"Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.
4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16
How to Awaken and Maintain Joy
1. A declaration of dependence upon the Lord (v.1)
2. The embrace of the goodness of God who is the fountain of living water (v.2)
3. The joy of the communitarian dimension of faith, i.e. the importance of the local church (v.3)
4. In light of the surpassing joy of the gospel of grace, there is a resolve to flee from sin and all of its manifestations and walk in the way of allurement. This underscores the fact that the mortification of sin (putting sin to death) is normal and is an ongoing experience because we are at war with sin, the flesh, and the devil. (Romans 7:18-19).
“Let your soul say by faith, ‘I am a poor, weak creature; unstable as water, I cannot excel. This corruption is too hard for me and is at the very door of ruining my soul; and what to do I do not know. My soul has become as parched ground and an habitation of dragons . . . and yet, though his my state and condition, let the hands that hang down be lifted up and the feeble knee strengthened. Behold, the Lord Christ that hath all fullness of great in his heart, all fullness of power in his hand. He is able to slay all these his enemies. There is sufficient provision in him for my relief and assistance.’” John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Vol. 6, pp. 79-80
How to Live Out the Reality of Verse Four
1. Observable data
“Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” Proverbs 9:6
2. A firm resolution to put sin to death
3. To walk the way of allurement (v. 6-7) (Allure = the power to entice or attract.)
“Put faith in Christ to work on killing your sin. His blood is the greatest remedy for sin-sick souls. Live in this (the gospel of grace), and you will die a conqueror; yes, you will through the good providence of God, live to see your sin dead at your feet.” John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Vol. 6, p.79
Q. What is involved in genuine repentance or conversion?
A. Two things: the dying-away of the old self, and the rising-to-life of the new.
Heidelberg Catechism, Question 88
Q. What is the dying-away of the old self?
A. To be genuinely sorry for sin and more and more to hate and run away from it.
Heidelberg Catechism, Question 89
Q. What is the rising-to-life of the new self?
A. Wholehearted joy in God through Christ and a love and delight to live according to the will of God by doing every kind of good work.
Heidelberg Catechism, Question 90
1. What does this statement mean?
“Ultimate beauty comes not FROM a lover or a landscape or a home, but only THROUGH them. These earthly things are solid goods and we naturally relish them. But, they are not our final good. They point to what is ‘higher up’ and ‘further back’. Plantinga, Engaging God’s World, p. 6
2. What does this quote mean?
“Some preachers, teachers and parents love to dwell in the smoke and fire of Mt. Sinai more than the love and grace of Mt. Calvary.” David Murray, The Happy Christian
Why is I Peter 2:1-4 a remedy for this issue?
3. In the Confessions, Augustine wrote, “Thou awakest to delight in Thy praise; for Thou madest us for Thyself and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee.” How do we delight in the reality of the triune God?
4. What is the way of “allurement” (v.6-7)?
5. How is mortification “the continual putting of sin to death” carried out?