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January 1, 2021 3:00 am
We are commanded Scripture by God Mike chapter 6, to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.
That command is often misunderstood in today on Truth for Life.
Alastair Begg unpacks the meaning of this passage so that by God's grace we can express the gospel message through how we live here in part two of a message titled what God requires. What is Micah the prophet, saying, what is he providing for the people. Well, he's not talking about his own ideas. Look at how the chapter begins here. What the Lord says this is the role of the prophet. This is the role of the preacher of the Bible, not for the for me or for anybody else to stand up and give you our views but to stand up and say listen. Listen now listen to God. That's why we constantly say you are sensible people examine the Scriptures to see if these things are so notice that he is speaking to his people, that is God here who is speaking, and he is speaking to his people and he has reason to contend with them to indict them and the reason for that is because if you work your way back through the text, you will see that they have been devising wickedness. They have been working evil in their beds, they can wait to get up in the morning to perform it, and it is in there, the power of their hand to do. That's the beginning of chapter 2 further on in chapter 2 in their wares at verse eight. Lately, says God, my people have risen up as an enemy you strip the rich role from those who pass by trustingly with no thought of war. The women of my people.
You drive out from their delightful houses from their young children, you take away my splendor forever arise and go for this is no place to rest because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous distraction and so it goes on and so he is addressing them and he is addressing them with reason for contention. Also, you will notice that in addressing then, his tone is one of entreaty twice in verses 3 to 5 you have the opening phrase all my people all my people sensitive tenderness.
All this about, like all, all my people know what he then dies.
Is he reminds them of his righteous act. She was seated on in verse five the righteous acts of the Lord.
Now that is just giving them essentially a little reminder of history, the redemption that is brought about in verse four in bringing them safely out of Egypt.
The leadership that he then gave to them so that they might make progress in Moses and Aaron and Miriam. The way in which in the events of bail I can bail them. God in his great providence turned curses the blessing and in the encounter from shipping to go. He simply reminding them of the events that were there when they cross the Jordan. These he says are the righteous acts of the Lord and noticed that you may know, the anxious rights of the Lord doesn't mean that you might be able to rehearse them know the knowledge that he speaking about here is a life transforming knowledge that you might know the righteous acts of the Lord that when you think about what God has done for you.
It might be transformative. In other words, that the knowledge of God's righteous acts, stir them up, stir them up and also steer them in where they should be going. Knowledge of the truth of God is the basis then for making sure that our emotions and our feelings are both given full effect and in the same time held in check and so he says I want you to know the righteous acts of God, I don't want you just to be able to say this is what happened and this is what happened and so on.
Know that you may know, that's the real question. Do you know God's people had completely lost sight of all that God had done for them. That's why he says them. What have I done to you how I wearied you answer me it'll all become tedious and become tiresome this and always the same old material. It was routine became irrelevant. It was dangerous and so we call and there is actually a court scene here really. We might send it in that way.
Plead your case that's in verse one, and now in verse six let us call the Council and for the defense. What is the response of the would-be worshiper or you haven't here in verses six and seven and we can read these verses where you have this progression of expressions of devotion burnt offerings with columns a year old wall year old that would cost more than just giving one up in its infancy. Ha ha. Well, what about thousands of rounds 10,000s of rivers of oil. What if I was like Abram and offered up my son from my AA in an expression of my desire to have my sin dealt with.
Know the way we need to understand this of course is in light of what Scripture tells us we have an illustration of it when we studied in for Samuel many moons ago. If you will remember and and as Samuel the prophet confronts Saul.
You will recall, and he says to them. Has the Lord great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices does he have his great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord, and of course that's the point is not saying that the sacrifices were irrelevant or the expressions of devotion are irrelevant, but what God is looking for is obedience. You have it in a parallel passage in Amos which when I read it in Peterson's paraphrase struck me forcibly and this is a similar context where the prophet Amos is taking on the same issue, other people are saying what we can come before God and this will be of the say we've done a wonderful job on sacrifices we been very self giving, we have been prepared even to go to the extremities of and God says I can stand your religious meetings. I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects. Your pretentious slogans and goals. I'm sick of your fundraising schemes. Your public relations and image making. I've had all I can think of your noisy ego music. When was the last time you saying to me. Do you want to know what I want I want justice oceans of I want fairness rivers of that's what I want. That's all I always say that's fine because we have been doing anything with drafts or sacrifices or anything at all about what is our plea. You see, Israel was thinking God wants to see evidence of my commitment and so I will showing evidence of my commitment.
