Psalms - A Citizen of Heaven Depicted
A Citizen of Heaven Depicted
Text: Psalm 15
Thesis: To note what it takes to be a heavenly citizen.
(1) Some believe this psalm is modeled on what took place in certain sanctuaries of the ancient world (e.g., Kidner 80).
(a) If so, then what occurred involved a group of worshippers approaching the temple to be admitted asking what was required and having the priest telling them whom may enter in based upon a list of requirements.
(b) Others reject this and some offer a setting during the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem (e.g., Dummelow 434 Qtd. in Coffman 94).
(2) Either way, this psalm is given to us by the pen of inspiration and the meaning is the same to us regardless of the setting.
(3) It has been titled in many various manners, yet with one dominating thought:
(a) Keil and Delitzsch calls it “The Conditions of Access to God”
(b) G. Campbell Morgan calls it “Jehovah’s Friend Described”
(c) The main thought is what it takes to be a friend, a citizen of Heaven.
(4) Let us note 3 things found in our text:
I. The Question (v. 1):
A. “Who may be a guest in your tent?”
1. God is the host and man is the guest.
2. Notice the “may” – implying permission not ability
B. Simply, who may go to Heaven?
II. The Response (vv. 2-5a):
A. 5 positive and 5 negative requirements are mentioned.
B. The 5 positive:
1. He who walks with integrity.
a. This signifies a moral way of life.
b. It is characterized by an attitude of the heart desirous of pleasing God.
2. He who works righteousness.
a. This man lives in accordance with God’s expectations.
b. He not only thinks correctly, he also acts correctly.
c. Peter told us this is necessary to be accepted (Acts 10.34-35).
3. He who speaks the truth in his heart.
a. This has a reference to doing things for the right reasons.
b. Too many can “be a politician.”
c. “He is outwardly what he is inwardly” (Taylor 29).
4. He who honors those who fear the Lord.
a. He loves his neighbor as he loves himself (Matt. 22.39).
b. Also, he loves the brotherhood (1 Pet. 2.17).
5. He who swear to his own hurt.
a. He doesn’t justify a white lie.
b. To him, the means is more important than the end.
C. The 5 negative:
1. He who does not slander with his tongue.
a. “Slander” carries a meaning of “spy out.”
b. One seeking to be a friend of God will not engage in gossiping.
2. He who does no evil to his neighbor.
a. The wise man does not purposely hurt his fellow man, let alone his friend.
b. The Golden Rule – Matt. 7.12
3. He who does not take up a reproach against his friend.
a. The wise man neither initiates nor rejoices in the reproach of his associates.
b. He does not receive gossip.
4. He who does not put out his money at interest.
a. One was not to take advantage of the adversities of another who had fallen into hard times.
b. One is to have regard for his fellow man.
5. He who does not take a bribe against the innocent.
a. The godly person does not discriminate against the poor in favor of the rich, powerful, and influential.
b. One does not sacrifice justice for gain.
III. The Promise (v. 5b):
A. We shall stand
B. Compare 2 Pet. 1.5-11 – Shall never fall
C. Those who chose to live this way will be granted permission to be a permanent citizen/guest in Heaven.
D. Living for God guarantees a life with God!
(1) Do you want to be a citizen of Heaven?
(2) The good news is that you may be a citizen because of the blood of Jesus Christ!
(3) In order to come into contact with that blood one must obey the gospel and then walk in the light (Acts 2.38; 1 John 1.7).
(4) Will you access the blood so that you may have access into Heaven?