Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Psalm 22:19–28 Objective Reality & Subjective Response

KEY TEXT: Psalms 22:27-28 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.

KEY THOT: Psalm 22 belongs to the category of psalms by David we call the “messianic psalms” for in them are echoes of the Messiah. In Psalm 22:1, we hear the familiar cry of Jesus at the Cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” So, this psalm is to be read in the context of the Cross and the substitutionary death of Christ as payment for our sin-debts. The objective victory of the Cross is that all human sin-debts have been paid in full. The curses of the Law have been canceled at the Cross, leaving only the blessing of Abraham for those who put their trust in Christ: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14, ESV). 

Note the 2-dimensional aspect of the Gospel: the objective victory of the Cross—“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law”—and the subjective appropriation: “so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” 

The psalmist echoes this two-dimensional aspect of this spiritual truth: “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations” (vv. 27-28). The objective reality is that “dominion (ESV: kingship) belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations”. But the subjective experience of it is dependent on the people’s response: “all the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him.” 

Why is this dual-emphasis necessary? If we emphasize only the objective dimension of what God has done for us at the Cross without also emphasizing the need for our response, we are guilty of what theologians called “objectivism.” The implication of this emphasis is universalism—a belief that all people will be saved regardless of their response or repentance. While this may sound like good news, it is not a biblical doctrine. On the other hand, if we emphasize only on the human response (subjectivism), we end up with a kind of work-righteousness or DIY salvation (which is what all other religions are teaching). 

The psalmist declares here that all dominion belongs to the Lord (objective reality) but yet not all people “remember and turn to the Lord” (subjective reality). But how will they remember and return to the Lord in faith if we don’t share the gospel with them? As Paul says in Romans 10:14, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” So we have a responsibility to tell others about Jesus Christ by sharing our personal testimony and the good news of Jesus Christ with people who are still without faith: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). 

Sharing the Gospel through our personal testimony is the best way to start a conversation about Christ. When someone shares his or her problem, we may respond with our testimony--how God has delivered us from similar situation. Who is a witness of Christ? Simply someone who tells of what he or she has seen or experienced of Christ’s power to save—not just from the hell of afterlife, but from the “hell” of this life: “The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;  those who seek him shall praise the Lord!” (Psalms 22:26).

Father God, may Your name be praised! May You grant us divine appointments to tell others about how You have shown us mercy when we sought You, so that they may also acknowledge You and worship You. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your comments.