Sermon #1595 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: O the Blessedness
of That Man!
Subject: Christ the Blessed Man
There is no portion of Holy Scripture that is more commonly read than the book of Psalms. This is the prayer book of God’s saints. Here, we are allowed to go with men after God’s own heart into their closets and hear them speak the words we want to speak to God, but can’t. Here, we are allowed to go with that one Man who is perfectly the Man after God’s own heart into his closet and hear him speak the words we want to speak to God, but can’t.
Martin Luther called the Psalms “a little Bible.” Robert Hawker describes this book as “an epitome of the Bible.” Such language is fully justified. In these magnificent Psalms we all the truths revealed throughout the Scriptures are given in concentrated and consecrated poetic form. The Book of Psalms, therefore, has a completeness not found in any other single book in the Inspired Volume. Thomas Scott must have had this thought in mind, when he wrote,
“There is nothing in true religion — doctrinal, experimental, and practical — but will present itself to our attention whilst we meditate upon the Psalms. The Christian’s use of them in the closet, and the minister’s in the pulpit, will generally increase with the growing experience of the power of true religion in their own hearts.”
As in all other portions of Holy Scripture, our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is pre-eminent throughout the Psalms. Jonathan Edwards said,
“The main subjects of these songs were the glorious things of the Gospel, as is evident by the interpretation that is often put upon them, and the use that is made of them, in the New Testament. For, there is no one book of the Old Testament that is so often quoted in the New as the Book of Psalms. Here Christ is spoken of in multitudes of songs.”
Without question, as we read the Psalms, we are to recognize that the various penmen were writing from their own life experiences. David and Solomon, like the other psalmists, wrote of their own experiences of God’s goodness, grace, mercy and love, and of their own experiences of abandonment, chastisement, sorrow, and deep trouble. Yet, when we read the words of these men who wrote these Psalms as they were moved along by God the Holy Spirit, we cannot help thinking, “Behold, a greater than Solomon is here!”
There is good reason for that. It is the intent of God the Holy Spirit in these Psalms to reveal the Son of God to his people. There are many passages in the Psalms that cannot be strictly applied to any man other than the God-man our Savior. The fact is the Book of Psalms is a Book of Praise to Christ for the blessedness found in him. The first word in the first psalm is “Blessed.” And the last word in the last psalm is “Hallelujah” — “Praise ye the Lord!” Everything from the first word to the last word in these 150 psalms reveals the blessedness found in Christ’s glorious Person and saving work and calls for everlasting praise to him who is the Lord God our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. This morning, I want us to look at Psalm 1.
Proposition: In this instructive Psalm, our Lord Jesus is set before us as the blessed man, the man who is blessed, the man who has earned blessedness, the man who has blessedness, and the man who makes us blessed.
The title of my message is — O the Blessedness of That Man! Let’s read the Psalm together.
(Psalms 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. (2) But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (3) 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. (4) The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. (5) Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. (6) For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
Divisions: — In verses 1-3 the Holy Spirit describes the blessed man. In verses 4 and 5 he gives us striking contrast, describing in these two verses the ungodly. Then, in verse 6, he assures us of two facts we ought ever to remember while we make our pilgrimage through this world.
The Blessed Man
(Psalms 1:1) “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.”
Anytime we read any description of humanity in perfection in the Word of God, we are compelled to understand it first and foremost as a description of the only perfect Man who ever walked upon the earth — The God-man Christ Jesus, our Mediator and Savior. Such portions of Holy Scripture apply to us only because of our union with him.
The holiness and perfection of that blessed Man spoken of in the first three verses of this Psalm cannot be applied to any fallen son of Adam with even the smallest shadow of truth.
The language of this first verse is much stronger than our English translation. It might be read, “O the blessedness, O the happiness, of that one Man, who has never walked in the counsel of the wicked, and has never stood in the way of sinners, and has never sat in the seat of scorners!”
Who is the man, where is he to be found, that has never walked in the counsel of the ungodly, who has never stood in the way of sinners, and has never sat down in the seat of scorners? No son or daughter of Adam could ever lay claim to such blessed behavior, to such blessedness conduct. No fallen man could ever claim such personal holiness. But when we read these words as a description of our ever blessed and infinitely holy Savior, they perfectly fit him. He alone is that Man who is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. Therefore, he is made higher than the heavens.
The first man, Adam, went away after the counsel of the Wicked One, transgressing the command of God. Christ, the last Adam, though tempted in all points like we are, never did.
Our God-man Mediator came into the world to save sinners, took sinners into his arms of grace, took the place of sinners, and receives sinners into his kingdom. But he never stood in the sinner’s way. — He knew no sin. His did no sin. Neither was guile found in his mouth.
And he never sat in the seat of the scornful, the hurtful, the proud, the haughty, and the self-righteous, though he was and is the very righteousness of God. Rather, he took the place of the lowest, and served the needs of our souls, that he might save us by his obedience unto death as our Representative and Substitute. Of whom can these be spoken, but of him who cried, “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me” (Ps. 40:7)?
· Christ is the Man who is truly happy and blessed, because he alone is the Man who is perfect.
· He has all blessedness in himself.
· He is the Man in whom, by whom, with whom, for whom, and from whom we are blessed.
· This One Blessed Man is the Man in whom we walked before God in the perfection of manhood!
