How to Obtain and Maintain Uprightness
Psalm 19:13
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright…

I. MOTIVES TO PERSUADE US. Means to direct and help us.

1. God regards you not, if you be not upright; His eyes are upon the truth.

2. The Word of God condemns you; if you be not upright, it will not acquit you.

3. Your conscience will secretly reproach and vex you in the day of your calamity.

II. THE MEANS OF UPRIGHTNESS. Directions for the getting of it.

1. If ever you would have upright hearts, you must then go to God for them.

2. If you would find uprightness in you, then get an exceeding and predominate love of God and His ways. Love is of great force and influence to a man's ways and actions, is like the rudder which doth master the ship in the motion, it can turn and wind it any way; so doth love prevail with the soul; it hath a command over it. The want of uprightness comes from the want of love; as the falseness of a woman to her husband grows upon want of conjugal love; it is the love of the world which draws a man so often aside. If a man could love God above all, he would delight to walk with Him, he would be careful to please Him, fearful to offend Him, ready to obey Him, would be kept in for God, he would not make so many strayings, he would mind God's glory more.

3. Get to hate sin; a secret love of sin will draw the soul aside.For the second which respect the preserving means, take these directions.

1. First, if you would preserve uprightness, you must preserve an holy fear of God; I will put My fear into their hearts, and they shall not depart from Me (Jeremiah 32).

2. If you would preserve uprightness, then you must get and preserve humbleness of spirit.

3. If you would get and preserve uprightness, then get your hearts to be crucified to the world. Hypocrisy and worldliness are seldom far asunder.

4. Now, to all that hath been said, let me add a few daily meditations, which may be of great force to keep us in upright walking.

(1) That God searcheth my heart, and still looks upon my ways. Whither shall I go from Thy presence? said David (Psalm 139).

(2) That I must one day appear before God, and then all secrets shall be disclosed.

(3) A little unevenness will mar the comfort of a great deal of uprightness. There are two sorts of unevenness in walking. One is habitual and allowed, which mars the just hopes and expectations of glory. Another is actual, which is a trip, a stumble, an out-stripping in the course of a pious walking. I confess it may befall the best, yet it will embitter our souls. All the good course which a man hath led, and actions which he hath sincerely done, cannot so much comfort him as many particular obliquities and unevenness may sad and perplex him. As in a wrench of the foot, the present pain shuts out the sense of all former strength.

(4) That God is to be set up above all.It is an hard thing to ascribe unto God the Original of excellencies, that He is God, and that power, might, and glory, and obedience belongs unto Him, that He made us, and not we ourselves, and that our beings as they are depending upon His power, so our ways upon His rule; and He is Lord of lords, all are under Him, and, being the universal efficient, He ought also to be our universal end. God is set up above all other —

(1) When His rule and Word sways us against all other.

(2) When His glory is singly or supremely aimed at above all other things, and both these complete uprightness.

(O. Sedgwick, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

WEB: Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins. Let them not have dominion over me. Then I will be upright. I will be blameless and innocent of great transgression.

How to be Kept from the Dominion of Sin
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