Fundamentals of Righteousness

Text: Psalm 101

College courses are identified with a number that indicates the level of the material covered in the course. For example, “Biology 101” would be the basic, fundamental biology course. Higher numbered courses would build upon the foundation of the lower numbered courses. Coincidentally, Psalm 101 outlines the fundamentals of a particular subject – righteousness.

Focus on God (v. 1)

  • Psalm begins with David praising God – this must always be of primary importance
  • Even with considering what we must do, we should acknowledge who God is & what He has done – the goodness of God motivates us to do what is right (1 John 4:19; Romans 2:4)
  • Praise for God’s lovingkindness & justice – Paul explained the conditional nature of God’s mercy & judgment (Romans 11:19-22)
  • Opening with this praise is appropriate – God is worthy of praise for these characteristics
  • It is also instructive to us – God has shown mercy; let us therefore be righteous & avoid judgment

Walk in Integrity (v. 2)

  • I will give heed to the blameless way” – this is not the way that “seems right” to us (Proverbs 14:12), but the way that is right (Psalm 119:142; Jeremiah 6:16)
  • So we must learn the word of God (Psalm 119:130) – once we learn it, we must keep it (Psalm 19:10-11)
  • Walking in integrity (following God’s commands) is not superficial or sporadic – it is complete & consistent
  • Done in private (“within my house“) – God knows what is done in secret (Psalm 90:8)
  • Done from the heart (“in the integrity of my heart“) – not just an outward display; obey from the heart (Deuteronomy 6:5; John 14:15)

Avoid Stumbling Blocks (v. 3-5)

  • I will set no worthless thing before my eyes” (v. 3) – we must limit temptations as much as possible (2 Timothy 2:22)
  • I hate the work of those who fall away…” (v. 3) – we must hate sin (Psalm 119:104)
  • A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil” (v. 4) – our heart must be kept pure; not be changed so as to fall away (Hebrews 3:12)
  • Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy…” (v. 5) – sin must not be tolerated, or else it will spread (1 Corinthians 5:6,13)

Keep the Right Company (v. 6-8)

  • My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land…” (v. 6) – observe those who do what is right (Philippians 3:17); be surrounded with those who are righteous (Hebrews 10:24)
  • He who practices deceit shall not dwell in my house…” (v. 7-8) – do not maintain fellowship with those who do evil (Ephesians 5:11); do not allow the words of them to influence you (Romans 6:17-18)

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