; “...mercy and truth met together; righteousness and peace kissed each other.”  Since then, all humble and trusting souls have beheld them united and have made their union the ground of their confidence and joy.”  (Henry March 1839)

Verse 3.  “...Let them lead me. Be these my star to guide me to my rest.  Be these my Alpine guides to conduct me over mountains and precipices to the abodes of grace.

“Let them bring me unto Thy Holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles.  We seek not light to sin by nor truth to be exalted by it, but that they may become our practical guides to the nearest communion with God.”  C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 208)

Thought: Let us covet earnestly God’s twin graces of light and truth, not only as we are granted faith to believe and receive Salvation in Christ alone, but to live our lives for Him more consistently, and to His greater glory in the eyes of men and angels.  Amen.

‘Ungodly Nation’ Conflict! Psalm 43:1-2

Text: “Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.  For Thou art the God of my strength: why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”

Psalm 43:1.

Good morning, Christian living in an ‘ungodly nation’!  Today, in this 21st Century time, when ‘the Christian church’ worldwide and international is quite clearly slipping into doctrinal and practical apostasy – true and genuine, Bible-believing Christians are increasingly becoming a minority group.  We are, in fact, living within nations that are ‘ungodly nations’; wallowing in worldliness, selfishness, and moral/political corruption.  The moral state of all nations today is an open disgrace to Biblical principles and true Christian standards of practice. 

We are witnessing what Scriptures prophesy as ‘the great falling away’ of the church.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the Second Coming of Christ Jesus) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”                       (2 Thessalonians 2:1-17)

The Lord Jesus in that startling chapter of ‘end time’ revelation – Matthew chapter 24: - clearly teaches us to expect such a ‘falling away’, such a time of increased ‘iniquity’, or lawlessness, before He returns with devastating power and finality to put all things right.

“And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  But he/she that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  (Matthew 24:12-14)

Therefore, given the high level of worldwide national lawlessness and iniquity; accompanied by a clear visible corruption within the professing ‘Christian’ church teachings – we are safe to assume that we not only live within ‘ungodly nations’, but that our doing so is bound to become even more perilous as true Christian standards in life deteriorate.  Take heed!

So, what are you and I genuine Bible-believing, born again Christians to do?  Psalm 43 gives us good instruction and encourages us to know the Lord’s way for us to take.  Praise Him!

“Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.  For Thou art the God of my strength: why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” (Psalm 43:1)

Solution:  We are to fully realise that it is us, ‘the Body of Christ’, the Church worldwide and international that must first make drastic changes if this situation is to be addressed positively to God’s greater glory.  We must do something about OUR failings and sin!

“For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God?  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”  (1 Peter 4:17-18)

If the Lord God judges you and I to be living correctly in obedience to His Sovereign will, as revealed in His inspired Word – then happy are we indeed! He will empower us, ‘His people’ to not only endure, but to wage sound and profitable Spiritual warfare for the souls of His elect people who are still found outside of a personal relationship with the risen Christ Jesus.  If not, we must make ourselves right, by confession of our sin, and forsaking of it progressively.  (1 John 1:7-9) 

Verse 1.  “Judge me O God. I can laugh at human misrepresentation if my conscience knows that Thou art on my side.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 208)

It is surprising how much slander, libel, fault-finding, and malicious gossip a true Christian can cope with, IF he/she has a clear conscience in the sight of the Living Lord God.  The Lord grants the power of His Spirit when we seek to humble ourselves under His will and grace.  Praise God it is so!

“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake; having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.” (Philippians 1:29-30)

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

Verse 1. “...And plead my cause against an ungodly nation. When people are ungodly, no wonder that they are unjust; those who are not true to God Himself cannot be expected to deal rightly with His people.  Hating the King, they will not love His subjects.  Popular opinion weighs with many, but Divine opinion is far more weighty with the gracious few.  One good word from God outweighs ten thousand railing speeches of men.  He bears a brazen shield before him whose reliance in all things is upon his God; the arrows of calumny fall harmlessly from such a buckler.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 208)

Verse 1. “O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.  Deceit and injustice are boon companions: he who fawns will not fear to slander.  From two such devils none can deliver us but God.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 208)

The Lord God can NEVER cast off those for whom He has already suffered and died !

Verse 2. “Why dost Thou cast me off?  There are many reasons why the Lord might cast us off, but no reason shall prevail to make Him do so.  He hath not cast off His people, though he for a while treats them as cast offs.  Learn from this question that it is well to enquire into dark providences, but we must enquire of God, not of our own fears.  He Who is the Author of a mysterious trial can best expound it to us.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 208)

“Let your conversation (entire lifestyle) be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)

You and I shall have constant conflict as we live our Christian lives within ungodly nations.  However, as we engage in continual Spiritual Battle with ungodliness – we are assured of Christ’s own power; His ever-given grace; and His matchless love.  Praise His Name!

Thought: Grieve not, true Christian! The Battle is almost done, Jesus comes soon! 

