READ : Psalm 15:1-5
Who can stand in God’s presence? (v 1). According to the New Testament, only those washed in the blood of Christ by faith. But the Bible does not offer cheap grace. Jesus tells the parable of the Sheep and the Goats. According to that parable, those who have treated people well will be saved. How do we reconcile these two concepts? In this way: faith in Christ is the result of the work of the Spirit. That same Spirit, having produced the new birth, stays in the heart to produce a life concerned about the needs of others.
In this Psalm, those accepted into the presence of God are those who show the fruits of the Spirit in their lives. They are people who are honest (v. 2b). They avoid gossip (v. 3). They keep their prom ises even when it is inconvenient (v. 4b). They do not take advantage of others (v. 5a). They refuse bribes (v. 5b).
The Bible makes it clear that a good relationship with God, which is the very essence of eternal life, depends on a good relationship with others. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches that forgiveness by God, which enables us to have a right relationship with Him, depends on our willingness to forgive others. Jesus says that the commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself” is like the commandment to love God with your whole being. Saved by grace alone, but saved to a life of service to God by helping others.
Father, we praise You for saving us sinners who do not deserve it. Help us to show our gratitude. In Jesus’ name. Amen.