“WISDOM OF LIVING (62) DO RIGHT.”  By Pastor YAU

Text: Psalm 15:1-5.                                        September 28, 2008

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)   Words of a teacher: Bruce Weinstein is known as “The Ethics Man.” His books and seminars challenge people to make choices based on principle rather than convenience or self-interest. In his workshops, he often asks the participants, “Why should we be ethical?” He says most responses centered on the benefits of honesty and morality---avoiding punishment and having a clear conscience. While acknowledging that there are long-term benefits, Weinstein emphasizes that the best reason we do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

2)   Words of a king: King David was attributed to be the writer of Psalm 15 which gives a vivid picture of conduct growing out of a close relationship with God. The question “Lord, who may abide in your tabernacle” (v.1) is answered with examples from everyday living: “He who walks upright, and works righteous-ness, and speaks the truth in his heart” (v. 2). It goes on to describe honest relationships with friends (vv. 3-4), along with integrity in business and financial matters. (v. 5) The psalm ends with “he who does these things shall never be moved.” (5)

 

DO RIGHT IS IMPORTANT: Doing right is important because:

1)   God is always right: “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) This is true not just because God cannot do wrong but also because He is the standard of right and righteous -ness. If we are truly His children, we need to have and build His character in our lives and we need to do right all the time. This is about the godly nature in us since we claim to be God’s children. To honor God, we need to do right.

2)   Jesus is always right: “He (Jesus) committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22) The Bible never shies away from the fact that Jesus was a perfect man in human history. Although no one is capable of being sinless as Jesus, yet, as followers of Him we all need to have the same desire to live our lives as right and sinless as we can. Being disciples of Jesus, at least we ought to learn from His examples and draw strength from Him to live our lives the right way.

3)   The calling we received: “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1)These are the words of Paul, the most respected follower of Jesus. He encouraged the early Christians, and by application to all of us, that we are to live our lives the way that won’t bring shame or shortcoming to the calling we received from God. God trusted us so much to call us His children (John 1:12), we ought to do things in our lives right and bright so we are worthy of the calling.

4)   The command we received: “You are the light of the world, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven,” (Matt. 5:14, 16) Jesus gave his disciples, and us, a new status, the light of the world. And he commanded that we, as light, live our life with good deeds so our Father in heaven may receive praises. This is not something for negotiation, it is a direct command from our Lord. Doing the right thing in life is not an option but a duty.

 

DO RIGHT IS NOT EASY:

1)   We are inherently sinful: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18) The confession of Paul represents the agony of many wanting to do what is good and right but are unable to do so because of the sinful nature inside their lives.  Since the fall of Adam and Eve, human being has been tinted with the power of sin and is unable to do right.

2)   We don’t know what is right: “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weights the heart.” (Proverbs 21:2) Solomon was so right to understand man’s self reliance but inadequacy of knowing what is right or wrong. Everyone wants to believe he or she is right because we all use ourselves as the standards of measurement. But none of us is worthy to be standard of all men. With our corrupted nature and selfish intend, we don’t know what is good from bad, right from wrong. That’s why we have seen many of us did wrong but believe to be right. God is the true measure of right and wrong, good and bad.

3)   No one is righteous: “There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.” (Romans 3:10-11) Quoting Psalm 14, Paul declared that there is no one who is righteous and all are worthless before God. Again, Paul declared “All have sinned, come short of the glory of God” in Romans 3:23.

4)   Our righteousness is a rag: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) Isaiah confessed before God on the sins of Israel. He acknowledged their sinfulness that caused them to be captured to foreign lands. Some may argue that we do try and may have done something good and right, but all of our good and right are just like filthy rags in the eyes of God.

 

TAKING STEPS TO DO RIGHT: (Psalm 15:1-5)

1)   Getting closer to God: “Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?” (15:1)The first step in trying to do right is to build a close relationship with God. Since righteousness is of God and the criteria of doing right is in God, no one may know what is right unless he has a desire to get close with God. All human efforts in trying to do right without God are destined to fail.

2)   Desire to be blameless: “He whose walk is blameless and who does what is right.” (15:2)No one is able to be blameless but the desire to do so will protect him from willful and reckless action. Whatever is in the heart will come out in actions. Choosing to do right both in the eyes of God and man will guard us from do wrong.

3)   Keep our words truthful: “Who speaks the truth from his heart.” (15:2b) A truthful heart will naturally produce truthful words. A deceitful spirit will produce lies. Truthfulness in our speech is a sign of righteousness. Jesus encouraged us to say “Yes be yes and no be no. Anything beyond that comes from the evil one.” (Matt. 5:37)

4)   Be kind to others: “He does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman.” (15:3)Determined to be kind to family, friends, neighbors and all people around you. Shunned from slanders, selfish acts and slurs that may hurt others. Respecting people around you is an important step to do right.

5)   Shunned from the evil: “He despises a vile man.” (15:4) Stay away from offensive people. Choose your friends carefully. In Proverbs 13:20, King Solomon says, “He who walks with the wise grows wise; but a companion of fools suffers harm.”

6)   Cling to what is good: “He honors those who fear God.” (15:4b) Walk with the godly and you will be godly. Respect those who fear God. Learn from their ways of life and their respectful attitude to God and to man.

7)   Honor your words: “He keeps his oath even when it hurts.” (4c) A man of his words is a man of integrity and is trustworthy. He values honor higher than money

8)   Sympathetic to the needy: “He lends his money without usury.” (15:5)Charging higher interest than necessary is a sign of being unjust and greedy. God forbids such despicable practices. (Ex. 22:25)

9)   Above the power of bribe: “He does not accept a bribe against the innocent.” (5b) Accepting bribes against the innocent is a sign of unjust and moral defect. Man of honor should judge with truth and righteousness. Resist bribery is a way to do right.

10)          The righteous will stand: “He who does these things will never be shaken.” (5c) Doing right is not being dumb or will suffer losses. Instead, God promised blessings beyond measure on those who try to do right. God will protect those who try to do right in their lives. He will never allow anything happen to them but will keep them safe in His holy hill.

 

CONCLUSION:

1)     Against the tide: In a world that values gains over honor and integrity, doing right may not be attractive and may cause losses. But worldly gains can never match with godly gains God promised to those who honor His command. Children of God should honor their Father in doing what is right so He will be praised and honored

2)     Never too late to start: Whatever path we used to live our lives in the past should never stop us from choosing a new path of doing good and right from today and everyday in the future. No one should be kept in the old life of darkness and wrong. God has brought us out of darkness into His eternal light. So begin to do right is our new freedom.

3)     You need to get this right: This is about getting right with God in your spiritual relationship with Him. No one has all the know-how or the strength to do right unless he gets back with the source of righteousness, God. Confess your sins and ask God to forgive you. Receive His new life by asking Jesus into your heart to be the savior and lord of your life.