Fred R. Coulter—April 7, 2007

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Why was David a man after God's heart? We know that Paul said in talking to the Jews in one of the synagogues, quoting David, 'David was a man after God's heart.'

Let's see what that has to do with our relationship to God. Let's review what we are to have with God. This is the whole heart and core of why God has called us.

  • Where did the churches begin? In the homes!
  • What was the most important thing?

We've gone over this before, but we're learning that our relationship with God is the most important thing. John is writing to rehearse coming up to the point of our relationship with God. As we read the Scriptures—since it's precept upon precept, line upon line—every time we go back over a Scripture we're not reading it with the same eyes or the same point of view of mind as we did the last time we read it. We read and study other Scriptures and bring that added knowledge to it when we read it again.

1-John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning... [tie in John 1:1] …that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes, that which we observed for ourselves and our own hands handled, concerning the Word of Life." What a summary of the Gospel of Christ!

Verse 2: "(and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us)."

The whole point of why we are here is eternal life

  • with the greatest job description
  • with the greatest responsibilities
  • with the greatest potential

—that God can offer any people anywhere since the creation of the world!

Verse 3: "that which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship…"—or the relationship!

God wants to have personal relationship with you, not like the Protestants say, but a deep personal relationship with God! He wants you to become like Jesus Christ. So we could entitle this: The Mind of Christ and the Heart of David!

"…—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ" (v 3).

Let's look at how James described the Church. Why did James describe it this way?

Acts 15:12: "Then all the multitude kept silence and heard Barnabas and Paul relate what signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. And after they were silent, James answered and said, 'Men, brethren, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles to take out a people for His name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written, "after these things, I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David…"'" (vs 12-16).

  • What is the tabernacle of David?
  • Why would that be likened to the Church?
  • What does that have to do with our personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ?

"…which has fallen, and its ruins I will build again, and will set it up; so that the residue of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called, says the Lord, Who does all these things" (vs 16-17).

Amos 9—this is obviously a prophecy when you read it and is talking directly concerning the Millennial reign of Christ on the earth. Yet, James was inspired to apply it to the Church. It has great meaning for us in our relationship with God and what we are doing.

Amos 9:11: "In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that has fallen, and close up its breaches; and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old."

You read that and you think that that's a Millennial setting. Why did James use it in referring to the Church, referring to the converted Gentiles? Let's see; there's quite bit for us to learn.

We are going to see that this—1-Chron. 16—has to do with with the nearness of God and the presence of God to David, which describes for us the relationship that we need to have with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

After they attempted to bring the Ark up incorrectly by bringing it in a cart and Uzza put his hand up to steady the Ark, and he was zapped of God—because God doesn't need any help—David was discouraged. Finally, David got together with the Levites and they said, 'We ought to carry it up. David said, 'Oh, yeah!' At first he consulted with the people and they said to bring it up. So, they got a cart and did it the wrong way, so God taught them a lesson: My way or no way!

Then in do order, David got all the Levites, who were later assigned to watch over the Ark. At this time the Ark was at the house of Obed-Edom (1-Chron. 15:25)—a Levite—and the tabernacles and the altar of burnt offerings was over in Gibeon; so it was separated. David brought it up to Jerusalem.

1-Chronicles 16:1: "And they brought the Ark of God and set it in the middle of the tent… [a tabernacle] …which David had pitched for it…."

In David's house, probably a special room built in his house, was a tabernacle where the Ark of the Covenant was placed. The Ark of the Covenant is very important because that was the mercy seat where God's presence was put. David brings it and places it in this special tabernacle.

"…And they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God" (v 1). Since there was no brazen altar there:

  • What kind of altar did they have for these offerings? Obviously, they did it outside the house!
  • What kind of altar would they have? An altar of whole stone (Exo. 20:25).

Notice that there was no sin offering, because there was no brazen altar to sprinkle the blood on the side of the altar.

Verse 2: "And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offering and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD. And he divided to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread and a portion of meat and a raisin cake. And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the Ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel" (vs 2-4)—then it lists all of them!

What did David do that very first day? Verse 7: "Then on that day David first delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph…"—who was in charge of administering everything at the Ark of the Covenant! I'm sure that they offered incense every day. The Ark was not at the tabernacle in Gibeon.

