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"Blessed is the Man"

Psalms 1:1-6.

Occasionally we come across a passage which has implications far beyond what we at first see in reading it. The Psalms are full of Messianic truth and prophecies concerning the Christ of God. Generally, this Psalm is interpreted with respect to those persons who serve the LORD contrasted with those who do not. Are we to think that this Psalm is devoid of a word about Christ of whom all scripture speaks? I say no!

Beginning with a false assumption in scripture always leads to a false conclusion, and thus it is with religion and this Psalm, even much of that which calls itself christian in our day. Seeing that all natural religion begins without a spiritual recognition of the preeminence of Christ in all things they begin with their preconceived ideas about themselves. They begin by thinking themselves to be something, when they are nothing, and thus their conclusion is wrong as well. They profess themselves to be blessed of the LORD because they think they are not living according to the advice of the wicked, nor do they think they associate with sinners in their deeds, nor do they think they occupy a place of mocking the word of God as others. They claim to own a unique association with the LORD's law always being mindful of His commands. This is how they come to the conclusion that they are so blessed of the LORD that all they do is not only right but it prospers as well.

Though natural religion may boast of itself in this there is but one man on whom this blessing can be said to have come for His seperation and service to the LORD. That man is the Christ of God. Jesus Christ the Lord is the "man" approved of God (Acts 2:22). He alone always did those things which pleased the Father (Jn. 8:29). Those in whom the Spirit of God has breathed spiritual life read this passage with great reservation when they place themselves in verses 1-3. Oh that God would be pleased to reveal to us that our lives are not consistant with that which is expressed in these first three verses. Jesus Christ the Lord is the only man who cannot be convinced of sin (Jn. 8:46) for He alone has no unrighteousness in Him (Jn. 7:18).

Though some may suggest this Psalm speaks of a man after he is converted this will not stand the test as well. Anything of spiritual value which comes out of a man has God as the source, it being the fruit of the Spirit of God in him (Gal. 5:22,23). That which flows from man as the source is the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21 cf. Jn. 3:6) and both of these exist in the converted at all times (Gal. 5:16-18). Moreover, those called into the grace of Christ know they cannot say their leaf has never faded and all they ever set themselves to do prospers. None but fools and dreamers would apply this to themselves either spiritually or naturally! Christ alone is the fruitful, unfading, always prospering man (Isa. 42:1-4; Matt. 1:21; Jn. 10:16).

Notice that the contrast in this Psalm is not the blessing of a faithful believer compared to an unfaithful believer. Moreover, to not be "the man" of verses 1-3 is to be in the category of the ungodly, for verse 4 says: "The ungodly are not so...." This is why natural religion, not knowing the grace of God in Christ, is then forced to try and apply the state of the first three verses to themselves directly. When man refuses to bow to the truth that there is none righteous, no, not one, he confines himself to two alternatives. First, he must reject the word of the LORD altogether thus manifesting himself as not being the blessed man but among the ungodly. Second, he must reject some portion of the word of the LORD thus manifesting his position, though religious, as being among the ungodly as well. Since there is none righteous, no, not one, then I am unrighteous. Since I am unrighteous then I cannot be the blessed man! Though this may seem to settle any argument the prophet Isaiah cried out, including himself in his words: "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" (Isa. 64:6). Do you see the connection to the first Psalm? How then does anyone escape being blown away like the chaff? How could anyone possibly come through the judgement unscathed? How could anyone find a place among the congregation of the righteous? How could anyone find a place in the way of the righteous?

Ah, the glory of the grace of God in Christ. Christ is the blessed man, but there is a people whom the Father by sovereign purpose has blessed and accepted in the person of the Son (Eph. 1:3-6). Christ suffered under the judgement of God for our demerits that we might stand in His merit (II Cor. 5:21). Our being blessed "IN CHRIST" in accord with the first Psalm does not even deal with our regeneration by the Spirit and conversion by the gospel. These two blessings are subsequent to our having already been represented by Christ in His person, even before the world was. Thus, He represented us as He lived in perfection before God on this earth; as He died being cursed of God on the tree; when He was buried, raised, and ascended to the Father's right hand He represented us. In all this He walked, stood, and sat for us in accord with the first Psalm! Those whom He thus represented shall be brought to hear His voice and knowingly, willingly follow Him believing (Jn. 10:11-16, 22-30).

The way of the ungodly shall perish for it is the way of works and self-righteousness which dishonors Jesus Christ the Son. Natural religion dishonors Christ for it tries to take His glory and make it their own rather than seeking the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The congregation and way of the righteous mentioned in Psalm 1:5,6 speaks of Christ and His people and the grace of God in Christ, not the personal righteousness and ways of the congregation themselves. The congregation (people) of the righteous (Christ) and the way (grace) of the righteous (Christ) is its meaning. Why do I say this? I say it because of the word of the LORD (Heb. 2:9-13). Who is this group termed every man? Over whom is Christ captain? Who is sanctified by Christ? Who is this church? These equal those given Christ by the Father (vs. 13). How does one know he was given to Christ by the Father? The answer (Jn. 17:1-3). Do you know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He sent? Then you already have life eternal and you are blessed in the blessed man.

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