The King Who Builds His Kingdom

Sacha Mendes February 18, 2018 Psalm 101
Outline

I. Our efforts alone are insufficient to build in a God-pleasing manner.

A. We know that by experience.

A pragmatic worldview: “I want to control my end results through personal performance

  • We go to the text looking for something to do, not someone to know.
  • We go to the text looking for ourselves, not to God Himself.
  • We go to the text looking to guarantee that we are in control, not to marvel that God is in control.

Colossians 2:20-23 - If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using)-- in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

B. We know that by a historical failure.

“Our conduct flows out of our character, and our character is shaped by our ultimate commitments. Psalm 101 challenges us at the level of commitment. It challenges us to commit to being people of godly character in ourselves and in our relations with others.” – Mark Futato

  • To walk with the Lord is to enjoy His presence. So, David recognizes that walking with the Lord has moral implications. Living a “perfect” life is to live a complete life.

Verses 3-8:

  • The right path is described.
  • And 2 Samuel 11 reveals David’s abandonment of the right path.

II. The person and the sufficient work of King Jesus are the basis of our pleasing God building.

Luke 24:44-47 - Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

“The Psalms are songs sung TO Jesus or the Psalms are songs sung BY Jesus”– Mark Futato

  • Psalm 101 is talking about SOMEONE other than David!
  • Psalm 101 points us to SOMEONE beyond US!
  • Psalm 101 is talking about a perfect King that we find in Jesus ALONE.
  • Psalm 101 is a song that only Jesus can perfectly sing!

A.      The true builder is Jesus

Isaiah 11:1-5 - Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist.

God established Jesus as King through suffering (in our place), so that His righteousness and lovingkindness will be seen together at the CROSS.

“13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 "I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.” (2 Sam. 7:13-15 NAS)

 “21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21 NAS)

What is the building project?

B.      The true building is a church growing in Christlikeness 

Matthew 16:18 - And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.

Ephesians 2:19-3:1 - So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

For those who don't know me, I am Sacha Mendes from Brazil. I was part of the first class of the M.Div program at Faith Bible Seminary, class of 2010. For those who don't remember me, I am Ana's husband and Pedro's father.

We got back to Brazil in July of 2010. From then to now, we were blessed with two more kids: Tito and Marina. Their ages now are Pedro (8), Tito (5) and Marina (2). Ana has been busy, and she is doing great! She has sent warm greetings from Brazil, and she misses you all.

It is always good do come back here at Faith. It is good to come back and visit with dear people, friends and family in the faith that had (and still have) a special place in our journey.

Introduction

Another reason that makes my visit at Faith an incredible experience is to witness what God has been doing here, through you: workers of the Gospel. God is doing something very special through you. This past week was one of the ways that He is using you and your efforts. BCTC is such an incredible tool to encourage, equip and edify God's people.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the people from this local body is working intensively in God’s Kingdom. Members of Faith are working hard, building an incredible glimpse of God's glory on Earth.

As part of the process, it is always appropriate to stop and check/evaluate what we have been doing. It seems that this is the goal of the current preaching series. Are we building in the right way?

It would be awful to the get to the last stage of a building project only to find out that you have perpetuated earlier mistakes. Maybe a problem on the foundation, maybe a miscalculation of needed materials. So, wise builders are aware of the need to evaluate the process and making sure that they are in the right direction.

I hope that God’s Word will encourage you today. I hope that God’s Word will exhort you today. I hope to make a helpful contribution to you as we consider some common problems in the building process and as we remember where the true power of the building process comes from.

Open your Bible to Psalm 101. The Psalm is on page ____ of the front section of the Bible in the chair in front of you.

We are going to approach the text in three different ways.

(1) First, we are going to expose how we usually read Scriptures and try to apply into our lives, pinpointing some construction errors that compromise our work.

(2) Then, we are going to attempt to rebuild the historical context of the Psalm in the life of King David, which leads us to understand the project better.

(3) Lastly, we are going to marvel before the King who builds His Kingdom, recognizing and confessing the power of the construction and standards by which we measure our progress.

Each one of the approaches gives us some guidance to better understand the content of the Psalm, showing its place in History and in our lives.

