July 15, 2012

Living in God’s House

The tongue is a sword; no physician can heal the wounds of the tongue.

Scripture: Psalm 15

Sermon Notes:

  1. This Psalm calls us to self-examination as we enter God's presence.
  2. Everyone is corrupt (cf. Psalm 14:2-3) and yet only the pure of heart are worthy to enter God’s presence.
  3. The resolution is that we are sojourners seeking refuge in God's life-giving presence, provision and protection.
  4. The Lord cares for the foreigner (Deut. 10:18; Ps. 146:9).
  5. This Psalm is grounded in Christ who sojourned with us.
  6. We are pointed to Christ, who fits the description of Psalm 15, having integrity and speaking the truth.
  7. All our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6); however, in Christ we are justified (1 Cor. 6:11).
  8. For the believer, Psalm 15 isn't a sentence of death and condemnation. It is a class in discipleship (cf. Titus 2:14).
  9. The true Christian disciple a) walks blamelessly, in integrity, with continuity of words and actions; with simplicity and godly sincerity; b) does what is right (i.e. acts in accordance to God's words); c) speaks truth in his heart (unlike Isaiah 29:13).
  10. The Psalm warns against doing evil to our neighbour by use of our tongue: gossip, slander, reproach.
  11. The tongue is a sword; no physician can heal the wounds of the tongue.
  12. Slander is false or unfounded accusations against another person. A slanderer is a devil, following the father of lies.
  13. We are guilty of slander even if we listen to it (1 Tim. 5:14).
  14. Everyone prefers hearing evil than hearing good. It's the common plague of humanity.
  15. Give no occasion to slander; the results of listening to slander are doubt, despair, confusion.
  16. Give no occasion to reproach or gossip; gossip is true-but-unnecessary speech about the faults of others.
  17. We must counter gossip by veiling blemishes in our neighbour; preserve his honour and prevent his disgrace.
  18. It's easy to strip a man of his honour, but hard to restore it.
  19. Put on Christ; avoid corrupt talk (Eph 4:29-32).
  20. We are neither to flatter nor speak wrongly of evil persons.
  21. We are to cultivate the godly virtue of despising the ungodly. We are to honour those who fear God.
  22. Keep your commitments; honour your word.
  23. Do not charge interest when lending money to the poor, and fear your God that your brother may live beside you (Leviticus 25). It's an extreme form of inhumanity to make a profit from another person's misery.
  24. God pays the interest on your gifts to the poor.
  25. He who does these things will never be moved.
  26. There's no promise of security or stability for the person who's disobedient.
  27. Only by His grace can we become the people of Psalm 15.

Application Questions:

  1. Are we people who rely on God and depend on him daily for provision and protection?
  2. Do our thoughts and hearts match our speech?
  3. What is the difference between slander and gossip?
  4. What are the results of listening to slander?
  5. How can we jump into a conversation and promote the honour of another?
  6. How does the Psalm command us to think of evil persons? Is this compatible with loving them?
  7. How can we have the power to embody the virtues of Psalm 15?
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