(Psalms 1:2) “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
Again, these words can be applied to no man other than the God-man. Of whom can these be spoken, but of him who cried, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Ps. 40:8)? He and he alone is altogether holy, clean, and obedient.
Day and Night
What a truly blessed Man our Savior is! While he walked on this earth, he meditated in the law (the will) of his Father day and night, without ceasing. In the day, he went about fulfilling his Father’s will. When he lay down in the night, his holy heart was still set upon our salvation by his obedience to his Father’s will. In the daytime, he said to his mother, “I must be about my Father’s business.” In the night of great sorrow, he said to his Father, “Not my will, thy will be done.”
“Do not forget who it was that said, I delight to do thy will, 0 my God; yea, thy law is within my heart; or, as the margin of the Bible more strongly expresses it, in the midst of my bowels, meaning in his very nature, being that Holy Thing the angel described to Mary. See Psalm 40:8 and Luke 1:35. Sweet view of Jesus this!”
Christ’s True Character
Behold in this account of our all-glorious Christ, the true character of our Redeemer. This is that holiness and purity of nature, without which we can never see God (Heb. 12:14). This is he who of God is made unto us “Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption!”
In his righteousness we are made righteous. By virtue of our union with him and interest in him, and in all that concerns him, being joined to Christ and one with Christ, we are blessed with the very blessedness of perfection in Christ. Let us ever seek to follow his example, walk in his steps, and in all things imitate him. But let none who know their own hearts’ corruptions (not to mention the acts of evil by which we betray what we are) ever dream of applying such language as this to themselves (1 John 1:7-10).
(Psalms 1:3) “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 Tree Planted
Yes, Christ is here! Who but Christ is the Tree of Life, firmly planted in the Paradise of God by the rivers of water? Of whom can it be said, without reservation, condition, or qualification, He “bringeth forth his fruit in his season,” but our dear Savior? There is no other tree whose leaf never withers. There is no one else of whom it can be said, “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” The pleasure of the Lord prospers in his hand. Of him, and of him alone it is written, “He shall not fail!”
Yes, we are made branches in him, we live and thrive in him, and we bring forth fruit in him. He said, “Because I live ye shall live also.” But, though we live in him, and by him, and from him, we live and derive all life and nourishment, moisture and fruitfulness, in due season only in union with Christ and by virtue of Christ, the self-existing, life-imparting Tree in the midst of the Garden of God, who is the same yesterday, to day, and forever (Heb. 13:8). In him and in him alone there is no fading and no falling, but constant blooming, both in blossom and fruit for his people.
(Psalms 1:4) “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.”
What a sad contrast! All that are not grafted into Christ, the true and heavenly Vine, are like chaff. Their leaf and its blossom will wither to dust and shall be blown away to everlasting destruction. Our Savior said, “Every plant, that my Father bath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13). The ungodly, that is all the sons and daughters of Adam, all who are without Christ, are as empty and meaningless as the dust of chaff. — “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:28).
(Psalms 1:5) “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”
In that great Day of Judgment when God shall winnow his floor, as he gathers the wheat into his garner, he shall burn the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matt. 3:12). For now, our Master commands us to “let both grow together unto the harvest.” But even now, he is gathering the tares into bundles for the burning of that day (Matt. 13).
In verse six the Holy Spirit shows us the meaning and application of all that we have seen in the first five verses of this first Psalm.
(Psalms 1:6) “For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
“For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous.” — What is the Way of the Righteous? Our Savior said, “I am the Way.” Christ himself is the Way of the righteous. His people are the people of the Way. He is the Door by which we enter into life everlasting. And he is the Way in which we walk in life. And the Lord knows, approves of this Way. He says, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased.”
“The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” — And as Christ is “the way, and the truth, and the life,” in him the Lord approves of all that are in him and accepts us in him. The Way of every saved sinner, every justified believer in the Lord Jesus is known and approved of by God. That is to say, all who are in Christ are accepted in the Beloved.
“But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” — The way of seducers, the ungodly, waxes worse and worse, and shall perish forever. That way that seems right to all men, the way of free will works salvation, the way of Babylon, shall end in everlasting destruction. When Babylon falls all who are in Babylon shall fall with her.
Let us ever remember that Christ alone is our Righteousness. As we look up to him in the holiness of character with which he is set before us in this Psalm, let it be our delight and our joy to tell God our Father, what a perfection of beauty, glory, and holiness, there was and is in him, who is our Mediator and Savior. Let our souls be found always rejoicing in the contemplation of his holy Being and glorying in him alone as that Holiness with which we hope to see God face to face in eternal glory.
· His righteousness is for us, his people.
· His obedience and delight in the Father’s law, is the justification of all the redeemed.
· And in his holiness, we are counted holy before God.
· Our God and Father looks upon Christ as our glorious Head and beholds us complete, perfect, righteous, and holy in him.
“Hail! Thou Holy One of God! Thou art the Lord, our righteousness! And thou art made of God to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. And do thou, blessed Lord, grant us faith to know, and to consider ourselves as perfectly secured in thee. Give us to flourish in thee, and from thee, as the tree planted near the river’s side, even from the streams of that river of life which cometh forth from the throne of God and the Lamb. Then, our souls shall be as the well-watered garden, whose waters fail not, but deriving all from thee, thou wilt be in us a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.”
 Date: Sunday Morning (SS) — October 24, 2004
Zebulon Baptist Church — Pikeville, KY
Thursday Evening — November 4, 2004
Tape # Y-46a