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Psalm 15

June 4, 2009

This psalm answers the big question “Who has fellowship with God?” Is it based on works, faith, or both?

The psalmist answers this question by listing works. The person in fellowship with God, who is close to God, is one who is blameless [without sin] and who does what is right. They speak the truth [no lies] and do not slander others. They respect their neighbor and do not gossip. They despise that which is wrong [evil] and look up to those who follow God. They are people who keep their word, who help people without burdening them, and who do not accept money for their testimony. They are people we would consider faithful, trustworthy, stable, and steadfast.

So which is it? Faith? Works?

The correct answer is “Both”. Without faith, none of the works listed would be evident. The first two characteristics talk about being blameless and walking in righteousness. We start by having a right and restored [all have sinned] relationship with God. We are saved by grace through faith. We must first acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior. The characteristics that follow [works] are possible only if we have fellowship with God. We can do those things only with the help of God and the Holy Spirit. We are righteous because of our faith but faith without works is dead, worthless. Works are the evidence of faith. Works defines the quality of our faith. Works makes our faith known to our fellow man. Faith and works brings glory to God.

Read this psalm and then read Matthew 5-7, Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. Christ’s sermon explained these characteristics in greater detail. Also note the similarity with Romans 12. As Christians, we are known by our love, by our fruit. The works we do is the fruit we bear as a result of faith in and fear of the Lord. Put into practice what the Lord has placed in your heart. Practice good works because He has gifted you with faith.

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