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May 3, 2022 8:00 am
The greatness of God, the majesty of God, the one who is so great that no man can see him and live who is immortal unchanging who is self existent that God is a God who is generous and kind and compassionate hello and thank you for joining us today on the truth with Don Greene, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio by Bill Wright. Don is in a series called reflections on our end today as he continues teaching God's people. God's work will begin to look at the proper attitude and mindset. We must have as we approach the communion table and done, it is extremely important that we have our hearts in the right place when it comes to the Lord's supper resident. Well, it really is Bill and my friend.
That's because Scripture says this about taking communion. It says a man must examine himself and in so doing, he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. We rightly think about examining our lives before we go to communion. When we look for unconfessed sin before we take of the elements. My friend goes a little bit further than that is I understand Scripture anyway as were preparing our hearts. We also need to remember Christ and remember the cross and see how loving and generous he is toward us that focus fills us with the proper gratitude as we approach the table. Thanks, Don, and friend. Let's join our teacher now with part one of a message called the most generous God here on the truthful was we come to Psalm 65 I just want to set the tone by giving you a sense that this Psalm is a praise to God for his goodness and it's just so important to remember why we give thanks and to whom we give thanks we give thanks to the God who has revealed himself in Scripture and in the Lord Jesus Christ and we give thanks to him for all of his bounty. All of his goodness he is a most generous God, and if there's anything that I would want to leave a mark on the congregation, a truth Community Church. It would be a sense that moves us away from a view that God is perhaps stingy and difficult to please into one that views him fundamentally as one who is generous who delights to bless us, who loves us with an everlasting love who has shown us immeasurable kindness that we do not deserve.
And it's because he is like that and he has done that that we give him thanks and give him praise. As we gather together here and so Psalm Psalm 65 is a tax that brings us to that theme and gives us that sense of of response and we come with a sense of of recognition of what Christ has done of the sacrifice that he is paid for our for our sins of the generous way that he he poured out his blood on for unworthy sinners like us, we might have our sins forgiven be reconciled to a holy God and be carried off into heaven when we die and that we would be the recipient of the gift of eternal life. These are magnificent transcendent realities of which we of we speak that God has been good to unworthy sinners. The Christ has come, and shed his blood that the Holy Spirit has has applied that to our hearts and given us new life in and brought us into the family of God and sealed us in a way that can never be broken. This is a wonderful gift. And this is a gift that comes from a most generous God so Psalm 65 what were going to see is that this Psalm extols God. It praises God for three different aspects of his goodness, and were going to look at those as we go through the text. One by one. First of all, we see that God is a generous God in the fact that he is the God who forgives sin. He is the God who forgives sin and David expresses his intent to praise God from the very start of this Psalm look at it there in verse one with me says there will be silence before you and praise in Zion, O God, and to you the bow will be performed and it's interesting, isn't it, that it starts on a note of silence.
We don't often use silence as a means of praise, particularly in and corporate worship. However, it is a fitting response to God and and if we grasp something of the majesty of his being the majesty of Shekinah glory, the majesty of the incarnate Christ, the majesty of the blood shed on the cross for our sins, the majesty of of of the wonder of Christ crying out from the cross. My God, my God, why you forsaken me. We realize how lofty and noble. These things are then silence is an appropriate response. We realize we are overwhelmed were in the presence of someone so much greater than us that there are appropriate times where we would simply cover our mouths and and be silent before him. The prophet Habakkuk spoke to this at the end of chapter 2 when he said the Lord is in his holy temple.
Let all the earth keep silent before him.
The holiness of God generates a response of worship and in genuine awe and and a sense of of holy reverence that brings us to a place of silence and if you're conscious of your sin conscious not only of individual acts of sin, but of being a a rebel center before God and you you common in Christ saves you, then there's a sense of of awe and majesty and wonder in silence that the comes upon your soul a quietness says it's time for me to stop talking and simply contemplate the majesty of what these elements represent a body, a true human body truly suffering on the cross on my behalf. The juice representing the blood that was genuinely shed that precious blood of Christ that was shed for our sins, without which we could not have been redeemed for the Bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.
And so my friends my brothers and sisters in Christ. As we come we come with a holy earnestness, we come with a a hushed soul, a hushed lips and bow in silent worship before our God. In light of these great realities. One commentator said this about us commenting on verse one. He said silence may sometimes be the height of worship as we fall silent before God in awe at his presence and in submission to his will and so there is a holy hush that comes at times when we contemplate the greatness of Christ, the majesty of God and the wonder that he saved unworthy sinners like us. So this has a a cleansing effect.
