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Awesome Deeds, Indeed!

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
January 16, 2023 1:00 am

Awesome Deeds, Indeed!

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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January 16, 2023 1:00 am

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If you would turn in your Bibles to Psalm 66, we will be looking at the first five verses of this Psalm. Say to God, how awesome are your deeds. So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. All the earth worships you and sings praises to you.

They sing praises to your name. Come and see what God has done. He is awesome in his deeds toward the children of men. Let's pray. Father, we come tonight asking that the Holy Spirit teach us your word. Father, I just pray as we look at the reason to worship, looking to your awesome deeds. Father, I just pray that you just capture our hearts tonight to keep us focused on Christ Jesus. We thank you and it's in Christ's name we pray. Amen.

You may be seated. Psalm 66 opens with the psalmist instructing us that we are to worship God. For several weeks in Sunday school, we've been on the topic of worship. Last Sunday evening, Eugene used Psalm 29 and instructed us to ascribe to the Lord. So in Psalm 66, we move again to where the psalmist is giving this same instruction. And what we see in verse one is he is instructing all that they should worship God. That they should praise his name to shout for joy to God. In verse two, we see that he say or instructs us that we are to sing to God and ascribe to him glory. And in verse three, he instructs that we are to declare that his deeds are awesome. But then in verse five, he invites the reader, come and see what God has done. If you go through the rest of the psalm from verse six down through verse 20, the writer gives us some of those deeds. And to go through them quickly, we see that he lists salvation of the people through the Exodus. In verse six, we see that he talks about how God has sustained and delivered the people and even himself personally through trial and adversity.

And he praises him for remaining steadfast to what he has promised. Scripture, I would argue, is filled with these awesome deeds of God. If you would just briefly flip through Genesis, starting at verse one, one, we have the creation story going through chapters one and two. And if there are any greater awesome deeds of workings, I can't explain it because God, in speaking, brought into existence something from nothing, an incredible power, an incredible deed proclaimed. If you jump to Genesis seven, we see God delusioning the earth with water in judgment to the point that all of the earth is covered to a height of over, I believe it's above 16 feet of the top tallest people in the world.

Of the top tallest peak on the earth. In Genesis 21, we have the keeping of the covenant to Abraham in the birth of Isaac. God and his awesome deeds, a woman beyond childbearing years, a man who laughed because he was too old. And God, an awesome deed in bringing Isaac to keep his promise of covenant with Abraham. Genesis 41, we see Joseph's salvation in Egypt. He is saved from the prison. And not only is he saved from the prison, but what does God do?

He elevates him to second in authority over the largest kingdom in the world. And then in Genesis 46, we see Joseph bringing the family of Jacob down to dwell in Egypt out of famine and a land where they will become a nation and God's covenant promise continues. So just in the book of Genesis, a brief flipping through, we see some awesome tremendous deeds of God and all these deeds should drive us to worship. The deeds the psalmist lists, the exodus, looking at the stories of Israel, the judgment that goes upon them and them being put under authority of other nations, but God never leaving, holding his covenant and sustaining and keeping them. And even the psalmist himself, as he shares how God heard his prayer and saved him. These deeds should all drive us to worship, but unfortunately many times they don't.

Unfortunately, many times our own thoughts, our own issues, our own concerns outweigh outweigh the stories of the Bible that we have been taught over and over again. James Boyce in his commentary on this psalm states it this way. He said that man needs constant reminding to praise God and that's what this psalmist is doing in Psalm 66.

Tonight, that is what I would like to do with you. I would like us to be reminded of why we should worship and praise God. I would like to use the same invitation from verse five. The psalmist says this, come and see what God has done.

He is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. If you have your Bibles open, turn to Colossians 1. We're going to jump to there and we are going to look at what I consider the greatest deed that scripture reveals to us.

And I love the way in which Paul tells the Colossians about this deed. In Colossians 1 verses 12 through 14, we read this, giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, is exhorting them in his prayer for them. He is in this portion of the text explaining to them that he is praying for them and in this prayer he is praying that he is giving thanks for them because God has qualified them to share in the inheritance of the saints in light and has delivered them from the domain of darkness and transferred them to the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom they have redemption, the forgiveness of sin, those believers in colossae. He is reminding them and he is reminding us he is reminding them and he is reminding us of why we have reason to praise and worship God and it is not just a historical pass that occurred that we need to look upon.

It is an ongoing event in a believer's life and that is why we are called to praise and worship God continually. He is centering them on the most awesome deed that God has accomplished. I would like for us tonight to look at three truths Paul proclaims in these verses. They apply to the believers in colossae and they apply to the believers here tonight. We see these three truths as first, we are qualified to share in the inheritance. Second, we are delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of his Son. And third, this awesome deed is accomplished only through Christ Jesus. The first point that I'd like us to look at, we are qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints of life. Verse 12 says, giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints of light. The very first thing that jumps out is that it is God who has qualified you. You have not qualified yourself to partake in the inheritance of the kingdom. Unfortunately, man in every time, in every century has tried to find ways to make themselves to God and the only way that man can get to God is by God doing the work for man and it is a very, very difficult tension for men to grasp outside of Jesus Christ.

