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Pastor Brant Seacrist

March 11, 2018

"THE LORD AND HIS PEOPLE"

TEXT: Psalm 149: 4-9 (Read vv. 1-9)
READING:  Revelation 7: 1-17

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SUBJ: The Lord’s view of His people and the effect of salvation noted upon them as such along with their employment of the Word of God with purpose.

AIM: That we might rejoice in the knowledge of the care of the Lord for His people and seek ever to be exercised in His service and His praise.

INTR: We encounter the thought of a “New Song” often in scripture and it is invariably connected with the redemption of the Lord’s people and only those who know of their redemption are able to sing it.
1. That the Lord has a people is declared to be so from the beginning even though men are in constant denial of the fact claiming that becoming one of the Lords’ people is their choice.
2. It is interesting that the extensive history of a nation clearly chosen of God is an accepted fact that to extend that choice beyond that era is unthinkable to many.
3. In that men want to be accepted on their own merits they want to believe that the Lord takes pleasure in all – this Psalm and many other scriptures deny that premise.

THESIS: It is a most blessed thought that the Lord takes pleasure in His people and it is further to be understood that the reasons of that pleasure is the work that He has done on them so they might be said to be beautified.

I. The delight of the Lord in His own (v. 4)
1. A precious revelation given against the ravages that human depravity has manifested in men.
1) This is a distinction made against the idea that as creator, all are His people
2) The fact is that through the fall and the subsequent rebellion among men, they are constituted as anything but His children.
3) We suffer greatly because of the concept that God is more beneficent than holy; more condescending than sovereign; that He has chosen to subject Himself to the will of men!
2. It is to be noted that those spoken of here are of a special nature and that as such have been made responsive to work of grace in them.
1) We must ask of these: What made them meek and from whence comes the brokenness and contriteness that characterizes all who come unto the Lord.
2) It can only be by a divinely wrought miracle of grace whereby they are brought to an acute sense of their own sinfulness and inability to ever please a holy God.
3. The fact is that of Christ alone it is said that He always pleased the Father and the Father echoed the confirmation from Heaven – thus such grace as that found with such as Enoch, Noah and all who fall upon His mercy is that of Christ in them.
4. The thought of the Lord taking pleasure in men then presupposes a mighty work of grace in them whereby the very nature of Christ and pure holiness is seen in them.
1) This is assuredly not of themselves and yet
2) It is characterized in that Spirit induced meekness that qualifies them to be so beautified.
5. Thus, the Lord places upon them the robes of the righteousness of Christ Jesus our Lord and they are made to look beautiful in the eyes of the Lord and that carried into true faith and practice.
6. An old adage: “pretty is as pretty does,” falls short of describing both the appearance and the actions of the Lord’s people and it is He that has done it all in Christ.
7. In fact their declarations and their actions are led into the way of righteousness for His sake and so to appear with a beauty known only to God and those who observe in Christ!

II. The reaction of the saints to such a work (vv. 5-6)
1. Praise is not something done for salvation; it is a knowing response to salvation
1) That I am capable of response to God
2) That I am aware of the greatness of our God and the salvation wrought in Christ
2. The exhortation here to praise through abilities given and appreciations noted.
1) It is not a matter here of quiet reflection, but something that is sung about (see v. 1)
2) The matter of joy implied a new appetite: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
3. The exhortation “high praise” implies such things as His majesty, His glory, His might, His power and all things infinite about Him – that we be drawn away from the limitations of the world and rather worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!
4. Of further exhortation is that all be done in connection with the Word of God – the “two edged sword.” John Gill suggested here that the two edges are the Law and the Gospel
1) The Law wounds and kills in that it discovers the failure on every hand and exposes sin