In these things with an ever if you like intensifying sense of duty and engagement of activity is want what is the woman be parallel.
I don't know people always say I know what programs you have in your church, how many Bible conferences you have marriage seminars college events prison ministry prayer times soccer leagues and on and on it goes, ever ascending expressions of the fight God you know will really into this where we are very committed. Ralph Davises, but why do we think we have to be so frantic, why do we have this hypertensive view of the Christian life. Why do we think God wants us to organize more Christian things to do is what their answer was God says through his prophet what you guys up to pension. We've got it covered. Finally, the prophet responds and in verse eight. Mother said this in verse is of course quoted frequently.
I'm sure you will of turned to it in the past few days and understandably so.
Interestingly, Newton the hymn writer and the pastor commenting on this said, there is hardly anyone passage in Scripture more generally misunderstood.
Now you've read it, and I have read it and you may find yourself saying, well, it seems pretty straightforward to me is essentially only three points number one to do justly, that is to act in such a way that really is the reversal of all of all that was taking place that it means doing justly in accord with the will and purpose of God, as he has both manifested it and as he has revealed it to us in Scripture. So for example in Deuteronomy, Moses says God executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner giving him food and clothing Saul within the framework of God's revelation of himself. We want to take seriously these things perhaps far more seriously than we have been giving credence to to this point, but taking that seriously is not the same. I suggest to you as this commentators explanation of what doing justice quotes. According to the Bible really means it is he writes, creating a situation and a society where everything is right a society where every last person in it, including the most vulnerable and the weakest can flourish and thrive.
My purpose to interact with that for now, but it is to send it out before you so that you like me can be thinking along these lines. To do justly, to love mercy heart attitude.
If if doing justly is the action than loving mercy or lovingkindness is the attitude of the heart warm heart of compassion. These actions taken place not as a performance of some demanded Judy, but as a glad and spontaneous action is not only possible for us to really believe that father your love is a faithful love and for us to be faithless in our expressions of and thirdly, to walk humbly to walk humbly and otherwise, to walk in submission to God's will in New Testament terms its Romans 12 to to offer your body as a living sacrifice, that is an acceptable form of worship to him.
Humility means that I don't take myself too seriously that I don't cherish exaggerated ideas of my own importance that I don't assume that I have everything buttoned down and know how it should be, which is of course one's tendency while you say that's fairly comprehensive and is fairly clear why did Newton say quotes again.
There's hardly a passage in Scripture more generally misunderstood what is not here to answer the question, but I think at least this would be true of what he meant. Number one because of how this the nurse is attempted without the gospel, how it is attempted without the gospel it and then it becomes just a display of natural virtue and then it becomes at the Lee, the sort of normal nice religion of a virtuous life person says how can I come before the Lord.
Verse six and answer I'm going to come before the Lord. The way I do it is by doing justly loving mercy, and walking humbly is just another version of a good God of the exist will reward nice people. If they do their best and part of the way of doing your best, involves justice, involves mercy and ended involves being humble about.
I think Ms. Newton must've had that in mind how easy it is for us to attempt this without the gospel. Also how easy it is for pastors to proclaim it in place of the gospel in place of the gospel is a very easy slight man and women by nature keen to contribute to their standing before God to contribute to it on account of their own endeavors. And so if the message that comes across is are you going have a really good we can do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God this album to gestalt that, but you see the inherent danger. Am I wrong in suggesting to my friend that he ought at least to be wary of explaining Micah 68 as quote creating a situation and a society where everything is right that is called the new heaven and the new earth. We got to read the prophets, in light of the apostles with God interpret the Old Testament light of the new you've got ask yourself of that kind of explanation how it fits within the. The epistles of the New Testament and the emphasis of the apostles who themselves had a prophetic ministry. Time is gone. So let me just tell you the third reason that I think it is one of the misunderstood passages because of her. It is attempted without the gospel because our may be proclaimed in place of the gospel and because it needs to be understood that it is only possible by the gospel by the gospel. Micah is not here charting a path as a means to acceptance with God, and I for one, I'm really thankful and if you are a believer today.
You want to be as well. If God were on the day that he is fixed which we read overnight 17 if God were on that day to judge me by this text, I would have no basis for appeal because if I even do my own assessment. I'm not even getting an on justice and kindness and humility and thought about just myself in my bed. I'm not even talk about the people who know me I won their assessment. I can imagine how bad it is. So what is the answer, we see the answer is not in our righteous acts, but in the righteous acts of the Lord.
