“The Righteousness God Requires” – Psalm 15:1-5

“The Righteousness God Requires” – Psalm 15:1-5

Perhaps the greatest question of religion is “How do I get to heaven?” A subset of this question is this “What does God require of me?” In general terms most religions have adopted the answer that God requires a sincere attempt on your part to do your best to follow his rules. However, is this what is actually taught in the Bible? Psalm 15 gives us the answer.

An Important Question

Psalm 15 begins with David asking God an important question, who can live with Him forever? David is not concerned with just an occasional visit to the tabernacle. He wants to dwell with God forever.

God’s Answer

God directly answers David and lays out the requirements for someone to live with Him forever.

  • Walks uprightly – This simply means that they are morally without spot or blemish.

  • Works righteousness – They must do what is right at all times.

  • Speaks the truth in his heart – They must not just speak the truth, they must never try to deceive from within their hearts.

  • Does not backbite – The term here can also be translated as “spy.” Simply God requires that they never try to find out things about someone else to be used for their own advantage.

  • Does no evil to their neighbor – They must never harm another human being in speech or action.

  • Does not carry reproaches – They must not even carry the reproach they hear about someone else.

  • Condemns evil – They must always condemn evil even when it is found within their family or even within themselves.

  • Honor godly people – They must honor God-fearing people even when they disagree with them or have different convictions than they do.

  • Keep their word even when it hurts – They must always keep their commitments, even when keeping them hurts them.

  • Not charge interest – This is not referring to regular business transactions. This is referring to charging interest to poor people who must borrow money for necessities. They can’t be enriching themselves off the struggles of the poor.

  • Not receive bribes – They cannot participate in bribery in any fashion.

Heaven Forever

Anyone who meets these requirements may live with God forever. God says that they will never be removed from His presence.

Four Truths

This Psalm presents four great truths:

  1. God’s requirements do not change. Human beings have a tendency to change God’s Laws so that they can consider themselves moral and righteous. We tend to make up our own standards and impose them upon others. We also can believe that God changes His requirements for us if we just try hard enough. Psalm 15 does not allow this.

  2. We do not meet God’s requirements. It is abundantly clear from this short Psalm that all men and women are sinners and cannot stand in God’s presence.

  3. We need God to do something. The problem here is not God’s requirements. All humanity would agree that these are good, right standards. The problem lies within us. We cannot do what God requires. Therefore, we need God to be gracious and do something on our behalf. The Gospel is that God has already done something for us. He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins and rise from the dead so we might be forgiven and made righteous.

  4. The marks of a believer are far more internal than external. One grave mistake Christians make is that we seek to identify believers by outward conformity to man-made standards of dress, entertainment, etc. However, if Jesus indwells you, you will begin to look like Him. The righteousness seen in Psalm 15 will begin to be seen in you.


Have you changed God’s righteousness? Will you repent of this and submit to His Law?

Do you see your need of a Savior?

Do you believe that Jesus died for your sin and His righteousness is yours?

Do you see the character of Christ being formed within you?

Will you tell others of what Jesus has done?


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