It has a purifying effect on our souls in this agent and in this culture of just talk talk talk and fight fight fight all of the agitation that goes on in all of the division and people getting stirred up and wanting to fight back is a place for you and I as Christians to step back from all of it close the door and lock it to keep it out and to approach God in a silent spirit that recognizes something of the majesty that is intrinsic to his essence.
Looking back at Psalm one there and you can see that he intends the silence to be praise in the parallelism of the text.
There will be silence before you and praise in Zion that a poetic name for Jerusalem silence before you and praise in Zion, O God, and to you the bow will be performed and so the vowel was a promise that is made and that I will thank you when you bless me. It's a promise of thank offerings or songs of praise that are made to God in anticipation of his blessing and that Old Testament economy and now the blessing has arrived. As we read through the rest of the Psalm. What David is saying here at the start is Lord we prayed for your blessing.
In the past.
Now you have blessed us in ICOM to fulfill my vowel I come to keep my promise to praise you that I made in the past. Now that we have your blessing we come in. We give you thanks for it and it's a wonderful it's a wonderful statement of of fulfilling the promise and showing integrity to the prayer you know were all guilty were all guilty of this. What I'm about to describe her all guilty of coming to God in a time of distress, praying, asking for his help, praying for his relief and he gives it and were happy been glad for that. But we forget to give him thanks for what we asked for, especially those things would maybe we prayed for for a long period of time and God answers the prayer you know and were not always as faithful were not always faithful to give the thanks as we are to pray for the relief on the front end of the problem.
I should say here David shows us that on the backside we calm and we give thanks we have the opportunity that the Lord were here to give you our thanks. We partake of these elements with a grateful thankful heart for all of the goodness that you have shown starting with the provision of the Lord Jesus Christ. And then, in addition to that all of the earthly blessings that we enjoy as well and so we calm and we give thanks and we do so knowing that the Lord our God hears us. Look at verse two. This is just wonderful to think about those those of us that have been that have been brought into union with the Lord Jesus Christ, saved by grace saved by his shed blood. And in verse two we come in and we know that we are and we know by revelation. Quite apart from anything that we feel quite apart from any inner sense that we might have. We know by revelation that the Lord God himself hears us even now as we respond to him as we read his word.
As we preach his word. As we as we offer up our prayer and thanks to him. What does he do verse 20 you who hear prayer to you. All men calm this this transcendent God of whom we've been speaking this wonderful Lord Jesus Christ so good so gracious, so generous, so great that when we offer our thanks to him, he immediately hears it mean he knows what were going to say before. It is the word even crosses our lips, but the Lord hears us when we pray and so we are not simply going through some motion here were not simply were not simply doing an outward act that has no real significance. As we preach as we partake of communion as we pray and give thanks to God. We are engaged in an act of eternal worship that the eternal God hears and the eternal God receives as we offered in the name of his son.
He is the God who hears us.
And he is the God to whom we calm and present our praise now look. David gets more specific as he goes on in verse three here anytime soon with the spirit of confession of sin and that's what were speaking about here in this first section is the God who forgives sin for all of his Majesty. He is gracious and compassionate toward us.
You know I never I never get over that the greatness of God the Majesty of God, the one who is so great that no man can see him and live who lives in unapproachable light, who is in mortal unchanging who is self existent, who was not created who had no beginning and who will have no in that God that God is God who is who is generous and kind and compassionate and gracious toward those who come to him in the name of his son.
How can we fathom this, how can those attributes all dwell in one great essence in one great character. You would think if you were just left on the realm of human reason, you would think that one excluded the other, but in Christ in the eternal God. We see these these attributes these perfections join together transcendent glory of inexpressible essence, together with a close, intimate, gracious, forgiving response to those who call upon him in prayer. We know friends as we come at the end of the day at the end of business at the end of ministry at the end of family life and no doubt there are many of you that come in today mindful of the fact that you fallen short of the glory of God. Even in what you done today. Harsh words that you spoken things that you've done things were sent for things that you would be ashamed to be known in a place like this and realize that you can come to your God in the name of Christ and realize based on revelation, not on the way that you feel, look at it there again in verse in verse three and and just let this verse be the expression of your heart, O God, and iniquities prevail against me. As for our transgressions, you forgive them. He forgives them in the sense that he does not hold them against us that in Christ.
When God forgives sin. He does not hold our sins against us. He does not call. Call them to our account. They have been put away, they will not be mentioned again throughout all of eternity. That is how great the cleansing is. That's how great in full.
The compassion is how great and wonderful his his forgiving spirit is that he doesn't hold that against us. And when we come in the name of Christ we are welcomed in the fullness of his presence because we calm closed in the righteousness of Christ which pleases him which he accepts this is what Christ has done for us.