Verse five he has shown you a man what is good. Jesus is good if you're right Bible is open, you just go back a page and you find yourself in the Christmas narrative, but you are Bethlehem of France, although your two little be among the clans of the julep from you shall come forth from the one who is to be the ruler in this really read it all away down in verse five, and he shall be there.
Peace, he shall be there. Please therefore be adjusted by God by faith we have peace with God orders as we have an Titus for the grace of God is appeared, bringing salvation to all people. When Newton preached on this passage, he entitled his sermon on this verse.
No access to God, but by the gospel of Christ. No access to God, but by the gospel of Christ, and I'm pretty sure that is what he meant when he said this is so misunderstood, so taught or received in such a way as to say you know this is the missing link. This is the key, but what the passage is saying yes would you come before God and come in the name of Jesus you find acceptance because remember before Jesus left. He said whoever comes to me I will cast out. And if we don't come by way of that entrance.
There is no other way and if were worried about what kind of response we will receive go to the end of the chapter go to the closing verses of the chapter where the prophet says who's pardoning God like you pardon sins like you who forgives iniquities who cleanses us, who fits us for your presence. You do what is essentially having verse eight are the credentials of our justification. Other things that contribute to our justification by the evidences of our justification. I find myself saying and I think my credentials could do with a bit of a polish, he said.
I all my people all my people all Alastair or Parkside oh American Christianity by love ones. We can fix the world but with God's help, we can make a pledge to one another to declare our willingness to live the gospel and expressions of justice and kindness and humility and as strange as it will sound to an onlooking world. God has provided in the local church. The genetic blueprint of a broken world remade does an orchestra leader conductor Shirley we need a Savior should to him. We look gracious God, we have not served you as we ought.
Alas, the duties we've left undone. So much of ourselves and our selfishness have taken hold of the way in which we adjudicate on things and seek to chart our course so we pray that you will help us out to get on the wrong side of Newton's most misunderstood text. God grant that we may not attempted without the gospel that we may not proclaim it instead of the gospel that we may live by the gospel, for in Christ's name we pray, living just kindly gospel welcome reminder as we start 2021 your listing to a message titled what God requires on Truth for Life with Alastair Bragg. Please keep listening. Alastair will be back in just a minute with the special New Year's greeting as we think about what it means to live the gospel. It's fitting that we would also think about sharing that good news with others, and today we want to tell you about a book written by author and evangelist Roger Carswell that calls us to both love and to be burdened for those who don't yet know Jesus as their Savior and the Lord. He wrote a book titled facing a task unfinished not keep in mind facing a task unfinished is not a book about how to evangelize. Instead, this is a devotional that through Scripture reading and a collection of hymn lyrics and prayers will help you gain a deeper desire to tell other people about Jesus.
This is a great book to use as we begin a new year. This book will help you discover practical routines that will keep your heart focused on the Lord and will stir in your fresh desire to reach the lost requester copy of facing a task unfinished when you make a generous one-time donation by tapping the image you see on the mobile app or you can visit Truth for Life.org or call us at 888-588-7884. Maybe as you have listened to me describe this book you thought to yourself I want to know more about what it means to follow Christ. If that's the case, we want to invite you to visit Truth for Life.org/the story you will find there are a helpful video presentation that explains how Jesus sacrifice on the cross frees us from sin and brings us salvation. God's saving grace is nothing we can earn it on our own. It's a free gift given to those who believe. Again, go to TruthforLife.org/story. Now here's Alastair again with the special greeting well here we are. For those of us who have been asking for some months now, to be able to fast forward into 2021. The wait is over.
We are here in the good news is that God is the Lord of human history that he is the one who watches over us provides for us, sustains us and keeps us and that was our confidence in looking back, it is our confidence in looking forward, and it makes today a great day because it is the day that the Lord has made. I look forward to many days together as we look out into the new year and on behalf of all of us Truth for Life. A very happy new year to everyone who's listening Alastair about Lapine. Thanks for joining us on this New Year's Day.
Keep in mind Alistair's preaching the Parkside churches streamed live most weekends like to find out if he'll be in the pulpit this weekend. Go to Truth for Life.org/live. Be sure to listen again Monday as we begin a new series titled a light in the darkness will learn about people whose lives were transformed as they encountered Jesus Bible teaching of Alastair Vang is furnished by Truth for Life learning