"…and his brethren in order to thank the LORD" (v 7).

We're going to look at several Psalms so that we can see and understand the relationship that David had with God. This will help us to understand that relationship that we need to have with God.

Fellowship is a close interaction between two people. If we're going to have fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, then we need to have close interaction through prayer and study with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 8: "O give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the people. Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him, tell of all His wondrous works" (vs 8-9). Notice that the focus is on God!

Verse 10: "Glory in His Holy name, let the heart of those who seek the LORD rejoice. [#2]Seek the LORD and His strength; [#3]seek His face continually" (vs 10-11).

This shows that we are to constantly be seeking God and meaning that we are to improve every day our quality and relationship with God. As we do that, God gives us of His Spirit, and when we are praying our heart goes back to God. So, it's a two-way thing that Paul wrote of in Rom. 1, that 'the just shall live by faith, of faith unto faith.' God's faith to us through His Spirit, and our faith back to God through His Spirit! This is how we build the relationship.

Verse 12: "Remember His marvelous works, which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth."

Verse 23: "Sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Show forth from day to day His salvation. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all people. For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised. He also is to be feared above all gods, for all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Glory and honor are in His presence, strength and gladness in His place. Give to the LORD, O you kindred of the people, give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the LORD in the beauty of Holiness" (vs 23-29).

Worshipping the Lord in "…the beauty of Holiness" is the pinnacle of our prayer and spiritual life with God. Why? Because we know from the book of Hebrews that we have access to God the Father in the Holy of Holies in heaven above!

With this tabernacle that David had for the Ark of the Covenant, it was a foretype of our relationship spiritually between us and God. Isn't that something? This is perhaps the most humbling and overwhelming and awe inspiring thing to contemplate with our little 'pea' brain!

God has given us permission, by His invitation and Spirit, to come into His presence with our prayers, thoughts, and with the way that we live our lives. I tell you what, if that doesn't beat any 'religion' hands down…it surely does, doesn't it? God made us and created us:

  • to receive His Spirit
  • to receive His love
  • to be guided and directed by Him
  • to receive the spiritual blessings from God

If we have this in mind, when you pray you will never have to worry about if you should pray. Why would you want to put off prayer when your relationship is with God the Father and Jesus Christ directly in heaven above?

  • you will make time to pray
  • you will make time to study

Because you will realize how important that relationship is! This is what leads to eternal life!

Now let's see some other things that David did and said, and why he said them. Here is the attitude that David had in coming before God, coming before Him at that tabernacle of David where the Ark of the Covenant was.

Psalm 84:1: "How lovely are Your tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!" Here's David's attitude, and why he was a man after God's heart! Yes, he made two gigantic blunders:

  • Bathsheba
  • numbering Israel

But there's no one that doesn't sin!

Verse 2: "My soul longs, yea, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Yea, even the sparrow has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Selah." (vs 2-4).

Look upon this relationship that God has invited us into as the greatest thing in our lives. Let me tell you something else, which is true: Not only will your fellowship with God improve, you will find that your fellowshipping with the brethren will be greatly improved! Here's the attitude:

Psalm 62:1: "Only for God does my soul wait in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved" (vs 1-2).

It gives you the strength when you have that relationship with God that nothing, nothing can interfere with it.

Verse 3: "How long will you imagine mischief against a man? You shall be slain, all of you; you shall be like a bowing wall and as a tottering fence. They only consult to cast him down from his great height; they delight in lies; they bless with their mouth, but inwardly they curse. Selah" (vs 3-4).

This is a type of just looking out at the world! What I just read to you was the evening news. Notice David's attitude, because we are to come out of the world; we live in the world, but we're not part of the world! Having that relationship with God is what keeps us out of the world so we're not in it with the world!

Verse 5: "My soul, wait in silence for God alone; for from Him comes my hope. He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my strong tower; I shall not be moved" (vs 5-6). Tie in with Matt. 7:24-25[transcriber's correction] about building your house upon a rock. The rain came, the flood came and the wind beat upon it, but it didn't fall because it was built upon a rock!

