INTRO: I remember that we would often say to our small children as we tried to get them to eat new foods, "Taste it. You'll like it." But if they never tasted it, they would never have known whether or not they would like it! There are some foods which, because of how they look or because of what they are, I have no desire to taste. But I cannot really say that I do not like it ... because I have never tasted it. "Taste" is such a powerful sense. But it only has value as it is used. Our text this morning challenges us to "taste and see that the Lord is good". This expression from the psalmist has long been one of my favorites from his pen. There are both a challenge and a promise here.
I. TO MAKE A JUDGMENT WE MUST EXPERIENCE THE RELATIONSHIP
A. There are some who arbitrarily decide against the Lord
1. I did not arbitrarily decide I do not like liver ... I tasted it! Experienced it!
2. it is sad when people who have never really been in a right relationship with God and have never "tested" the relationship
3. they truly have no idea what they are missing!
B. "Taste and see..."
1. the psalmist calls for us to experience the relationship
2. put relationship to the test ... only then can we make intelligent judgment
3. Mal 3:10 - the invitation of the Lord ... "...prove me..."
C. Some of the "proof points"?
1. only a person who has experienced God's forgiveness can know how good He is - Acts 8:39
2. only a person who prays can know the joy of God's answers - 2 Cor 12:9
3. only a person who confidently drinks of the word can know the wisdom of God's direction for life - Ps 19:10,11
II. WHY SOME MIGHT MAKE A NEGATIVE JUDGMENT?
A. They just refuse to consider the possibility that the Lord is good
1. their minds are absolutely closed to the possibility
2. Acts 28:23-27 - closes eyes, ears and minds (prejudices, biases)
3. 2 Cor 4:4 - although each make his own choice, Satan is most assuredly at work closing minds to the God, to Christ, to the gospel
B. They have minds which are attuned only to secular, worldly things
1. these minds are just not turned to a spiritual interest of any sort
2. remember Esau? note Heb 12:16 - he had no spiritual interest
3. Mt 16:23 - so many people are only interested in the here and now - in completely worldly interests and things - they have no "taste" for the spiritual
C. They may think there is still plenty of time to consider such things
1. they are busy with professions, families, securing futures, etc.
2. at this point in their lives spiritual matters are not listed priorities - but when time permits, perhaps they intend to investigate this special "taste"
3. Acts 24:25 - a classic example of such deferring ... and the inclination to think of the Lord and spiritual matters passes without further action
III. AND SOME ACTUALLY "LOSE" THEIR TASTE FOR THE LORD
A. This possibility is noted at Heb 6:4-6
1. clearly, these would have "tasted" and had "enjoyed" spiritual privilege
2. in the realm of our senses I suppose we can lose our taste for something
3. but I truly do not know how one who has "tasted of the heavenly gift" could lose his taste for the privileges enjoyed only by the faithful
4. 2 Tim 4:10 - the "taste" of the world just overcame "taste" for the spiritual
B. What about you?
1. is your zeal for the Lord and spiritual things as great as at the beginning?
2. s remaining truly faithful in every respect becoming a struggle for you?
3. are your "tastes" changing away from spiritual enjoyments?
4. do we need to "cleanse our palates" of other "tastes" so that we can once again "taste and see that the Lord is good"?
CLOSE: I have no doubt of the goodness of the Lord. Still, I know the daily struggle to keep ones taste of the Lord and those things relating to Him acute, active and alive. So, the psalmist's challenge is most assuredly one to which all of us need to give our attention.
Cecil A. Hutson
03 December 2006
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)