The righteous man, the one who has fellowship with God, the one who is in communion with God, can be counted on to do what he said he would do. If that is not your life, you need to examine yourself to see whether you're in the faith or not.
It's that serious. Welcome to the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hi, I'm Bill Wright. Today as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word on the Truth Pulpit, he wraps up a message titled, Who May Dwell with God? As we learned last time, it's perhaps the most important question a person can ask because it gets to the heart of what everyone should care about. Where will I spend eternity? Don gave us the first three of five traits that distinguish a future citizen of heaven.
Good character, sound conversations, and honorable companions. On today's program, Don will complete the list and offer some practical takeaways. So have your Bible handy. Let's join our teacher now in the Truth Pulpit.
Be on the lookout. Be on the lookout to defend godly people in conversations when they're not there. Be ready and be quick to say, that can't possibly be true.
That can't possibly be right. What you're saying, I'm not even going to listen to that because that woman's character is established. And I don't know what you're doing but there's no reason for us to be talking this way. So that your character in conversations where that other person is not even present, your character shines forth as one who will honor, who will defend, who will uphold those that you know to be godly. That'd be a pretty good way for us to live together as a church, wouldn't it?
For us to have each other's backs like this. To be living in a godly way and then when the inevitable attacks and slanders come say, no I'm not going to be a part of that. And tying it to this scriptural principle that the one who wants fellowship with the Lord is one who honors those who fear the Lord and they'll despise the evil reports that are brought against them. I think that we'll find corporately that we have a place where we can know that we're abiding with the Lord and enjoying His fellowship and communion if we find ourselves being people like that. That's just what Scripture says.
But perhaps for some of you younger people, just be mindful of the fact that who you're choosing as your companions, what's coming out of your mouth on a day to day basis is a reflection of what you really are. I understand that you're from a Christian family. I understand that you claim to be a Christian. And I pray to God and trust in God and pray for you that that's the case.
I want it to be that way. But I also know that young people who've grown up in Christian homes are extremely vulnerable to self-deception. You've conditioned yourself.
You've learned what to say to get the approval of your parents and get the approval of those who are around you. Well you look at your life. You look at what comes out of your mouth.
You look at the people that you want to be like and by that standard measure whether your claim to be a Christian is real or not. Because who you choose, who you want as your companions says volumes about your character and says volumes about whether you belong to the Lord or not. David goes on here and he talks about, fourthly, our commitments. Our character, our conversations, our companions, and our commitments now.
Point number four, look at the end of the verse with me here where he says, he swears to his own hurt and does not change. And the question really comes down to this. We could simplify it and simply ask this question, can you be trusted? When you say that you're going to do something, will you do it? Do you do it? Or do you come up with excuse after excuse about why you couldn't do it this time or that time?
And look, look, you need to, we can talk about this at so many, at so many different levels. But the integrity that David talked about in verse two is being expressed in the way that a man carries out and is faithful to what he says. So we could talk about this in terms of the way that you keep your marriage vows. Are you faithful to your spouse? Are you faithful and loving and committed and have you been faithful to your spouse in the course of your marriage? Those vows that you took on your wedding day, has your life borne out truthfulness and have you kept that commitment?
If you're in business, what does God see in the way that you handle your business dealings? Do you keep the contract? Do you honor the promise? Again, you young people, do you do what you say you will do when it comes time for you to do it? What I want you to see is that this gets down in this short little psalm, it gets down to the daily details of the way that we live life. And what it says is and what it's telling us is, is that the man who wants to have fellowship with God does what he says even when it hurts him to do so. Even if the circumstances have changed, he keeps his word, he doesn't change it. But, if you're somebody who's become skilled at giving excuses for why you didn't do what you said you would do, you need to be seriously convicted by the Word of God and realize that God is exposing, at the very least, a thread of unrighteousness in your life which should concern you deeply. Why didn't you do that?
Well, I got busy or I forgot or I did this or that. But what you have to see is that Scripture takes that unfaithfulness in your life and ties it to your character and then ties it to whether you even belong in the presence of God or not. The righteous man, the one who has fellowship with God, the one who is in communion with God can be counted on to do what he said he would do. If that is not your life, you need to examine yourself to see whether you're in the faith or not.
It's that serious. And if you think about the character of God, you would understand why it has to be that way. God is faithful.
God is true. God never breaks His Word. You realize, don't you, that an unfaithful, unreliable person is the exact opposite of what God is. And how could it be that an undependable, unreliable, excuse-making man, woman, boy, or girl could be someone who is actually right with God?
Those things are absolutely inconsistent with one another. By the quality of your life when you're living that way, you are a living denial of the character of God, of His faithfulness to who He is and His commitment to keep and do what He says He will do. And so at the very basic level of day-to-day living under the roof with your family is being laid out and displayed, whether you're a true Christian or not, by whether your word is dependable or not. Verse 4 says, He swears to His own hurt and does not change.
