Psalms 24:3-6 ESV
“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah”
Who Shall Ascend?
Who shall come into God’s holy presence? Only those who have clean hands and pure hearts. So, how do we get these clean hands and pure hearts? First of all by God’s grace through Jesus’ sacrificial death on a cross in putting our sin to death with him and through his bodily resurrection back to life wherein we are able to have new lives in him.
Then, God the Father must draw us to faith in Jesus Christ. We must be divinely persuaded as to God’s holy will for our lives. And we must hear God’s voice whereby we embrace God’s preferred will, i.e. what he chooses for us. For, this is faith, which is gifted to us by God, and which is founded in Jesus, and which is perfected by him (Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2).
So, when the Scriptures teach that it is by God’s grace that we are saved through faith, and this is not our own doing, but it is the gift of God, it means that our faith is not our own doing. We don’t get to define “faith.” Faith is the gift of God, and it is divine persuasion as to God’s holy will for our lives, and it comes from Jesus and is perfected by him.
Therefore, if we have this kind of faith, we are going to submit to God’s will and purpose for our lives. We will die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. We will no longer be slaves to sin but slaves to God. Sin will no longer be what we practice, but righteousness will be what we practice. It doesn’t mean we will never sin, but that sin is no longer our master. Now Jesus Christ is our only Lord (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).
If we have this kind of faith, we have been reborn of the Spirit of God to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Now the Holy Spirit lives within us, i.e., God/Jesus Christ is living within us and now we are his temple where he lives. And now we can worship him in spirit and in truth 24 hours a day 7 days a week no matter where we are. And true worship which is acceptable to God is us giving our lives to him as living sacrifices (Rom 12:1-2).
Now, we must walk in that truth. The righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk (in conduct) not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. It is not enough to confess Jesus as Lord, we must submit to him as Lord and we must do his will (Rom 8:1-17; Matt 7:21-23; Jas 1:22; 1 John 2:3-6, 16-17; Eph 6:6; Mk 3:35; 1 Pet 4:2; 1 Thes 4:3-5; Lu 9:23).
For, if we continue living in sin, making sin our practice, and we don’t walk in obedience to our Lord, and righteousness is not what we practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we confessed or professed with our lips. We will die in our sins because we refused to die with Christ to our sin and so be saved, and so have eternal life with him.
[Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10]
To What is False
If we want to be able to enter into God’s holy presence we must not lift up our souls to what is false, i.e., we must not follow after a lie, after a false gospel or after the idols of humans. We must not follow after a false faith created in the minds of other humans which is contrary to the teachings of Jesus and of his New Testament apostles (taken in context).
But it appears the vast majority of those professing faith in Jesus Christ, at least here in America, are following after a false gospel which promotes another Jesus and a different gospel other than the one taught by Jesus and by his NT apostles. They are accepting a lie which tells them that they can invite Jesus into their hearts one time and heaven is thus secured for them.
And the thing of it is, they are not teaching repentance, submission, and obedience to our Lord as part of believing faith, even though the Bible teaches that. But they are promising people heaven with no requirements for godly living, for honoring Jesus as Lord, nor for surrender of their lives to Jesus to do his will and to walk in obedience to Him.
So, they are giving free license to their adherents to continue living in deliberate and habitual sin without conscience, without guilt, and without the fear of punishment. For they are promising them forgiveness of sins without first instructing them that faith in Jesus means dying with Christ to sin daily and living to Christ and to his righteousness forever (Lu 9:23-26).
A Blessing From God
When we are believing in Jesus Christ with God-given faith in him, and we are forsaking our sins, and we are walking in obedience to him in humble submission to his will for our lives, we have the hope of eternal life with God, and we have the privilege of being in close relationship with him. We can commune with our Lord anywhere at any time of day or night.
We are living in him and him in us. He is speaking to our hearts, and we have open communication with him all the time to where we can enter into his presence at any moment. Our desire is for him to do his will, and we are walking in his truth and righteousness. We have close communion with him to where we can hear him in our hearts speaking truth to our hearts.
Also, since faith comes from God and it is gifted to us by God, and it is not of ourselves, but it is divine persuasion of God as to his will and purpose for our lives, our ability to live holy lives pleasing to God, and to walk in obedience to him and in his righteousness, also comes from God. We can’t be righteous in ourselves, but we must live righteously in his power.
So, yes, the righteousness we have comes from God, but we are righteous who are walking righteously in his power and strength. For faith that comes from God is accompanied by action, by walks of obedience to our Lord, or it isn’t true faith. For, it is us who DO the will of God who are considered righteous in God’s sight, not those making a profession of Christ only.
For, Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now honor God with our lives (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; 1 Co 6:19-20).
So, if we want to have our sins forgiven, and to have the hope of eternal life with God, we must walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Sin should no longer be what we practice, but righteousness should be what we practice (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10).
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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