The first approach to the text gives us a common failure. The context will give us an understanding of the historical failure. And the third approach will give the eternal hope that we need in the present.

[1st look at the text and reading of Psalm 101]

What an incredible and exciting passage, isn't it?! The content is so clear and direct! It feels like a training camp for holiness. I can see myself working hard to live out the entire Psalm with the Rocky training theme song in the back.

Praise God for our desire to obey Him! Christians should cultivate a desire for change and growth. Sometimes, this is the driving motivation on the attempt to live out biblical principles such as Psalm 101.

However, there are times that our motivation to live out God's Word comes from a pragmatic worldview. This is a worldview that leads us into a search for results based on personal achievements. It comes out of a “perspective that personal obedience is the basis of my holiness.” [Yeah! And what is wrong about that?] The danger of this pragmatic perspective is that it does reflect truth in some degree. But, it is not the whole picture. Think about this:

I.                   Our efforts alone are insufficient to build in a God-pleasing manner.

A.     We know that by experience.

You know that by experience. You might be excited and striving to live out Psalm 101 in a journey for holiness. Two days later, you might be on the pit of despair of the beginning of Psalm 32. What is going on? Think about it:

  • We failure to desire the presence of God with passion (v. 2a)
  • We failure to keep the integrity of our hearts (v. 2b)
  • We failure to perfectly keep our eyes pure (v. 3) – lust of the eyes. “What we see, we want!”
  • We love the things that God hates, and we hate the things that God loves (v. 4)
  • We failure to choose companions (v. 4)
  • We don’t keep our tongue under control, NOT focusing on what edifies (vv. 5, 6)
  • We FAIL!

A pragmatic worldview – “I want to control my end results through personal performance” – leads to hopeless moralism. And this is how we usually approach Psalm 101 and, frankly, most of the whole Bible:

  • We go to the text looking for something to do, not someone to know.
  • We go to the text looking for ourselves, not to God Himself.
  • We go to the text looking to guarantee that we are in control, not to marvel that God is in control.

Pragmatism and moralism are wood and hay, they will burn at the end. The attempt to live out holiness without the power of the Gospel is a deed of the flesh that will show itself insufficient for personal growth in holiness and obedience.

“20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using)-- in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. (Col. 2:20-23 NAS)

“Sacha, I am not sure that I buy this...?!”

“Well, let's consider the historical failure behind the Psalm”

[Let's take a second look on Psalm 101].

[#1 - Our efforts alone are insufficient to build in a God-pleasing manner…]

B.      We know that by a historical failure.

David wrote this Psalm. Some scholars suggest that David wrote Psalm 101 in the beginning of His reign. I agree. The Psalm indicates a period in David's early life as a King:

 

The beginning of David’s reign

The vow of David

“3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them before the LORD at Hebron; then they anointed David king over Israel.

 4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.

 5 At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.” (2 Sam. 5:3-5 NAS)

“1 Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.

 2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the LORD of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim.” (2 Sam. 6:1-2 NAS)

[2 Samuel 6:3-8 – God struck Uzzah]

“8 And David became angry because of the LORD's outburst against Uzzah, and that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day.

 9 So David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?" (2 Sam. 6:8-9 NAS)

“2 I will give heed to the blameless way. When wilt Thou come to me?(Ps. 101:2 NAS)

 

 

David wanted the blessing presence of God. Maybe informed by Deuteronomy 17.8-20 (especially because of vv. 19, 20):

“19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left; in order that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.” (Deut. 17:19-20 NAS)

He wanted to be a king who searches for justice and lovingkindness (mercy). A righteous King who will continue long in his kingdom.

Some important information about the Psalm:

