We live in an age where many people claim to know God but do not have any interest in really living according to the Bible.
We often encounter people who are happy to love God as long as they can live for themselves.
However, the Christianity of the New Testament was a radically different kind of Christianity. It introduces us to Christians who lived in radically different ways for God in the midst of a godless society – and they achieved radically different results for God!
If we desire to live as they lived and to see our lives count for God as theirs did, then we must commit to living as they lived and be guided by what guided them.
And what guided them was a radical commitment to order and structure their lives according to God’s Word.
In other words, these early Christians committed themselves to living Bible-based lives.
Perhaps the clearest explanation of this truth comes in the opening paragraph of Psalm 1.
“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.”
Preserved from Evil
How does living by the Bible keep us from evil? Verse one tells us that it keeps us from adopting the philosophy and thinking of lost men – the “ungodly.” This is not referring to people who don’t know anything about God. Many of these “ungodly” would have been familiar with Jehovah. They would have even come to the temple and offered sacrifices. Rather, this is referring to people who claim to know God but act as though He does not exist in their daily lives and decisions. They do not “walk” as though God exists.
And the Psalmist warns us not to allow our lives to develop and unfold based on the thought patterns and advice of people who for all practical purposes don’t acknowledge God in their daily lives.
He also wants us to stay away from living the lifestyle of those who consistently miss the mark of God’s holiness – the “sinners.” Like an archer missing the target, these people consistently miss the standard of God’s holiness. We are not to “stand” or adopt the behavior of these people. We are to stay away from their “way” or their lifestyle.
His final warning in verse one is against adopting the philosophy of those who reject God – the “scorner.” This is someone who shakes his fist at God and openly and aggressively rejects Him. We are not to “sit” or take up as an established position with them. We are not to be shaped by the thinking and values of God-haters.
Fruitful in Every Season
Living a Bible-based life will make us strong and stable in all the circumstances of life. We will be “planted by rivers of water.” It will make us fruitful in every season of life and faithful in the trials of life. Whether good weather or bad, we will bear fruit and green leaves. And it will make us successful in every spiritual endeavor of life – whatever we do will prosper!
The benefits of living a Bible based life are obvious. But they seem difficult. How in the world are we going to accomplish this? What is the secret?
Verse 2 gives us the key. To avoid the problems in verse 1 and to become the kind of person described in verse 3, a person must spend time doing verse 2.
He must have a personal and permanent relationship to God through His Word
He loves the law of God. And he learns it. Then he lives it out – day and night!
But what are the advantages of living this way? Obviously Bible-believers of all ages paid dearly for this commitment. What was it that caused them to stay the course when times got tough?
The answer is that they knew the benefits of living a Bible-based life. They were convinced that if they cherished the Word of God and rejected the world, they would experience true fruitfulness. So they committed themselves to building their whole life around the Word of God. And they let that sustain them, no matter what season came upon them.