Verse 7: "In God is my salvation and my glory, the Rock of my strength; my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people…" (vs 7-8)—everything you do; trust in God and you can never fail!

"…pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah" (v 8). Then you look out at the world and you begin to understand.

As you develop the relationship with God you can see this more and more, and you can have pity upon them not to lift you up in snooty self-righteousness at all, but just to objectively look at the world.

Verse 9: "Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie; when weighed in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity."

Meaning that compared to this relationship with God, there is nothing in the world comparable, nothing in the world to trade for it.

Verse 10: "Trust not in oppression, and do not take pride in stolen goods; if riches increase, do not set your heart upon them. God has spoken once; twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God" (vs 10-11).

Yet, here we are living in a day of being rich and increased with goods. And there is yet another paper being circulated around about how to rob from God by saying that you don't need to tithe.

I tell you what, you tell that to God, saying: 'God, I thank you for all that I have here, but I'm not giving anything to anybody.' Then see how your life ends up! Enough said!

Verse 12: "Also to You, O LORD, belongs mercy; for You give to every man according to his work."

Now, here is my favorite Psalm in all the Psalms right here—Psa. 63—and this is the one that your need to turn to if you get down and out, feel depressed, feel that things are going against you, things are tough and hard to put up with—on the job, with your neighbors, with your husband or wife, your children or other people in the Church—whatever it may be, we're confronted with all of these things on a daily basis. Here is how we see our way through all of it:

Psalm 63:1: "O God, You are my God, earnestly I will seek You!…. [don't wait or put it off] …My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is."

You kind of look out at the world and see all of these things going on and you say to yourself:

O God, what a marvelous thing that You have called us, that You have revealed Yourself to us and here is this poor world out there that's like a desert. There's nothing alive! In that I want to thirst after You and Your way, Your Truth, Your love, Your faith and Your character.

Verse 2: "To see Your power and Your glory as I have seen You in the sanctuary."

  • What does that mean?
  • Did David see a similitude of God over the Ark of the Covenant as he looked into that tabernacle of David where the Ark of the Covenant was?
  • When he was very inspired and playing on his instrument of ten strings?
  • When he was singing a fantastic Psalm  to God?

Whenever we are in this kind of attitude, understand that God is pleased!We can do the things that God delights in. You don't have to go around with a guilty conscience, nor do you have to go around with a 'hooty-snooty' conscience either. Be thankful and grateful!

Verse 3: "Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness… [the greatest contentment in life] …and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips when I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches" (vs 3-6).

There comes times at night when you can't sleep, and you're thinking on God, maybe on the love of God or maybe the mercy of God. Maybe you're thinking about what a fantastic, marvelous and great universe that God has made. He has promised that to us! His plan is so absolutely marvelous and great, and His mercy, kindness, love and forgiveness extends to all of those whom He love. It's so fantastic, and may be you're in bed thinking about this and it just kind of overwhelms you.

I know that when that has happened to those I've talked to, and me also, you just kind of lay there and the tears flow down your eyes with joy and thanksgiving for the knowledge that God has given and the relationship that He has called us into. What a fantastic and marvelous thing that that is; that God would do this for us!

  • that inspires you
  • that gives you conviction
  • that gives you hope
  • that gives you life
  • that gives you the desire to overcome
  • that gives you the desire to do the things that are right

God can 'beat you over the head' all the time with your sins, and you can come to services and have every sin you've ever done exposed and you would leave church and just kind of be like smoke going over the threshold of the door as you sneak out.

  • God wants you to be lifted up
  • God wants you to be inspired
  • God wants you to used the Sabbath and Holy Days to be inspired
  • God will be there to help you and lead you

So that in your personal, private life and your fellowship and relationship with God, it becomes a tremendous thing in your life. You will see added to change and things happen. God will reveal to you sins that He knows are deeply buried in your life that He wants you to get rid of, and you will see them in clear perspective and repent of them.

God is the One Who is doing that for you. We need to understand that God's Spirit is working in us. God is working through us, because of His greatness, not because of anything that we do.

Verse 7: "Because You have been my help, therefore, in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows hard after You… [always seeking God] …Your right hand upholds me" (vs 7-8).

