Fifty Shades of Grey

By Scott Masson/ June 24, 2012

Series  Meditations on the Psalms

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Discipleship

Scripture  Psalms 91

If we want to live in reality, we need to live under the order and reality of God. But humanity wants to submit God and His order to its values, discolouring the world into fifty shades of grey.

Scripture: Psalm 91

Sermon Notes:

  1. Psalm 91 is a song of encouragement and cheer.
  2. We experience struggle and fear as a result of our own sin and that of others.
  3. Our lives become stable, secure, meaningful, and free from fear only as God is our shelter.
  4. We each need to put on Christ and walk with God by faith in the light of His Word.
  5. By submitting to God and trusting His care, we come to know Him as trustworthy.
  6. We can trust God because the world operates in conformity to His character and His purpose for our lives.
  7. If we want to live in reality, we need to live under the order and reality of God. But humanity wants to submit God and His order to its values, discolouring the world into fifty shades of grey.
  8. In Christ, God is defanging the world progressively, offering protection and salvation for the faithful.
  9. The wicked rush into sin, whereas Christians are taken by subtlety, often by besetting sins of which we are hardly aware.
  10. To identify and overcome sin’s subtlety we need to let the Word of God expose our lives, as we submit to the authority and accountability of a church community.
  11. We are easily given to sentimentality, emphasizing “love” without specificity. But both our “heads” and “hearts” need transformation by God’s Word and Spirit.
  12. Idolatry in scripture is often mixed with adultery.
  13. Our lives are about worship; we will either worship God or our own sexual powers, as seen in all sexual disorder.
  14. It is unloving to confirm people in their sin; we must be divisive like Jesus, calling people to repentance.
  15. It is the faithfulness of God in Christ that saves us, not our own faith or faithfulness. Faith trusts in what is trustworthy.
  16. Psalm 91:3-13 catalogs God’s protective acts:
    v5-6: total protection from seen and unseen enemies;
    v7-8: the outcomes of the righteous and wicked;
    v9-10: God’s presence with us wards off evil;
    v11-12: God will protect us, but like Jesus we must suffer.
  17. While we don’t always know why, God uses suffering to accomplish His greatest victories.
  18. In our life of faith, we share both Christ’s suffering and His comfort.

Application Questions:

  1. Is my faith in God a matter of mere assent, or is it an active trust in One who is trustworthy?
  2. How does God’s personal government of the world and His love provide a basis for our faith?
  3. What are some safeguards God has provided so we can avoid the “fowler’s snare?”
  4. What types of circumstances in our lives develop into subtle besetting sins? Give examples.
  5. What are the consequences of sitting on the margins of the church to avoid accountability and the application of Scripture to my life?
  6. Why is it wrong to ignore the sin around us? (cf. John 7:43). Do we love enough to tell the truth?
  7. How has God used suffering to accomplish His greatest victories in history? In our lives?

Sermon Notes