11. What End for the Upright & the Wicked? Psalm 37:37-38

Text: “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man/woman is peace.  But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.”
                                                                                                              Psalm 37:37-38.

Good morning Christian made upright in Christ!  Of yourself and myself, we can do nothing but sin, fall, falter, fail, ‘fall short of the mark’; that mark being the ultra-perfect standard of the altogether lovely One, Jesus the pure and risen Christ.  Fact.

However, Spiritually born again and ‘in Christ Jesus’, we ‘...can do all things though Christ which strengtheneth us...’  (Philippians 4:13)  Hallelujah!  We have ‘good comfort in bad times’ owing to the fact that God has enabled us to partake of His Sovereign grace in Salvation; He has redeemed us from all of our sins; He has entered into to the very essence of our being and dwells there in the power of His Holy Spirit – and we are Eternally safe and secure.  Wow!  What a Salvation!  What a Saviour!

“But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us to live Spiritually!) together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”  (Ephesians 2:4-6)

In this latter section of our study of Psalm 37, as featured in today’s text, we are exhorted to both ‘Mark’ and ‘Behold’ the ‘Perfect Man’.  Here is wisdom indeed: to ‘mark’ something or someone is to examine and remember the given subject.  The given subject this morning (as should be every morning of the Christian’s life!) is ‘the perfect Man’.  There has only ever in all this world’s history been one ‘perfect Man’ – the man Christ Jesus; the God-man; the only begotten Son of the Living Lord God.  Praise and all glory to His Name!

Verse 37.  “Mark...and behold.  If Christ would have Mary’s name remembered in the Gospel until the world’s end for one box of ointment poured on His head, we cannot imagine that He would have the many pious and charitable deeds of His servants to be buried in oblivion.”  (Nathaniel Hardy 1618-1670) 

“Verily (truly) I say unto you, Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she (Mary) hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.”   (See Mark 14:1-9)

Thus we see that Mary and the good deed that she did for the Living Christ Jesus, was not only marked (taken note of) but also remembered by posterity throughout the whole world.  She had beheld that ‘Perfect Man’, Jesus, and served Him well.

“The Perfect Man. Thus every saint (redeemed sinner) is perfect in comparison to the wicked among whom he/she liveth.  In this respect, it is said of Noah, ‘That he was a perfect man in his generations’; his grace compared with the wickedness of the old world well deserving the name of perfection; indeed every upright man/woman is perfect in comparison of them who are openly bad, or but openly good; stained with wickedness, or but painted with holiness.”  (Nathaniel Hardy 1618-1670)

The perfection we speak of here in this Bible Lesson, dear friend, is that perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, since outside of Him there is ‘...none righteous, no not one...there is none that doeth good, no not one...”  (Romans 3:10-18)

All we that are Spiritually regenerated in Christ, are imputed the perfect righteousness of Christ Jesus Himself: Christ’s perfect righteousness is put to our account by faith and trust in His complete Atonement Sacrifice at Calvary’s Cross.

“For He (God the Father) hath made Him (God the Son who knew no sin) to be sin for us (the elect of God), that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (My paraphrase) (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“But He (Christ Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”  (Isaiah 53:5)

Verse 37. “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man/woman is peace.  The text may be divided into these two parts. Here is, 1. The godly man’s property; and, 2. The godly man’s privilege.  His property is perfection; his privilege is peace.  Here is the saint’s character and the saint’s crown: he is characterised by uprightness or sincerity and crowned with peace.”  (John Whitlock 1658, in a Funeral Sermon entitled ‘The Upright Man and His Happy End.’”)

It follows, therefore, that to have a happy, peaceful end in this life, we must prepare for it in this life – and the only Eternal preparation we have is to have full trust/faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in His Atonement Sacrifice at the Cross. 

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

Compare the end of the upright man in Christ with all others outside of Christ, whom the Scriptures define as ‘the wicked’:

Verse 38. “But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.”  “...If you would die well, Christians, you must have a care to live well.  If you would die quietly, you must live strictly; if you would die comfortably, you must live comfortably; if you would die happily, you must live holy.”             (John Kitchen, MA 1660)

Thought: We cannot live like Hell-on-earth, and go quietly to a peaceful Heaven. “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man/woman is peace.”

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