He is he is taken away our filthy robes of sin clothed us with his righteousness in a way that enables us to go welcome into the presence of a holy God. What kind of God is like that. What kind of God has shown mercy and grace to you to be like that and so we sing to him. We sing freely to him that word, forgive in the Old Testament. It's a word that means to cover or to atone its use only three times in the Psalms, which is interesting but it occurs 15 times in the 16th chapter of Leviticus where God revealed his plan for the day of atonement, and where a blood sacrifice. Atone for the sins of the nation and so we see that there is atonement and and whereas God otherwise would have to hide his face from us because of our sin. Yet he provided for us and atonement to cover our sin and that would one day put sin away forever. For those who believe in him no beloved. This is at the heart of true worship and it's just so important for us to understand this, the true worship is not found in how loud the band is true worship is not found in how emotional you feel at any given moment. True worship isn't found in in in silly man-made rituals in in places of of glittering art artistry with stained-glass windows.
None of that has anything to do with true worship. True worship at the heart of true worship is a recognition that Christ has atone for my sin and I come to God in response to him. I come to God through my mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ, not a priest not a priest, not through Mary. I come through the Lord Jesus Christ to to atone for my sins at the cross. His blood atonement reconciles me to a holy God, and that I worship. I give thanks.
I respond to him with all of my heart with a heart full of gratitude to such a generous God, so that forgiveness while it proved that it provokes a sense of silence yes is the song "it also gives us joy.
It gives us assurance that based on his own testimony in his word.
Based on the shed blood of Christ, based on the in testimony of the indwelling Holy Spirit who affirms these truths to our heart. Based on all of those things.
We have a sense of joy because God has been gracious to us. In place of judgment. God has given undeserved favor to us that blesses us not only now but all the days of our lives not only all the days of our lives, but carrying us through the transition. As we passed through the valley of the shadow of death, and then when we enter into the glories of heaven the blessing and the grace of only began and only then will we understand the fullness of what Christ has done for us, only then will we understand the depth of his sacrifice. Only then will we understand something of the glory of God.
Only then will we be again to start to grasp the greatness and the fullness of the salvation that God is given to us in Christ.
Only then we have silence enjoyed.
Now we have a foretaste but the fullness is still way ahead. Fullness the fullness is still ahead of us to be revealed to be enjoyed in heaven, and I believe with Jonathan Edwards the part of eternity is going to be just God blessing us with an ever ever-expanding comprehension and grasp of the greatness of who he is. The greatness of Christ the greatness of our salvation.
It won't be static. There will just be will be plunging deeper and deeper and deeper into the eternal depths of the character of God, and we will be continually overwhelmed so that we can only cry out with the Angels, holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, and so God initiated this forgiveness of sin. Don't think for a moment to put it this way on social media today. You do not have faith, God does not love you because you had faith you have faith because God set his love upon you.
All of this was God's idea, the prompting initiating movement was from God to you, not from you to God first John 419 says we love because he first loved us. God was the one who loved us, not vice versa. God initiated all of this wonderful goodness to us and so David responds in worship and notice how he emphasizes what I just said about God being the initiator of it verse four.
He says how blessed is the one whom you choose and bring near to you. God does the choosing. God reached out, God drew us to him, God brought us near Christ brought us near and so he gets all of the glory. He gets all the worship that's why we respond to him in a spirit of thanksgiving. He's been so generous to us. He saved us when we want even looking for it and so we respond in the spirit of worship to him.
David goes on he moves beyond the fact that God is one who forgives sin and he praises them.
Secondly, in Psalm 65 because he is the God who rules nature is the God who rules nature and if you think of the horrific forces that nature can sometime unleash on a sin in F5 tornadoes in category five hurricanes and and 7.0 earthquakes and all of those kinds of things and you realize the great vast power that is present in nature. You and and that God rules over that with a greater power those and if you head you know if you've ever lived through a serious earthquake and you felt the ground tremble under your feet and toss you back and forth tossing you from wall-to-wall. I have it's a frightening display of the power that is resident in creation, then you realize income to this text and you realize that God superintendent rules over all of that God.
God rules over the storm God rides on the wind of the hurricane.
See more reason to praise him to give him to give him glory.
Indeed, none can compare to the power and might of our God will friend that's our time for today here on the truth pulpit on our next broadcast on will continue his message called a most generous God. Meanwhile, if you like to own a copy of this series.
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Once again, that's the truth. Pulpit.com hi Bill, right inviting you to join us next time. As Don Greene continues teaching God's people. God's word truthful