Anchoring the Soul – Proverbs 3:5,6 Sermon Notes


ANCHORING THE SOUL

PROVERBS 3:5, 6

THE AUDIO FOR THIS SERMON CAN BE FOUND HERE

Slide1

Proverbs 3:5–6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

 

A WORD OF EXHORTATION – Trust in the Lord with all your heart

A WORD OF WARNING – And do not lean on your own understanding

A WORD OF COUNSEL – In all your ways acknowledge Him

A WORD OF PROMISE – And He will make your paths straight

 

  1. A WORD OF EXHORTATION / Trust in the Lord with all your heart – Trusting in the trustworthy One

2 Things.

  1. NOTICE 1st, In the text we are being asked to trust someONE, not to simply have blind faith or trust in trust.

Nothing strikes more directly at the heart of saving faith than this statement.

This is neither naked nor religious optimism.

It is not the bare hope that everything will just turn out OK.

It is a personal trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ at Calvary.

Trust in WHO He is.

Trust in His atoning sacrifice.

Trust in His Word and Promises.

Trust in God’s own character.

You can believe every word of the Creed we just recited is true…

You can believe every word of the Bible is true…

And still perish in a Christ-less eternity.

For it is not merely that we give mental assent to the truthfulness of these things – this, the Devil and all the demons in Hell can and do –

It is believing that Christ died for our sins…

And then actually and personally turning away from every other hope in religion, goodness, works, doctrine or anything else – and resting your entire hope on His sacrifice as in your stead.

When Jerry Bridges was here for our conference, I asked him what he thought was the biggest change he’d seen in evangelism on college campuses? : “We’ve stopped asking people if they are Christians or even Believers, we now ask: Is Jesus Christ your sin-bearer?”

And this is the question before every one of us this morning: Is Jesus your sin-bearer?

For if you cannot answer that in all honesty and reality – you are not yet a Christian no matter what you may profess, or hold to be true.

And the rest of this passage is of no use to you.

Personal Trust in the Person and Cross-work of Jesus Christ.

Nothing else is saving faith.

We must trust in the LORD with all our hearts.

 

  1. 2ndly implicit in this exhortation is: THAT WE NEED TO KNOW THE ONE WE ARE BEING ASKED TO TRUST.

You cannot truly trust anyone you do not know.

And our trust must be in the Christ of the Bible, and not an imaginary one or a fake one.

If you were to need an operation, you’d want a real surgeon to do it, and not someone who plays a surgeon on TV.

And so it is vital that we put our trust in the REAL Christ, the Jesus of the Bible, and not the Jesus fabricated by false religions, cults OR, our own imaginations.

 

The Jesus Christ of Mormonism for instance is the spirit brother of Satan – and was a man who became a god even as God the Father was once a man and became a god.

That is an abominable and soul damning invention.

The Jesus of Jehovah’s Witnesses is an angel – the Archangel Michael and not God. A kind of secondary divine being.

The Jesus of Christian Science is just a man who demonstrated what they call the “Christ ideal.”

In Scientology Jesus is just a human teacher who realized his potential.

In Islam he was merely one of the prophets, and superseded by Mohammed

And in Baha’ism  He’s just one more manifestation of God  but not God.

John Owen: But the ancient Christians told [others] the truth,—namely, that “as they had feigned unto themselves an imaginary Christ, so they should have an imaginary salvation only.”[1]

The one we are to trust in with all our hearts – must be the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible if we are to have a true salvation, and true help in our time of need.

Running to the wrong Jesus is as helpful as a wrist watch tattoo.

It may have the appearance of the real – but in the end, it is an utter fake.

The Jesus we need is the Jesus of the Bible – so magnificently above all the fakes as the heavens are above the earth.

Listen to how old John Flavel writes of the Biblical Christ: We ought dwell often on the glories of His divine nature.

“It is a special consideration to enhance the love of God in giving Christ, that in giving him he gave the richest jewel in his cabinet; a mercy of the greatest worthy, and most inestimable value, Heaven itself is not so valuable and precious as Christ is: He is the better half of heaven; and so the saints account him, Psal. 73:25. “Whom have I in heaven but thee?” Ten thousand thousand worlds, saith one,* as many worlds as angels can number, and then as a new world of angels can multiply, would not all be the bulk of a balance, to weigh Christ’s excellency, love, and sweetness. O what a fair One! what an only One! what an excellent, lovely, ravishing One, is Christ! Put the beauty of ten thousand paradises, like the garden of Eden, into one; put all trees, all flowers, all smells, all colours, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness in one; O what a fair and excellent thing would that be? And yet it should be less to that fair and dearest well-beloved Christ, than one drop of rain to the whole seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of ten thousand earths. Christ is heaven’s wonder, and earth’s wonder.

Now, for God to bestow the mercy of mercies, the most precious thing in heaven or earth, upon poor sinners; and, as great, as lovely, as excellent as his Son was, yet not to account him too good to bestow upon us, what manner of love is this!

(4.) Once more, let it be considered on whom the Lord bestowed his Son: upon angels? No, but upon men. Upon man his friend? No, but upon his enemies. This is love; and on this consideration the apostle lays a mighty weight, in Rom. 5:8, 9, 10. “But God (saith he) commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,—When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” Who would part with a son for the sake of his dearest friends? but God gave him to, and delivered him for enemies: O love unspeakable!