Now let's see how this in increased and improved. Let's see what this does for us. Let's see:

  • what God wants to do for us
  • what He wants from us
  • what He wants to give us

Notice that Psa. 119 is divided into sections of eight verses. There are 22 sections of eight going along with the Hebrew alphabet of 22 letters. In the Hebrew each one of these verses begins with the letters of the Hebrews alphabet in that section

  • 1st section every verse begins with Alpha
  • 2nd section every verse begins with Beth

and so forth all the way through! This was what they call a Psalm of Degrees, and it was memorized by the Levites. So, when they sang this Psalm it was all memorized by what are called acrostics or according to the Hebrew alphabet.

Psalm 119:1: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the Law of the LORD." Remember that if someone tries to sell you a different story about the Law of God; you're blessed if you do!

Verse 2: "Blessed are they who keep His testimonies and who seek Him with the whole heart."

What this kind of relationship will do will give you a longing and desire to seek God with all your heart! That will help build the relationship even more.

Verse 9: "With what shall a young man cleanse his way?…. [could be young man or woman; old man or woman, makes no difference] …By taking heed according to Your Word. With all my heart I have sought You…" (vs 9-10).

That's what God wants. Did Christ, when He came to be that perfect offering, give part of Himself? or all of Himself? He gave all of Himself! We respond back with our whole heart. That's how God wants us to respond back, and that's how our relationship develops.

Verse 34: "Give me understanding, that I may keep Your Law and observe it with all my heart."

Verse 58: "I entreated Your favor with all my heart; be gracious unto me according to Your Word."

I tell you that every time you go over Psa. 119 the more clearly you will see that this must have been a prophetic view of God's Laws, commandments, statutes, way and precepts that Christ had in His mind, that God gave to David. Now you see why David was a man after God's heart, because he sought God with his whole heart.

If God surveys the whole earth, the seven spirits of God going to and fro in the earth where those are who are seeking God with their whole heart. Few be, indeed!

Verse 69: "The proud have forged a lie against Me, but I will keep Your precepts with all my heart."

Verse 145: "I cried with my whole heart; answer me, O LORD; I will keep Your statutes."

Let's see some other Psalms and see how our hearts are involved, and how we can have the heart of David and the mind of Christ. Since David is a man after God's heart, and he wrote all of these Psalms, that's why they are all here.

What this will do is there will be reciprocation from God to you in this relationship. You're going to be strengthened in:

  • attitude
  • heart
  • mind
  • resolve
  • overcoming sin
  • building the very character of God in your life through His Spirit

Psalm 28:6: "Blessed is the LORD because He has heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength…" (vs 6-7).

With this you become more reliant on God for everything, and it will do the opposite of self-righteousness. It will give you the righteousness of God the Father and Jesus Christ!

"…and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped. Therefore, my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. The LORD is their strength, and He is the saving strength of His anointed" (vs 7-8).

We are anointed, too; if you received the Holy Spirit of God you are anointed. Christ is the anointed, the Christ, and we are under Him.

Verse 9: "Save Your people and bless Your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever." This is to lift you up!

Now let's see Christ's attitude toward this.

Psalm 40:8: "I delight to do Your will, O My God…" If you—

  • love God
  • love His way
  • love His commandments
  • love His statues

—you delight to do His will! God is there to help us in every way!

"…and Your Law is within My heart" (v 8). That's how God will write it and inscribe it in your heart and mind, and in everything that you do!

Years ago I did a sermon series: The Heart/Mind Connection. There is a connection between the heart and the mind. Not that the heart is an independent thinking organ, but there is a connection between your heart, your thoughts and things that the Bible describes, but we can't scientifically analyze. About the only way they can scientifically analyze it is when they've had heart transplants. There was a woman who never drank beer at all, didn't care for it, and she got the heart of a young man in a transplant and all of a sudden she craved beer.

That tells you that there is connection between it, but just how that works I don't know. But I'm sure it's a spiritual connection that God uses and helps us. What we're talking about here is something that is spiritually understood spiritually experienced and is the spiritual fuel for our relationship with God.

Here is also what God is going to do; Psalm 17:1: "Hear the right, O LORD; attend unto my cry; give ear unto my prayer, for it is not from lips of deceit. Let my judgment come forth from Your presence; let Your eyes behold things that are upright. You have tried my heart…" (vs 1-3). God is constantly proving and testing; loving and helping; guiding and directing!

"…You have visited me in the night… [that ties in with Psa. 63)] …You have tested me, and You shall find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress" (v 3).

We can almost be guaranteed something that is very, very important: With this kind of relationship, you will be sinning less and you will desire to do right more, because you will want to please God. So, it doesn't become a self-righteous thing, and it doesn't become something that warrants a merit badge. It's part of the way that we live and our relationship and fellowship with God.

Verse 4: "Concerning the works of men, by the words of Your lips, I have kept myself from the paths of the violent." It's going to help you prevent sin!

Verse 5: "My steps have held fast to Your paths, my feet have not slipped. I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; incline Your ear to me; hear my speech. Show Your marvelous loving kindness…" (vs 5-7).

This is what God wants you to experience in the things that we have discussed here, the loving kindness of God. And there's something interesting that we found in doing the Old Testament translation; it says 'His mercies endure forever,' that could also be translated His steadfast love endures forever, which adds a whole lot more.

"…O Savior of those seeking refuge in You; by Your right hand save them… [Where is Christ? At the right hand of God!] …from those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of Your eye…" (vs 7-8). That's just a saying that shows the great favor and graciousness that God gives to us!

"…hide me under the shadow of Your wings… [special unseen protection] …from the face of the wicked who oppress me—my deadly enemies who encircle me" (vs 8-9)—a lot of help from God with that!

Now let's see what it is to do for us in the character that God wants us to have. Let's look at the attitudes that will come as a result of this. The things in Matt. 5 are not something that we put on, not something that we act out; it is something that comes as a result of our relationship with God. It's part of our very being.

This is why Jesus spoke of these things in Matt. 5, because these are the goals that we are to shoot for all the time.

Matthew 5:3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

Here come all the promises from God, the blessings for having this relationship and this spiritual attitude toward God. I hate the word 'attitude' because it implies something that you put on, rather than what you really are.

Verse 4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled" (vs 4-6).

All of these things have to do with our relationship with God! In your prayers take this and open your Bible to this point and use these words, because wherever there is a blessing there is a spiritual result that comes. Use those as your words to begin your prayer and expand your prayer beyond that.

Verse 7: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall find mercy." Never forget that; be ready to give mercy!

Not to be stupid and be duped by someone who is deceitful with you, with false claims of mercy. But when you sin you want mercy and forgiveness. When someone else sins against you, they want mercy and forgiveness, so forgive them and remember Matt. 18.

Verse 8: "Blessed are the pure in heart…" What we're talking about here is how your heart becomes pure:

  • with the Spirit of God
  • with the mind of Christ
  • with the relationship with God through the heart of David

"…for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (vs 8-10).

When those things come along then you will have the strength to endure it. It will be just like 'water off a duck's back.' What can they do to you other than rail against you.

If you've done something wrong you deserve it, just like David when he was fleeing from Absalom, one of the men came out there and was cursing David and saying 'Your conduct has brought all of this upon the Kingdom.' Joab said, 'Let me do him in.' David said, 'No, leave him alone, I deserve it.' But if you receive persecution otherwise, you'll get through it.

Verse 11: "Blessed are you when they shall reproach you… [that's hard to take; you've got to have the blessing of God's Spirit to endure that] …and shall persecute you, and shall falsely say every wicked thing against you, for My sake. Rejoice and be filled with joy…" (vs 11-12). Just the exact opposite response of carnal nature!

"…for great is your reward in heaven; for in this same manner they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (v 12). Quite a fantastic thing, these are the blessings that come!

Let's see what this will build within us. God is interested in building the character that comes from Him. Here are the fruits of the Holy Spirit. All of these things that we're covering here today are something that should become an ongoing part of our Christian life, walk, prayer, study, fellowship, intermingling and everything that we do. They become a part of our very character.

In other words, what God is doing is that we have our own DNA and RNA of what we are in every cell of our body and everything that we are. God is adding His Spirit to us, which is something that we cannot provide physically. He's given the spirit of man to us, formed it in us, and is molding, forming, guiding and developing us.

