Complete in Christ, the LawKeeper Psalm 119:1-8 WCBC 03.10.20

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(1) Who or what makes you feel complete, unabandoned?
(2) Do I live as though Jesus has really completed me?
(3) If I am pursuing the feeling of completeness in someone or something other than God, is that ok?
(4) If I am complete in Christ, how do I enjoy that completeness?
(4) If I am complete
Psalm 119:1-8 WCBC 03.10.20
Illustration:
“People don’t leave jobs. People leave people.” That is a phrase that is not uncommonly heard in corporate America. It means that people can typically put up with the circumstances of their work if they like the person they are working with at the job. Much of our delight comes from whether the person we desire company with is present or not.
Going to college chapel was great, but if I knew that my beloved would be there, it was delightful. The opposite can be true as well. When the person we desire most is not there, it makes the experience to be less delightful.
TRANSITION: The writer seems to have this kind of concern in mind as he concludes with his petition (v.8)
My intention this morning is three-fold:
(1) I want to us to all interact with the actual text of scripture to understand what is taking place.
(2) I want to see how this scripture brings us to Jesus Christ.
(3) I want us to see how the finished work of Jesus makes the message of the passage possible.
So, we will answer:
What is the writer saying?
Why is the writer saying this?
What does it mean?
What is the command of the passage?
Why should it matter?
How does it apply?
PAUSE FOR PRAYER

What is the writer saying? (Psalm 119:1-4)

There is good fortune/happiness when someone walks blamelessly according to God’s law. Is this teaching prosperity theology?
What is the writer saying? (Psalm 119:1-4)
Illustration: Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, the gospel of success, or seed faith)[A] is a religious belief among some Protestant Christians that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one's material wealth.[1] Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology]
God is not a big cosmic vending machine.
TRANSITION: If the writer is saying that there is happiness when someone walks according to God’s law, and it is not the false doctrine of prosperity theology, then what exactly does he mean?

What does this mean? (Psalm 119:1)

To be undefiled is to be blameless or to have integrity. The thought here is that of integrity or completeness.
Illustration: At it’s completion, it was considered to be an engineering marvel. On it’s opening day, an estimated 200,000 walked upon it. Many ran in attempts to be the first on it. Of course, this is the “Golden Gate Bridge”. At it’s 50th Anniversary, 300,000 people packed on to the bridge causing it to sag 7 feet, flattening out its’ iconic arch.
This is the idea in mind with the word “undefiled.” It is the idea of any structural integrity. It is completeness.
What kind of completeness does the blessed man have? One that does not lack the presence of the Lord. “If I have you, I have all I need.”
Point: Those who walk in obedience to the law of God can have the presence of the Lord.
Example:
Psalm 68:8 KJV 1900
The earth shook, the heavens also dropped At the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved At the presence of God, the God of Israel.
Shame” in OT usage connotes a state of being abandoned by the Lord and condemned to utter ruin, such as becomes the enemies of God (cf. vv. 31, 46, 80; 6:10; 25:2; 83:17

What is the imperative/command?

Feel the weight of what the song is saying: Keep the statutes of the Lord if you will enjoy the fortune of God’s presence.
Some of us think that we have this in the bag, but let me give you an example of why this is heavy.
Illustration:
Our school has a bowling team.
This past year our family enjoyed watching our son bowl on the bowling team. After the season was over, our family decided to go bowling. Pete Weber is a PBA top five greatest of all times (Pete Weber: 37 career titles, 10 major championships, 6 PBA 50 titles). Imagine that he joined our family. Each of us would immediately become aware of how “not good” at bowling we really are.
What does this mean? (Psalm 119:1)
Around the 5th frame, I heard a pop in my wrist and immediately felt pain. The rest of the time I bowled left-handed. Now my awareness of how inadequate I am before Pete Weber would’ve become increasingly heightened. What makes this so uncomfortable is that I am being watched by someone who has perfected the craft of bowling.
In similar fashion, the writer is expressing a desire to be complete by having the presence of God through obedience to the word. Please sense the weight of how impossible this seems.

Why should I care about what the writers is saying?

