The Lord is Our Strength in Times of Trouble

The Lord Is My Strength


Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.

2 Samuel 22:33 God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.

Psalms 18:1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Psalms 22:19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

Psalms 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalms 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Psalms 28:8 The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

Psalms 31:1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
Psalms 31:4 Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.

Psalms 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

Psalms 43:1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
2 For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalms 62:7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Psalms 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Psalms 81:1 Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

Psalms 118:14 The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

Psalms 140:7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.

Psalms 144:1 Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Isaiah 49:5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

Jeremiah 16:19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

Habakkuk 3:19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

E-NEWS The Joy of Jesus: YouTube - Yolanda Adams - The Battle Is Not Yours

E-NEWS The Joy of Jesus: YouTube - Yolanda Adams - The Battle Is Not Yours

Praise God Today for Love

Our Love to Abound in Knowledge
Many are wise in the general principles and in the letter of the Word, but err grievously in the applying of those principles in detail. There is a vast variety of circumstances in our lives. These call for much prudence in dealing with them aright. If our hearts are to be properly governed and our ways suitably ordered, much instruction and considerable experience are required. Besides a knowledge of God’s will, the spirit of discretion is needed. There are times when all lawful things are not expedient, and wisdom is indispensable to determine when those times and where those places are, as well as by which persons they may be used or performed. Indiscretion and folly remain in the best of us. The chief work of our judgment is to perceive what is proper for the time, the place, the company where we are, that we may order our behavior aright (Ps. 50:23); that we may know how to conduct ourselves in all relations civil and sacred, in work or in recreation; that we may conduct ourselves wisely as husbands, fathers, wives, or children; as employers or employees. Love needs to be directed by good judgment in all its exercises and expressions.
How different are the prayers of Scripture from those which we are accustomed to hear in religious gatherings! Who ever heard this petition offered in public: "This I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment"! How many would understand its purport if they should hear it? True spirituality, vital godliness, personal piety, has almost become an unknown quantity in Christendom today. How very different is this bold and comprehensive request "may abound yet more and more" from the halting and halfhearted "if it can please Thee to favor us with a sip" of those who seem utterly afraid to ask for anything worthy of such a God as ours! How little can such souls be acquainted with "the God of all grace." Seriously ponder the petitions of Paul and observe that he was not straitened, and therefore he asked for no half measures or scanty portions. Above all, realize that these prayers are recorded for our instruction, for our encouragement, for our emulation.

God is Our True Hope in Jesus

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Footnotes:
Confidence in God's grace and care.

"The Lord is my shepherd." In these words, the believer is taught to express his satisfaction in the care of the great Pastor of the universe, the Redeemer and Preserver of men. With joy he reflects that he has a shepherd, and that shepherd is Jehovah. A flock of sheep, gentle and harmless, feeding in verdant pastures, under the care of a skilful, watchful, and tender shepherd, forms an emblem of believers brought back to the Shepherd of their souls. The greatest abundance is but a dry pasture to a wicked man, who relishes in it only what pleases the senses; but to a godly man, who by faith tastes the goodness of God in all his enjoyments, though he has but little of the world, it is a green pasture. The Lord gives quiet and contentment in the mind, whatever the lot is. Are we blessed with the green pastures of the ordinances, let us not think it enough to pass through them, but let us abide in them. The consolations of the Holy Spirit are the still waters by which the saints are led; the streams which flow from the Fountain of living waters. Those only are led by the still waters of comfort, who walk in the paths of righteousness. The way of duty is the truly pleasant way. The work of righteousness in peace. In these paths we cannot walk, unless. God lead us into them, and lead us on in them. Discontent and distrust proceed from unbelief; an unsteady walk is the consequence: let us then simply trust our Shepherd's care, and hearken to his voice. The valley of the shadow of death may denote the most severe and terrible affliction, or dark dispensation of providence, that the psalmist ever could come under. Between the part of the flock on earth and that which is gone to heaven, death lies like a dark valley that must be passed in going from one to the other. But even in this there are words which lessen the terror. It is but the shadow of death: the shadow of a serpent will not sting, nor the shadow of a sword kill. It is a valley, deep indeed, and dark, and miry; but valleys are often fruitful, and so is death itself fruitful of comforts to God's people. It is a walk through it: they shall not be lost in this valley, but get safe to the mountain on the other side. Death is a king of terrors, but not to the sheep of Christ. When they come to die, God will rebuke the enemy; he will guide them with his rod, and sustain them with his staff. There is enough in the gospel to comfort the saints when dying, and underneath them are the everlasting arms. The Lord's people feast at his table, upon the provisions of his love. Satan and wicked men are not able to destroy their comforts, while they are anointed with the Holy Spirit, and drink of the cup of salvation which is ever full. Past experience teaches believers to trust that the goodness and mercy of God will follow them all the days of their lives, and it is their desire and determination, to seek their happiness in the service of God here, and they hope to enjoy his love for ever in heaven. While here, the Lord can make any situation pleasant, by the anointing of his Spirit and the joys of his salvation. But those that would be satisfied with the blessings of his house, must keep close to the duties of it.

Faith Works

"After I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints" (Eph. 1:15). Faith and love are the best evidences of a genuine conversion, for they are the fruits brought forth by the two principal graces communicated to us at the new birth. Faith is known by what it effects and produces. It was not the Ephesians’ first believing in Christ that the apostle alluded to, for he had witnessed that for himself, but rather the working and constancy of their faith of which he had heard—the influence it had on their daily walk. The faith of God’s elect is active in purifying the heart (Acts 15:9) by engaging it with holy objects. The faith of God’s elect brings forth good works (James 2:14-22), such as those described in Hebrews 11. This faith "overcometh the world" (1 John 5:4), enabling its possessor to resist the world’s seduction, scorn its principles and policy, and be "not of it" in his affections and ways.
Another mark of the faith of God’s elect is that it "worketh by love" (Gal. 5:6): love for the truth, for Christ, and for His redeemed. Faith is but an empty name if it does not fructify in love. Faith in Christ is only a delusion if it issues not in love for those who are His. Scripture is too plain on this point to admit any uncertainty: "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (1 John 4:20). Saving faith in Christ and spiritual love for all whom He loves are inseparably connected (see Col. 1:4; Philem. 5; 1 John 3:23). "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren" (1 John 3:14). If we love one saint as a "saint"—for what we see of Christ in him—we shall love all saints. Faith in Christ and love for His people are inseparable, and as one waxes or wanes so does the other. If my love for Christians is cooling (if I pray less for them and am less active in seeking to promote their highest good), my faith in Christ is increasing.

YouTube - The Robe Part 01/17

YouTube - The Robe Part 01/17

Do You need Joy Today?

Joy in Jesus

"Rejoice evermore" (1 Thess. 5:16). It surely cannot be unsafe to do what God has commanded us. The Lord has placed no embargo on rejoicing. No, it is Satan who strives to make us hang up our harps. There is no precept in Scripture bidding us "Grieve in the Lord alway: and again I say, Grieve"; but there is an exhortation which bids us, "Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright" (Ps. 33:1). Reader, if you are a real Christian (and it is high time you tested yourself by Scripture and made sure of this point), then Christ is yours, all that is in Him is yours. He bids you "Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved" (Song of Sol. 5:1): the only sin you may commit against His banquet of love is to stint yourself. "Let your soul delight itself in fatness"(Isa. 55:2) is spoken not to those already in heaven but to saints still on earth. This leads us to say that:
1. We profit from the Word when we perceive that joy is a duty. "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice" (Phil. 4:4). The Holy Spirit here speaks of rejoicing as a personal, present and permanent duty for the people of God to carry out. The Lord has not left it to our option whether we should be glad or sad, but has made happiness an obligation. Not to rejoice is a sin of omission. Next time you meet with a radiant Christian, do not chide him, ye dwellers in Doubting Castle, but chide yourselves; instead of being ready to call into question the Divine spring of his mirth, judge yourself for your doleful state.
It is not a carnal joy which we are here urging, by which we mean a joy which comes from carnal sources. It is useless to seek joy in earthly riches, for frequently they take to themselves wings and fly away. Some seek their joy in the family circle, but that remains entire for only a few years at most. No, if we are to "rejoice evermore" it must be in an object that lasts for evermore. Nor is it a fanatical joy we have reference to. There are some with an excitable nature who are happy only when they are half out of their minds; but terrible is the reaction. No, it is an intelligent, steady, heart delight in God Himself. Every attribute of God, when contemplated by faith, will make the heart sing. Every doctrine of the Gospel, when truly apprehended, will call forth gladness and praise.
Joy is a matter of Christian duty. Perhaps the reader is ready to exclaim, My emotions of joy and sorrow are not under my control; I cannot help being glad or sad as circumstances dictate. But we repeat, "Rejoice in the Lord" is a Divine command, and to a large extent obedience to it lies in one’s own power. I am responsible to control my emotions. True I cannot help being sorrowful in the presence of sorrowful thoughts, but I can refuse to let my mind dwell upon them. I can pour out my heart for relief unto the Lord, and cast my burden upon Him. I can seek grace to meditate upon His goodness, His promises, the glorious future awaiting me. I have to decide whether I will go and stand in the light or hide among the shadows. Not to rejoice in the Lord is more than a misfortune, it is a fault which needs to be confessed and forsaken.

Bible Study in Faith

Arthur W. Pink

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him" - Hebrews 11 :6

"But the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in that heard it," - Hebrews 4:2

The linking together of these verses shows us the worthlessness of all religious activities where faith be lacking. The outward exercise may be performed diligently and correctly, but unless faith be in operation God is not honored and the soul is not profited. Faith draws out the heart unto God, and faith it is which receives from God; not a mere intellectual assent to what is revealed in Holy Writ, but a supernatural principle of grace which lives upon the God of Scripture. This, the natural man, no matter how religious or orthodox he be, has not; and no labours of his, no act of his will, can acquire it. It is the sovereign gift of God.
Faith must be operative in all the exercises of the Christian if God is to he glorified and he is to be edified. First, in the reading of the Word: "But these are written, that ye might believe" (John 20:31). Second, in listening to the preaching of God’s servants: "The hearing of faith" (Gal. 3:2). Third, in praying: "Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering" (Jas. 1:6). Fourth, in our daily life: "For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7); "the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God" (Gal. 2:20). Fifth, in our exit from this world: "These all died in faith" (Heb. 11:13). What the breath is to the body, faith is to the soul; for one who is destitute of faith to seek to perform spiritual actions, is like putting a spring within a wooden dummy and making it go through mechanical motions.
Now an unregenerate professor may read the Scriptures and yet have no spiritual faith. Just as the devout Hindu peruses the Upanishads and the Mohammedan his Koran, so many "Christian" countries take up the study of the Bible, and yet have no more of the life of God in their souls than have their heathen brethren. Thousands in this land read the Bible, believe in its Divine authorship, and become more or less familiar with its contents. A mere professor may read several chapters every day, and yet never appropriate a single verse. But faith applies God’s Word: it applies his fearful threatenings, and trembles before them; it applies His solemn warnings, and seeks to heed them; it applies His precepts, and cries unto Him for grace to walk in them.
It is the same in listening to the Word preached. A carnal professor will boast of having attended this conference and that, of having heard this famous teacher and that renowned preacher, and be no better off in his soul than if he had never heard any of them. He may listen to two sermons every Sunday, and fifty years hence be as dead spiritually as he is today. But the regenerated soul appropriates the message and measures himself by what he hears. He is often convicted of his sins and made to mourn over them. He tests himself by God’s standard, and feels that he comes so far short of what he ought to be, that he sincerely doubts the honesty of his own profession. The Word pierces him, like a two-edged sword, and causes him to cry, "O wretched man that I am!"
So in prayer. The mere professor often makes the humble Christian feel ashamed of himself. The carnal religionist who has "the gift of the gab" is never at a loss for words: sentences flow from his lips as readily as do the waters of a babbling brook; verses of Scripture seem to run through his mind as freely as flour passes though a sieve. Whereas the poor burdened child of God is often unable to do any more than cry "God be merciful to me a sinner." Ah, my friends, we need to distinguish sharply between a natural aptitude for "making" nice prayers and the spirit of true supplication: the one consists merely of words, the other of "groanings which cannot be uttered"; the one is acquired by religious education, the other is wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit.
Thus it is too in conversing about the things of God. The frothy professor can talk glibly and often orthodoxly of "doctrines," yes, and of worldly things, too: according to his mood, or according to his audience, so is his theme. But the child of God, while being swift to hear that which is unto edification, is "slow to speak." Ah, my reader, beware of talkative people; a drum makes a lot of noise but it is hollow inside! "Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness; but a faithful man who can find?" (Prov. 20:6). When a saint of God does open his lips about spiritual matters, it is to tell of what the Lord, in His infinite mercy, has done for him; but the carnal religionist is anxious for others to know what he is "doing for the Lord."
The difference is just as real between the genuine Christian and the nominal Christian in connection with their daily lives: while the latter may appear outwardly righteous, yet within they are "full of hypocrisy and iniquity" (Matthew 23:28). They will put on the skin of a real sheep, but in reality they are "wolves in sheeps’ clothing." But God’s children have the nature of sheep, and learn of Him who is "meek and lowly in heart," and, as the elect of God, they put on "mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering" (Col. 3:12). They are in private what they appear in public. They worship God in spirit and in truth, and have been made to know wisdom in the hidden parts of the heart.
So it is on their passing out of this world. An empty professor may die as easily and as quietly as he lived deserted by the Holy Spirit, undisturbed by the Devil; as the psalmist says, "there are no bands in their death" (73:4). But this is very different from the end of one whose deeply ploughed and consciously-defiled conscience has been "sprinkled" with the precious blood of Christ: "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace" (Ps. 37:37) yes, a peace which "passeth all understanding": Having lived the life of the righteous, he dies "the death of the righteous" (Num. 23:10).
And what is it which distinguishes the one character from the other, wherein lies the difference between the genuine Christian and he who is one in name only? This: a God-given, Spirit-wrought faith in the heart. Not a mere head-knowledge and intellectual assent to the Truth, but a living, spiritual, vital principle in the heart—a faith which "purifies the heart" (Acts 15:9), which "worketh by love" (Gal. 5:6), which "overcometh the world" (1 John 5:4). Yes, a faith which is Divinely sustained amidst trials within and opposition without; a faith which exclaims "though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him" (Job 13:15).
True, this faith is not always in exercise, nor is it equally strong at all times. The favored possessor of it must be taught by painful experience that as he did not originate it neither can he command it; therefore does he turn unto its Author, and say, "Lord I believe, help Thou mine unbelief." And then it is that, when reading the Word he is enabled to lay hold of its precious promises; that when bowing before the Throne of Grace, he is enabled to cast his burden upon the Lord; that when he rises to go about his temporal duties, he is enabled to lean upon the everlasting arms; and that when he is called upon to pass through the valley of the shadow of death, he triumphantly cries "I will fear no evil for Thou art with me." "Lord, increase our faith.

Blessed is The Lord

"Blessed be the God and Father." That those words signify an act of prayer is clear from many passages. "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Ps. 34:1). "Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name" (Ps. 63:4; cf. 1 Tim. 2:8). "Sing unto the LORD, bless his name" (Ps. 96:2). "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD" (Ps. 134:2). To bless God is to adore Him, to acknowledge His excellency, to express the highest veneration and gratitude. To bless God is to render Him the homage of our hearts as the Giver of every good and perfect gift. The three principal branches of prayer are humiliation, supplication, and adoration. Included in the first is confession of sin; in the second, making known our requests and interceding on behalf of others; in the third, thanksgiving and praise. Paul’s action here is a summons to all believers to unite with him in magnifying the Source of all our spiritual blessings: "Adored be God the Father."

The Love of God

2 THESSALONIANS 3:5
And the Lord God direct your hearts into the Love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

One principal part of the apostle’s design in writing this epistle was to satisfy some persons in this church, who were shaken in mind, and troubled, as though The day of Christ was at hand. He assures them, therefore, in the second chapter, that it was not; for there were several things to he done previous thereunto: such as the removal of the Roman empire; the great apostasy that was to befall the churches; and the setting up the man of sin, the Papal Antichrist. He therefore exhorts them to steadfastness in the doctrines of the gospel; and wishes them a great many good things. In the beginning of this chapter, he desires them to pray for him, and the rest of the ministers of the gospel; hints what he would have them pray for, and the reason why. Finally, brethren, pray for us; that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified; that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for all men have not faith. And then, for their comfort, expresses his assurance of their final perseverance. But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil. As also, his great confidence of their cheerful and universal obedience to the commands of God, saying, And we have confidence in the Lord, touching you, that ye both do, and will do, the things which we command you. In order to which, he puts up a prayer for them, in the words of the text. The Lord direct your hearts, &c. So that the words are a prayer of the apostle consisting of two petitions, namely, That the Lord would direct their hearts into the Love of God. And, that the same Lord would also direct their hearts into the patient waiting for Christ. It is the former of these that shall insist upon at this time. In order to explain which, I shall make the following enquiries,
I. What are we to understand by the Love of God.
II. What it is to have our hearts directed into it.
III. Who this Lord is, who is prayed unto to do this for us. And,
IV. What is the great usefulness of having our hearts so directed.
I. What we are to understand by the Love of God. This may be understood either actively or passively.

Praise God Today

Psalm 42

1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

3My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

4When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

5Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

6O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

7Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

8Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

9I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

10As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

11Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my Go



Old Testament

The God with whom we have to do, is a God of awful majesty. The universal and absolute sovereignty of a holy God would be too terrible for us even to think of, were it not exercised by his Son from a mercy-seat; but now it is only terrible to the workers of iniquity. While his people express confidence and joy, and animate each other in serving him, let sinners submit to his authority, and accept his salvation. Jesus Christ shall subdue the Gentiles; he shall bring them as sheep into the fold, not for slaughter, but for preservation. He shall subdue their affections, and make them a willing people in the day of his power. Also it speaks of his giving them rest and settlement. Apply this spiritually; the Lord himself has undertaken to be the inheritance of his people. It shows the faith and submission of the saints. This is the language of every gracious soul, The Lord shall choose my inheritance for me; he knows what is good for me better than I do.

Pray for Healing Today

Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret: Matthew 14:34-36

34 And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; 36 And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.

Commentary
Whithersoever Christ went, he was doing good. They brought unto him all that were diseased. They came humbly beseeching him to help them. The experiences of others may direct and encourage us in seeking for Christ. As many as touched, were made perfectly whole. Those whom Christ heals, he heals perfectly. Were men more acquainted with Christ, and with the diseased state of their souls, they would flock to receive his healing influences. The healing virtue was not in the finger, but in their faith; or rather, it was in Christ, whom their faith took hold upon.

We Pray for Healing Today in Jesus Name...

Let Us Praise God Today

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Lord Have Mercy

Everything in God is on a grand scale. Great power—He shakes the world. Great wisdom—He balances the clouds. His mercy is commensurate with His other attributes: it is Godlike mercy, infinite mercy! You must measure His Godhead before you can compute His mercy. Well may it be called "abundant" if it be infinite. It will always be abundant, for all that can be drawn from it will be but as the drop of a bucket to the sea itself. The mercy which deals with us is not man’s mercy, but God’s mercy, and therefore boundless mercy.

1 Peter 1:3-5, let us consider eight things: (1) its connection—that we may perceive who all are included by the words "begotten us again"; (2) its nature—a doxology ("Blessed be"); (3) its Object—"the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"; (4) its ascription—"His abundant mercy"; (5) its incitement—"hath begotten us again unto a lively hope"; (6) its acknowledgment—"by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead"; (7) its substance—"to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you"; and (8) its guaranty—"who are kept by the power of God through faith." There is much here of interest and deep importance. Therefore, it would be wrong for us to hurriedly dismiss such a passage with a few generalizations, especially since it contains such a wealth of spiritual, joyful reflection that cannot but edify the mind and stir up the will and affections of every saint who rightly meditates upon it. May we be duly affected by its contents and truly enter into its elevated spirit.

Words to Seek Hope

The verse that we're going to look at is 2 Corinthians 5:21, 2 Corinthians 5:21. It says this, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

The Bible makes it clear, first of all, that all people are sinners by nature and by action. In fact, all people are sinners from birth. And thus all people are born alienated from God who is holy, cannot look upon sin, cannot fellowship with sinners. That alienation because of sin prevents us from knowing God. He is too perfectly holy to have anything to do with sinners, except to reject them.

Now the result of that rejection, the result of that alienation in time is Godlessness. The result of it in eternity is hell. So this alienation in to which every human being is born is indeed a serious issue. It means that everybody lives their life without God and if they die in that condition, will spend their eternity without God in torment.

Now that kind of reality proves that the most deadly virus in the world is not the HIV virus, it is the SIN virus. Like the HIV virus, it kills everyone it infects, only unlike the HIV virus it infects everyone. It kills not just in time but in eternity, it kills not just physically but spiritually. There is no cure for the HIV virus, but thankfully there is a cure for the SIN virus. In fact, God has made it possible for sinners to be cured so thoroughly and completely that they can be reconciled to God and have eternal fellowship in His presence.

And that is the good news, that is what Christianity preaches, that's the gospel. There is a cure for the SIN virus so that the hostility between people and God can end now and forever and sinners can be reconciled to holy God. In fact, if you look back at verses 18, 19 and 20 you see several times the word "reconciled" in one form or another. Verse 18 says, "God who reconciled us to Himself." Verse 19, "That God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself." And at the end of verse 20 we call on sinners to be reconciled to God.

This is the good news, friends. This is the great news that you don't have to live godlessly in time and you don't have to live godlessly in eternity. You don't need to suffer through this life without God and to suffer eternal torment without God in the life to come. Reconciliation is possible.

But that brings up the question...How? The Apostle Paul has been talking about the ministry of reconciliation. We have been reconciled to God and now we preach reconciliation. He mentions the ministry or reconciliation in verses 18 and 19 and then in verse 20 he mentions it by saying, "We are ambassadors for Christ, we go out and we preach to sinners that they can be reconciled to God." That's our ministry. That is the good news.

But the question then comes up...how can that be? How can such a reconciliation take place? How can an absolutely and utterly holy God who is infinitely pure and perfect ever be reconciled to sinners? How can He do that who is too pure to look on sin or to fellowship with transgressors? How can God satisfy His just and holy law with a condemnation of sinners by full and deserved punishment and still show them mercy who deserve no mercy? How can God end the hostility and how can He take sinners into His holy heaven to live with Him forever in intimate communion? How? How can both justice and grace be satisfied? How can love toward sinners and righteousness come together? To put it in Paul's words, how can God be just and a justifier of sinners?

The one verse I just read you explains how. Fifteen Greek words and these 15 Greek words translated into English carefully define and perfectly balance the mystery of reconciliation. They show us the essence of the atonement. In fact, in the one verse that I read you is the heart of the good news. In that one verse is the most powerful truth in Scripture because it embraces and explains how sinners can be reconciled to God. Here is where the paradox of redemption is resolved. Here is where the mystery is solved. Here is where the riddle is answered. Here is where we find how holy justice and perfect love can both be satisfied, how righteousness and mercy can embrace each other. And the truth of this one brief sentence solves the most profound dilemma of how God can reconcile with sinners.

Well needless to say, having said that you are aware that there's a lot in this verse. We have to search carefully through this cache of rare jewels and stop to examine each one of them with a magnifying glass in order to understand the richness.

Now as we look at this verse together I want to point your attention to four elements, four features of the text that unfolded significance...the benefactor, the substitute, the beneficiaries and the benefits. That really sums up how God can reconcile sinners.

Let's start at the beginning, the benefactor. The verse begins, "He made..." stop there. Now if you're a Bible student the first question you're going to ask is to whom does "He" refer? The answer comes quickly, look one word back at the end of verse 20...God. God is the antecedent. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf. The point is it's God's plan, He's the benefactor. God is behind the whole reconciliation plan. He designed it. He worked it out. He brings it to fruition. It is His plan. This is a very crucial perspective and you'll see why as I comment on it. There could be no reconciliation unless God initiated it. There could be no reconciliation unless God activated it. There could be no reconciliation unless God applied it. He had to design it and He has to execute it. It cannot come from any human source. Nothing man could do, nothing man could not do could produce reconciliation with God. It isn't anything we do or don't do. In fact all of our efforts in the religious realm amount to filthy rags, the Bible says. The world is literally filled with religion and all of that religion apart from Christianity is man producing a plan with the aid of Satan in which he can initiate reconciliation with God. That is the fatal flaw of all world religions no matter what name they come under.

Romans chapter 3 says, verse 10, "There is none that does good, there is none righteous, no not one, there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God." Nobody, absolutely nobody. Now you would think if there was anyone who could have devised the plan most aptly and pull it off it would have been the Jews, since after all, the Jews were the people of the true God, Yahweh, Jehovah. And God gave to them the law and the prophets and the covenants and the adoption and all of the things that Romans 9 mention. They had the revelation. They had the Old Testament and to them even salvation was given...salvation is of the Jews, of them and to them came the Messiah. If anyone could have devised a system by which they could have achieved reconciliation, it would have been the Jews. But they failed. And in Romans chapter 10 Paul comments on the failure by saying, "My heart's desire and prayer to God is for Israel for their salvation," they have not achieved it, they haven't achieved reconciliation with all their religiosity, with all that they received by way of divine revelation from God because they believed that somehow this reconciliation depended on them and therefore they're not saved, I bear them witness Paul says in verse 2, they have a zeal for God but not according to knowledge so not knowing about God's righteousness they seek to establish their own. That's what false religion is, in a word, it's the religion of human achievement.

But they never can accomplish it because the only way that reconciliation could ever occur is if God reached out to sinners. And He did. It was God who made Him who knew no sin to be sin. It was God's plan. He designed it. He initiated it. And He executed it. So that Jesus went to the cross not because men turned on Him, though they did, Jesus went to the cross not because seducing spirits orchestrated the minds of the religious leaders of Judaism to plot His death, though they did. Jesus went to the cross not because an angry mob screamed for His blood, though they did. Jesus went to the cross because God planned it. God purposed it. And God designed it as the absolutely necessary means by which and by which alone reconciliation could take place. That's why Jesus said, "I came into the world to do the Father's will." That's why in John 18:11 He said, "Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given Me?" meaning the cup of wrath. That's why in Hebrews chapter 10 the Lord Jesus is quoted as saying, "A body Thou hast prepared Me and I have come to do Thy will, O God." That's why in Acts chapter 2 when Peter stood up on the day of Pentecost and preached to the population of Jerusalem, many of whom had been screaming for the blood of Jesus and been guilty of calling for His execution, Peter says to that crowd, "You have killed the Son of God by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." In other words, you did your evil deed but it was all in the plan of the Father.

Only God could call the second member of the trinity to become incarnate and come into the world and humble Himself and take on the form of a man and be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, only God could ask that of Him. Only God could design an atonement for sin that would satisfy His justice because only God knows what it takes to satisfy His justice. Only God knows what propitiates His wrath. We don't know. Only God could decide how His own infinite holiness, intense hatred of sin and inflexible justice could be perfectly satisfied without destroying the sinner in that satisfaction. Only God could know what it would take to make a sinner acceptable to Him so that that sinner could escape eternal hell and live in the very presence of God in His own house. Only God could determine how the spiritual nature and the supreme authority and the unchangeable perfection of His law which is holy, just and good could be completely satisfied and the lawbreaker completely justified and rightly and purely forgiven and accepted, though fallen, guilty and depraved.

Only God could bring all of those components to reconciliation. Only God knew what it would take. Only God knew how to solve the dilemma. Only He knew what would satisfy His righteous requirement. Only He knew how He could spend His wrath so that wrath was consummated. Only He knew what it took to bear the burden of sin, to endure the punishment of His fury, only He knew. And so while the world may call the gospel and the work of Jesus Christ foolish, foolishness, it is to those who believe the wisdom of God, is it not? It may seem foolish to the world but it is the purest and profoundest wisdom that the infinitely holy God could devise a plan consistent with His infinite holiness to reconcile utterly wicked sinners...only God. So God is the benefactor. God is the benefactor. He is the one who made the plan, He is the one who must execute the plan.

That is so important, beloved, absolutely important. It all flows out of this great reality...God so loved the world...right? That He gave. And that is exactly what Paul says in different terms in Romans chapter 5 verse 8, "God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died in our place." It all came out of God's love. While we were enemies, verse 10 says, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son. And God initiated it because He loved us. God, Ephesians 2:4 says, who is rich in mercy for the great love wherewith He had loved us has granted us salvation. God loves sinners. That's why in Colossians chapter1 the Apostle Paul says, "Thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light." Only God knew what the qualifications were. Only God could qualify us. He was the only one who could know the standard. And thanks to Him, for He delivered us from the domain of darkness. He transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

That is exactly why the Apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter 1 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." It was the Father who chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. It was the Father who predestined us to the adoption as sons through Jesus Christ. Everything is through the praise of His glory. It is He who freely bestowed on us salvation in the beloved, who gave us redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, etc., etc. It was the Father who designed to lavish on us all wisdom and insight and all riches of grace.

Listen, this is very different in the religions of the world. The religions of the world basically operate on a premise of fear that God is an angry, hateful, or indifferent God who could really care less about the prosperity of beings who grubble around underneath Him in this world. And so the goal of most all religions is to somehow to appease an otherwise hostile and angry God. Somehow they have to devise a system if they're going to be reconciled to God so that He doesn't crush out their life and punish them eternally. They're going to have to appease this God. And so they are busily inventing systems of appeasement by which through certain religious ceremonies or through certain religious duties and actions, or certain good works they can somehow appease this deity and somehow hold back His deadly fury.

On the other hand, Christianity proclaims a God who loves, who loves so much He is a Savior, God our Savior who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. We have a God who doesn't hate but a God who loves sinners and has Himself designed a way for them to have fellowship with Him forever and ever. We don't have to appease God. God loves the sinner and God in His love provides the sacrifice and wonderfully and graciously and freely and magnanimously and eagerly offers the gift of forgiveness. This is the good news. The good news is you don't have to appease God. The good news is you don't have to figure out a plan of reconciliation. The good news is you don't have to somehow work out your own righteousness. The good news is God is the benefactor. He knows what satisfies His righteousness and His holiness. He has effected that satisfaction. The price of sin has been paid and He now offers you forgiveness and reconciliation, that's the gospel.

Now what did it take? It took death because as it says in the Old Testament in Ezekiel 18:20, the person who sins will die. As it says in Romans 6:23 in the New Testament, "The wages of sin is death." God knew what the requirement was...the requirement is death. And God may that abundantly clear throughout the whole Old Testament economy because the Jews spent most of their lives, of course, either coming from or going to a sacrifice. They had to continually massacre animals, millions and millions and millions of them to deal with sin, to show the people how wicked they were and how sin required death. It wasn't that those animals took away their sin, they didn't, they couldn't. But what they demonstrated to the people repeatedly was that the wages of sin is...what?...is death...death, death, death, death, death, death. And every time they would sin it was back to another death, back to killing another animal. And they were wearied of that and longing for the ultimate Lamb who once and for all would take away the sin of the world and end this carnage. The animals were symbols that God's law can only be satisfied through death and made the people long with all their hearts for a final substitute, a final substitute.

Well the Father sent one and He didn't come reluctantly, not at all. He said, "No man takes My life from Me," in John 10, "I lay it down of Myself, I have authority to lay it down and I have authority to take it up again." He willingly did not hold on to what He had a right to grasp, but let go of it and condescended to die.

So if there was to be reconciliation, the plan had to come from God, He had to initiate it. He had to design it. He had to execute it.

Second thing you see in this text, first the benefactor who is God, second the substitute. And the substitute is identified. "He made Him who knew no sin." That's the identification of the substitute. Who is it? Him who knew no sin. Let me tell you something, folks, that narrows the field to one. Him who knew no sin, who is that? It's not a human being for there is none of them who is righteous, no not one. They've all sinned and come short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23. There's no human being who qualifies. Who is the one who knew no sin? Who is this one? Who is the one who can bear the full wrath of God against sin for somebody else because He doesn't have to bear it for Himself? See, no sinful person could be a substitute, no sinner could die for another sinner because he would have to pay the penalty for his own sin. There had to be a sinless offering. And it had to be a human being because it had to be man who dies for man, but he couldn't be a sinful human being or he would have to die for his own sin and couldn't provide atonement for somebody else's. So it had to be a sinless man.

Well the only way to have a sinless man was to have a man who was God because God alone is sinless. So if you're going to have a sinless man you have to have a man who is God. And that's exactly what God designed...that the second member of the trinity, sinless and perfect, equally holy with the other two members of the trinity would come into the world in the form of a man. He was not to have a human father, Joseph was not the father of Jesus and Joseph knew it. Joseph had never known his wife in a conjugal way. He found out that she was with child, he couldn't believe it. And then the angel said, "That which was conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit." So that Jesus had a human mother that He might be a human, but God was His Father so that He was the God/Man, the sinless human being.

The Old Testament pictured that because when the lamb was selected it had to be a lamb without...what?...spot and without blemish. It had to be a perfect animal without a mark, picturing the real substitute who would be perfect. A man to die for men. God to be sinless so that indeed He could be a substitute.

In Revelation chapter 5 there is a marvelous picture and it points up the fact that no one is qualified except Christ. In Revelation chapter 5 we go to heaven and we're in the throne room of God and God is on the throne and in His hand He has a scroll, sealed with seven seals. This is a title deed to the universe, this is looking at the future when God gets ready to take His universe back from Satan and sin, from the one, Lucifer, who fell and usurped the rulership of this universe.

And so God is holding in His hand, as it were, in this vision the title deed to the universe. Verse 2, John is watching in his vision, he sees a strong angel proclaiming with a loud verse and the angel says this, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?" And verse 3 says, "No one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. And I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it." There wasn't anybody. There was not one individual in the created universe, man or angel, who could step forward and execute the contents of this book. No one. And John began to weep. No one to take back the universe from Satan.