So, all of this is part of it. These things that we have read in Matt. 5 is not just one reading and everything is done. It's a continuous thing on going. Same way here in Gal. 5:22, the fruit of the Spirit, the result of it. What are you producing?

Galatians 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (vs 22-23).

Notice what these do when they are in us; this is what is so important; v 24: "But those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, we should also be walking by the Spirit" (vs 24-25).

As I've been saying all along, what this produces is, v 26: "We should not become vainglorious, provoking one another and envying one another." It brings about the true humility that comes from God!

Here is another long-term thing that we do, that we work at, that we overcome, that we build the mind and character of Christ. Peter gives us great inspiration of what God is doing, what He wants us to become.

2-Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ." Is Jesus God? Yes, indeed!

Verse 2: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."

These introductions in the letters are very important; they are conveying God's feelings through the apostles for us. This is what God wants, so Peter then lays out in a step-by-step way how we develop the character and the mind of Christ.

Verse 3: "According as His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness…" This is talking about something that is:

  • spiritually understood
  • spiritually used
  • spiritually motivated
  • spiritually building

"…His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue; through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises… [which is what we've been talking about] …that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature… [that is the goal] …having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (vs 3-4).

Now because of these great promises, because we're able to receive:

  • the Spirit of God
  • the mind of Christ
  • the heart of David

What do we do? Just sit back and say, 'Oh boy! I've got it made'? NO! There's a lot of work for us to do as Peter lays out here!

Verse 5: "And for this very reason also, having applied all diligence besides, add to your faith, virtue…"

  • right living
  • right character
    • in talking
    • in thinking
    • in the way you conduct your life

"…and to virtue, knowledge…" (v 5). God wants us to grow in:

  • grace
  • knowledge
  • understanding
  • His Spirit

Verse 6: "And to knowledge, self-control…" That's what God wants! He wants us to be ruled with Christ in us, so that we self-control and govern ourselves by:

  • God's Spirit
  • God's Laws
  • God's commandments
  • God's statutes
  • God's love
  • God's faith
  • God's hope

That's how we're ruled!

"…and to self-control, endurance…" (v 6). What is the promise? He who endures to the end shall be saved!

"…and to endurance, Godliness" (v 6).

Think of it, of all the things that God has created, only mankind is created in His image—male and female—so that we can have the character of God, Godliness!

If you go home and turn on the news tonight, compare the news with what we're reading here.

Verse 7: "And to Godliness, brotherly love; and to brotherly love, the love of God."

It builds step-by-step and here's what it does for us, and this is the goal, Phil. 2. It's very important for us to understand that God has a secret way of doing things, which is openly known to those who love Him.

  • Remember the model prayer?
  • What does it start out with?
    • Our Father Who is in heaven! We keep our mind on the Father.
    • Hallowed be Your name! You are Holy!
    • Your Kingdom come! We always look toward the goal! The Kingdom of God comes in two ways:
      • through Christ to each one of us so that we are under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of God at the present time

We are not in it, because 'flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.' But we are under the jurisdiction of it.

      • when Christ returns and the resurrection of the saints takes place

That's going to be a fantastic day! Likewise in these things, we go back over some of these basic Scriptures so that we can:

  • learn more
  • be strengthened
  • be given conviction even more concerning the Scriptures that we read and go over to become a part of us

In other words, what God is doing with His Spirit is making in us the part of His Divine nature—His DNA—within us, spiritually speaking, of course!

Here's what Paul wrote after he goes through everything. He had been in prison and mistreated many, many times over. What does he talk about? He keeps his eye on the goal, his mind on the things that he needs to.

Philippians 2:1: "Now then, if there be any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any deep inner affections and compassions."

So, we set aside all the things of the world, all the troubles and difficulties. That's what the Sabbath is about, and your relationship with Christ. You put it all in His hands, and when we come together we set it all aside and let God's Spirit to come and be with us to:

  • lead us
  • teach us
  • help us

Verse 2: "Fulfill my joy that you be of the same mind, having the same love, being joined together in soul… [it be like being joined in the same inner feeling of attitude and mind] …minding the one thing…. [which is eternal life in the Kingdom of God] …Let nothing be done through contention or vainglory…" (vs 2-3).