In our current time, the current psychology is that man is good in and of himself and only needs to find the way to tap into that goodness in order to make the world a better place. Last week in Newport News, Virginia, a six-year-old took a gun to school when the teacher tried, a 25-year-old teacher tried to disarm him. He discharged the weapon into her chest.

A six-year-old, folks. The police came. They did not know what to do with a six-year-old who had just shot another human being. They didn't know how to treat it. They didn't know, do we arrest?

What do we do? Because it was hard for them to fathom that a six-year-old who was poisoned by the sin of Adam could act in a sinful manner maliciously. Because in our culture, we believe that children are innocent and blameless and no, not my child and no, not my child could do those things. But scripture doesn't teach that, does it? Scripture teaches us what?

That because of the sin of Adam, it has been passed down to all of us and by nature, we are sinners separated from God. So there is no way for man to qualify himself. It is God who does the qualifying.

I leaned a little bit on John MacArthur on this point. He makes this statement that the Greek word qualify used here is, and I'm going to kill it, hicano, and it means to make sufficient, to empower, to make fit. It is God who makes it empowers us or makes us fit to inherit this kingdom. Outside of God's empowering, we are disqualified. If you are still in Colossians 1, if you jump over to verse 21, Paul writes this, and you who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds. So the very first thing that I want us to see is it is God who qualifies. In Ephesians 2, verses 1 through 3, Paul tells the Ephesians very much the same thing when he says, And you were dead in the trespasses and sin in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work and the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind. Romans 3, there is none that seek God, no, not one. And that's taken from an Old Testament text that Paul is issuing.

It is not new, folks. As Christians, we are countercultural because I stand here to tell you tonight there is not one of you. No matter what age sitting here that is innocent in and of themselves, you are all infected completely by sin. And outside of the working of God, of the working of Jesus Christ, of the great and awesome deeds of God, you are doomed to his wrath. MacArthur states before our salvation, the only thing we are qualified for is God's wrath. Romans 1 18 states this very truth.

Paul says, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. But as we look at it, we see God as the initiator and completer of this qualification. But what is the inheritance that is truly being talked about? Well, we look to Scripture when we see that word and we couldn't go to Matthew 19, where Jesus tells us that we inherit eternal life, John 3 16. The inheritance of eternal life is that inheritance. But it is more than that, if you would go to Galatians 2, Paul explains what that eternal life is in Galatians 2, it is where Paul says, I have been crucified with Christ, therefore I no longer live, but it is Christ Jesus who lives in me. So it's not just we've inherited a length of time, we've inherited a life that is that of Christ's that we can partake with the divine in communion forever.

Our eternal life isn't an existence where we go through our Monday day to day tasks, we actually will live with Christ Jesus and Christ Jesus in us and we will be able to commune completely with God for eternity. We inherit eternal life, we inherit life in and through Christ. And finally, we inherit the promises of God. The Scripture is full of promises to those that are God's people. So when we make reference to John 14, and Jesus says to his disciples, if you believe in God, believe also in me, and he tells them that he is going away, but he's going to prepare a place and he's going to come back and take them unto himself. That promise for the believer is for us.

That is what we have been qualified to join. In Revelation chapter 22, the description of the new heaven and how we will participate with God for eternity, the promise is ours. In Jeremiah 31, and we're going to celebrate the cup tonight, 31 through 34 says this, behold, the days are coming declares the Lord when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband declares the Lord, for this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days declares the Lord. I will put my law within them and I will write it on their hearts and I will be their God and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother saying know the Lord for they shall all know me from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.

Tonight, one of the pastors is going to stand up and hold up the cup and say take and drink. What we are going to drink is the blood of the new covenant, the ceiling of that new covenant of God to his people. That he is our God and we are his people and he forgives our sin and iniquity and remembers them no more, that is what God has qualified the believer for.

That is what God has qualified the believer for. It moves us to our second point and that point is quite incredible if we had time to dwell on it long, but we are delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of his son. As Paul is telling the Colossians this as we hear this, we have been transferred already. This evening as we sit here, we are no longer under the domain and reign of sin and Satan. If you are a believer in Christ Jesus, you are transferred fully. It is not our sin sickness is healing and we are on our way to getting better. We have been moved from darkness into light, into the fullness of Christ Jesus' work. Verse 13, he has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son. The meaning for us is immense. In 2 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul tells the Corinthians, therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come. All this is from God who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

It is not a process that we are working towards being justified. We are placed in the kingdom automatically on the declaration of God saying Christ's work is done. His blood covers that sin. I remember it no more. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Amazing. And we are a new creature in that. We are given an ability. We are enabled to recognize God and his truth.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 18, and I'm going to read 17, oh I'm sorry, and I'm going to read 17, I'm sorry, for the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. We are enabled to serve God in Ephesians chapter 2. Paul tells the church at Ephesus, for we are his workmanship created in Christ. So it's continually going back to this awesome deed of God created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Not only has he qualified us, he has delivered us into a kingdom where now we can truly, we are enabled by the Spirit of God to serve, to recognize, and to worship.