  • Psalm 101 is found in Book IV (Psalms 90-106), which is the heart of the book of Psalms, emphasizing the Kingdom of God.
  • Psalm 101 will emphasize the role of the King to promote justice in the Kingdom through the King personal righteousness. It is a Psalm that reveals a model of a good king.
  • In Europe, Psalm 101 became known as the “Psalm of the Prince.” Historical tradition considers Psalm 101 a “coronation Psalm.” In other words, this Psalm was used in installations ceremonies. In fact, several kings throughout coronations in general History used this Psalm as the standard for a good king and Kingdom. Why? Because the Psalm 101 declares the King’s commitment to live with integrity to maintain the integrity of the community.
  • David makes a personal commitment to walk on the right path. He wants to maintain an integrity of heart. His desire is to walk on the right path motivated by the desire to have intimacy with the Lord.
  • To walk with the Lord is to enjoy His presence. So, David recognizes that walking with the Lord has moral implications. Living a “perfect” life is to live a complete life. The integrity of heart is the opposite of perversity:“The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in their walk are His delight.” (Prov. 11:20 NAS)
  • The emphasis on the heart points to an ideal. The commitment of the king is not only with what is legal, but to develop a character that is coherent with his theology.
  • It is not only an individual responsibility, but a promise that his own life and use of authority feeds the morality of the Kingdom.
  • The Psalm teaches that the conduct depends of character, and character flows from convictions.

The king's personal vows for holiness are the basis for the Kingdom's justice. In other words, the king is responsible to live out holy and righteous life to promote holiness and righteousness in the Kingdom [NOTICE verses 6-8]. And he does that in a progressive pattern: from PRIVATE to PUBLIC.

With that in mind, let's use Psalm 101 to evaluate David's performance! Was he successful on keeping his vows? Was he successful on building the Kingdom through his personal holiness and achievements?

 

The vows of David

The life of David

“I Will sing of lovingkindness and justice, To Thee, O LORD, I will sing praises.” (Ps. 101:1 NAS)

“2b I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.” (Ps. 101.2b NAS)

“15 So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and righteousness for all his people.” (2 Sam. 8:15 NAS)

“Then David said, "Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?"” (2 Sam. 9:1 NAS)

 

From the beginning of Psalm 101, verse 2:

  • Our conduct flows out of our character, and our character is shaped by our ultimate commitments. Psalm 101 challenges us at the level of commitment. It challenges us to commit to being people of godly character in ourselves and in our relations with others.” – Mark Futato
  • The perverse heart is described in a general way, but also in a very specific way. The emphasis on the heart shows more than a mere list of negative aspects of our heart, but “habits of a heart.”

Verses 3-8:

  • The right path is described.
  • And 2 Samuel 11 reveals David’s abandonment of the right path.

 

The vows of David

The life of David

“3 I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;” (Ps. 101:3a)

“2 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king's house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance.” (2 Sam. 11:2 NAS)

I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. 4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil. 5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.” (Ps. 101:3b-5)

“4 And David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.” (2 Sam. 11:4 NAS)

“6 My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me.” (Ps. 101:6)

“8 Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house, and wash your feet." And Uriah went out of the king's house, and a present from the king was sent out after him.

 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.

 10 Now when they told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?"

 11 And Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing."”

 (2 Sam. 11:8-11 NAS)

“7 He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.” (Ps. 101:7)

12 Then David said to Uriah, "Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.

 13 Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his lord's servants, but he did not go down to his house. (2 Sam. 11:12-13 NAS)

“8 Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, So as to cut off from the city of the LORD all those who do iniquity.” (Ps. 101:8)

14 Now it came about in the morning that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.

 15 And he had written in the letter, saying, "Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die." (2 Sam. 11:14-15 NAS)

 

A summary of David's performance:

  • David failed to live out his early vows of Psalm 101.
  • David was not the King that he was supposed to be.
    • [SCARY: even though he was the King after God’s heart!]
  • David was not capable to promote the welfare of the Kingdom through his personal holiness.
  • We just must wait for God’s mercies:

“12 When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 "I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 "And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever."'" (2 Sam. 7:12-16 NAS)

What do we do with Psalm 101?

  • I cannot perfectly live out what is written on Psalm 101.
  • You cannot live it as well.
  • David? He couldn't, he didn't.

Why is Psalm 101 in our Bibles anyway?!

Maybe, there is something bigger! Or, I should say that there is SOMEONE greater!

[Let's take a step back and add an important perspective to understand Psalm 101]

II.                The person and the sufficient work of King Jesus are the basis of our pleasing God building.

What did Jesus think about the Psalms?

“44 Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (Lk. 24:44 NAS)

After the resurrection, Jesus spent some time with the disciples. What a precious time! Jesus is teaching them important lessons about the Kingdom. They are not new lessons, but they are clearer lessons.

