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Christian Righteousness - Psalm 1 Sermon - Pr. Ted Giese Sunday June 17th 2018




Christian Righteousness - Psalm 1 Sermon - Pr. Ted Giese Sunday June 17th 2018

Mount Olive Lutheran Church / Rev. Ted A. Giese / Sunday June 17th 2018: The Season of Pentecost, Psalm 1, “Christian Righteousness”

Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in Your sight O Lord. Amen.

Grace peace and mercy to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Good Christian Friends. Listen to Psalm 1 again:

          Blessed is the man

                   who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

          nor stands in the way of sinners,

                   nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

          but his delight is in the law of the LORD,

                   and on His law he meditates day and night.

          He is like a tree

                   planted by streams of water

          that yields its fruit in its season,

                   and its leaf does not wither.

          In all that he does, he prospers.

          The wicked are not so,

                   but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

          Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

                   nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

          for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,

                   but the way of the wicked will perish.

Now I want you to listen to it one more time, but this time I want you to set aside the question, “Am I counted among the righteous or am I counted among the wicked,” we’ll swing back around to that question but first listen to Psalm 1 remembering what Jesus said of Himself after His crucifixion, after His resurrection from the dead on the first Easter Sunday, when He said to the men on the road to Emmaus that “all the Scriptures” were about Him even the Psalms.[1] We teach that the best way to read Scripture is to do so with a Christ Centered focus and to have Scripture interpret Scripture; to have the clear parts of Scripture shed the Light of Christ Jesus on the parts that are more challenging to understand and in doing to have the mind of Christ, as St. Paul says, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”[2] So here we go again, one more time with Psalm 1 this time through the lens of Christ Jesus remembering that all scripture testifies of Him:

          Blessed is [Christ Jesus]

                  who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

          nor stands in the way of sinners,

                   nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

          but His delight is in the law of the LORD,

                   and on His law [Jesus] meditates day and night.

          [Christ Jesus] is like a tree

                   planted by streams of water

          that yields its fruit in its season,

                   and its leaf does not wither.

          In all that [Jesus] does, He prospers.

          The wicked are not so,

                   but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

          Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

                   nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous

                   [the body of Christ];

          for the LORD knows the Way of the righteous,

          [The Father knows the Way of His Son, Jesus, The Christ]

                   but the way of the wicked will perish.

Does reading Psalm 1 with Christ at its centre crack it open for you? After you read it in this way then you are free to read the Psalm and find yourself in it, but again when you do place yourself in the Psalm correctly. This gets us back to that question, “Am I counted among the righteous or am I counted among the wicked,” Remember your baptism dear ones and consider what saint Paul writes in his letter to the Colossian Christians who were “baptized into [Jesus’] death? [Those who] were buried therefore with [Jesus] by baptism into death,”[3] to these ones and to you Saint Paul writes, “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”[4] Where are you then in Psalm 1? You dear Christian are there tucked away, hidden away in Christ Jesus. His righteousness is now accredited to you as righteousness not through your work but by faith. The fruit of the tree is not produced by its own work. 

Christian Righteousness - Psalm 1 Sermon - Pr. Ted Giese Sunday June 17th 2018 - Image 1But you say I have not been righteous! I am rotten fruit! I have in fact walked in the counsel of the wicked – I took bad advice knowing it was bad and followed it all the same right into sin, I have stood in the way of sinners, and I have sat in the seat of scoffers; trust me I have failed to delight in the law of the LORD, and on God’s law I have not meditated day and night. I am not blessed I am cursed, I am not righteous, I am the wicked! I am in danger of perishing! True as that may be in your old Adam in the new creation in Christ Jesus you are a baptized child of God washed clean of your sin in Christ Jesus, He is the source of your righteousness … listen and listen very carefully … you are not the source of your own righteousness. The kind of person who believes that they have intrinsic righteousness apart from Christ Jesus and are morally justified apart from the law of God because of some quality they possess in themselves are the kind of people who lack humility who throw lavish parades for themselves and pridefully march up and down the streets seeking the approval of their peers and not the approval of the LORD.

Yes you can have all the worldly approval you want but it won’t last in The End, it will be “like chaff that the wind drives away,” chaff is the dry husk, the scaly casing of the seed of cereal grain that in the end has no nutritional value when compared to the seed of grain that it covered. The husk is not prized in the harvest but rather it is eventually separated out and disposed of. 

Christian Righteousness - Psalm 1 Sermon - Pr. Ted Giese Sunday June 17th 2018 - Image 4Keeping this in mind and thinking on the righteous who are hidden away in Christ Jesus and the wicked who actively give God the finger as they march to the beat of their own drum, those who have told God to get lost, those who hate the LORD and His law as revealed in Scripture, those who rely on themselves alone, who wants to make their own case for what is morally right or justifiable, who desire to fight their own legal battles apart from God … yes keeping in mind both the righteous in Christ, and the wicked who desire to live lives apart from Christ, let’s look again at what St. Paul says to the Colossian Christians when he writes,

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”[5]

Christian Righteousness - Psalm 1 Sermon - Pr. Ted Giese Sunday June 17th 2018 - Image 2Is there hope for the wicked? Is there forgiveness for them in Christ Jesus? What did St. Paul say, the sexually immoral, the impure, those caught up in passion, those with evil desire, the covetous Colossian Christians found their forgiveness in the death and resurrection of Jesus and as Christians today here in this place when you find yourself living not in Christ but rather in a life of sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness what hope is there for you. It is the same hope, the same promise, the same forgiveness that was for them and for all people no matter how wicked they are or have become; for “there is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.”[6]

Christian Righteousness - Psalm 1 Sermon - Pr. Ted Giese Sunday June 17th 2018 - Image 5On The Last Day, in The Resurrection of the Dead and in The Life to Come it is very true that “the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;” but you, and all those, who are in Christ Jesus will be counted among the righteous because you, and they, will be hidden away in Him for That Day and on That Day it will be abundantly clear that “the LORD knows the way of the righteous,” however be forewarned, “the way of the wicked will perish.” As Jesus says of Himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”[7] Listen carefully: Who then are the righteous? They are the ones who believe and are baptised. St. Paul repeatedly says that faith in the promises of God is counted as righteousness; therefore the wicked are the ones who don’t believe; who in the end after the long suffering and gracious mercies of God have been exhausted are proven to be chaff and not grain, who then are not counted among the righteous and are not part of the harvest of eternal life, not because it was not given for them to be a part of it but because they chose to have nothing of it and in the end receive what their heart desired all along. Like it says in the Gospel of Mark, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”[8] So in Psalm 1, and all through the Psalms, it boils down to the fact that: it is, “by grace [that] you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”[9] a gift that comes to you in The Righteous Christ Jesus alone who lived and died without sin of His own but took on yours that you would stand firm in Him, and sit in the seat He gives you to sit in, as it has been revealed and promised to you in Scripture alone. Amen.

Let us pray:

Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us, “take our minds and think through them, take our lips and speak through them, take our hearts and set them on fire; for the sake of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.

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[1] Luke 24:27, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” And Luke 24:44–47, “Then [Jesus] said to them, ‘These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
[2] 1 Corinthians 2:14–16
[3] Romans 6:3b–4a
[4] Colossians 3:3–4
[5] Colossians 3:1–11
[6] Ephesians 4:4–7
[7] John 14:6
[8] Mark 16:16
[9] Ephesians 2:8


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