Verse 5, "One of the elders said to me, `Stop weeping, behold the lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the root of David has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.'" Somebody is worthy. Who is it? "The lion from the tribe of Judah." That's a man, out of the tribe of Judah, that's a Jew, from the tribe of Judah. But He's also the root of David...not the branch, not something that came out of David but what produced David. That's God. And in what form is He? Verse 6, "A lamb slain." There's only one who is worthy to take back the universe and that is the one who was born a Jew in every way human but the one who was God the very source from which David came...the one who was the slain lamb. God then had to create a unique virgin-born God/Man in order to be the substitute because the plan demanded a substitute. Justice had to be satisfied. The law had to be vindicated. Wrath had to consume.

So Paul says to the Galatians, "When the fullness of time came God sent forth His Son born of a woman." Wow...why? "In order that He might redeem those who were under the law." Galatians 4:4 and 5. Jesus Christ then is the one who knew no sin, Him who knew no sin is Christ. And the testimony of every one historically affirms that. You can go to the pagan world, start there. Jesus says in John 8:46, "Which of you convicts Me of sin?" Silence and there is still silence. Hear Pilate in Luke 23, Pilate, cynical, vicious, cruel, ungodly, pagan, idolatrous. Pilate said in verse 4 of Luke 23 to the chief priests and the multitudes, "I find no guilt in this man." Verse 14, again he said it, "I have found no guilt in this man." Verse 22 and again the third time, he said to them, "Why? What evil has this man done, I have found in Him no guilt."

Listen to the thief on the cross, "We indeed suffer justly," he says to the other thief, "We're receiving what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." Listen to the testimony of the centurion who watched it all in verse 47, "Certainly this man was innocent."

It wasn't just unbelieving people who saw His perfection. How about the Apostles? John who was with Him day and night for three years, John who followed His every footstep and heard His every word and saw His every act and maybe felt His every breath as he leaned on His breast as often as he could, it was John who said in His epistle, 1 John 3 verse 5, "In Him there is no sin." And John said we were eyewitnesses of it. And then there was the writer of Hebrews who affirms the very same reality when he says in chapter 4 of verse 15, "We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but one who has been tempted in all things as we are tempted, yet without sin." And in chapter 7 the writer of Hebrews says, "He was holy, innocent, undefiled and separate from sinners." And then there was Peter who preached in Acts 3 and he says of Christ, "You have killed the prince of life," and he calls Him a holy and just one. And then you remember it was Peter, specially Peter, who said of Christ that He was a lamb, 1 Peter 1:19, unblemished and spotless, who said of Him in chapter 2 of that same epistle and verse 24, "He bore our sins in His own body on the cross that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. But He...verse 22...committed no sin." And then in chapter 3 and verse 18 of that same epistle, "God died for sins, the just for the unjust."

Now the testimony of unbelieving men was of his sinlessness. The testimony of those who knew Him best was of His sinlessness. But there's another who gave testimony and that testimony is indeed powerful. It was none other than God the Father Himself. At His baptism recorded in Matthew 3:17 the Father said, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am completely pleased." And at His transfiguration in Matthew 17 verse 5, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am completely pleased." You see, the Father was totally satisfied with the Son. There was nothing in the Son that dissatisfied the Father, He was perfect, sinless.

And maybe the greatest testimony of His sinlessness was the unbroken fellowship He had with God. "I and the Father are one. I and the Father are one." He said that many times. He says that in John 10 verse 30. He says it in John 14 verses 30 and 31. He says it repeatedly in John 17, He says it in verse 11, He says it in verse 21, 22, 23, we're one, we're one, we're one, we're one, we're united, we're united. That was the greatest testimony of His sinlessness was that He had absolutely unbroken communion with God.

Now had He not been man He couldn't be the substitute. Had He not been sinless He couldn't be the substitute. So He had to be man and He had to be God.

Notice our text again, "God made Him who knew no sin," here is the remarkable statement, "to be sin." You see, He had to punish sin but if He punished the sinner the sinner would be destroyed in hell eternally. So He had to take the substitute and put Him in the place of the sinner and punish the substitute instead. He had to be sin. That phrase is very important and I want you to grasp it.

What does it mean that He was made sin? That's an astounding statement. What does it mean? Well, first of all, let me tell you what it doesn't mean and you need to understand this clearly. It does not mean that Christ became a sinner. It does not mean that He committed a sin. It does not mean that He broke God's law. He did not do that. The Scriptures I've just read to you indicate that He had no capacity to sin, that's what theologians call the impeccability of Christ. He had no possibility to sin. He could not sin. He was sinless God while fully man. And certainly it is unthinkable that God would turn Him into a sinner. The idea of God making anybody a sinner is unthinkable, to say nothing of making His holy Son into a sinner.

Well you say, "Well what does it mean then that He was made sin?" Isaiah 53 introduces it to us, "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, our sorrows He carried." Verse 5, "He was pierced through for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. And the chastening that fell on Him was because of us." Verse 6, "All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." He didn't die for His own sins, He died for...what?...for our sins.

What it means is the Lord took all of the iniquity of all of us and it fell on Christ. What do you mean? It wasn't His sin? No, it was our sin. What is it saying? Simply this, God treated Christ as if He were a sinner. How? By making Him pay the penalty for sin though He was innocent. He paid the penalty. God treated Him as if He was the sinner. More than that, God treated Him as if He sinned all the sins of all who would ever believe. Is that incredible? Sin, not His at all, was credited to Him as if He had committed it and paid the price. And He didn't...but it was credited to Him as if He did. That, listen, is the only sense in which Christ was made sin, and the word is He was made sin by imputation. Sin was imputed to Him, it wasn't His, He never sinned. But God put it to His account, charged it to Him and making Him pay the penalty. It would be like some...it would be like all the sinners in all the world charging all their sin to your credit card and you having to pay the bill. Imputation...listen, the guilt of the sins of all who would ever believe God, all who would ever be saved was imputed to Jesus Christ, credited to Him as if He were guilty of all of it. And then just...as soon as God had credited it to Him, God poured out the full fury of all His wrath against all that sin and all those sinners and Jesus experienced all of that. Is it any wonder at that moment He was alienated from God and said, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" He was treated as a sinner. He was treated as a sinner deserves to be treated, with all the fury of just punishment.

Let me go further. He was treated as every sinner cumulatively deserve to be treated and all the fury was poured on Him. He was personally pure--He was officially guilty. He was personally holy--He was forensically guilty.

Look at Galatians chapter 3 verse 10...verse 10 says, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse." All right, you want to try to earn your way to heaven? You want to try to reconcile yourself? You want to keep certain works? Do certain religious duties? Ascribe to some moral law or ceremonial law? You want to achieve your own righteousness? You've got a problem. All of you who try to reconcile to God through works, through what you do are cursed. Why? Because it says in Deuteronomy, "Cursed is everyone who doesn't abide by all things written in the book of the law to perform them."

You know why that curses you, that approach curses you? Because the first time you violate one law you're damned. It just takes one. Cursed is everyone who doesn't keep all that is written in the book of the law. So if you're going to try to reconcile yourself to God through human effort, every time you try to do that you put yourself under a curse because it only takes one violation. So the whole human race is cursed. And everybody in every religion on the face of the earth trying to achieve reconciliation by their own efforts is cursed. All this curse of iniquity has to be paid for. There has to be a penalty for this curse. So verse 13 says, "Christ redeemed us from the curse by being made a curse for us." Wow! That's the point. He became a curse for us. He took the full fury of God's wrath on our behalf. God placed Christ in the path of the curse and trampled Him with exhausted judgment.

And again I remind you, that it is imputation that is crucial to understanding reconciliation. He became sin by imputation. Our sin was imputed to Him...follow this...just as believers become holy by imputation. You remember that? Being given His righteousness.

Let me say it another way. Christ dying on the cross did not become evil like we are, nor do we by virtue of the cross become as holy as He is. You say, "Well what happens?" It's imputation. God puts sin to Christ's credit, our sin and puts Christ's righteousness to our credit. It's not that we are so righteous God is satisfied. It's that because the penalty is paid and the guilt has been met that God can credit to us the righteousness of Christ. That's the gospel.

The only sense in which you are made righteous through justification is by imputation. And that's the same sense in which Christ was made sin. He is made sin because God credits our sin to Him. We're made righteous because God credits His righteousness to us.

Listen, I'm a Christian, you're a Christian, I am not so righteous that as I am I can stand before a holy God. Are you? I've got a lot of sin in my life and I would say if I got anywhere near God what Peter said, "Depart from Me, O Lord, for I am...what?...I'm still sinful." But God looks at me and does not consider me on the virtue of my human morality, He considers me on the virtue of the imputed righteousness of Christ which covers me. This is the point.

Well, the benefactor is God, the substitute is Christ and by imputation receives our sins and dies for them, taking our place. Thirdly, the beneficiaries and these last points are brief. Thirdly, the beneficiaries. "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin...here it is...on our behalf." On our behalf. Who you talking about, Paul? Who is "our"? Well it's the same as the "we" in verse 20. "We are ambassadors." It's the same as the "us" in verse 19, "He committed to us the reconciliation ministry." It's the same as the "us" in verse 18, "Us who have been given this ministry." Who is this "our, we, us" group.

Well they're in verse 17 described, "Any man who is...what?...in Christ who is a new creation, old things passed away and new things have come." There is a transformation. There is a new creation at salvation. There is. We are transformed. We are changed. But even with that change we wouldn't have sufficient righteousness to satisfy a holy God. And so He has to cover us in the righteousness of Christ to make us acceptable until He can get us to glory and we'll be made righteous. And it is for us, us who are in Christ then, us who have been reconciled that He died. He died in our place.

The actual substitution in its efficacy was for believers, those who would believe. He died for our sins. He died for us. He died in our place.

The final point, the benefit. And what did He provide us? "In order that," this is the purpose of it, "we might become the righteousness of God in Him." See, there's that imputation. What is the benefit? We become righteous before God. This is what justification does. And the righteousness that we are given is the very righteousness of Christ. Listen to what Paul said in Philippians 3:9, "We are now found in Christ not having a righteousness of my own," he says. Not some righteousness derived from keeping the law but a righteousness through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God. Wow! It's imputed to us. He's holy, God imputed sin to Him. We're sinful, God imputes holiness to us.

The very righteousness which God requires to accept the sinner is the very righteousness which God provides. When God looks at you He sees you covered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That's why all your sin is automatically forgiven in the eternal sense because Jesus already paid the penalty, right? God can't hold you responsible for your sin, Jesus paid the full penalty for it, took the full fury for it.

You say, "Well what about the sins I commit after I'm a Christian?" Well He died for those too because you weren't even born when He died. They were all future. In fact, He is the lamb slain from before...what?...the foundation of the world, before even the creation. The plan was for Him to die for all the sins of all who will ever believe.

This is the righteousness that Romans 3 talks about. It's the righteousness of God, verse 21, apart from the law. Verse 22, it's the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe. And that's the key. How do you get in on this? Believe. Believe what? Believe that you're a sinner, believe you're in a desperate situation, you're desperately alienated from God. Believe that you have no hope of reconciliation and you will in this life live godlessly and in the next life you will suffer eternal torment. And believe all of that. And then believe that God sent His Son into the world in the form of a man to die as your substitute and take your place and that He took the full fury of the wrath of God upon Him. And believe that the affirmation that God's justice was satisfied was the fact that God raised Jesus...what?..from the dead. And when God raised Him from the dead He was saying, "I am satisfied." And then God exalted Jesus to His right hand where He sits at the right hand of God on the throne and God says when that was done, when He offered Himself and satisfied My justice, I gave Him...Philippians 2...a name which is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee in the universe must bow and every tongue must confess that Jesus is Lord. That's what you believe. That's the gospel.

And when you believe that by faith, simply believing that, God in His mercy takes the righteousness of Jesus Christ and imputes it to you because your sins were imputed to Christ when He died on the cross. The Father knew you were there when the Son died. Your name was written in the Lamb's Book of Life before the foundation of the world and the atonement that Christ made was for you. And you come to believe and you receive the imputed righteousness. And then you live in this life with God in your life and in eternity in the presence of God in absolute perfection. That's the gospel. That's Christianity. That's it.

The benefactor is God, it's all His plan, it comes out of His love. The substitute is Jesus Christ who took your place, the perfect God/Man. The beneficiaries, all of us for whom He died, those who will believe. And the benefit, you receive the righteousness of God imputed to you as if you were equal to Jesus Christ in holiness. And some day you will be made holy. But until then you're covered with the righteousness of God in Christ. And it becomes yours through faith, believe, repent, put your faith in Jesus Christ. Let's bow in prayer.

Father, we come to You at this time and ask that everyone of us might look into our hearts and be sure that we have been reconciled to God. Thank You for giving all of us the ministry of reconciliation. Thank You that You have not only reconciled us but called us to cry to others, "Be ye reconciled to God, it is available, it is possible, God has made a way." And we cry that to sinners here this morning who have not been reconciled and we ask, O God, that You would prompt their hearts to believe and to repent, turning from their sin and saying, "I want forgiveness for my sin, I want the hope of heaven, I want God in my life, I want to be reconciled." O Father, I just pray that Your Holy Spirit will work that marvelous miracle of reconciliation in hearts today. And we thank You for bearing our sin and for letting us bear Your righteousness. This is all overwhelming and we are unworthy, but grateful. Speak, Father, to those hearts who do not know the Savior, who have not been reconciled and draw them to Yourself. And may they have confidence in the words of Jesus who said, "Him that comes to Me I'll never turn aside." And we ask that sinners might come today and in faith embrace the righteousness provided for them by the one who bore their sin. We thank You in Christ's name. Amen.

The Joy of Jesus is Goodness of God

The Goodness of God is One of His Attributes
1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting (Psalms 107:1).

19 How great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast stored up for those who fear Thee, which Thou hast wrought for those who take refuge in Thee, before the sons of men! (Psalms 31:19).

5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days (Hosea 3:5).

The Importance of the Goodness of God
The goodness of God is not only an attribute of God but a foundational truth every Christian should embrace. Consider some of the reasons God’s goodness is important to us.

(1) The “goodness” of God is prominent in the opening chapters of the Bible. Repeatedly, God pronounced everything which He created “good” (see Genesis 1:4, 10, 18; 1 Timothy 4:4). In chapter 2, God saw that it was “not good” for Adam to be alone, and so He created a wife for him (2:18-25). In the garden of Eden, where God had placed Adam and Eve, there was “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” From the fruit of this one tree, the man and woman were forbidden to eat. We shall return to this matter of “goodness” in the garden, for it is a vitally important truth. Suffice to say the issues of “goodness” and “evil” are prominent at the beginning of the Bible.

(2) The goodness of God appears to be the sum total of all of God’s attributes. The goodness of God may thus be viewed as one facet of His glorious nature and character and also the overall summation of His nature and character.

19 Then Moses said, “I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!” And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion” (Exodus 33:19; see also Exodus 34:5-7).

(3) We cannot separate what is good from God. You cannot have goodness without God, just as you cannot have God without goodness. God alone is good:

2 I said to the LORD, “Thou art my Lord; I have no good besides Thee” (Psalms 16:2).

16 And behold, one came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is [only] One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:16-17).

The Joy of Jesus is in The Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version, ©2010)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Love

If I had to rank all of the above fruits in their order of possible importance, the quality of love would have to be #1. And this is why it may have been listed as #1 fruit in the above Scripture verse.
Due to the extreme importance of just this one quality, I am going to do another article on this quality and title it “The Power of Love.” This article will also be listed in the Sanctification Section of our site. There are some very powerful and profound verses from the Bible on just this one quality alone and it needs to have its own article to do it proper justice.
Here are some of the different definitions on what love is from the different Bible dictionaries and commentaries:
Unselfish, benevolent concern for another; brotherly concern; the object of brotherly concern or affection

The self-denying, self-sacrificing, Christ-like love which is the foundation of all other graces

Unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the well being of another

The high esteem which God has for His human children and the high regard which they, in turn, should have for Him and other people

To love, to have affection for someone; to like; to be a friend; the love of brothers for each other
One of the main messages that comes through loud and clear from studying our Bible is the extreme importance that God the Father is placing on that everyone learn how to love Him, love ourselves, love one another, and to even go as far as to be able to love our enemies and those who will try and hurt us.
However, our abilities as fallen humans to love one another is very limited. This is why it is so important for each and every Christian to work very closely with the Holy Spirit to get this fruit worked up into the core of our personalities. It is only when the love of the Holy Spirit starts to flow and enter into our personalities can we even begin to love God, love ourselves, and love one another to the degree and to the intensity that God would like to see from each one of us.
To those of you who will be entering into this sanctification process with the Lord – this quality should be listed as the #1 quality you should really attempt to put on into the core of your soul and personality. The Holy Spirit will be moving on you very early and very quickly to get this quality imparted into your mind, soul and emotions due to the extreme importance of it in your walk with the Lord.
You can be the greatest man of God and have some of the greatest gifts of God flowing through you – but if you are not walking with all of this in the spirit of love and humility, it will have all been for naught. More on this in the next article.

The Joy of Jesus is The Positive Force in The World

We profit from the Word when our eyes are opened to discern the true character of the world. One of the poets wrote, "God’s in His heaven—all’s right with the world". From one standpoint that is blessedly true, but from another it is radically wrong, for "the whole world lieth in wickedness" (1 John 5:19). But it is only as the heart is supernaturally enlightened by the Holy Spirit that we are enabled to perceive that that which is highly esteemed among men is really "abomination in the sight of God" (Luke 16:15). It is much to be thankful for when the soul is able to see that the "world" is a gigantic fraud, a hollow bauble, a vile thing, which must one day be burned up.
Before we go further, let us define that "world" which the Christian is forbidden to love. There are few words found upon the pages of Holy Writ used with a greater variety of meanings than this one. Yet careful attention to the context will usually determine its scope. The "world" is a system or order of things, complete in itself. No foreign element is suffered to intrude, or if it does it is speedily accommodated or assimilated to itself. The "world" is fallen human nature acting itself out in the human family, fashioning the framework of human society in accord with its own tendencies. It is the organized kingdom of the "carnal mind" which is "enmity against God" and which is "not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). Wherever the "carnal mind" is, there is "the world"; so that worldliness is the world without God.

YouTube - RICHARD SMALLWOOD: "CENTER OF MY JOY"

YouTube - RICHARD SMALLWOOD: "CENTER OF MY JOY"

The Joy of Jesus is Praising God Today

Psalm 34[a][b]

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.
1 I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Footnotes:
Psalm 34:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
Psalm 34:1 In Hebrew texts 34:1-22 is numbered 34:2-23.
New International Version, ©2010 (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica

If we hope to spend eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend much of our time here in this work. He never said to any one, Seek ye me in vain. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; many besides him have looked unto the Lord by faith and prayer, and it has wonderfully revived and comforted them. When we look to the world, we are perplexed, and at a loss. But on looking to Christ depends our whole salvation, and all things needful thereunto do so also. This poor man, whom no man looked upon with any respect, or looked after with any concern, was yet welcome to the throne of grace; the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The holy angels minister to the saints, and stand for them against the powers of darkness. All the glory be to the Lord of the angels. By taste and sight we both make discoveries, and have enjoyment; Taste and see God's goodness; take notice of it, and take the comfort of it. He makes all truly blessed that trust in him. As to the things of the other world, they shall have grace sufficient for the support of spiritual life. And as to this life, they shall have what is necessary from the hand of God. Paul had all, and abounded, because he was content, Philippians 4:11-18. Those who trust to themselves, and think their own efforts sufficient for them, shall want; but they shall be fed who trust in the Lord. Those shall not want, who with quietness work, and mind their own business.

The Joy of Jesus Praises God in His Glory

New International Version (©1984)
Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.
New Living Translation (©2007)
Praise his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen!

English Standard Version (©2001)
Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
And blessed be His glorious name forever; And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Thanks be to his glorious name forever. May the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen!

King James Bible
And blessed [be] his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled [with] his glory; Amen, and Amen.

American King James Version
And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

American Standard Version
And blessed be his glorious name for ever; And let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen.

Bible in Basic English
Praise to the glory of his noble name for ever; let all the earth be full of his glory. So be it, So be it.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And blessed be the name of his majesty for ever: and the whole earth shall be filled with his majesty. So be it. So be it.

Darby Bible Translation
And blessed be his glorious name for ever! and let the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen, and Amen.

English Revised Version
And blessed be his glorious name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen.

Webster's Bible Translation
And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and amen.

World English Bible
Blessed be his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and amen.

Young's Literal Translation
And blessed is the Name of His honour to the age, And the whole earth is filled with His honour. Amen, and amen!


Barnes' Notes on the Bible
And blessed be his glorious name for ever - The name by which he is known - referring perhaps particularly to his name "Yahweh." Still the prayer would be, that all the names by which he is known, all by which he has revealed himself, might be regarded with veneration always and everywhere.

And let the whole earth be filled with his glory - With the knowledge of himself; with the manifestations of his presence; with the influences of his religion. Compare Numbers 14:21. This prayer was especially appropriate at the close of a psalm designed to celebrate the glorious reign of the Messiah. Under that reign the earth will be, in fact, filled with the glory of God; the world will be a world of glory. Assuredly all who love God, and who love mankind, all who desire that God may be honored, and that the world may be blessed and happy, will unite in this fervent prayer, and reecho the hearty "Amen and amen" of the psalmist.

Amen, and amen - So be it. Let this occur. Let this time come. The expression is doubled to denote intensity of feeling. It is the going out of a heart full of desire that this might be so.

The Joy of Jesus is Our Salvation Today

The subject of God’s "so-great-salvation" (Heb. 2:3), as it is revealed to us in the Scriptures and made known in Christian experience, is worthy of a life’s study. Any one who supposes that there is now no longer any need for him to prayerfully search for a fuller understanding of the same needs to ponder "If any man think he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know" (1 Cor. 8:2). The fact is that the moment any of us really takes it for granted that he already knows all that there is to be known on any subject treated of in Holy Writ, he at once cuts himself off from any further light thereon. That which is most needed by all of us in order to a better understanding of Divine things is not a brilliant intellect, but a truly humble heart and a teachable spirit, and for that we would daily and fervently pray, for we possess it not by nature.
The subject of Divine salvation has, sad to say, provoked age-long controversy and bitter contentions even among Christians. There is comparatively little agreement even upon this elementary vet vital truth. Some have insisted that salvation is by Divine grace, others have argued that it is by human endeavor. A number have sought to defend the middle position, and while allowing that the salvation of a lost sinner must be by Divine grace, were not willing to concede that it is by Divine grace alone, alleging that God’s grace must be plussed by something from the creature, and very varied have been the opinions of what that ‘something must be—baptism, church-membership, the performing of good works, holding out faithful to the end, etc. On the other hand, there are those who not only grant that salvation is by grace alone, but who deny that God uses any means whatever in the accomplishment of His eternal purpose to save His elect—overlooking the fact that the sacrifice of Christ is the grand "means’!
It is true that the Church of God was blessed with super-creation blessings, being chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world and predestinated unto the adoption of children, and nothing could or can alter that grand fact. It is equally true that if sin had never entered the world, none had been in need of salvation from it. But sin has entered, and the Church fell in Adam and came under the curse and condemnation of God’s Law. Consequently, the elect, equally with the reprobate, shared in the capital offence of their federal head, and partake of its fearful entail: "In Adam all die" (1 Cor. 15:22): "By the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation" (Rom. 5:18). The result of this is, that all are "alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts" (Eph. 4:18), so that the members of the mystical Body of Christ are "by nature the children of wrath, even as others" (Eph. 2:3), and hence they are alike in dire need of God’s salvation.

The Joy of Jesus is Patient

The love of God, and of our neighbour for God's sake, is patient toward, all men. It, suffers all the weakness, ignorance, errors, and infirmities of the children of God; all the malice and wickedness of the children of the world: and all this, not only for a time, but to the end. And in every step toward overcoming evil with good, it is kind, soft, mild, benign. It inspires the sufferer at once with the most amiable sweetness, and the most fervent and tender affection. Love acteth not rashly - Does not hastily condemn any one; never passes a severe sentence on a slight or sudden view of things. Nor does it ever act or behave in a violent, headstrong, or precipitate manner. Is not puffed up - Yea, humbles the soul to the dust.

The Joy of Jesus is a Reason for Hope

A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple.[b] Of David.
1 I will exalt you, LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 LORD my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.

4 Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 LORD, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

8 To you, LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me;
LORD, be my help.”

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
LORD my God, I will praise you forever.

The Joy of Jesus is a Special Love

God’s Love For Us
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. - Deuteronomy 7:9

For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. . . - Psalm 37:28

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. - Proverbs 8:17

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. – 1 John 4:9-11

Praise God Today....

The Joy of Jesus is Love

1 Corinthians 13

1 If I speak in the tonguesa]" of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b]" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

The Joy of Jesus is God's Word

The Word of God is Our Salvation:

The Psalms
119

The Excellencies of God's Law
ALEPH
1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way,

who walk in the law of the LORD.
2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies,

and that seek him with the whole heart.
3 They also do no iniquity:

they walk in his ways.
4 Thou hast commanded us

to keep thy precepts diligently.
5 O that my ways were directed

to keep thy statutes!
6 Then shall I not be ashamed,

when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart,

when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
8 I will keep thy statutes:

O forsake me not utterly.
BETH
9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?

By taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee:

O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart,

that I might not sin against thee.
12 Blessed art thou, O LORD:

teach me thy statutes.
13 With my lips have I declared

all the judgments of thy mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies,

as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate in thy precepts,

and have respect unto thy ways.
16 I will delight myself in thy statutes:

I will not forget thy word.
GIMEL
17 Deal bountifully with thy servant,

that I may live, and keep thy word.
18 Open thou mine eyes,

that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
19 I am a stranger in the earth:

hide not thy commandments from me.
20 My soul breaketh for the longing

that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.
21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed,

which do err from thy commandments.
22 Remove from me reproach and contempt;

for I have kept thy testimonies.
23 Princes also did sit and speak against me:

but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.
24 Thy testimonies also are my delight,

and my counselors.
DALETH
25 My soul cleaveth unto the dust:

quicken thou me according to thy word.
26 I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me:

teach me thy statutes.
27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts:

so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
28 My soul melteth for heaviness:

strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
29 Remove from me the way of lying:

and grant me thy law graciously.
30 I have chosen the way of truth:

thy judgments have I laid before me.
31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies:

O LORD, put me not to shame.
32 I will run the way of thy commandments,

when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
HE
33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes;

and I shall keep it unto the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law;

yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments;

for therein do I delight.
36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies,

and not to covetousness.
37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity;

and quicken thou me in thy way.
38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant,

who is devoted to thy fear.
39 Turn away my reproach which I fear:

for thy judgments are good.
40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts:

quicken me in thy righteousness.
VAU
41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD,

even thy salvation, according to thy word.
42 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me:

for I trust in thy word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth;

for I have hoped in thy judgments.
44 So shall I keep thy law continually

for ever and ever.
45 And I will walk at liberty:

for I seek thy precepts.
46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings,

and will not be ashamed.
47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments,

which I have loved.
48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments,

which I have loved;
and I will meditate in thy statutes.
ZAIN
49 Remember the word unto thy servant,

upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction:

for thy word hath quickened me.
51 The proud have had me greatly in derision:

yet have I not declined from thy law.
52 I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD;

and have comforted myself.
53 Horror hath taken hold upon me

because of the wicked that forsake thy law.
54 Thy statutes have been my songs

in the house of my pilgrimage.
55 I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night,

and have kept thy law.
56 This I had,

because I kept thy precepts.
CHETH
57 Thou art my portion, O LORD:

I have said that I would keep thy words.
58 I entreated thy favor with my whole heart:

be merciful unto me according to thy word.
59 I thought on my ways,

and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
60 I made haste, and delayed not

to keep thy commandments.
61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me:

but I have not forgotten thy law.
62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee

because of thy righteous judgments.
63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee,

and of them that keep thy precepts.
64 The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy:

teach me thy statutes.
TETH
65 Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD,

according unto thy word.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge:

for I have believed thy commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray:

but now have I kept thy word.
68 Thou art good, and doest good:

teach me thy statutes.
69 The proud have forged a lie against me:

but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.
70 Their heart is as fat as grease:

but I delight in thy law.
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted;

that I might learn thy statutes.
72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me

than thousands of gold and silver.
JOD
73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me:

give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me;

because I have hoped in thy word.
75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right,

and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort,

according to thy word unto thy servant.
77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live:

for thy law is my delight.
78 Let the proud be ashamed;

for they dealt perversely with me without a cause:
but I will meditate in thy precepts.
79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me,

and those that have known thy testimonies.
80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes;

that I be not ashamed.
CAPH
81 My soul fainteth for thy salvation:

but I hope in thy word.
82 Mine eyes fail for thy word,

saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke;

yet do I not forget thy statutes.
84 How many are the days of thy servant?

When wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?
85 The proud have digged pits for me,

which are not after thy law.
86 All thy commandments are faithful:

they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.
87 They had almost consumed me upon earth;

but I forsook not thy precepts.
88 Quicken me after thy loving-kindness;

so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.
LAMED
89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations:

thou hast established the earth,
and it abideth.
91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances:

for all are thy servants.
92 Unless thy law had been my delights,

I should then have perished in mine affliction.
93 I will never forget thy precepts:

for with them thou hast quickened me.
94 I am thine, save me;

for I have sought thy precepts.
95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me:

but I will consider thy testimonies.
96 I have seen an end of all perfection:

but thy commandment is exceeding broad.
MEM
97 O how love I thy law!

It is my meditation all the day.
98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies:

for they are ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers:

for thy testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the ancients,

because I keep thy precepts.
101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way,

that I might keep thy word.
102 I have not departed from thy judgments:

for thou hast taught me.
103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste!

yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.
104 Through thy precepts I get understanding:

therefore I hate every false way.
NUN
105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,

and a light unto my path.
106 I have sworn, and I will perform it,

that I will keep thy righteous judgments.
107 I am afflicted very much:

quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.
108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD,

and teach me thy judgments.
109 My soul is continually in my hand:

yet do I not forget thy law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me:

yet I erred not from thy precepts.
111 Thy testimonies have I taken as a heritage for ever:

for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes

always, even unto the end.
SAMECH
113 I hate vain thoughts:

but thy law do I love.
114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield:

I hope in thy word.
115 Depart from me, ye evildoers:

for I will keep the commandments of my God.
116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live:

and let me not be ashamed of my hope.
117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe:

and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.
118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes:

for their deceit is falsehood.
119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross:

therefore I love thy testimonies.
120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee;

and I am afraid of thy judgments.
AIN
121 I have done judgment and justice:

leave me not to mine oppressors.
122 Be surety for thy servant for good:

let not the proud oppress me.
123 Mine eyes fail for thy salvation,

and for the word of thy righteousness.
124 Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy,

and teach me thy statutes.
125 I am thy servant; give me understanding,

that I may know thy testimonies.
126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work:

for they have made void thy law.
127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold;

yea, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right;

and I hate every false way.
PE
129 Thy testimonies are wonderful:

therefore doth my soul keep them.
130 The entrance of thy words giveth light;

it giveth understanding unto the simple.
131 I opened my mouth, and panted:

for I longed for thy commandments.
132 Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me,

as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
133 Order my steps in thy word:

and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Deliver me from the oppression of man:

so will I keep thy precepts.
135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant;

and teach me thy statutes.
136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes,

because they keep not thy law.
TZADDI
137 Righteous art thou, O LORD,

and upright are thy judgments.
138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded

are righteous and very faithful.
139 My zeal hath consumed me,

because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
140 Thy word is very pure:

therefore thy servant loveth it.
141 I am small and despised:

yet do not I forget thy precepts.
142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,

and thy law is the truth.
143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me:

yet thy commandments are my delights.
144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting:

give me understanding, and I shall live.
KOPH
145 I cried with my whole heart;

hear me, O LORD:
I will keep thy statutes.
146 I cried unto thee;

save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.
147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried:

I hoped in thy word.
148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches,

that I might meditate in thy word.
149 Hear my voice according unto thy loving-kindness:

O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment.
150 They draw nigh that follow after mischief:

they are far from thy law.
151 Thou art near, O LORD;

and all thy commandments are truth.
152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old

that thou hast founded them for ever.
RESH
153 Consider mine affliction, and deliver me:

for I do not forget thy law.
154 Plead my cause, and deliver me:

quicken me according to thy word.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked:

for they seek not thy statutes.
156 Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD:

quicken me according to thy judgments.
157 Many are my persecutors and mine enemies;

yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.
158 I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved;

because they kept not thy word.
159 Consider how I love thy precepts:

quicken me, O LORD, according to thy loving-kindness.
160 Thy word is true from the beginning:

and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
SCHIN
161 Princes have persecuted me without a cause:

but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.
162 I rejoice at thy word,

as one that findeth great spoil.
163 I hate and abhor lying:

but thy law do I love.
164 Seven times a day do I praise thee,

because of thy righteous judgments.
165 Great peace have they which love thy law:

and nothing shall offend them.
166 LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation,

and done thy commandments.
167 My soul hath kept thy testmonies;

and I love them exceedingly.
168 I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies:

for all my ways are before thee.
TAU
169 Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD:

give me understanding according to thy word.
170 Let my supplication come before thee:

deliver me according to thy word.
171 My lips shall utter praise,

when thou hast taught me thy statutes.
172 My tongue shall speak of thy word:

for all thy commandments are righteousness.
173 Let thine hand help me;

for I have chosen thy precepts.
174 I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD;

and thy law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee;

and let thy judgments help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep:

seek thy servant;
for I do not forget thy commandments.

Published by The American Bible Society

CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD

The Psalms 118