Summary: It is God’s desire for us to receive all the benefits of the Cross of Calvary.
October 11, 2009
Text: Psalm 103:1-5
Subject: What Christ Did
Title: Accepting the Fullness of the Cross
We live in perhaps the greatest nation to ever be created in the history of the world. I believe we all know that the initial reason for our greatness is the fact that we were founded on the very principles of life expounded in the Holy Scriptures.
Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence? It begins like this.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
I don’t know why some think we need to take God out of our government when He was there from the beginning.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
I want to stop there and look at those three things that are guaranteed us – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are the basic building blocks of our nation. Now let me ask you a question. Would you give up life in order to have liberty and happiness? Of course not! If you weren’t alive to enjoy it what difference would it make? What would life be like without liberty? Ask the people in China or Cuba. How would you do with life and liberty but were not allowed to pursue happiness? What would be the point? The fact is all of these things are promised us in this document, so why wouldn’t we take advantage of all that is ours acording to this document of freedom?
Now we have another document that has given us many promises as well. It is the Holy Bible, the Word of God. I want you to take you through five verses of Psalm 103 to show you what has been done for you and why you should be satisfied with nothing less than the whole promise. You can have the fullness of the cross.
Lord open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
I. CONFESSING WHO GOD IS. 1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. This is an exhortation to praise the Lord with your whole being. There are two realities mentioned here that are so closely intertwined that it is nearly impossible to separate them and that is the “soul” and “my inmost being” which refers to the spirit man. Hebrews 4:12 helps us understand how closely connected these are. 12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. The soul is the non-physical part of a man that defines who he is. It is his mind, emotions and personality. The spirit of a man is the inner man that defines, not who he is, but whose he is. For those who do not have a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ, their spirit man is dead. There is no spiritual life in them. For those who do know Jesus the spirit man is alive and well. In John 3:5-6, 5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. Paul wrote to the church in Rome, Romans 8:16, The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. It is when we have the breath of God breathed into us that our spirits come to life. So if we have that kind of relationship with God our first response should be that we recognize His preeminence and sovereignty by praising Him. We praise him with our minds, our emotions, our personalities, our spirits and with our bodies.
II. UNDERSTANDING WHO GOD IS. Once again David says, Praise the LORD, O my soul; I want you to see this one thing. Praise is not an automatic thing. We have to tell ourselves to praise God. We have to remind ourselves to open our mouths and lift up our hands. We have to submit the natural man to the influence of the Spirit. Praise the LORD, O my soul; David continues, and forget not all his benefits— Let’s do a little word study to see what David is telling us. The Hebrew word that is translated forget means to be oblivious to… Webster defines oblivious as being totally unaware or neglectful. Can you see how both of those attitudes would affect your response to the work on the Cross? Don’t be unaware of what God has done for you. And especially don’t be neglectful. James 1:23-25, 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. What is it that we are not to be oblivious to or neglectful of? God’s benefits! The word benefit means treatment or service. That is applicable to the life of Jesus who is the Servant / King. Don’t be unaware of the service He has provided you. Don’t be neglectful of the treatment Jesus is offering for sin and sickness. There was an eighty year old man who was out fishing at a pond one day and he looked over and saw a frog sitting on the pond bank next to him. The frog looked at him and said, “If you will pick me up and kiss me I’ll become the most beautiful woman in the county and we can get married.” He kept on fishing. “Did you hear me? If you’ll pick me up and kiss me I’ll turn into a beautiful woman and we can get married and live happily ever after.” That goes on for a while, then the old man reaches down and picks up the frog and puts it in his pocket. The frog asks, “What are you doing? Aren’t you going to kiss me?” “I’ve been married to a beautiful woman for sixty years. But a talking frog, that’s something you don’t see every day.” We must be careful not to overlook the promises that God has made to us.