- The Heart Revealed
- The Foundation Revealed
- More Blocks of The Foundation
- The Rest of the Foundation
- What Does It Mean to Call Upon God?
- The Surety that God Hears our Prayers
- The Answer of Our Prayers by God
- My Practice Before God – Part One
- My Practice Before God – Part Two
- Who is it That God Reveals Himself To?
- What God Does for His People
- Who is God?
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part One
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Two
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Three
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Four
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Five
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Six
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Seven
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Eight
- The Actions of God and the Results to Me – Part Nine
- Praises to God – Part One
- Praises to God – Part Two
(Psalms 18:20-24) “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. (21) For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. (22) For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. (23) I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. (24) Therefore, hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.”
The first thought when this particular passage is read and considered; is that many think that man’s works can move God and change His attitude toward man. While it is true that God rewards faithfulness; Faith is The Gift of God, Who is a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ; and not something that originates in man (Eph. 2:8-9).
Therefore, any holiness and any righteousness that flows from man, flows from the Seed, Christ – and not from man. The Holy Spirit is the Origin and Source of the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). The Apostle Paul wrote in (Phil. 2:13), “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Also, Paul wrote in (Gal. 2:20) “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Note, Paul said: ‘You live in the flesh NOT by your faith – no, no – but “…by the faith of the Son of God” (that is, the Faith of Christ; the Source is Christ, and not man).
Many times, the New Testament has the phrase, “…by thy faith…” and some interpret it to mean, ‘if you have enough faith you can do this and that.’ But, it is only counted your faith, if and when you are given The Faith, Christ. The Gift of God is God Himself. Sinners are dead in trespasses and sin, until Christ raises the sinner (or quickens them) by His power (Eph. 2:1; Jn. 6:63); it is not done by the spiritually-dead sinner. The dead cannot see, hear, or come to Christ; and Jesus illustrates this fact so plainly in (Jn. 11:25, 40-44).
Therefore, when David said, (20) “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness…” he was not contradicting himself by using the possessive pronoun “my” as to say, that the origin of his righteousness was within himself or in his good works; according to what he had written in other Psalms such as:
(Psalms 4:1) “To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David. Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.”
(Psalms 24:5) “He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
(Psalms 89:16) “In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.”
Therefore, David had a full understanding that his righteousness, or his standing in righteousness, is God’s righteousness, or perfection; and not because of his own merits. This same understanding of Righteousness being rooted in God, and not in the sinner, is noted many times by the different writers of the New Testament; especially, the Apostle Paul. (See Romans 3:24-25; 10:4; 1 Cor. 15:10.) The full expression of Righteousness is Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, yet without sin. There is only One without sin, and that is God. He is truth; love; holiness; and purity; everyone else is flawed because of sin.
David gives a list of the fruit of God’s Righteousness that is borne by him; which he states is now his righteousness – in that he has the knowledge of his standing of righteousness in God. This is the normal progression of a child of God. When a sinner is brought to see his salvation in Jesus Christ (1 Jn.5:20); and that he abides in the Vine (Jn. 15:1-16); and that Christ, the Vine, abides in him – he brings forth fruit, more fruit, and much fruit; and this fruit will remain. This is not the abnormal; but, it is the normal for the true born-from-above child of God.
The fruit of the flesh is exactly opposite of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:19-23). Before salvation in the sinner the normal fruit bearing is summed up in three areas; lust of the eye, lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:15-16). The goal of the un-saved man is to please self and not God; in fact God is not in his thoughts. The goal of the saved man (or the righteous man) is to please God, and not self. The fruit that is preeminent in the saved man is (Mt. 22:37-40; love God and love the brethren). (See Gal. 5:22-23.) In the text David is listing the fruit of the saved man. However, this manner of behavior comes not from the desire of the “old man”; but, from the desire of the “new man.” The “new man,” or the “new creation,” is created in “righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24); wherein “old things pass away, behold all things become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). And this “will” change and “nature” change in the new creation, comes from the Power of God.
This transformation of the change of the “old man” to the “new man” is a result of the direct operation of the work of the Holy Spirit of God in regeneration/conversion of the sinner; and not the good works of the sinner to be accepted of God. Make no mistake; no sinner is accepted as righteous in the sight of God by the merits of the sinner; no a thousand no, the only means of becoming righteous in the sight of God is based on the works of Jesus Christ as the sinner’s Sacrifice, Substitute, and Savior in the Atonement of Christ on the Cross (2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 1:7; Rom. 3:24-25; 5:1-2).
The Apostle Paul makes this very plain (that a sinner is Justified or declared righteous by Christ and not by the law) in (Galatians 2:16) “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Note, Paul said, we are Justified, or declared righteous, by The Faith of Christ; not by our faith; but The Faith, Christ. Not by our keeping of the law (which no man can), or by our works; but, we are justified, or declared righteous, on the basis of the Work of Christ (His Atonement on the Cross for sinners) (Eph. 1:7).
See the next devotion, “My Practice before God – Part Two,” for a discussion on the fruit of righteousness worked out in David…