Psalm 151NIV New International Version Translations
1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? 2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur2Slur, a term of disparagement on his fellowman, 4 who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, 5 who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
Adam Clarke Commentary: The important question answered is: Who is a proper member of the Church militant? (the church here on earth) and who shall finally join the Church triumphant? (the final church we call heaven) Ver. 1 contains the question; ver. 2-5, the answer.
David4http://www.easyenglish.info/psalms/psalm015-taw.htm had a house in Jerusalem for the LORD. It was a tent made from goat skins. Holy means very, very good, and only God is holy. David called his tent the house of the LORD. David thought that God lived in it. God is holy, so David said this made the hill of Zion holy too. People who loved the LORD came to his house. They asked, “Who can come into the house of the LORD?” The answer is in verses 2-5. It was probably said by a priest of the LORD. Psalm 15 says the same things today. If we want to live with the LORD we must obey verses 2-5. Because God loves us he will give us help. If we do not obey a rule we must tell God that we are sorry. He will forgive us. This means that he will give our sins to Jesus. Jesus will take them away, and give us help to keep to His rules.
The doing-words or verbs in Psalm 15:2 are different from those in Psalm 15:3-5. The words in verse 2 tell us what believers are like on the inside and only God sees inside us. Verses 3-5 tell us what believers are like on the outside. This is what everyone sees. There is no temple today, it was destroyed about 2,000 years ago. Jesus will tell his friends that he will make them another house. It will be in heaven. As Christians, we believe that Psalm 15 is telling us about that house in heaven.
Items for Discussion
- So what is the answer for getting to heaven? Make a list from verses 2 through 5
- How is mankind doing against the criteria for entry?
- Is it possible to be successful and do what is required?
- What can a person do to change their heart?
- How do you see the “Grace of God” and mankind’s requirement to be blameless, righteous, and truthful in working together to get us to heaven?
41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence. 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.
The Apostle Luke had specific reasons for writing his Gospel. We are lucky because he tells us in his opening verses why he wrote it:
- v1 Many people have tried to write about what God has done among us. v2 They obtained their information from witnesses. They saw what happened and preached the gospel. v3 I have studied all these facts with great care from the beginning. So, I decided, most noble Theophilus, to give you an exact account of events, in their proper order. v4 This is so that you may know the truth about what you have heard.
As Luke points out, our system of fairness, law, and order is fully dependent upon relying upon witnesses6Witness: To see or know by personal presence and perception; to be present; to testify or to give evidence to. 6(The American College Dictionary – 1948) to tell us the truth, to reassure us that what happened really did happen. The verses today will be exactly that, the Apostles witnessed the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Luke is giving us his sworn testimony. And that is how the Christian Church has grown from a few to many, one witness at a time sharing their life, death, and resurrection into a new life, one Christ-filled and destined for David’s eternal temple we call Heaven.
Verses 41-43 They still could not believe that he was real. So Jesus asked for some food. He did not need it for himself, but it gave them extra proof.
Verses 44-45 Jesus may have taught them that evening or on another occasion. He said that the three parts of the Hebrew Old Testament all taught about him. He said that their words had come true. Psalms are in the third part, called ‘The Writings’. The Scriptures said this: The Messiah must suffer before he rose to life again three days later.
Verses 47-48 Jesus said that they must take his message of good news to all nations. They would have his authority. They must tell people to turn to God. Then God will forgive their sins. The disciples’ work must begin in Jerusalem. There, they would give the good news that they knew was true.
Items for Discussion
- What is the importance of firsthand knowledge?
- Could our society function without the concept of witnesses?
- There can be good witnesses and bad witnesses. How can you tell them apart?
- Why is the sharing of one’s faith so important to the spread of the Gospel’s message of Good News?
- Why do people believe you when you share?
- How can a church embolden its members to share their faith?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations
- 2Slur, a term of disparagement
- 6Witness: To see or know by personal presence and perception; to be present; to testify or to give evidence to. 6(The American College Dictionary – 1948)