We've been using John 4, the woman at the well, and the woman was asking a pointed question to Jesus, where is it proper to worship? And Jesus said the time is coming and it is now that the true worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth. The book of Psalms, the psalmist in 66 one through five is driving us to understand that awesome deed that we are to look at that should drive us to our knees and praise, prayer, and thanksgiving to God, to worship him properly and rightly is that work of Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit has enlivened us to. That has taken our heart of stone and taken it away and created into a heart of flesh that he has written his law on and he is our God and we are his people. Our transfer now enables us to live in a manner pleasing to God.

It brings us to our final point tonight. This deed is accomplished fully through Christ. Verse 14, in whom, referring to the son because we were transferred to the kingdom of the son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. It brings us back to the very first point on how we get qualified as a working of God.

We are passive in this deed of God's completely because it even requires the Holy Spirit enabling us to respond to the truth of the gospel message. And that gospel message is the humiliation of Christ Jesus and the exaltation of Christ Jesus. That humiliation we read about, we just celebrated. We put up lavish trees and beautiful decorations.

We light towns, we light houses, we light our homes. And it was a humiliation for Christ to come and be born in this flesh. Not only that, to be born in this flesh in a lowly manner because Paul tells us that Christ had to set aside his glory, to set it aside to become like us.

And a few weeks ago, I preached and I talked about what in heaven is going on right now. When we talk about what Christ set aside, at this very moment, those beings that John, as he wrote in Revelation, and they would bring him and show him things, he would bow down because they were so majestic and so great compared to him. Those beings are by the way, they are by the way, bowing before the throne right now saying, worthy is the lamb.

They are saying holy, holy, holy, and their voices are so strong that the foundations shudder. Jesus set that aside. And he took on the form of us and was born in a tiny town to no fanfare, hated by man, lived a life of perfection where he knew no sin. He placed himself under the law so that he could keep the law in our place. And then he delivered himself over that great question that Pilate asked him, do you not realize I can kill you, take your life? And how did Jesus answer that?

The God that created Pilate looked upon him and said, the only authority you have is the authority given to you by my Father. We sing a song he could have called 10,000 Angels, and he could have destroyed the world in an instant. He was the God of all creation and he humiliated himself, he humbled himself, he lowered himself to our level, but did everything that we needed accomplished so we could be right with God the Father. Then he gave himself over to death, but death could not hold him. And on the third day he arose from the grave. He met with his disciples.

He instructed his disciples that he was taken out of their view. And where does he sit today? He is seated at the right hand of God, the Father, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. His exaltation is he is the King of King and the Lord of Lords. And that is all necessary for us, folks. It is all necessary for us because if we understand that, that means that the Holy Spirit has come to us by the Word of God being preached, spoken, read by us, and the Holy Spirit has taken that word and driven it into our hearts if we understand that tonight.

It is fully his doing. That's the awesome deed of God. When the psalmist says, come and see what God has done, he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of men, we see the fullness of that deed.

Everything prior to Christ's death, everything prior to Christ Jesus coming, prior to the cross, the resurrection, and what we are walking in now, that was all shadows and they still saw the greatness of God in his workings and his salvation. We stand on this side of Calvary awaiting just the full consummation. We have seen the full working of God to sin accomplished in Jesus Christ. We will see a complete utter destruction of sin in that consummation and we will see a time when we commune with God forever. In joy, in peace, in fullness, but it's his deed.

How do we forget that? How do we need constantly reminded? The psalmist calls to us. He tells us, come worship God, sing to him. Tonight, as we come, Jesus has accomplished our salvation. He has made us his. We are in his kingdom, enabled to commune with him.

We are partakers of the promises of God. And so, as the psalmist said, if you're here tonight and you believe in Christ, if you're here tonight and you believe, shout for joy to God, all the earth. Sing the glory of his name. Give to him glorious praise. Say to God, how awesome are your deeds.

If you're here tonight, you do not know that. If it doesn't sound sensible, pray that the Holy Spirit works this word of God into your heart. If you have a desire to know more about Christ, talk to the elders, talk to the elders, talk to anyone here who's a believer. Come and know Jesus Christ and the awesome deed that is accomplished by God for us as we celebrate it now in the Lord's Supper.

Let's pray. Father, your word is truth and we are so easily distracted. Thank you for the reminders of your gospel, of your love, of your grace and your mercy. Thank you also for the reminders of your holiness, your rightness, your justice. And Lord, we see them all completed in our Lord Christ Jesus and we thank you. Father, be with us as we leave here that we continue in a spirit of worship, from corporate worship to family worship to daily personal worship. Let our lives be a reflection of the gratitude for the awesome deeds that you have done. And it's in Christ's name we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-15 20:36:25 / 2023-01-15 20:45:53 / 9

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