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  • Writer's picturePastor Nathan Lipscomb

Blessed Is the Man

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

In our adult Sunday School class, we have been studying the "Blessed Is the Man" passages. God desires to bless us! He tries to! How many blessings have we missed because of sin? When we break the fellowship between ourselves and the Father, we prevent Him from bringing many blessings He otherwise would have showered on us. Three passages have stuck out to me because of how they affect the Christian at all points surrounding temptation and sin.

#1 Psalm 1:1-3- Preventing temptations and sin.

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalm 1:1-3

We are riding in the family minivan down the curvy country road that winds through farmland and woods from our neighborhood into the town where our church is located. I can see the Blueridge mountains shrinking behind me in the rearview mirror as we head across the Shenandoah Valley into the setting sun, towards an evening church service. As peaceful as it may sound, the backseat of the pastor's van sounds pretty similar to the backseat of your car if you have kids. And like many other parents, we hear ourselves saying, "Keep your hands to yourself; If he brought the toy, then give it back to him; Don't touch your brother, don't talk to your brother, don't even look at your brother! That's it, no talking at all...anyone! We're going to be quiet and listen to Patch the Pirate and you're going to like it!" Every now and then, I hear one of the kids say something unkind, or respond to one another's problem with a little calloused coldness, and as I'm about to open my mouth to point out the error of their ways (as every good father should), I suddenly recognize a reflection of myself in that poor kid.

Children are not solely a product of their environment, however, their environment does have a strong shaping influence on them. Dad has an incredibly strong shaping influence on his kids, and I am reminded of that often, not because my wife tells me so, but because they tell me so!

We can control our influences to a certain extent. I may not always be able to choose who I "walk" with, but I can control who I "stand" and"sit" with. I can save myself much trouble by filtering my tempting influences. We can experience more of God's blessings by protecting ourselves from temptation and from sin; but not all temptations or trials are preventable. What do we do then?

#2 James 1:12 - Enduring spiritual adversity.

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."

The Greek word used for temptation in the New Testament is "πειρασμός" (pi-ras-mos') which means: "a putting to proof (by experiment of good, experience of evil, solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication adversity" (Strong's). It is translated most times as "temptation" and once as "try". Whether we look at the word "temptation" in this verse as a temptation to sin or as a difficult adversity in our Christian walk, one thing is for sure: by ourselves, we don't have the power to withstand them let alone overcome them. Praise the Lord we have a Heavenly Father who "was in all points tempted like as we are," and He withstood and overcame them! Notice that the verse did not say, "Blessed is the man who is never tempted." Trials, whatever the source, are here to stay. Blessed is the man that endures them, but not by his own power. I Corinthians 10:13 comforts us with these words, "But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." Do you need help enduring? Ask your Heavenly Father first, then ask your pastor or a trusted person in church to help you endure!

#3 Psalm 32:1- Forgiveness of sin.

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile."

What happens when we fail to prevent the temptation and are not strong enough to endure it in our own strength? How many of us have found ourselves in this position? I have. If you are honest, you have, too. Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Interwoven into that failure is the feeling of disappointment and guilt. We have disappointed God, our friends, and even ourselves. We feel the guilt of having transgressed: against God, our family, and ourselves. God understood that that transgression required a penalty to be paid. He foresaw that the guilt could not absolve itself. Because He is a just and holy God, He could not simply overlook sin, it must be dealt with. If we are left to ourselves to pay the penalty, we are doomed to an eternity of paying while never being able to clear the account!

Praise the Lord that He foresaw this problem and provided a solution! Paul reminded Timothy of this great blessing, "Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." Jesus paid the penalty for us! The guilt and disappointment of past forgiven sins is removed! If you're not saved today, let today be the day that you "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ". If you're unsure about your salvation, will you reach out to me?

Christian, today you stand redeemed and forgiven, and that is good reason to rejoice and glorify God! The Psalmist encourages the believer at the end of the chapter to, "Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart."

Christian, despite the fact that you didn't prevent all temptation, despite the fact that you didn't endure every temptation victoriously, you have been immeasurably blessed by your heavenly Father with forgiveness of sins!

We truly have been blessed to have a God who: is aware of our shortcomings and has given us the source of power we need to grow strong spiritually and prevent temptation; strengthens us in our valleys to endure until we are victorious; and has the authority to forgive and permanently cover our sin so that it will not be "imputed" to us when we stand before Him one day!

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