O Lord, who may dwell on your holy hill? Let me tell you, it's someone who swears to His own hurt and doesn't change. When He says He'll do something, He does it. And so the commitments, even in the small things, are a display of whether you belong to Christ or not. Let's look at this and think about this from another perspective as well. Just one other way that Jesus said this, because Jesus spoke about this exact same thing. When He said that he who is faithful in a little thing will also be faithful in much.
And so see the question isn't whether it's a really big important thing and you do that. The question is what do you do with what you say you'll do? Because the issue is your faithfulness, not the size of the stage on which your faithfulness is displayed. Integrity is the mark of a true Christian. A lack of integrity is the mark of someone who needs to examine themselves and examine themselves quickly. God requires us to keep our word. God keeps His word. And so He's talked about your character, your conversations, your companions, your commitments.
You start to see how pervasively searching this is. The verse 5, He goes down and He deals with the issue of your cash. The way that you deal with and handle your resources. Verse 5 says, He does not put out His money at interest nor does He take a bribe against the innocent. What He's saying here is that the godly man considers his neighbor in the way that he handles his resources.
It's not wrong for a man to make a profit. Scripture never says that. But what this is talking about is that the godly man is not one who will take advantage of the unfortunate. Scripture tells us to be generous and to be ready to share from what we have. Turn over to 1 Timothy chapter 6 as a reference point, a cross reference on this. 1 Timothy chapter 6, beginning in verse 17. Where the apostle Paul says, instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches. That verse assumes that there will be an occasional wealthy person within the body of Christ. He doesn't tell them to renounce all of their earthly goods here.
He's simply telling them how to handle it. And He says, instruct them not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches but on God who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. And so the person of means and those of us in America are all going to probably qualify in comparison to the rest of the world. We realize that what we have is a gift from God who has generously given it to us so that we could enjoy it. And we're grateful to God. We don't have to be guilty about having a measure of earthly wealth but we see our attitude toward it.
And then in verse 18 He goes and says, here's how you deal with it in relationship to others. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. And so the godly man has a disposition towards what is his and says, I have this as a gift from God. I'm grateful for this but I'm ready to share it with others. That goes to the man of wealth and means that's late in his life.
It goes to a young person who has toys that others want to share with. There is just this element of generosity and sharing that marks the godly man. Now go back to Psalm 15 with me for a moment. Here in verse 5 he does not put out his money at interest nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. Money in other words doesn't corrupt him. The availability of wealth does not corrupt him. He doesn't use it to sway things against innocent people. He's ready to share it.
He doesn't take advantage of the unfortunate. All of that being a mark of the way that he is disposed toward earthly resources that the Lord has given to him. So let's take a little bit of an overview here and just see the sweep of what this Psalm has searched us at. Our inner man. What's going on in your thought life? Our conversations.
What comes out of your mouth? Your companions. Who is it that you join together with? Who is it that you enjoy fellowship with? Your commitments. Are you somebody who can be trusted?
The way that you handle resources. You see that in this brief Psalm we have seen a searching display. God has taken a flashlight and shown it around in all of the corners of your life.
Now let's come back and speak to the believers here. Those of you that are Christians that feel the weight of falling short. That your life does manifest this kind of character. This is the direction of your life even though you stumble from time to time.
Two things that I want to say to you. Is to recognize that what this Psalm is saying is that you're welcome in the presence of God. Because of the work that Christ has done for us in securing our redemption. The work of grace that is being manifested in your heart. As you see this spiritual growth, this transforming effect of grace in these different areas of your life. Understand that that's pointing to a greater reality. This whole Psalm is about the greater reality of communion and fellowship with a holy God.
Those marks in your life are an indication of the reality of grace at work in your heart. And therefore become a grounds of hope and rejoicing and confidence. As we think about the way that this Psalm has stung us.
Let's step back for a moment and look at one other man as we contemplate this. This Psalm prefigures the perfect righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. We see in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Not the imperfect aspirations and carrying this out that we ourselves model. But look at verse 2 and let's walk through this real quickly thinking about Christ. That in the Lord Jesus Christ we saw a man, Scripture described a man, he was that man who walked with perfect integrity. He was that man who worked righteousness. He was that man who always without exception spoke truth in his heart. He was that man in verse 3 who never slandered with his tongue.
Who never did evil to his neighbor. He was crucified without cause. Those who crucified him had to acknowledge this was the Son of God. Pilate said I find no guilt in this man. Jesus said which one of you convicts me with sin and the whole place fell dead silent. Because there was such perfect righteousness on display that could not be denied. In whose eyes a reprobate was despised. He was the one who preeminently feared the Lord and honored his Father. Think about the Lord Jesus Christ with his face set to Jerusalem. Going to Jerusalem knowing what awaited him there was the cross, was an unjust conviction and a bearing of the weight of the sins of the people of God upon his shoulders.
