SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

- Calibrated By An Infallible Source -

The Book of Psalms is more quoted by New Testament authors and revered by Christians than any other Old Testament book. This is simply because of the inspiring subject matter that exists within its pages. The information shared within the pages of Psalms expound on an array of subjects that are re-visited within the pages of the New Testament, and provide a fountain of information for the Christian seeking righteousness and principles leading to its production.

A reader can expect a stated topic, a development of thoughts and emotions concerning the topic, and a resolution of the emotions and subject at the end. This holds true for the two passages in Psalms that we are going to look at in this lesson.

The book of Psalms assigns 73 of its chapters to king David; 2 to Solomon; 1 each to the wise men Heman and Ethan; 1 to Moses; 23 to the Levitical singers of Asaph and Korah; and 49 remain anonymous. Both of the passages we want to look at today are Psalms of David.

Text #1:

Psalm 1:1-6 “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord , And in His law he meditates day and night.

3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
 

The subject of this Psalm is: “The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly”

As was mentioned in the opening, the reader can expect a stated topic and then a development of the thoughts and emotions concerning the topic.

Immediately, we see the entire scope of human conduct classified in the first verse (walking, standing, and sitting). Since blessed is the man who does not walk, sit, or stand in these nefarious places, it is being used in a figurative sense. It means that blessed is the man who can control ever facet of his conduct without giving in to these erroneous influences.

This is accomplished by the effort put into a foundation that protects him from these sources. It is not just a stab at it! It is an inundation, a complete submersion, of this protective power that lifts a righteous man far above these trivial and useless sources.

This person who is blessed is further described through the illustration of a tree. The tree is firmly planted by an abundant source of nourishment, and is productive and protected accordingly.

In addition to the man who is blessed, is the representation of the other side of the coin, the ungodly. They are described as chaff or that which has no valued use. They are to be separated from the productive and blessed man.

The resolution of this Psalm is quick and simple. The blessed man draws near to his God, while the ungodly will all perish.

 

In the simplicity of this first Psalm, I want to take another look at the blessed individual and what exactly he is doing to separate himself from those who are perishing.

The man who is righteous is not allowing an environment to be built around him, but instead is creating the environment for himself. The environment that he has chosen is founded on an infallible source. Thus, he is:

Calibrated By An Infallible Source!

The idea of calibration is to check, fix, or repair something to a specific setting or desired out-put. That which is calibrated is not always set correctly or perfect, but is in constant need of tuning or resetting. Every person is in constant need of calibration to one thing or another (thus the thousands of self help books on the market). However, the righteous man (the man who seeks His creator), is calibrated by a different source than the normal man. This man seeks the wisdom that leads to life and salvation from this life.

God's word claims to be that source, note:

2 Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (Paul gave this statement to young Timothy, teaching the difference between approved and disapproved workers)

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

James 1:25 “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

God's word also explains the need for constant re-calibration, note:

Romans 6:17-18 “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

1 John 1:8-9 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 3:4-9 “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”

 

Source of the Title:

This lesson is not new, however, the idea for the title came to me just recently. A good friend, (who is a brother in Christ) and I were conversing via e-mail. We were talking concerning his prayers for his son who is out of duty and that he has had several conversations with him regarding this state. In his last conversation with his son, the young man made the statement that he always looked at his father and mother as having been calibrated by an infallible source !. I am paraphrasing, so I hope that I am accurate, although I know that I got the statement right.

I sincerely hope and pray that this statement is a sign of maturity and the sight to see what his parents have known for many years. But what an amazing statement!

I have been blessed to know many brethren who also have been calibrated by an infallible source. These are individuals who not only own a Bible, but live the instructions that are contained within. This is not to say that they are perfect, but, that they continue to re-calibrate their lives to God's commandments. For years we have referred to them as the faithful, pillars, and veterans in Christ our Lord. They are humble, diligent, kind, and un-wavering concerning the word of God.

 

In contrast to the profound nature of this simple statement by my good brother's son, I have also been hit with the reoccurring statement, just recently, “What about Mr. Smith, he's a good man!”

This will bring us to the second and last part of this lesson.

If a man is a good man, but ignores the instruction of God, he has simply chosen to ignore the host of salvation and should not expect an invitation.

This is the subject of our second passage of Psalms.

Text #2:

Psalm 15:1-5

A Psalm of David.

Lord , who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
2 He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart;

3 He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the Lord ; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be moved.

 

Again we have a stated theme, “The Character of Those Who May Dwell with the Lord”

Within the body of the passage the subject and emotion is developed.

 

To you and me, a man may be good enough to be a temporary guest, who would not be good enough to be worthy of permanent lodging unless he comes to a certain set of qualifications. However, David would state that a man may be neither temporary nor permanent as a guest of God unless he meets these specific qualifications.

To walk uprightly and work righteousness have the same meaning and go back to our first Psalm, which states that, “his delight is in the Law of the Lord”. It describes a man that seeks the wisdom of his creator and obeys it in order to be productive for Him.

A man does not literally speak with his heart, but he should speak from his heart. If he cherishes the truth in his heart, his outward conduct will likely be righteous.

This is the heart of this lesson. If we are calibrated by an infallible source (the Word of God), our outward production is righteous, or re-calibrating towards it.

The rest of the outward signs of righteousness mentioned in verses 3-5 are self explanatory and are graces of growth similar to those mentioned in II Peter 1 ; Colossians 3:12-17 ; Galatians 5:22-23 , etc… For brevity sake, we will not deal with them at this time. However, note the simple conclusion of the subject. David closes this Psalm with almost the same thought he expressed at its opening, “He who does these things shall never be moved” .

A man cannot just be good, he must do these things.

 

Summary:

Regardless of what transpires around us, no matter what other men choose to do, regardless of the success of others in this life around us; only those who do the will of God will be approved of God. The unrighteous will be separated from God regardless of excuse.

1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,”

 

Let us live as though we are calibrated by an infallible source!