In a very direct way, Jesus stated that the Psalms are about Him. Not only the Psalms, but the totality of Scriptures is about Jesus. Of course, the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms point to Jesus in different ways. But notice the message about Jesus in the totality of Scriptures:

“45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Lk. 24:45-47 NAS)

What is it?... The GOSPEL.

Luke 24 (and many other passages, such as John 5, 2 Timothy 3:14, 15, the book of Acts) gives us a deeper perspective on Psalm 101. Luke 24 gives us more information, a theological trajectory for Psalm 101. Consider this:

The Psalms are songs sung TO Jesus or the Psalms are songs sung BY Jesus

Mark Futato

  • Psalm 101 is talking about SOMEONE other than David!
  • Psalm 101 points us to SOMEONE beyond US!
  • Psalm 101 is talking about a perfect King that we find in Jesus ALONE.
  • Psalm 101 is a song that only Jesus can perfectly sing!

The true King who is capable of clothing His Kingdom with goodness and righteousness is Jesus!

Friends, if we are going to build with gold, silver and precious stones, we MUST recognize that the true Builder behind all our work is Jesus, our perfect King. To Him be the glory!

A.     The true builder is Jesus

David’s song points to Jesus, His righteousness and goodness:

“1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. 2 And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3 And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; 4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. 5 Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, And faithfulness the belt about His waist.” (Isa. 11:1-5 NAS)

God does not give us words of condemnation without symbols of salvation. So, Jesus is going to display His righteousness to magnify His mercies. Jesus is the fulfillment of what David only prefigured.

And how did Jesus become our King? God established Jesus as King through suffering (in our place), so that His righteousness and lovingkindness will be seen together at the CROSS!

“13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 "I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.” (2 Sam. 7:13-15 NAS)

Did He commit iniquities? NO!

“21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21 NAS)

The true Builder became sin in our favor so that we might become the righteousness. What is the building project?

B.      The true building is a church growing in Christlikeness 

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.” (Matt. 16:18 NAS)

King David points to the good King who fights for his Kingdom, preparing servants to live in His city. So, any attempt to build without the Kingdom is wood and hay. It is an empty attempt and it will burn. Watch out for how you are building! If Jesus is not the builder, it is going to burn!

Jesus is the King who edifies His Kingdom. He is the good King who does not tolerate sin in His Kingdom. So, He is recruiting righteous people through the washing of His blood. Jesus has set us free from the Kingdom of darkness through His sacrifice:

“Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness." (2 Tim. 2:19 NAS)

“6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.” (Rom. 6:6-9 NAS)

Jesus is the good King who didn’t fail and won’t fail. Jesus began to edify His Kingdom on the cross, where we see righteousness and goodness.

So, how do we sing the righteousness and goodness of God (Psalm 101:1)? We sing the righteousness of God (in the shed blood of Jesus) and the goodness of God (in His loving sacrifice for the people of Kingdom) announcing the message of the cross.

“15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." 16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying, "We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast, because Thou hast taken Thy great power and hast begun to reign. 18 "And the nations were enraged, and Thy wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to give their reward to Thy bond-servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear Thy name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth." 19 And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.” (Rev. 11:15-19 NAS)

Jesus is the King Builder who recruits servants for the Kingdom through the finished work of the CROSS, where goodness and righteousness meet. The Kingdom’s servants are transformed into the image of the King while they are waiting for the fullest manifestation of its glory. King Jesus will reign with righteousness and goodness forever and ever! And this won’t burn!

What about us?!

  • Listen – the building process begins with listening to the Word (preached, taught and counseled).
  • Believe – submit yourself under the knowledge of Christ.
  • Obey – truly knowing is seen in fruitful work.

“19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:19-3:1 NAS)


Sacha Mendes

Alexandre “Sacha” Mendes is one of the pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in São José dos Campos, BRAZIL; director for vision and expansion of the ABCB; member of the board of directors for the BCC; ACBC certified; B.S. Economics, University of São Paulo; B.S. theology, Word of Life Seminary, BRAZIL; M.A.B.C. The Master’s College, Santa Clarita, CA; M. Div. Faith Bible Seminary, Lafayette, IN; working on his D.Min. expository preaching, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC.