The Two Ways

by Dennis Michelson
(Painesville, Ohio)

Psalm 1

Introduction: We are masters at complicating the simple! Well-meaning people have sought to clarify where men stand before God by presenting their view of the three natures of man: the natural, the spiritual, and the carnal. It is odd that when man makes an exception (the carnal) then it tends to become the rule.

Politicians and lawyers are not the only one keeping an eye out for loopholes. From beginning to end, God's Word presents only two ways a man can go in this life and the next. Be sure to compare this Psalm with Matthew 7:13-14 and 7:21-23. Those who have abundant leaves but no fruit are going to be in for a rude awakening.

1. The Frutiful Way (Psalm 1:1-3)

Those found in this way are characterized by -

  • Negative ways (1)

    (1) no ungodly counsel - advice
    (2) no ungodly company - associates
    (3) no ungodly conversation - attitude

  • Positive ways (2)

    (1) a new character
    (2) a new concentration
    (3) a new consistency

  • Productive ways (3)

    (1) seasonal stability
    (2) spiritual success

2. The Failing Way (Psalm 1:4-6)

  • A present distinction (4)

    (1) unlike the saved
    (2) united with the saved

  • A future distinction (5-6)

    (1) God's condemnation (5a)
    (2) God's congregation (5b)
    (3) God's consummation (6) cf. Matthew 7:23

Those who need salvation the most are those who think they have it the best. The way of the believer is not similar to the unbeliever; it is the opposite. Sadly, many who hold membership in the church congregation will find they are not a part of God's congregation.

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