Genesis 3:1 KJV 1900
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Genesis 3:8 KJV 1900
And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3:17 KJV 1900
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
The basic principle of this passage is important for all mankind. Being complete in God means having the presence of God - not being forsaken. This only comes to those who are obedient to His word.
TRANSITION: How obedient to the LORD’s law does one have to be in order to maintain his presence? The weight of this expectation must sink in. (Garden required complete)
(b) Context principle – you should care about enjoying the presence of God through obedience to his word because of your relationship in Christ.
(a) We should care BECAUSE OF RELATIONSHIP
Context principle – you should care about enjoying the presence of God through obedience to his word because of your relationship in Christ.
Glorifying God through a harmonious relationship with him through his word is why God created for himself a people for his name. This song is written by someone in relationship with the LORD.
(a.1.) The writer of the passage
It is important to see how the writer of the passage is the “servant”. (, , )
(a.2) The language of the passage () – eight words for law, name: Jehovah
(b.3) The structure of the passage (waiting on fulfillment - v. 8)
(a.3) The structure of the passage (waiting on fulfillment - v. 8)
(A.3.a) The Command to “us” ()
(A.3.b) The Exclamation/Petition ()
(A.4.c) The Confession of the Servant/Petition ()
(b.4.c) The Confession of the Servant/Petition (Psalm 119:6-8)
Notice the petition, “O forsake me not utterly…”
The petition of the song writer finds the answer in the sending of Jesus Christ. How is Jesus Christ the fulfillment of this petition:
Garden of Eden - presence lost
Through Israel’s history, God would make presence known:
Giving of the Law to Moses
Tabernacle
Temple
But the promise came that God gave to his people was in – that a virgin would conceive and his name would be called Immanuel. See .
Isaiah 7:14 KJV 1900
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, And shall call his name Immanuel.
Matthew 1:23 KJV 1900
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
The petition of the song writer finds the answer in the sending of Jesus Christ.
The coming of Christ was the coming of God among mankind, a sort of restoration of the very presence of God. Certainly, Jesus kept the law of God perfectly, and we see his zeal for the word.
He clearly enjoyed the presence of the Father as no one else had ever enjoyed living in perfect harmonious obedience to the word of the Father.
The Irony of Jesus Christ
So, we should find it tremendously striking when we hear the following passages exclaim the Jesus Christ was forsaken by the Father though he never disobeyed the word of the Father.
We find it striking that Jesus in one sense is banished from the Garden though he never disobeyed. Psalm 22:1, Matthew 27:46 Why? It is because Jesus endured being forsaken by the Father for the sinfulness of mankind. He is the Substitution.
(b.4) The fulfillment of the petition of is through the abandonment of Christ.
Jesus rightly deserved God’s presence offered/mediated and he took our deserved forsaking. Through being forsaken - experiencing what we (law-breakers) deserve.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the Servant who kept all of the Law but he experienced becoming a Curse, so that we would be blessed “in Him.”
Jesus is the Blessed Man, and we are BLESSED IN JESUS. ,
1 Corinthians 1:30–31 KJV 1900
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:30–31 KJV 1900
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
2 Corinthians 1:20 KJV 1900
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
2 Corinthians 1:20 KJV 1900
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Summary:
Keep the statutes of the Lord if you will enjoy the fortune of God’s presence. I could not, but Jesus did, so now I enjoy the blessing of God’s unending presence in Jesus Christ.
(B) Christian principle - Because you are now complete in Jesus, you are able to enjoy the never ending presence of the wonderful God.
Some people get the idea that for them to be complete, they need to read and obey the Bible. No, for God to accept you, you must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Your devotion to the word of God should be because you have been fully accepted in Christ. You are complete in Jesus. ,
Colossians 2:9–10 KJV 1900
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Ephesians 1:6 KJV 1900
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Illustration:
I met my Catrina Swanson 20 years ago this past month. She was new on the campus. She worked at a restaurant called Bob Evans, and I had begun pursuing a relationship with her, so I decided to to to the restaurant and ask for her seating section. I ordered a meal that cost no more than $7 or $8 dollars, so I left a $20 and told her to keep the change. I was trying to send a strong message to her. Fortunately, she took the hint and on June 2, 2001 we were married.
Now, I don’t seek to have time with her on a date because I hope that she will choose me to be in relationship with. I don’t seek to have time with her because I want her to love me. Rather, it is because we are in covenant with each other that I seek time with her. A deeper, richer experience is my joy because of the relationship we already have.
So it is with the Christian, you should strive to live in obedience to the word of God because you are already in full covenant with God through Jesus Christ.
1 John 2:3 KJV 1900
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
You are not looking to be complete by what you do. You are doing what you do because you are already complete.
The unceasing presence of Christ is with you forever. . See your completeness in Christ. (This is spiritually & experientialy accomplished in the Spirit of Christ.
Hebrews 13:5–6 KJV 1900
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Because you have the presence of God through the finished work of Jesus Christ, you can and should live in obedience to the word of God.
Complete in Thee, No work of mine Could take, dear Lord, The place of Thine. Thy blood hath pardon bought for me, And I shall stand Complete in Thee.
Yea, justified, oh, blessed thought, And sanctified, salvation wrought. Thy blood hath pardon bought for me, And glorified I, too, shall be.
Complete in Thee, Each want supplied, And no good thing To me denied. Since Thou my portion, Lord, will be, I ask no more, Complete in Thee.
CHORUS
Complete in Thee, No more shall sin Thy grace has conquered Reign within. Thy blood shall bid the tempter flee, And I shall stand Complete in Thee.
Complete in Thee, No more shall sin Thy grace has conquered Reign within. Thy blood shall bid the tempter flee, And I shall stand Complete in Thee.
CHORUS
Dear Savior, when before Thy bar All tribes and tongues assembled are, Among the chosen I shall be At thy right hand, Complete in Thee. CHORUS

