christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

psalm 62

Read Psalm 62 at Bible Gateway.

This psalm forms a chiastic structure:

Psa 62:1-12
1a) Psa 62:1-2, From God comes my salvation, He is my defense;
1b) Psa 62:3-4, The wickedness of attacking a man + the wicked delights in lies;
1c) Psa 62:5, My soul, wait silently for God alone;
central axis) Psa 62:6-7, He only is my rock and my salvation, He is my defense and refuge;
2c) Psa 62:8, Trust in God at all times, you people;
2b) Psa 62:9-10, The folly of trusting in station + do not trust in oppression;
2a) Psa 62:11-12, Power and mercy belongs to God, He renders to each one according to his work.

The A pair really caught my attention this time. First, God alone (only) is my rock and my salvation. Contrary to popular belief, the Old Testament does not teach salvation by a gospel of works, while the New Testament teaches salvation by a gospel of grace through faith. If God alone is our salvation, then where do our works, good deeds, and obedience come in — for salvation? They don’t factor in at all. Both Old and New Testaments agree, that salvation is of God alone — that is, of grace through faith and not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph 2:8-10).

So then how does this pair with Psa 62:11-12, that power and mercy belong to God, and He will render to each one according to his works? First of all, salvation, deliverance, is an act of power. Only God can take a stony heart out of a man and replace it with a heart of flesh, with a new heart and a new spirit (Eze 36:26-27). Second of all, salvation is an act of mercy, because God saves us by His grace, not because we have earned or deserved His salvation.

If that is the case, then what about God rendering to each one according to his works?

That we are not saved by works, therefore our lives after that salvation do not need to “bear fruit befitting repentance,” (Mat 3:7-10) is an ancient heresy plaguing the church, called the antinomian heresy (“against the law;” the link does a good job explaining what the antinomian heresy is, while it is full of errors in its exposition of New Testament passages (for example, the distinction between moral and ceremonial law is a man- made distinction not found in Scripture), so please be careful!)

Jesus, John, James, Paul, and even the book of Revelation all agree (Mat 7:21-23, 1 Joh 2:3-6, Jam 2:14-26, Rom 3:311 Cor 6:9-10, Rev 22:12-15), that once we are saved by grace through faith, our lives will bear the fruit of obedience which befits repentance, thus when God renders to us according to our works (fruit befitting repentance), we will be found among the repentant, who are those who are saved by grace through faith.

(Bunny trail: the Revelation of Jesus Christ, given to John, occurred in 95 or 96 ad, for that was when Domitian was emperor and persecuting the Christians, for which John was exiled to Patmos. The early church fathers agree that John was exiled to Patmos during the reign of Caesar Domitian. The Revelation, then, occurred at least 60 years following the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and 20 + years following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. If Jesus meant to establish a new doctrine for the church, that the Law had passed away since we are saved by grace through faith, this is His perfect opportunity to do so. Instead, He upholds the Law, exhorting His disciples in their obedience to God’s commandments, and confirms Psa 62, that when He comes to render judgment, He will render to each one according to his works! People, please let our faith and practice be only (sola Scriptura) established by the word of God and not the word of man!)

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