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Restoration of a Backslider

By E. A. Johnston Bible Text: Preached on: Psalm 23 Sunday, February !, 2" 3

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-in& .a/id *as uni0uely fitted to *rite Psalm 23. 1e *as a she2herd and *as in that ca2acity *hen )od took him from the shee2fold and made him a kin&. -in& .a/id *as a man after )od3s o*n heart. 1e lo/ed )od *ith all his heart and sou&ht him as a deer 2anteth after the *ater brooks. But -in& .a/id *as also a backslider *ho backed a*ay from )od and throu&h disobedience and the deceitfulness of sin &rie/ed the heart of )od *ith his sin *ith Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, 4riah the 1ittite. )od had this to say about .a/id3s de2arture from him throu&h sin, found in cha2ter of 2 Samuel. 5But the thin& that .a/id had done dis2leased the 6ord.7 8n fact, cha2ter of 2 Samuel is a 2ortrait of a real 9ha2ter of bankru2tcy in the life of .a/id. S2iritual bankru2tcy throu&h *illful sin. %y messa&e today, friends, is an e:2osition of Psalm 23 and it is entitled, 5$he Restoration of a Backslider.7 For it is a 2icture of the restoration of a backslidden shee2 restored to the she2herd. Psalm 23 is not *ritten about a &oat, a lost 2erson but it s2eaks of shee2, a sa/ed 2erson *ho needed restoration to his she2herd. A 9hristian can be a backslider. 8 kno* some may ar&ue this 2oint from a theolo&ical stance and say, 5;o, a 9hristian cannot backslide. 8f a 2erson sins *illfully then that 2erson is really lost.7 $hat3s not *hat my Bible teaches. %y Bible s2eaks of backsliders and their restoration to )od. Psalm 23 s2eaks on this to2ic for it is about a shee2 *ho *ent astray and needed to be brou&ht back to a ri&ht relationshi2 *ith the )ood She2herd. 8 kno* the sad moments in my o*n life *here 8 ha/e strayed a*ay from my She2herd. But in his &race, mercy and &reat lo/e he has al*ays fetched me back. A 9hristian is a 2erson *ho *ill al*ays be fetched back and restored to a ri&ht relationshi2 *ith 9hrist Jesus because my Bible states in Phili22ians, bein& confident in this /ery thin&. 51e *hich hath be&un a &ood *ork in you *ill 2erform it until the day of Jesus 9hrist.7 <ur sal/ation ori&inated *ith )od. 1e be&an the &ood *ork of &race in our hearts and as lon& as *e li/e in our im2erfect state, in this sin=soaked *orld, *e can rest assured that )od *ill carry on that *ork of sal/ation in our li/es until *e finish our course and he cro*ns the *ork of his hands. Psalm 23 s2eaks about a shee2 and a she2herd and it is 2ersonali>ed. $he 6ord is my she2herd, 8 am his shee2, thou&h 8 stray he *ill &o after me because that is *hat he does. %y heart and nature is 2rone to *ander, 2rone to follo* other /oices that lead me astray

