“The humble He guides in justice and the humble He teaches His way” Psalm 25:9
Even people who have not trusted Jesus Christ for salvation will sometimes affirm that God’s love is unconditional. It is unconditional because it is one of two aspects of the Divine Nature. The other aspect is God’s righteousness. Together, God’s love and righteousness are the core of His holiness. While God’s love is unconditional there are conditions that apply if we are to receive the benefits of that love.
There are no formulas that can be utilised to gain God’s favour. His favour comes solely by way of a relationship with the Father through the Son. Formulas to gain God’s favour are devised by people who do not have a relationship with God. These are usually based on superstition even if they do use Biblical or Christian terminology.
When we read passages such as Psalm 25 we see conditions to leading a godly life not a formula to enact in the manner of superstition to gain our desire or God’s favour.
The first condition to godly living is stated in verse 8, “He teaches sinners in the way.” If we do not agree that we are sinners then we make ourselves unteachable. Paul writes that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The good news in this is that Jesus said that He came to save sinners (John 3:17) and call sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:13). Paul affirms this when he wrote that “God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
Only a person truly humble in heart will wholeheartedly accept God’s assessment of him. This opens the door for God’s unconditional love to become personally effective for salvation and living a godly life.
As we agree with God concerning our sin we become teachable and will ask, “Show me Your ways O Lord, teach me Your paths” (v 4). As we become aware of God’s ways we will have a change of heart attitude toward the Lord (repentance) and allow Him to further “lead me in Your truth and teach me … On You I wait [in faith] all the day.”
The only basis for such a plea and expectation is the love of God demonstrated and made effective on Calvary’s cross by Jesus Christ. The psalmist’s plea is based on God’s mercy and forgiveness available only through Jesus Christ (vv 6, 7, 16, 18). We will only plea on this basis when we accept that we have nothing to offer with regard to our own righteousness. Paul describes his own mind in regard to this in Philippians 3:7-11.
The peace that comes with forgiveness of sin is known by the one who lives in daily humility in communion with the Lord. The person who is humble and teachable before the Lord meets the conditions necessary to be led by the Lord. The truly humble spirit is also teachable and says to the Lord, “Show me … teach me … lead me” (vv 4, 5). Such a person is soft clay in the Potter’s hand and He will joyfully respond to this request.