Separation from his Father. That's what he set out to do when he left heaven to come to earth. And what do we see reflected in this perfect righteous man from verse 4.
If ever there was a man who swore to his own hurt and did not change. We saw the Lord Jesus Christ doing that on the cross. He said I have come to seek and to save that which was lost. And there he is on the cross and that's exactly what he's doing. He said he would do it and in the midst of the agony of Calvary he did not change.
He could have called down legions of angels and put a halt to the proceedings, but he didn't. In our Lord Jesus Christ we preeminently see the man who swore to his own hurt and did not change and you and I are the beneficiaries of that great man. That great incarnate God. Your whole spiritual eternity, your spiritual destiny, your spiritual well being, the forgiveness of your sins, the difference between heaven and hell for you and me depended on that one man the Lord Jesus Christ who said I will seek them and I will save them.
Not blinking when it came to his own hurt. When the darkness descended. When he cried out my God my God why have you forsaken me? Even in that forsaken lonely moment of his righteous soul he did not change. If ever there was a man who swore to his own hurt and did not change we see it in our lovely Lord Jesus Christ don't we? Well, Psalm 15 ends on a promise for us who have trusted in Christ. He asks the question, who may dwell with God?
He's answered the question with these representative character traits which we see preeminently exemplified in perfection in Christ. And now this great promise from God that belongs to those of us who know Christ, whose lives have been transformed by grace, here is the promise of God that we are intended to take away and rely on. He who does these things will never be shaken. We will never be dislodged from our position of fellowship with God.
Satan himself cannot move us out of this position of favor. When the ground of life shakes underneath us, we still stand firm because we are held by the God who has allowed us to dwell in his holy tent. In other words, what this Psalm ends on is a promise to you of God's sustaining grace. And look, look, you look back on your life and you see if you've been a Christian any length of time at all you should be able to look back on your life even in the midst of difficulties right now and say, I have seen God sustain me through difficult times and hardships in life and he was faithful to me back then. You should be able to say now I'm trusting God to sustain me even though this present circumstance is difficult.
This belongs to you. This is where your life is meant to live, is in this confidence, in this fortitude, in this courage that says I have fellowship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ my life will not be shaken today. And then let me give you this which should be a death blow to your future anxieties.
It's not just that this promise has been true in the past. It's not just that we experience this confidence and trust and this sustaining grace albeit imperfectly now in the present today as we sit or stand here. What you have to understand, where you are meant to get your roots into the flowing water of God's grace is to understand that this is where you are to live and your mind is to think about the future. This is how you're to contemplate the future. Not in fear of what might happen. Not in fear of all the multitude of things that could go wrong.
Forget all of that. Forget the things that you are afraid of and anxious about and that occupy your mind. You are meant to be transformed by this reality that going forward just as God was faithful to sustain me in the past, He will be just as faithful and even more in the future. And therefore I don't live life from a perspective of anxiety. I don't live in the midst of fear. I don't tremble when I look to the future. I am confident I look forward because I have the blessed promise of God that He who does these things will never be shaken. God says He will keep me and therefore it doesn't matter what might happen from a perspective of external circumstances. What will happen is that this God who dwells on His holy hill, this God who dwells in heaven, this God who dwells among His people, this God who dwells in us, who has sworn that we will never be shaken, will keep His Word. And whether we've got another 24 hours or another 24 years or another five decades of life ahead, we look forward with the expectation, the confidence, the certainty, the assurance that God will keep us and not allow us to be shaken from our position of strength in the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to God. Praise be to God.
The citizen in heaven will exhibit good character, will refrain from slander and coarse jesting, will keep good company, honor commitments, and be a good steward. Don't be afraid to look in the mirror, friend, and then follow Christ's example each day, always trusting that He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. Pastor Don Green will bring you another powerful message next time here on the Truth Pulpit, so be sure to tune in. Right now, though, here again is Don with news of a special resource. Well, my friends, as we wrap up today's broadcast, I just want to say a quick word about the tremendous pressure that our culture is bringing against biblical morality. Even Christian leaders are starting to waffle on these most basic issues of biblical truth and righteousness. But God's Word has not changed, and I know that you, if you're a familiar listener to this broadcast, you want to stand firm on this issue just like I do. Well, what we want to do is put into your hands our series titled The Bible and Homosexuality. It's available by CD or by free download, and my friend Bill is going to help you find it right now. Just visit us at thetruthpulpit.com and click on Radio Offers to learn more. That's thetruthpulpit.com. Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time when our teacher teaches God's people God's Word once again from the truth pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-26 04:50:50 / 2023-05-26 04:59:24 / 9