Summary: The first part of a two part sermon on Psalm one.
This Psalm naturally fall into two divisions of three verses each. Verses 1-3 speak of the man who is blessed by God, while verses 4-6 speak of the man who is condemned by God. This two-fold division of mankind is seen elsewhere in Scripture. The Bible says there are two types of people - saints and sinners, saved and lost, godly and ungodly, believers and unbelievers, those who are blessed by God and those who are condemned by God.
Today we will to look at what the Psalmist says about the man who is blessed by God, and in the message to follow, we will look at what we are told about the man who is condemned by God.
As we read verses 1-3, we find that the person spoken of here is not only a believer, but one who is a whole-hearted follower. Unlike the typical Christian of our day, this person is one who has not only trusted God with his eternal destiny, but also with his daily life. He is someone who lets his relationship with God to rule every area of his life. Notice what we are told here about the man who is blessed by God.
1. He Is Separated From The World - v. 1
Here we find three degrees of worldliness. Each is a step further from God. The first is that of "walking in the counsel of the wicked," the second is that of "standing in the way of sinners," and the third is that of "sitting in the seat of mockers." Each speaks of a progressively worse state of worldliness, and tells about the path followed by the Christian who backslides and turns away from God.
Worldliness in the life of the Christian begins with a consideration of the world’s opinions, then grows with an acceptance of the world’s values, and results in an agreement with the world’s viewpoint!
Associated with these degrees of worldliness are three movements. One can envision the believer passing by the world, slowing down to walk with the world to hear what it has to say, stopping and standing to carry on a fuller visit, then finally joining in with the world in its activities.
But the man who is blessed by God knows that he cannot afford to listen to what the world has to say, much less participate in what the world is doing. He must continue in his walk with God - he cannot stop walking with God for any reason.
Notice how he is separated from the world:
A. He Thinks Differently - v. 1a
Worldliness begins in the mind (Romans 12:2). To live separated from the world, we must determine that we are going to reject the counsel the world gives and listen to the that God gives through His Word!
A wise person once said, "All the water of the ocean cannot sink even the smallest ship unless it gets inside." There’s a lot of "worldly water" about us. But it can never cause us to sink unless we let it get inside and fill our minds, conquer our courage, and influence our thinking.
"The Christian is not ruined by living in the world, but by the world living in him."
B. He Acts Differently - v. 1b
He acts differently than the world, because his values are different, and his values are different because he is not walking in the counsel of the wicked, but walking in the counsel of God. In making decisions, he is guided by the principles of God, rather than the opinions of the world.
C. He Feels Differently - v. 1c
The man who is blessed by God feels differently than the world does about the things of God. The world mocks the things of God, but he loves the things of God. The world despises the "high calling of God in Christ Jesus," but he lives to see that calling fulfilled in his life. The world loves the life of sin but hates the life of God, but he hates the life of sin and loves the life of God! How sad it is to see a Christian who through allowing his thinking to be influenced by the world, acts like the world acts and feels like the world feels!
There was a wild duck that began to live in a barnyard of tame ducks. After months of tame living and heavy eating, he tried to rejoin his old flock of wild birds when they flew over. But he was too heavy and soft. Each time they flew over, he was stirred to make an effort to join them, but finally as he was not able to fly with them, he lost his desire to fly.
In rejecting the counsel of God & listening to the counsel of the world, we are led to feel like the world feels. We lose the desire to answer "the high calling of God that is in Christ Jesus!"