  • Haven't you been in a church where that has gone on?
  • How do you feel when you come home? Rotten!

"…but in humility… [the humility that is real that comes from God's Spirit, not pretentious] …each esteeming the others above himself. Let each one look not only after his own things, but let each one also consider the things of others" (vs 3-4).

Then comes this fantastic statement for those who have the Spirit of God:

Verse 5: "Let this mind be in you… [you must let it, choice; you let God give you the mind] …which was also in Christ Jesus."

When we come to the point, and there are going to be some of us here that won't be here next year, because next year you'll be resting in your place of safety. Every year, every week, every month some of the saints die. God is pleased when that happens, because that's the whole goal, to die in the faith!

Being an older church we're going to see more people pass. But we can rejoice because being faithful unto the end we know that they're going to attain to the resurrection. That's a wonderful thing to understand.

Verse 5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

Notice what he did. You can call this an act of humility, but it's really greater than this, greater than humility.

Verse 6: "Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself…" (vs 6-7).

How much have we given of ourselves? Very little, really compared to what Christ has done! Of course, that's why only He could do it. He emptied Himself!

"…and was made in the likeness of men…" (v 7). He came from being God, by passed the angel dominion, and came down to be a human being. In the very beginning He created us after His image for this very purpose, because the Lamb of God was slain—spiritually speaking—before the foundation of the world! Planned before the foundation of the world!

"…and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (vs 7-8).

That's why the Holy Day season starts with the Passover, because you do not approach God without a sacrifice. Then everything else flows from there. God's way is really so simple.

Verse 9: "Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him a name, which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow took the form of a servant, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (vs 9-11).

That is quite a very highly exalted, magnificent wording that God inspired Paul to write. That's why what is written in the Bible is so fantastic. These are the very words of God:

  • God wants us to know these things
  • God wants us to feel these things
  • God wants us to understand these things
  • God wants them to become a very part of our being

Then Paul says, v 12: "So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God Who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure" (vs 12-13). God is doing it!

  • if you feel motivated to do something, God is motivating you
  • if you feel inspired, God is inspiring you
  • if you feel uplifted and encouraged, God is uplifting and encouraging you

Because He's involved in your life for the greatest thing that could be: eternal life! To live forever and ever!

Let's see our approaching God with the kind of attitude that is the mind of David, that our lives can reflect what David did in what James referred to as the tabernacle of David.

Matthew 22:35: "And one of them, a doctor of the law, questioned Him, tempting Him, and saying."

Someone always has to have a trick question. There are legitimate questions that need to be answered, but here he's trying to trick Jesus up.

Verse 36: "'Master, which commandment is the great commandment in the Law?' And Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind'" (vs 36-37).

That's what God wants. When you understand that, you really understand:

  • why a corporate ministry goes against the love of God
  • why in so many corporate churches there is a lack of the love of God

God wants us to love Him:

  • with all our heart, everything that is in us
  • with all our soul, with our whole being
  • with all your mind, don't keep a little corner of your mind for yourself because that's playground for Satan the devil

Be wholehearted toward God in everything!

Verse 38: "This is the first and greatest commandment." If you do that you can develop the heart of David and the mind of Christ!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • 1-John 1:1-3
  • Acts 15:12-17
  • Amos 9:11
  • 1 Chronicles 16:1-4, 7-12, 23-29
  • Psalm 84:1-4
  • Psalm 62:1-12
  • Psalm 63:1-8
  • Psalm 119:1-2, 9-10, 34, 58, 69, 145
  • Psalm 28:6-9
  • Psalm 40:8
  • Psalm 17:1-9
  • Matthew 5:3-12
  • Galatians 5:22-26
  • 2 Peter 1:1-7
  • Philippians 2:1-13
  • Matthew 22:35-38

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 1:1
  • 1 Chronicles 15:25
  • Exodus 20:25
  • Romans 1
  • Matthew 7:24-25
  • Matthew 18

Also referenced:
Sermon Series: The Heart/Mind Connection

Transcribed: 6/2/20