Pa&e of #

de?ected. Pa&e 2 of # . 1e maketh me to lie do*n in &reen 2asturesB he leadeth me beside the still *aters. @ou are malnourished. 5Return to me and 8 *ill return to you. my )od. Perha2s you are in a dry 2lace needin& s2iritual nourishment.from the she2herd of my soul. 8n Psalm 22. @ou are sick of feedin& on the &ra/el of sin. Shee2 need the tender care and leadin& of a she2herd. belie/ers are com2ared to shee2. 8 *ill fear no e/ilB for thou art *ith meA thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. that *e should be holy and *ithout blame before him in lo/e ha/in& 2redestined us unto the ado2tion of children by Jesus 9hrist to himself accordin& to the &ood 2leasure of his *ill. ha/e &reater debtor daily 8 am constrained to be. thou&h 8 *alk throu&h the /alley of the shado* of death. 1e *ill restore you. seal it for thy courts abo/e. 6et us read Psalm 23 to&ether ri&ht no*. <ne shee2 &oes into a ditch and t*o more *ill follo* it then they all ha/e to be dra&&ed out by the she2herd. )od has the &race re2entance ready for you no*. is about a *anderin& shee2 restored to his she2herd. All three are fitted to&ether like a strin& of 2earls. 5Accordin& as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the *orld. For it *as my sins that nailed him there to that bloody tree. But Jesus *ill al*ays come fetch me back. so unfathomable that it sur2asses human understandin&. $urn aside no* and turn back to him is the theme of this messa&e today. <h friend. )od has &race for you to return to him. Jesus is my Sa/ior on a cross for my sin. <ne s2eaks of a cross. 6ord 8 feel it. Jesus *ill fetch you back. 8t continually &ets into difficulties. @ou kno* you are unha22y in your sin. 1e lo/es me *ith a lo/e so &reat. 6et thy &oodness like a fetter bind my *anderin& heart to thee.7 8sn3t that beautiful.7 8n the Bible. <h to &race. Surely &oodness and mercy shall follo* me all the days of my lifeB and 8 *ill d*ell in the house of the 6ord for e/er. an unconditional lo/e that be&an in the heart of )od. $his messa&e today. E2hesians s2eaks of this /ery thin&. Prone to lea/e the )od 8 lo/e. 1ere3s my heart. Perha2s you are that shee2. in des2air o/er your sin and your de2arture from )od. $hou 2re2arest a table before me in the 2resence of mine enemiesB thou anointest my head *ith oilA my cu2 runneth o/er. A shee2 is 2robably the dumbest of all animals. @ou *ant to come back but you don3t kno* ho*. $he Bible declares. 4nbelie/ers are com2ared to &oats.7 $hat3s a 2romise. Before the foundation of the *orld *as laid. @ea. 5%y )od. A shee2 is 2rone to *ander a*ay from the fold. Perha2s you ha/e strayed from the heart of )od throu&h sin. friend. 8t is the she2herd3s ?ob to &o after the strained shee2 and restore it to the fold and 2lace it back under his care to bind u2 its *ounds *ith oil and restore it to stay near his side. $he &reat hem come thou fount of e/ery blessin& s2eaks of the &race of )od and my *anderin& nature. < take and seal it. 8t is im2ortant to our understandin& of Psalm 23 to reali>e its 2osition bet*een Psalm 22 and Psalm 2'. 8 *as in the heart of )od. friendD Psalm 23 has been described as a 2earl and it is lo/ely like a 2earl and rich like a 2earl. Prone to *ander. 5$he 6ord is my she2herdA 8 shall not *ant. one s2eaks of a crook and one s2eaks of a cro*n. )oats are hard=headed and &o the *ron& *ay. 1e restoreth my soulB he leadeth me in the 2aths of ri&hteousness for his nameCs sake. friends. %y *retched sins that made him cry out in a&ony. @ou lon& a&ain for the &reen 2astures s2oken of in Psalm 23.

