“Why Obedience Will Make Your Testimony Believable”

(Psalm 119:41-48)



I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.

This morning,

We saw have race to run:

Are to set aside sin,

Even things not sin, but that hinder,

And live consistently for Lord,

No matter what cost,

Just as Jesus did for us.

That’s what need to do

If going to arrive in heaven.

And God will make sure we do

If trust His Son.


B. Preview.

What the author said

Is really no different

From what psalmist says tonight

As he encourages us also to obey the Lord.


God’s moral standard never changes.

There always have been/will be many benefits in keeping/obeying:

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Obedience brings blessing,

And moral purity.

Can also bring persecution –

But even that is blessing –

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness,

For theirs kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:10).

The Law can bring personal revival,

And show us what really matters in this life –

Can turn us from vanity

To things that are really important –

The things eternal.


This evening see

Can also bring personal transformation

That can be powerful testimony

To truth of Gospel.

II. Sermon.
A. As the psalmist did before

He again does now:

Asks God for something

Only He can give: His lovingkindnesses –

Those particular mercies He sovereignly gives

To whom He wills

When and where He wills.

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What was psalmist asking for?

Perhaps what we saw him pray

Two week ago:

That God would remove false way from him

And graciously grant him to walk in His Laws (v. 29),


Or last week:

“Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity,

And revive me in your ways” (v. 37).

Both mean essentially same,

And are things you and I

Should pray every day,

Particularly, that He would turn our eyes

From the empty, worthless things of this world

To things really matter.


Here, puts it in other terms:

“Your salvation according to Your Word” (v. 41).

Doesn’t mean eternal salvation,

Since psalmist presumably already saved.

May be referring to salvation from particular enemy,

Or from ultimate enemy – his sin.


Remember this morning:

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“You have not yet resisted to the shedding of blood

In your striving against sin” (Heb. 12:4).

Psalmist desires same.


B. What does psalmist hope to gain

By this request?

It appears that might be better testimony for God.

“So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your word” (v.
42).


Sin can bring reproach/criticism from others

Especially when they know you’re a Christian.

Unbelievers love when Christians sin –

It gives them excuse for theirs.

So they’ll do everything can

To get you to sin,

But criticize when you do,

And call you hypocrite.

You know how shameful it is

When they can justly point finger at you.


But what would happen

If could maintain a blameless life?

Can’t do anything perfectly,

But our imperfection should be more inward than out –

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In other words,

In motives, rather than actions.

Even in our imperfection,

Unbelievers should be able to look at you

And see someone that acts outwardly like Jesus –

Remember, disciples first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:26),

Because they were living like Christ.


If can live that way,

Then have answer for those who criticize you –

The answer of a good life,

The most powerful argument you can bring.


Or can say as Jesus,

If I’ve done wrong,

Then point it out (John 8:46; 18:23) –

Show me.


That’s the kind of life

You should be striving for,

The kind that silences your opponents.

Peter writes, “For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the
ignorance of foolish men” (1 Pet. 2:15).


C. This may be behind next petition:

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“And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I wait for Your
ordinances” (v. 43).

He wants to tell others

About God’s truth –

Ultimately, that’s why we live life we do –

So can share Gospel.


If live ungodly life –

Like rest of world –

Then try to tell others about Jesus,

They’ll laugh at you.


But when combine Gospel

With blameless life

You have an argument enemy can’t refute.

It really does silence them

And give you opportunity to speak.


D. As psalmist thinks of this benefit –

As well as all the benefits of obeying –

He resolves he will always obey:

“So I will keep Your law continually, forever and ever” (v. 44).


If you obey,

You’ll always be happier

Than if don’t,
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For reasons already seen,

As well as fact that obedience

Will make you powerful witness

To the reality/truth of God

And His Gospel.

That’s reason He saved you,

Your purpose in life.


We often talk about how should obey

Because we love Lord.

This is how show not only ourselves

But the world that we do love Him.

Can you think of a better reason to obey?


E. The reason obedience

Can make your witness powerful

Is that stands out –

Because it’s so different

Than what world does.

It shows something supernatural going on,

Something that can only be done by Spirit –

It shows that He’s set you free

From what once imprisoned you

And would have sent you to hell: sin.
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Psalmist writes, “And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts” (v. 45).


When you come into world,

You’re slaves of sin.

But through Gospel,

Jesus set you free –

You no longer have to sin.


Funny thing is

When world sees Christians obeying

They think they’re ones in prison –

The world looks at itself as enlightened,

Because they’re not bound by strict rules,

They’re free.


But fact is,

It’s just other way around:

We’re free, while they’re bound in sin –

They’d find that out

If they ever tried to stop sinning –

Those who try find they can’t,

Or if they manage to quit one,

They start another –

Because they’re prisoners of sin.
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Jesus set you free from sin –

You don’t have to sin –

You’re not perfect,

As already seen –

You still have imperfect motives and goals –

But no longer bound –

Can obey, can do what’s right,

What’s pleasing to God.


Psalmist rejoices in this liberty,

And so should you –

Because it not only means God saved you,

But it makes you a powerful testimony

To the saving power and truth of Gospel.


F. This liberty also gives boldness

A life of sin can’t –

A boldness to stand

Before those most intimidating:

“I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings and shall not be ashamed” (v.
46).


We often have difficult time witnessing

Even to those who can’t hurt us –

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If we can’t do that,

We’d never be able to speak

To those in authority.


Freedom from sin

Also brings measure of freedom from fear.

It brings a holy boldness,

Or a courage that grows from righteousness –

Not just greater power from the Spirit,

But the power of a clear conscience.


When you think about witnessing

Enemy usually throws everything

You’ve done wrong in your face,

Makes you feel ashamed

And like hypocrite for telling someone about Christ.


But when you obey,

Not only is assurance of His forgiveness strengthened,

Satan has less to accuse,

And so you find it easier to speak.

Liberty/freedom brings boldness/courage.


G. Realizing these even greater benefits,

Psalmist extols God’s Law:

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“I shall delight in Your commandments, which I love” (v. 47).

“And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love; and I will
meditate on Your statutes” (v. 48).

Considering all the blessings

His commandments bring,

This is how you should see them as well.


The psalmist actually worships them.

“I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments” (v. 48).

How could he do that?


Because they’re an expression

Of holy character of God –

Part of God Himself.

He’s not worshiping stone tablets,

But God,

Which is also what you do

When you listen to Him

And keep them.


Is this what you do?

Do you delight in them?

Do you love them?

Or do you see them as obstacle to get around

So can do what you really want?

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If that’s the case,

You need to repent and believe.


If you say you love them,

Does your life show you do?

Do you keep them?

Do you really keep them?


If so, then they should also be your meditation.


If they’re able to bring such blessing,

To stop the mouths of God’s enemies,

To provide evidence you’ve been set free

From your slavery to sin,

And give you boldness to witness,

Then they’re something worth meditating on

So that you can keep them more carefully.


May the Lord give us grace

Through His Son, Jesus Christ,

To see their value,

To love and delight in them,

To meditate on them,

But especially to obey them. Amen.

http://www.graceopcmodesto.org

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