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To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.(page last updated: Oct 1 2019)
Psalms 14: kjv
Today's Audio Commentary: "Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!"
| Psalm:14 Reading
| Part 1 > "Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!"
| Part 2 > "Children of Men": (Who they are, what they are known by, how God is seeing/classifying them)
| Part 3 > Of Works Based Salvation: (Predominate theology of Children of men)
| Part 4 > Of Election Based Salvation: (the means of salvation as elected by men)
| Part 5 > Of Election (Divine - salvation based on God's election of men)
| Psalm:1 "Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!" (commentary as one file)
Today's Commentary Outline: "Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!"
- 14:7 expresses a much anticipated hope David has placed in Christ "the salvation of Israel"
- A mess has developed amongst the children of men
- God's people are seen as being devoured by the others (as if bread/food)
- Messiah's people are seen being in need of something they once had being restored to them through a Messianic deliverance.
- What if anything can "His people" possibly do for themselves? work themselves out? (David's anticipation is only in Christ)
- What is it that Messiah (Christ) is going to do about this ugly mess? (How do we get there?)
- What does salvation have to do with works? (How much to our salvation in Christ do we have to add?)
- What does salvation have to do with election? (How much of our salvation is strictly the result of God's election)
- Between works and election where does faith come into play? (faith in our works? faith in our election of Messiah? faith in the sufficiency of Messiah's works?)
- Works vs Election vs Faith - The debate is nearly as old as the Church itself.
- Therefore today's commentary = works/election based salvation vs salvation in Christ based on divine election.
- We won't get too technical in this discussion. (use several of these value judgments listed in 14: as springboards to explore weaknesses)
- 14:1-7 seems to be a hodge podge list (thread?)
- helpful organizing this hodge podge in to some categorical lists.
- For instance: 4 Things God/LORD is pictured doing 14:2-7 (looked down from heaven (to see if there were any that did understand (be circumspect)/seek (tread/follow) God) 14:2, is in the generation of the righteous (idea = causing fear in others ) 14:5, is his (poor - depressed of mind/circumstance) refuge (shelter) 14:6, bringeth back (returns) the captivity (previous prosperity) of his people (congregated unit) 14:7)
- Hold on to this picture of what God is doing - all important as we attempt to put the rest of this thread together.
- 14:7 = climax of the entire psalm looks forward to the time Messiah (the salvation of Israel) bringing back (restoring) the captivity of (prosperity taken from) His people. A much anticipated hope = "Oh that the" 14:7
- All men under banner "children of men" 14:2-3
- fool (impious/irreverent) 14:1
- workers of iniquity (vain exertion) 14:4
- my people (congregated) 14:4
- they (workers?) in great fear (fearful terror) 14:5
- the righteous (lawful/just) 14:5
- ye (those eating my people (workers?)) 14:6
- the poor (depressed of mind/circumstance) 14:6
- His people (Jacob/Israel) 14:7.
- Value judgments made of "children of men" as a whole 14:2-3:
- are all gone aside (turn off) 14:3
- are all together (unitedly) become filthy (corrupt) 14:3
- none that doeth (make/accomplish) good 14:3 (intentions do not count?)
- these are descriptions of mankind's predominate feature/output (known by) (by God's assessment)
- This is how God sees man! This will become important when we begin to consider works based/human election (faith) based/dive election based salvation. (there should be reason for concern already)
- Then within that larger group there were value judgments attached to each of these subgroups putting them in an additional perspective:
- hath said in his heart there is no God 14:1 (fool/impious/irreverent) = no god/god that bares no resemblance to/false image/has no influence or effect
- have done abominable (loathsome/detestable) works 14:1 (fool/impious) = God takes offense at works/belief (double hearted/hardened/cold/distant/self exalting/back sliden/at enmity with/etc.. or done in HIS name/doing HIM service when it does not)
- (have) no knowledge (seeing) 14:4 (workers of iniquity/vain exertion)
- eat (burn/consume/devour) up my people (congregated unit) as they eat bread 14:4 (workers of iniquity/vain exertion)
- call (address by name) not upon the LORD 14:4 (workers of iniquity/vain exertion)
- were they in great fear (alarm) 14:5 (they?)
- have shamed (paled/disappoint) the counsel (plan/prudence) of the poor 14:6 (ye?)
- Note: all but three subclassifications within "children of men" are identified negatively by the product of their works. (more reason for concern in our considerations)
- Note: remaining three (my people, the poor, His people/Israel/Jacob) are identified not by doings but, by what I see as God's election and what the other groups are doing to them because of it. (even more concern)
- We'll soon use this list of value judgments here in 14: to more thoroughly examine the potential weaknesses of each of these salvation theology separately.
- For the moment, let's examine these theologies just on the group classifications already presented:
- children of men 14:2-3 - possible weakness? works/human election or faith?
- fool (impious/irreverent) 14:1 - possible weakness? works/human election or faith?
- workers of iniquity (vain exertion) 14:4 - possible weakness? works/human election or faith?
- my people (congregated) 14:4 - possible weakness? works/human election or faith?
- they (workers?) in great fear (fearful terror) 14:5 - possible weakness? works/human election or faith?
- the righteous (lawful/just) 14:5 - possible weakness? works/human election or faith?
- ye (those eating my people (workers?)) 14:6 - possible weakness? works/human election or faith?
- the poor (depressed of mind/circumstance) 14:6 - possible weakness? works/human election or faith?
- His people (Jacob/Israel) 14:7 - possible weakness? works/human election or faith?
- Perhaps we are beginning to see why David is so vocal about his most urgent anticipation "Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!" 14:7
- Divine election? possible weakness drawn out by any of these preliminary evidences? (the weakest part of any of these theologies is the human element)
- Man: "I will save myself by good works" "I have done enough good works that salvation should be no problem" (kind/charitable/humanitarian/noble/moral/religious)
- ? = Good according to children of men? good according to God? (God is saying 14:2-3 there are none)
- Strength = provides incentive for men to do good works (good for society, good for children of men) (don't have to be born again/regenerated/indwelled by the Holy Spirit)
- Weakness = none of these works performed by man suitable for salvation (eternal salvation)
- Why are these works not suitable for salvation?
- They in no way address the problem. Works do not touch the root cause that keeps man in this mortal state in the first place. (self detached from God is at root?)
- The gulf between here and there is too wide to traverse by works (works might actually be taking us the opposite direction) (ex = drowning man)
- They are all essentially us doing what is right in our eyes without regard to what is right in God's eyes.
- Most all of the works that we ourselves would offer to God would be God denying/humanly corrupted/aside/filthy/offensive/not good/without knowledge (seeing)/consuming of others/shameful of better prudence/done out of fear 14:1-7
- The sufficiency of Christ's work on our behalf is being rejected.
- Weakness of works based salvation is that we often deceive ourselves into thinking that especially our religious works are always seen by God as good (not filthy) works.
- We often tell ourselves: this is what God wants me to do (and go about trying to do it but, to what end/result?)
- We often tell ourselves: (translation) God needs some help and this is what I can think of that I can do for HIM (really? God needs our help?)
- I fear that a whole lot of what we put in the "asset/bonus reward" column of our salvation ledger sheet really shouldn't be in that at all. It is more like Cain's sacrifice than Able's and because of this a whole lot of people are going to take offense.
- How would we know? How would we be able to make that kind of determination? Unless we already be in full relationship to our God and Savior from the very beginning.
- Thus is the danger of works based salvation: it is a danger for the secular world, more so a danger for the Christian (who will be held to greater account).
- This doesn't mean don't try to do good works, it means don't count on them for your final salvation
- The work of Christ alone is what is meant by God for our salvation:
- The work of Christ by His incarnation/earthly ministry/sinless life/sacrifice/suffering and payment for all sins/death/resurrection/glorification by the Father/ascension/gifting of the Holy Spirit directly address the entire problem as God sees it.
- In the work of Jesus Christ the sentence we have long been under has been lifted, our sin debt has been paid in full, His righteousness has been imputed over us, His blood become our atonement, we have mercifully been reconciled back to the Father, we have been forgiven/cleansed; all by the work of Christ.
- Because of Christ's work we now have a high priest/intercessor, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, adoption into the heavenly family, inheritance from an eternal heavenly treasury, and the promise that He (Christ) will never leave us nor desert us, and the promise that all things will work for the good of those who love Him.
- Who are any of us to say that our meager little works compare to Christ Jesus'?
- Who are any of us to say "that my works are just as good" or "good as all that is it is not all sufficient" or "thanks but no thanks - I can do better"
- Yes, We have been made by God for good works but notice what scripture says about the order those good works have to come about:
Ephesians 2:10 kjv
- good works as an after effect of Christ's work living/breathing inside of us.
Philippians 2:13 kjv
Titus 2:11-14 kjv
- So when it comes 14: regarding just the value judgments over all children of men it can very well be said by all of us:
- Idea = none that understand/seek God 14:2 (God is right! I didn't have a clue of what Christ's work was supposed to do as far as straightening this all out for "His people" (what an affectionate term). No, I was thinking that "His people" were supposed to straighten this all out for Christ)
- Idea = all have gone aside 14:3 (oh so you mean that I am supposed to be Christ's workmanship, not Christ be mine?)
- Idea = as one become filthy 14:3 (ya I can see now how all of this that I have been trying to do has offended you?)
- Idea = none that do good 14:3 (now I understand that there is nothing that I can do to earn my salvation, nothing I can do to supplement it, Christ's work is all sufficient, boy am I glad for that, now it time for me to start living like I am sincerely grateful and respectful for all of that).
- We could go through some of the other value judgment as well and further realize that the theology of salvation based on our works just is not going to cut it
- But I will save some of these other bullet holes for our examination of salvation by human based election next.
- Man: "I am saved because I have chosen to believe", "I have chosen to let Jesus into my life therefore I am saved", "I have made a decision for Christ" (salvation is essentially our choice, choosing to belief is what saves us, the direct cause of salvation is my choice)
- Strength = it fits well into our insistence upon free will.
- Weakness = Freewill is not freewill if it has been corrupted. Election is not truly election if all of the most important issues are placed on your ballet.
- ? = are we free to choose what salvation God would have us to choose?
- What this theology really comes down to is the idea that our election to be saved comes down to logic and reasoning.
- As if a on/off switch in our hearts that we choose to turn back on by use of the faculty of our logic and reasoning. As a sign of genuine desire God waits for each of us to choose to flip that switch.
- This theology supposes that it is within each man's ability to logically and reasonably come to this instead of the idea that the switch is either broken or too high up for the man to reach or that the fuse in the circuit box has been shut off.
- If this theology is true then the fix should be fairly simple (just present the case logically and reasonably). If this not the spiritual issue involved and it cannot be resolved with logic and reasoning then we are in big trouble.
- (? = so if someone does not elect to turn on the switch, if billions of someones elect not to turn on that switch, does that mean that they are just too stupid to logically/reasonably flip the switch?)
- (? = or is there something more than logic and reason much more at play here?)
- If it doesn't down to logic and reason what else could this be?:
- There is an hint today in 14:7 "the captivity of his people" - something needing to be restored by the direct action of Messiah. (Why don't "his people" simply elect to leave their captivity and restore themselves back?) (because something else is holding them/keeping them from such) (who/what are they captive to?)
- kjv@John:3:9 Nicodemus makes a very logical deduction to what Jesus had just said, he deduces "how can these things be?" (Jesus had told him that in order to see the Kingdom of Heaven one had to be "born again", that the agency of that birth is much like the wind, the direction from which it came and goes cannot be rationally predicted (not by man at least))
- Being born of the flesh is one thing and with it apparently comes logic and reason (but even then something more must be born that logic and reason have little or no part of)
- It's the same idea as something once dead being quickened. Lazarus was once dead remember (did Lazarus by logic and reason elect to rise up from out of his grave?)
