We Must Recognize the Need for God’s Grace

The Psalm of the Word: A Study of Psalm 119

Turn to me and be gracious to me, after Your manner with those who love Your name” (Psalm 119:132).

Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes” (Psalm 119:135).

David appealed to God to turn to him (Psalm 119:132). Of course, he needed to turn to God as well (more on this point later); but nothing he would do would matter if God did not turn to him. Paul reminded the Gentiles, “Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13). If the Gentiles had turned to God but God had not accepted them, they would still be “far off.” God, through His grace, must be willing to accept someone; otherwise, nothing he does will be of any consequence.

Fortunately for us, God has extended His grace to all. But sadly, not all will receive it. Paul said, “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Titus 2:11). However, we know that not all will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14). In order to receive His grace, we must be among those who “love [His] name” (Psalm 119:132). We must recognize the need for God’s grace because He does not owe us anything – except punishment for our sins (Romans 6:23) – and we must respond with gratitude and obedience. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17). Love, gratitude, and obedience are essential; but they mean nothing without God’s grace first being offered to us.

The psalmist also said, “Make Your face shine upon Your servant” (Psalm 119:135). This is another appeal for grace. This phrase is used several places in the Old Testament to refer to God’s grace (cf. Numbers 6:25; Psalm 67:1; 80:3, 7, 19).

David then tied this back to the word of God: “Teach me Your statutes” (Psalm 119:135). God extends His grace through His word, not apart from His word. The gospel is “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) and is, therefore, “the power of God for salvation” (Romans 1:16). But if we “do not obey the gospel,” we will be lost (2 Thessalonians 1:8). We cannot be saved without grace, but we cannot respond to God’s grace without His word.

The above post is an excerpt from the book, The Psalm of the Word: A Study of Psalm 119. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

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