Romans (B ' declares. sir. $hou&h they mean one and the self same thin&.7 8sn3t it beautiful. . Sin shall not ha/e dominion o/er you. A shee2 hun&ry for &reen 2astures. the -in& of &lory.a/id3s case. 1e died for me and he died for you friend. a lo/in& kin& *ho has our best interests at heart. Psalm 23 s2eaks of a shee2 in need of restoration. . 8n 23. if the /irtue of 9hrist3s life come in it *ill take do*n that so/erei&n hi&h rei&n of sin *hich the *icked suffer. 23 of &uidance and 2' of &lory. *e can take our eyes off our he2herd and *ander into sin. *e lea/e the 2rotecti/e care of the she2herd. *earin& a cro*n. your sins nailed him there to that tree. consider this. @our sins caused the death of 9hrist. 23 to the 2resent and 2' to the future. 23 and 2' bare an e:ceedin&ly interestin& relation to one another. %y sins *hich made him die for me. thou&h it seems dead. 58 &rant there is some difference amon& di/ines in their e:2ressions concernin& the sins of )od3s o*n 2eo2le. 8n 22 *e see the cross. Psalm 22 tells of his &race. John 3B. 9hrist she2herdin& of me and 9hrist so/erei&nty o/er me. he is the So/erei&n. @our sins nailed him there. friends. Sin is a tyrant. he is the She2herd. $he &reat Bible teacher )raham Scro&&ie had this to say about these three Psalms and their relation to one another.*hy hast thou forsaken meE7 %y sins *hich made my Sa/ior bleed. 8saac Ambrose. $he flesh indeed may sometimes lust a&ainst the s2irit but it shall not totally 2re/ail or &et the u22er hand. 8t is cruel. is a kin&.7 @es. the seed of )od remained in them. <h my soul. So as Psalm 22 s2eaks of my redem2tion from sin by my Sa/ior. Fhen *e &o astray throu&h sin and backslide.. 5Psalms 22. A shee2 thirsty for still *aters. @our sins made him bleed. as he s2eaks of sin as a tyrant in the life of a backslider. and *ill not stri/e a&ainst.o. the *ill and consent may run alon& *ith sin. 6isten to the *ords of the Puritan. but *e ha/e this ho2e and Pa&e 3 of # . $here cannot be that antecedent and conse0uent consent to sin in the &odly as in the *icked.o actual resistance may be made a&ainst sin at all and yet at the /ery same time. 9hrist is the Sa/ior. 1o* s*eet these three Psalms are. ho* )od has di/inely arran&ed the scri2tures for our benefit. <ur sin causes us to fall into a ditch *here *e need deli/erance. some call them only the sin of infirmity and others &rant the name of rei&nin& sins. 8n 22. Psalm 22 is related to the 2ast. not as a kin&. Psalm 23 s2eaks of me as his shee2 sa/ed from sin but 2rone to *ander. At some times. friend. <ur sin often leads us to dry 2laces *here there is no nourishment. 1ere surely is *hat the Puritans *ould call a *hole body of di/inity. they s2eak of 9hrist sufferin& for me. Fhat &reat dan&er *e court *hen *e &o out and sin. Sin rei&neth as a tyrant o/er them. 1o* &reat is his for&i/eness. But *ith this limitation that this is not a total rei&nin&. %y sins. as in . 9hrist on the other hand. And in 2'. *hen *e &et out from under his *in& and his care. 1o* dee2 is his lo/e. unsatisfyin& and demandin&. in 23 the crook and in 2' the cro*n. And in )od3s o*n time that /ery seed *ill re/i/e a&ain and thro* out the tyrant. <ur sin makes us sick in soul *here *e need healin&. 1o* s*eet is the &race of )od. Fe must not abuse the &race of )od and li/e in Antinomianism. Psalm 2' s2eaks of 9hrist as kin&.

Psalm 2' states. $hou art the man. *here *e can *alk u2ri&htly *ith our )od in a red=hot lo/e relationshi2 *ith him once a&ain.7 )od is ?ust in his Son and his 2romise to him that those *ho come throu&h him shall be for&i/en on his account. it robs )od of his &lory. Jesus our she2herd *ill &rant us the &race of re2entance. in his letter to the church in E2hesus.7 )od *ill defend his holy name. Selah. But bless )od.7 8s this not a 2icture of re/i/al *here the kin& of &lory comes inD Fhen 9hrist our she2herd restores us to a ri&ht relationshi2 *ith him then *e can e:2erience a 2ersonal re/i/al. <ur heart beats after him.id not the risen 9hrist s2eak to his 2eo2le in Re/elation cha2ter 2. he is our she2herd. he is faithful and ?ust to for&i/e us our sins and to cleanse us from all unri&hteousness.a/id3s heart smote him and after another . he is more than able to come fetch us back a&ain.7 <h friend. /erse 3. 1e is the restorer. But the 2romise of the Psalmist states. 58 kno* thy *orks and thy labor and thy 2atience. the 6ord mi&hty in battle. ho* true that is. $hou&h )od may suffer his 2eo2le to fall into sin he *ill not suffer them to lie still in it. Jesus our she2herd *ill &o after us and fetch us a&ain and restore a ri&ht relationshi2 to him. Fe are his shee2.surety that if *e do *ander a*ay from 9hrist our she2herd and sin. he is the -in& of &lory. 51e restoreth my soul. 5. <h. Remember. )od restored his soul. Pa&e ' of # . the Bible commentator on Psalm 23. 83m still on the *ay. E/en if *e &o astray and sin.7 And then in /erse ' he states. from *hence thou art fallen and re2ent and do the first *orks or else 8 *ill come unto thee 0uickly and *ill remo/e thy candlestick out of its 2lace e:ce2t thou re2ent. < ye &atesA e/en lift them u2. Fe ha/e once a&ain the ?oy of our sal/ation restored to us and *e sin& a ne* son&. . 58f *e confess our sins. <h. 1e *ill settle us in the &reen 2astures of his holy *ord so *e may feed there and renourish our souls. his she2herdly care is continually o/er us. therefore. *e ha/e this 2romise from John B. <h friend. 6isten to the *ise comments of %atthe* 1enry. he is the initiator. be&innin& in /erse G.. ye e/erlastin& doorsA and the -in& of &lory shall come in. the flesh and the de/il then *e lea/e the she2herd of our souls and end u2 in a backslidden state. is it not our de2arture from our first lo/e that leads us into sinD Fhen our eyes &o after others. Fho is this -in& of &loryD $he 6ord of hosts. *e lon& to be in his 2resence and to ne/er lea/e the side of our she2herd a&ain. 8 ha/e some*hat a&ainst thee because thou has left thou first lo/e. 6ift u2 your heads. for a red=hot lo/e relationshi2 *ith Jesus 9hrist. 1e leadeth me into 2aths of ri&hteousness for his name3s sake. 1enry comments. the *orld. the sadness of sin and the re2roach it brin&s on our )od. 51e restoreth my soul.e/ertheless. 1e is the -in& of )lory. $his is accom2lished throu&h his &race. 1e *ill lead us beside the still *aters of his 2resence *here all is 2eace once a&ain.7 8 kno* 83/e made some im2erfect track friends as 8 ha/e *alked alon& the narro* *ay. Fhen after one sin . 5Fho is this -in& of &loryD $he 6ord stron& and mi&hty.athan *as sent to tell him.

Pa&e # of # . if you ha/e strayed from Jesus.Remember this friend. Selah. < friend. no 2eace. 1e *ill restore us.7 9ome to him no* and ask him for the &race of re2entance for his restoration of 2eace to brin& you back into a ri&ht relationshi2 *ith him. $here is 2eace there. about Psalm 23. $here is ho2e there *ith our blessed ho2e and she2herd of our souls. 8n that barren 2lace of sin there is no rest. 8t is about me and my she2herd and no one else is around. make us to lie do*n in &reen 2astures and lead us by still *aters *ith the 2eace of 9hrist. )oodness and mercy *ill follo* you as a belie/er and a follo*er of the 6amb. Fho is the -in& of &loryD $he 6ord of 1osts. $urn back a&ain and rest on the 2romise of )od3s *ord. you ha/e him all to yourself. 1e does this for his name3s sake and for his &lory. 1e *ill lead us in 2aths of ri&hteousness as he 2erfects his *ork of on&oin& sanctification in our li/es. Jesus restores for t*o reasonsB for our safety and for his honor. they *ill feed you the &ra/el of sin. $here is ?oy there. it is /ery 2ersonal. look unto him. 8t is about you and your she2herd. 5Return to me and 8 *ill return to you. But 9hrist our Redeemer *ill brin& us back into a ri&ht relationshi2 *ith him. Satan and sin are tyrants *ho *ill star/e you. 1e is the -in& of &lory. $here is safety there. only unrest.