- A similar idea is blindness. (How does the blind man by logic and reason elect to not be blind?)
- The missing piece in all of these considerations is the actual presence of Christ. (Christ has to come out of Zion to free and restore, Christ has to effect the new birth, Christ has to quicken what is dead, Christ has to heal the blind) (we are essentially we are captive to the presence of self and other's self without being in the connection of Christ)
- In 14:7 "His people" are unwillingly captivity to something/someone that without Christ logic and reason has no power over escape. (I would also suggest that spiritually speaking they are also the depressed in mind and circumstance that prudently know that the remedy is Christ but are being shamed for this) (I would also suggest that they are being eaten up like bread by the workers of vane exertion right there under the same captivity as all children of men) (not only do "His children have to suffer this captivity they have to suffer the rest of the children of men who are along with them)
- Christ has to come because Christ is is God's divinely elected. (we cannot choose for Christ to come any sooner than is determined and you'll notice that when He does come it is not a the time any of us were most capable of logically and reasonably accepting Him)
- I have to be very careful at this point not to talk badly about "faith based salvation" (not in it's purest form)
- Faith does have an important part to play in all this. (in it's purest form)
- We have faith that all the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross and in the resurrection is the literal divine fulfillment of 14:7 and that Jacob/Israel (even David) (all His people) can now rejoice.
- We have faith that what we could not do for ourselves by logic/reason/election nor by good works nor by the Law has been done for us by these all sufficient works of Christ. (our faith is in no other)
- We are able to believe this because His work has already touched us (like the wind of new birth, with the quickening power of His own resurrection, with the healing and opening of our spiritually blind eyes)
- In other words we have "chosen" Him only because He has first "chosen" us. (That is the purest form of faith based salvation)
- I have to be careful because the children of men want their faith based salvation to be something else.
- Least popular theology today = God's election of certain humans (not based on any individual merit).
- Strength = In purest form it suffers from none of the fallacies plaguing all work based and human election theologies. What man is unable to do for himself God is willing to do for man.
- Weakness = So many various individuals/groups claim themselves to be God's "chosen people". Some consider everyone to be elected (as in there being no one God will judge).
- Here is what is the oddity of our reaction to being saved by divine election:
- It is okay for individuals to elect which God we will have save us/It offends us though this notion of God being able to do the exact same.
- Why would God's divine election of certain individuals (not based on merit but by grace/mercy) be offensive and our election of HIM (based entirely on merit and carnal prejudice) not be offensive to HIM?
- The problem many have with the concept is that it puts God in the judgment rather than any of us.
- Doesn't that same something about our present condition?
- There's a beautiful/clean logic to divine election in this sense:
- Children of men = all gone aside, all together become filthy, none that doeth good, no, not one 14:3 (what is God to do? this is the state of all mankind)
- Of those, the fool says that there is no God 14:1 (and are therefore corrupt, having done abominable works, there is none that doeth good).
- The remainder are observed to be exerting themselves in what they believe to be right or what they themselves are willing to put themselves to to make things right (all of which is a vanity) 14:4.
- Rather than do away with the whole bunch God instead choses to save at least a remnant (based on nothing other than HIS mercy)
- There are plenty of scriptures to support this beautiful/clean logic of divine election:
Romans 11:5-6 kjv
- Election on the basis of grace:
Quoted resource: strongs 'G5485'
- Election on the basis of the good pleasure of HIS will:
Ephesians 1:3-6 kjv
- (also note: the beauty of election being made prior to their being any attempt at merit)
- Election on the basis of the counsel of HIS will:
Ephesians 1:11 kjv
- Election on the basis of mercy:
Romans 9:14-16 kjv
Quoted resource: strongs 'G1653'
- Take away divine election and you remove divine grace from the salvation equation.
- Take away divine election and you remove good pleasure of divine will from the salvation equation.