How does this apply?

(1) Be born again! There is no blessing outside of Jesus Christ.
(2) Know and believe the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. (Christocentric Bible reading)
(3) Examine what you are pursing for “completeness”. Repent of idolatry.
(4) Enjoy the presence of God through the scriptures. Love. Read. Study.Memorize. Meditate. Pray through the scriptures.
(5) Savor each time the scriptures are opened in a class. What a reminder that you enjoy completion in Christ.
Quote:
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” - Pascal
We enjoy that completeness as we live in obedience to the scriptures.
If you have a class where the scriptures are opened, rejoice because you are about to enjoy the privilege of never being forsaken.
If you have a class where the scriptures are opened, rejoice because you are about to enjoy the privilege of never being forsaken.
And glorified I, too, shall be.
Fear of abandonment/loneliness?
TRANSITION: The writer seems to have this kind of concern in mind as he concludes with his petition (v.8).
What exactly is the writer saying?
What is the writer saying? ()
There is good fortune and happiness when someone walks blamelessly according to God’s law. The person who walks blamelessly according to God’s law is blessed. Is this teaching prosperity theology?
Illustration:
Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, the gospel of success, or seed faith)[A] is a religious belief among some Protestant Christians that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one's material wealth.[1] Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology]
TRANSITION: If the writer is saying that there is happiness when someone walks according to God’s law, and it is not the false doctrine of prosperity theology, then what exactly does he mean?
What does this mean? ()
To be undefiled is to be blameless or to have integrity. The thought here is that of integrity or completeness.
Illustration:
In the engineering field, the term is used as “structural integrity” and it means that quality of being whole or complete. Golden Gate Bridge....
What kind of completeness?
It is a completeness that does not lack the presence of the LORD.
“Happy are those who have the presence of the LORD, who walk in the law of the LORD.”
What is the imperative?
Keep the statutes of the Lord if you will enjoy the fortune of God’s presence.
Why should I care about what the writers is saying?
(a) Creative principle - glorifying God through a harmonious relationship with him through his word is why we mankind was created. The basic principle of this passage is important for all mankind. Being complete in God means having the presence of God - not being forsaken. This only comes to those who are obedient to His word.
How obedient to the LORD’s law does one have to be in order to maintain his presence? The weight of this expectation must sink in.
(b) Context principle - glorifying God through a harmonious relationship with him through his word is why God created for himself a people for his name. This song is written by someone in relationship with the LORD.
(b.1.) The writer of the passage
(b.2) The language of the passage
(b.3) The structure of the passage (waiting on fulfillment - v. 8)
(b.4) The fulfillment of the passage is in Christ (lived in perfect harmony with God through the word, as the living Word)
The presence of God that was lost in creation due to sin is supplied in Jesus Christ - through his righteous life. Through being forsaken - experiencing what we (law-breakers) deserve.
(c) Christian principle - Because you are now complete in Jesus - because now you are
How does this apply?
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