Brad Libolt’s teaching from Sunday morning middle school group. He spoke on Psalm 119:9-16. He focused on the two meanings of pure – clean and acquitted – and how through God’s word we can live in freedom with Christ.
Psalm 119: 9-16
v.9 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.”
- How can a young man keep his way pure?
- The word “pure” has two meanings: clean and acquitted. We are going to look at the passage with both meanings.
- When you read the first part of the verse with clean as the definition of pure, it reads “How can a young man keep his way clean?”
- By guarding it according to your word.
- What is the “it”? It is the way. The way is who you are, what you do, how you carry yourself, your reputation. In order to keep your way, you have to protect it.
Proverbs 22:1 says “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”
- We should want to be seen as clean. We should want to have a good name with peers, teachers, parents, and this community. This verse is saying that having a good name in these areas is more important than having riches. If you want that you have to protect it.
Protect with the word
- What do we protect it with? There are a lot of opinions out there on how one should live their lives. Yet the author is saying that the only read way we can protect it is to guard our way with the Word. That is the primary source for how we should live our lives.
- We should align our life with the Word and see if our life matches up with what it says. If it doesn’t we need to look at changing it.
- Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On the left side write down things that you do that are right that you know are found in the bible. Such as, honoring your father and mother. On the right side, write down things that you do that you know are wrong, such as gossiping or lying.
- If we are honest with ourselves there should be more on the right side than the left.
- Here’s the crazy thing. The more we read God’s Word and the closer we get to Him and his holiness, the more we are going to see that we do wrong. He doesn’t do that to shame us but to make us more aware and to give us his final solution to this clean-issue.
- You see this in Isaiah chapter 6. Isaiah goes to the temple to pray and he sees God in all His holiness. The first words out of his mouth were, “Whoa, I am an unclean person.”
- Yes, that is what the goal of the author of this Psalms is trying to get us to see as well.
- He says to guard your heart by the word. He asks that you store it in your heart- which you couldn’t do if you aren’t reading it. He asks that you meditate or ponder on it all the time, he says to focus your eyes on it, and even delight- or take joy in it.
- However, that by itself is only half of the commandment. The other half is the completion of how we can stay pure.
- Pure also had another meaning: acquitted
- Acquitted means to be set free of a criminal charge
- Reading the word first draws you to Christ to show you where you are unclean and then gives you the solution to be made clean.
- The answer is Christ.
- Look at 1 John 1:5-10 “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
- He says that if we walk in sin we walk in darkness, which means we can’t see. We can’t see our sins then we lie. He goes on to say that if we say that we have no sin then we deceive ourselves as well. But if we confess our sins he forgives them and cleanses us! The more we see our sin the more we see how awesome God is!
- We have been acquitted!
- But it takes looking back at what we wrote on the right side of the paper, confessing those to God. You know what that does to us when we do it more: we get more excited about spending time with Him!
- We lean on him more and more and then just like the author ends this section with: we delight in His word!