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”
Applying this teaching to our Salvation
Can we apply this teaching to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the New Covenant and to God’s grace and our salvation from sin? We most certainly can, as it is supported greatly by what is taught in the New Testament. But this is not teaching works-based salvation. This is not about being good enough to be saved by God. This is about God’s requirements of us for us to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with him.
It all comes down to the age old question of “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” So, are we saved from our sins on our own merit? No! Are we saved from our sins by being good enough? No! Can we do anything in our own flesh to earn or to deserve our own salvation? No! But our salvation is not absent of works, but they are the works of God which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them (Eph 2:8-10; Tit 2:14; Php 2:12-13).
We are saved by God’s grace through faith, and this is not of our own doing, neither the salvation nor the grace nor the faith. All are a gift from God to us and are not the result of our own fleshly works lest we should boast that we somehow did something to earn or to deserve our own salvation. We are only saved from our sins because of what Jesus did in sacrificing himself for us on that cross and by becoming sin for us so our sins would die with him.
But, we do have a part. We have to believe, but that belief comes from God, so it will align with God’s will and purpose for our lives. But that belief is not just some intellectual assent to who Jesus is or to what he did for us, and it is not some words that we say repeated after someone else or just giving lip service to God. But it is surrendering our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ, submitting to his will and purpose for our lives, forsaking our sins, and obeying him (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).
For this is what the Scriptures teach. And they also teach that if we do not forsake our sins, and if we do not surrender our lives to God, and if we are not in the practice of obeying our Lord and of walking in his righteousness, but instead we are obeying sin and walking in wickedness, then we do not have the hope of salvation from sin, and we will not inherit eternal life with God unless we repent of our sins and choose to follow Jesus in obedience.
[Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; Rom 6:16; 1st Jn 1:5-9; 1st Jn 2:3-6; 1st Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]
Not of Our Own Doing, Gift of God
So, yes, we are not saved in our own merit by trying to be good enough to be approved by God. But our salvation from sin means that we are thus crucified with Christ in death to sin so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but so we will become slaves of God and of his righteousness. It means we no longer let sin reign in our mortal bodies so that we obey its lustful desires, but now righteousness reigns and we obey our Lord.
But none of this can be done nor is done in our own flesh. We can only obey the Lord and walk in his ways and in his truth and forsake our sins and live now in freedom from the control of sin over our lives in the power of God and in his wisdom and strength. And this all comes through us yielding control of our lives over to God, letting go of the reins where we are in control, and handing that control over to God to let him be Lord/Master.
Then, in his power and wisdom, and through his saving power, we can now have clean (righteous) hands (deeds) and pure (unmixed with the world) hearts. We can be truth tellers and cease telling deliberate lies. We can stop gossiping and say what is beneficial for our listeners. And we can stop committing adultery and stop being engaged in acts of sexual immorality, and we can now live morally pure lives in faithfulness both to God and to our spouses. For Jesus died to deliver us from our slavery to sin.
And we can be discerning about false doctrines and false teachers who are twisting the Scriptures and who are teaching them deliberately out of context in order to deceive the flesh of man. And we can choose to say “No!” to ungodliness and to fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the power of God while we wait patiently for our Lord’s soon return for us, his bride, at which time our salvation will be complete.
For, it isn’t the professer of faith in Jesus Christ who has salvation from sin and eternal life with God. It is those who are walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. It is those who are denying self, and who are taking up their cross daily (daily dying to sin) and following Jesus Christ in obedience, and who are walking in righteousness and holiness and not in sin and in wickedness, who have the hope of eternal life with God.
So many people are buying into a false gospel these days which is teaching that if they just confess faith in Jesus Christ that they are now saved, done deal, it can never be taken away from them, and heaven is secured them no matter how they live their lives from that point forward. But that is a lie from hell. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And if we choose not to, we don’t have eternal life with God, no matter what we profess with our lips or think we believe.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
Listen to Our Hearts
Songwriters: Geoff Moore / Steven Chapman
How do you explain, how do you describe
A love that goes from east to west
And runs as deep as it is wide?
You know all our hopes,
Lord, you know all our fears.
And words cannot express the love we feel,
But we long for You to hear.
So listen to our hearts.
Hear our spirit sing
A song of praise that flows
From those you have redeemed.
We will use the words we know
To tell you what an awesome God You are.
But words are not enough
To tell you of our love,
So listen to our hearts.
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