Psalms 15:1–5 (KJV)

A Psalm of David.

LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

This Psalm was almost certainly written around the time David brought the ark to Jerusalem.

· He had set up a tabernacle for it and

· He had reassigned the priestly tribe

duties more appropriate to an established form of worship rather than a nomadic one.

He had:

· Doorkeepers,

· Singers and

· Priests to do the ministry

King David wanted to do the right thing.

Especially after the breech upon Uzzah — he is sensitive doing right matters to God.

Now consider, as he develops this concept of priestly service, he contemplates the standards requisite for the duties.

Rather than seeing the Psalm as a lesson on how to get to Heaven it is better to view it as instructions on how to qualify for and remain in service for the Lord.

This holds weight today in the fact that every Christian is a priest.

· A Levite could never be anything but a Levite, as he received that by birth.

· A Christian can never be anything but a Christian as he has received that through the new birth.

But we learn from Ezra and Nehemiah that the priestly people can be disqualified from service through disobedience.

The same is true of the Christian.

Certain actions, or failures of action; certain sins, can disqualify one from service and require a removal from position.

This Psalm is an answer to the qualifications of the bishops and deacons as given by Paul to Timothy.

But it is more than that because every Christian has a responsibility to be a qualified servant in the house of God.

We might consider this a type of church covenant.[1]



Psalms 15:2 (KJV)

He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh thetruth in his heart.

Another word for conduct in this case could be activity or behavior.

I see three things here:

A. He walks uprightly

He behaves well.

None of us are perfect. We make mistakes.

· We do things we later wished we had not done.

· We don’t do things we later wished we had.

But the one who is serious about his relationship to his Lord and to His church strives to do the right thing.

· Honesty in our business

· Ethical in our treatment of others

· Careful to be true to our word

This ought to be true of us both at church and out in the world.

People might speak evil of us because they don’t like Christ, but they should never be able to speak evil of us[2]because we do not try to do right.

B. He works righteousness

The difference between walking uprightly and working righteousness is that:

· One is personal

· The other is influential

-Walking uprightly is what I do in my own life.

-Working righteousness is what I hope to accomplish in the world around me.

The Christian faith is personalbut it is not supposed to be private.

1. Be an influence with the Gospel

Romans 10:13–15 (KJV)

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, but I note a limitation in the passage — they won’t believe the gospel unless someone tells them the gospel.

Therefore Jesus said in Acts 1:8 (KJV)

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

That’s a command

He equips us to obey the command, but He does command us to be witnesses.

Matthew 28:18–20 (KJV)

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

That’s a commission

The directive, the operating orders of every church is that we go into all and preach the gospel to every creature.[3]

2. Be an influence for good

Matthew 5:13–16 (KJV)

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Jesus gave two metaphors for the believer’s influence for good:



· Salt enhances good flavors and kills bacteria

· Light drives away darkness and illuminates our path

The last thing a Christian wants to be is salt with no savor or a light hidden from view.

C. He speaks truth

That truth is the Word of God.

· I might believe other things to be true.

· But God declares His Word to be true.

The way to be salt and the way to be light is to speak the Word of God.

Speaking of speaking, the Psalmist addresses,


Psalms 15:3 (KJV)

He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

Ephesians 4:29 (KJV) says,

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

David looks at the tabernacle.

· They’re going to bring the Ark of the Covenant back into the center of Jewish life and worship.

· They are going to make the house of God their focal point once again

And he is concerned that those who abide at the tabernacle are careful not to use their tongues against one another.

Then the Psalmist speaks of


Psalms 15:4 (KJV)

In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

Someone has defined character as who you are when no one is looking.

Just about anyone can pretend to be a good man for a little while.

We’re addressing those who dwell at the tabernacle — who:

· Serve

· Represent

· Make the house of God to function

These have to be the sort of people who

· Live what they believe and

· Practice what they preach

It is important that they have the right sort of appearance when others are around

It is just as important that they have the right integrity when no one is around.

· He eschews evil

· He fears the Lord and

He’ll do it to his own hurt if necessary

Fourthly David addresses


Psalms 15:5a (KJV)

He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. …

Paul told Timothy that one of the qualifications of the bishop[4]is that he must not be “greedy of filthy lucre.”

A laborer is worthy of his hire and the Bible is very clear that a preacher ought to be well cared for — as best as the church he pastors can provide.[5]

But no Christian, pastor or otherwise, ought to love money.

The Bible says it is “the root of all evil.”[6]

Money is just a tool.

The love of it however, will destroy you.

The Psalmist had begun with a question, Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?He ends with a resolution.

Notice finally


Psalms 15:5b (KJV)

… He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

· We don’t do anything to be saved.

· Neither do we do anything to stay saved.

But membership in a church, and faithful service to God in that church — that is another story.

· Churches have people who attend but who are not members

· Churches have people who are members but not serving

· Churches have members who were once serving but no longer and sometimes

· Churches have servants who are no longer qualified to minister

This problem is as old as the church is.

Jude saidthat he had to contend for the faith because there were some who crept into the church who were “ordained to condemnation.”[7]

And the Apostle John said,

1 John 2:19 (KJV)

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.


The heart after God asks,

Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

The answer comes back,

Anyone may attend. Only the righteous may abide.

[1]Our church covenant,


Having received Christ as my Lord and Saviour and being baptized and in agreement with Bible Baptist Church doctrinally, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the Bible Baptist Church family. In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:

1. I will protect the unity of my church:

§ by acting in love toward other members

§ by refusing to gossip

§ by submitting to the leadership of the church

Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

1 Pet 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.

Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must giveaccount, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

2. I will share the responsibility of my church:

§ by praying for its growth

§ by inviting the unsaved to attend

§ by warmly welcoming those who visit

1 Thes 1:1–2 “… unto the church…” “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.”

Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Rom 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

3. I will serve the ministry of my church

§ by discovering and developing my gifts and talents.

§ by being equipped to serve by my pastors

§ by developing a servants heart.

1 Pet 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Eph 4:11–12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

Phil 2:3–4 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Phil 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

4. I will support the ministry of my church

§ by faithfully attending

§ by living a Godly life

§ by giving on a regular basis

Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Phil 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

1 Cor 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Lev 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.

[2]1 Peter 3:14–16 (KJV)

But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

[3]Mark 16:15 (KJV)

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

[4]1 Timothy 3:1–5 (KJV)

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

[5]1 Timothy 5:17–18 (KJV)

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

[6]1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV)

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

[7]Jude 1:4 (KJV)

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.