Hope in God! Psalm 42:11

Text: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?  Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

Psalm 42:11.

Good morning, temporarily ‘cast down’ Christian!  When you awoke this morning, you awoke in what John Bunyan, in his great allegory Pilgrim’s Progress, called ‘the slough of despond’; a dark depression of the soul; a deep sadness of spirit – the result of any number of circumstances that presently seem to surround you with gloom and a sense of impending doom and failure.  If this describes your present mood as you commence this Bible Lesson, please continue reading: for, if you are born again of the Spirit of God, then there is an ever-given new hope prepared here for you personally.  ‘Hope in God!’  Hallelujah!

Verse 11. “Hope. Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind it.”  (Samuel Smiles 1812-1904)

Spiritual hope, on the other hand, not only ‘casts the shadow of our burdens behind it...’, but causes us to regain our composure and reflect once more on our Eternal Standing in our dear Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Praise and all glory to His Holy Name! He IS our HOPE!

“Therefore (a conclusion) being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by Whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in HOPE of the glory of God...and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:1-6)

Verse 11. “WHY art thou cast down, O my soul?  And why art thou disquieted within me? If you and I are feeling ‘cast down’, depressed in spirit; somewhat tired and disillusioned by some aspect of the circumstances of our present lives, or through the actions, words, or contentions of another – let us ask ourselves the two questions featured in Psalm 42, and verse 11.

Are we feeling this depression because we have sinned against the Holy Lord God, and against His will, as revealed in His written and Spirit-inspired Word?  If so, the Lord already knows the reason for our grief of spirit – our human spirit is grieved because the Spirit of God living within our ‘born again’ souls is grieved by the presence of committed sin.  Fact!

So, what is to be done in order to put things right again with the Lord God, and to ‘...renew a right spirit within...’ us?  (Psalm 51:10)  

Repentance from known sin, and open confession of that sin to the Lord God alone, is the only remedy for this Spiritual ailment.  We have God’s own Word on this vital issue: “If we say we that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins (to God alone!), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1 John 1:8-9)

Are we feeling this depression of spirit due to having offended a brother or a sister in Christ?  Then, the Word of God promises a sure remedy for this also: “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar (prayer time), and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”  (Matthew 5:23-24)  

United we stand, divided we fall!  This principle is true in all aspects of human life.  Moreso in the Spiritual Body of Christ.  Together we stand strong in Christ!

Is our feelings of being ‘cast down’ due to the spiritual oppression of the world, the flesh, or the Devil, as the Psalmist previously stated in verse 9 of this same Psalm?  Then begin to better realise that such ‘oppressions’, if looked at from a more positive Spiritual aspect, are come upon us as a direct consequences of the fact that our witness and testimony of Christ’s saving grace; our daily and consistent ministries for Christ and His Kingdom; the constant Spiritual warfare that you and I are enabled of the Lord to fulfil in His Name – are doing great harm to Satan and his vile kingdom!  Therefore, the evil one is seeking to strike back with all the ‘oppositions’ possible to him in his limited power as a defeated enemy!

Any professing, born again, Bible-believing Christian who does not suffer from such worldly, fleshy, and Satanic oppressions – is not really engaged in the Spiritual Battle!

Verse 11.”...Hope thou in God. When you and I who are oppressed in our Christian lives come to realise that such oppressions only come upon those of us that are militant and faithful in Christ’s service – we  further realise that Christ has already defeated Satan, the world, the flesh and all other ungodly contenders at the place called Calvary, or Golgotha’s Hill! 

Therefore our vision is renewed, our hope is replenished, and placed in that same Lord God Who has not only saved us by Christ’s Atonement Sacrifice, but promised to KEEP us by the power of His Almighty and infallible strength!  Hallelujah!  Nothing can pluck us from His hand!  We are forever victorious over all depression and oppression that comes!  Glory to the Lamb that was slain, and now lives victorious forever!  Hallelujah!  Jesus Lives!

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  For I am persuaded (given new hope!), that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature (including ourselves!), shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:35-39)

Verse 11. “...For I shall yet praise Him, Who is the health of my countenance, and my God.  Note the progression in this verse.  It commences with dark feelings of soul-depression; progresses to deep questionings to find the reason for such oppressions; and ends with the determination to put all our most profound hope in God and in the grace of His Face shining upon us.

What begins in this vital Scripture verse as honest self-examination, ends in renewal of Christian hope and Eternal assurance – and all this progression clearly proven by the authority of God’s written Word.  What a Salvation we have in Christ Jesus!  Praise His Name!

Hear anew His promise to us, ‘His people’.  Be renewed in victorious hope!

“Fear thou not; for I AM (Jehovah Lord God) with thee: be not dismayed; for I AM thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.”  (Isaiah 41:10)

Thought: “...Weeping may endure for a night...joy cometh in the morning...” Hope in God!  His Almighty help is only a prayer away.  The Lord lift you up, beloved in Him.