(5.) Lastly, Let us consider how freely this gift came from him: It was not wrested out of his hand by our importunity; for we as little desired as deserved it: It was surprising, preventing, eternal love, that delivered him to us: “Not that we loved him, but he first loved us,” 1 John 4:19. Thus as when you weigh a thing, you cast in weight after weight, till the scales break; so doth God, one consideration upon another, to overcome our hearts, and make us admiringly to cry, what manner of love is this! And thus I have shewed you what God’s giving of Christ is, and what matchless love is manifested in that incomparable gift.[2]

 

It is The Lord we are being exhorted to trust in – and He is worthy of such trust.

You will not read Christ exalting words like these in any religion or cult, and you would certainly never invent them yourself.

THIS, is the Jesus of the Bible.

Trust HIM with your salvation.

Trust HIM in all His promises and that the rewards of Christ are greater than any pleasure of sin.

Trust HIM in His holiness, faithfulness, power, goodness, grace, mercy and love.

Trust the LORD, with all your heart. Trust Him as God eternal – one with the Father.

If you are not a Christian today – this is the one you must trust in order to be saved from the wrath of God for your sin: Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

And if you are a Believer today – then there is no one else you can absolutely trust with every care, burden, need, concern and trial: Psalm 112:6–8 For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. 7 He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. 8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.

 

Let me mention 1 or 2 more helps in this regard: REHEARSE THE HISTORY OF HIS PROVISION IN YOUR OWN LIFE AND THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

  1. BIOGRAPHIES of the Saints, in Scripture and outside of it.
  2. PSALM 42:5-6 – Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. [3]

JORDAN – THE CROSSING OVER

HERMONITES – WHERE GOD DEFEATED SIHON KING OF THE AMORITES AND OG KING OF BASHAN

MIZAR – A PLACE OF PRIVATE BLESSING

RECOUNT HIS PROMISES TO KNOW WHAT KINDS OF THINGS WE ARE TO TRUST HIM FOR

Psalm 121:3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.

Hebrews 13:5 for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Matt. 28:20 And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Psalm 18:30  This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

Psalm 34:22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Psalm 25:3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame

Psalm 115:11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.

We can trust in WHO He is, and WHAT He has promised.

And beyond that, we leave everything in His hands.

There is no assurance of tomorrow, or a better diagnosis, or the salvation of a loved one beyond what His Word says.

 

  1. A WORD OF WARNING / AND DO NOT LEAN ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING – TRUTH VERSUS PERCEPTION

1 – OUR UNDERSTANDING IS ALWAYS LIMITED – Isa. 46:10 – He declares the end from the beginning.

2 – OUR UNDERSTANDING IS OFTEN DEFECTIVE – 1 Cor. 13:12- “now we see through a glass darkly”

EXAMPLE: ATTRACTION AT DARIEN LAKE

3 – OUR UNDERSTANDING IS OURS, NOT HIS – I.E. CENTERED IN US, NOT HIM – Isaiah 55:8–9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

And we are not to lean on our own understanding when it comes to things hard to be understood in His Word.

Trinity

The hypostatic union of Christ – how He was both very God and very man.

Salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

The resurrection.

The New Heavens and New Earth.

Do not over scrutinize your circumstances as tho living in a tit-for-tat universe where everything can be tied together in an immediate cause-effect relationship.

Do not lean on your own understanding – but believe His Word – even where it is hard.

 

  1. A WORD OF COUNSEL / IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM – TOTALLY LIVING BEFORE HIM

1 – SEEING EVERYTHING IN HIM – Luke 12:6–7 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

2 – CONFESSING EVERYTHING TO HIM – FEAR, DOUBT, FAILURE, SIN, WRONG ATTITUDE, GRIEF, SHAME, CONCERN, WEAKNESS, WRONG DESIRE, EVERYTHING!

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah

3 – LAYING EVERY PLAN BEFORE HIM – Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

4 – CASTING OUR WHOLE CONFIDENCE UPON HIM – 1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

 

  1. A WORD OF PROMISE / AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT – TOTALLY LIVING BEFORE HIM

1 – HE – NOT “IT”, NOT “THINGS” / GOD HIMSELF PROMISES TO ACT

2 – HE WILL – NOT “CAN” NOT “MIGHT” / GOD HIMSELF PROMISES

3 – HE WILL MAKE – NOT “WATCH” NOT “HOPE” / GOD ACTUALLY PERFORMS

4 – HE WILL MAKE YOUR – NOT “GENERIC” NOT “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” / GOD PROMISES AND PERFORMS CONCERNING YOUR UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCE

5 – HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS – NOT “JUST THIS THING” NOT JUST THIS ONE TIME” / HE PROMISES AND PERFORMS IN BRINGING YOUR WHOLE COURSE UNDER HIS CARE

6 – He will make your paths straight –   Not “CRYPTIC” not “ETHEREAL” / He

He promises and performs this by bringing your whole course under His care so that having walked,

You can look back and know that the way He took you was right.

Proverbs 3:5–6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

 

[1] Owen, John. The works of John Owen. (Ed.) William H. Goold. . Vol. 1. Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

[2] Flavel, John. 1820. The Whole Works of the Reverend John Flavel. . Vol. 1. London; Edinburgh; Dublin: W. Baynes and Son; Waugh and Innes; M. Keene.

[3] 2001. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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