- Take away divine election and you remove the counsel of divine will from the salvation equation.
- Take away divine election and you removing divine mercy from the salvation equation.
- Take away divine election and you are negating the divine adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself.
- Essentially saying that their is no God (like the fool) and exerting yourself in your own vane attempt at salvation based on your own works or personal election (like the workers of iniquity)
- As clean and logical from God's point of view as all this is, still there is plenty of room for the children of men to muddle this concept of divine election all up:
- One, that they individually presume themselves to be one of the elected. ( kjv@Luke:13:24-27 Jesus: master's door closed/many seeking to get in knocking without/"I know you not whence ye are"/"depart")
- Second, that they individually presume themselves to be part of a group that is elected. ( kjv@Romans:9 Paul grieves for his kinsman according to the flesh (Israelites))
- Third, that they judge God incapable of pronouncing any judgment and therefore this talk of grace/mercy/damnation/salvation is a man made contrivance. (no god at all?)
- Fourth, that God by electing some to be saved is electing others to be damned.
- There are two separate but similar camps within Christianity that believe strongly in divine election in it's purest form:
- Those that believe that God elects individuals based upon a knowledge that HE had in the beginning foreseeing that the individual would believe in Christ and thereby receive HIS election of them. (kind of a passive but, foreseeing election on God's part/respectful of human freewill) (belief causes regeneration?)
- Those that believe that because of man's inherent universal inability/aversion to choose Christ for salvation God actively pursues and brings about the rebirth of HIS elected. (foreseeing it because HE foreordained it to be so) (regeneration causes belief?)
- Regardless of the actual means of salvation transpiring within us, both sides agree that divine election is the primary cause and result. (the variance has more to do with the amount of human participation involved)
- To be even more transparent, one camp favors the idea that divine election and predestination are pointing to a collective body gathered by Christ Jesus of individual believers freely electing to join into that body.
- The other camp favoring the idea that both collective body election/predestination and individual election/predestination are one in the same in Christ. (the work of Christ that makes for a collective body is the same work that makes for each individual) (it's an effectual body of individuals effected by Christ)
- There are other Christian camps as well. (Mostly intent with either their works based or completely freewill human election theologies)
- What started us down this road today was this phrase "my people" 14:4 and "His people" 14:7 (What makes for this collective body?)
- My purpose today is not to convince everybody to become 5 point Calvinists or Arminian etc...
- My intension here is shift the focus of all these theological "isms" into one larger perspective: God's perspective.
- Here's what we all need to better consider: Recall that I asked you to hold on to that list of 4 things that God is doing in 14:2-7, that it would become important?
- looked down from heaven... to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God 14:2 (conclusion none, no, not one)
- is in the generation of the righteous 14:5 (righteous? how so? exceeding that of Pharisees?)
- is his (poor) refuge 14:6 (how better to describe the children of men without Christ?)
- bringeth back the captivity of his people through a Messiah 14:7 (oh the expectation! because Christ is the ultimate elected one)
- Hopefully after all of this contemplation today each of us will better consider our own particular weaknesses:
- If you lean toward works based salvation, perhaps you will better consider what works you are doing and be on guard for the various forms of corruption that can easily enter into them.
- If you lean toward a salvation based on your own personal election of what/whom you consider your salvation to be in, perhaps you will better consider your elections and be on guard for the various forms of corruption that can easily enter into those elections.
- If you lean toward a salvation based on the divine election of Christ, Christ gathering unto himself a body of freely believing followers, perhaps you will better consider your free will and be on guard for the various forms of corruption that can easily have influence over it.
- If you lean towards a salvation based on the divine election of Christ along with the divine election and effectual calling of those who otherwise have no personal merit, perhaps you will better consider that our human weaknesses and tendencies remain and that we still have to "walk worthy" of our calling.
- Or if you have no leaning either way and you've not ever really considered all of this, perhaps you will better consider the awkward state of all mankind and how everything really literally has to come down to this one statement:
Psalms 14:7 kjv
- No matter whom His people may be!