Clean Hands and Pure Hearts

Psalms 24:3-4 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.”

Under the Old Covenant, the hill of the Lord became physical Mount Zion on which was built the physical temple of God, which housed the holy place and the holy of holies, which is where the ark of the covenant was situated. And this is where only the high priest could enter once a year to make sacrifice for his own sins and then for the sins of the people. God’s presence was in the holy of holies. But these were just physical representatives on this earth of God and of his dwelling place and of his holiness and righteousness.

Under the New Covenant, the temple of God is us, the body of Christ, consisting of all genuine followers of Jesus Christ. God, by his Spirit, lives within us. And Jesus is Zion on which this spiritual temple is being built, and we who follow Jesus are also considered to be Zion, since we are his body. And the holy place is within us who follow Jesus with our lives. For now we don’t have to go to a physical location to worship God, but we can now worship him in spirit and in truth in any location that is not dishonoring to him. For we worship God by giving our lives to him as living sacrifices.

So, basically what this is saying in New Covenant language is who is able to enter into genuine relationship with Jesus Christ and to come into the presence of Almighty God? Who can be saved from their sins and have eternal life with God and stand before God as righteous and holy? And the answer is really the same. For repentance and faith in Jesus Christ are the prerequisites to entering into God’s holy presence, by God’s grace. But faith comes from God and is not of our own doing, so it will agree with God. And God taught that faith = obedience and disobedience = unbelief.

For, if we do not die with Christ to sin, and so we are not raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, and if we if we continue to walk according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit, and if sin is our practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, well the Scriptures teach that we don’t have eternal life with God. We don’t have clean hands and a pure heart if we are still living in deliberate and habitual sin and not in righteousness and holiness. And this is New Testament teaching, not just Old Testament teaching.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Now, this also includes those who lift up their souls to what is false and who swear deceitfully. And this can play out in so many different ways. One way has to do with people making false professions of faith in Jesus Christ who make a pretense of faith in Jesus while they knowingly and deliberately stand in opposition to his holiness and righteousness. They want forgiveness of sins, and they want heaven as their eternal destiny, but they refuse to bow the knee to God and to submit to Christ as Lord, and to leave their lives of sin behind them to follow Jesus in obedience to his ways.

Another way in which this is being played out today, at least here in America, is via a vast number of preachers, pastors, Bible teachers, evangelists, and writers of devotions and of “Christian” literature who are lying to the people about what the Bible teaches. They are deliberately speaking lies in order to lead the people away from pure devotion to Christ to a false christ and to a false gospel. And they are leading people to believe that faith in Jesus Christ requires no repentance or obedience to the Lord Jesus and that heaven is still guaranteed them regardless of how they live.

[Matt 7:15-23; Matt 24:11-14; John 10:1-15; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 1 Tim 1:3-7; 1 Tim 6:3-10; 1 John 4:1-6; Jude 1:3-23]

Psalms 24:5-6 ESV

“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”

So, those who have died with Christ to sin and who have been delivered from their slavery to sin, by the grace of God, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, and who are now walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, who are not living a lie, but who are people of integrity, by the grace of God, and in his power and strength, are those who will receive a blessing from the Lord. Those who are still deliberately and habitually sinning against the Lord will not receive such a blessing from God, and according to Scripture, they will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And the Scriptures teach that it is those who are living righteously, by the grace of God, who are righteous in the sight of God, not those who merely profess faith in Jesus but then who do not live for him. And this is the righteousness of God, not self-righteousness, and it doesn’t come from self, but from God, so this is not about anyone trying to be good enough to be saved from their sins and to have eternal life with God. This is about us, as followers of Jesus, walking in the salvation and the righteousness that we have already received from God, and in his strength and power.

[Rom 1:6-7; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-29; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 1:9; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Gal 5:13-21; Eph 1:3-4; Eph 2:10,21; Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 4:7; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 2 Tim 2:21; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet 2:5-9,24; 2 Pet 1:3; Tit 2:11-14; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

My Prayer

An Original Work / May 30, 2011

“Fill me with Your Spirit;
help me to love others;
Let me know Your power;
be an overcomer.
Show me how to follow
Jesus Christ, my Savior;
Be His faithful servant
to obey Him always.

“Lead me with Your presence;
help me know the right way;
Teach me love and kindness,
generous compassion.
Give me grace and courage
to be Jesus’ witness,
Teaching His salvation
to a world who needs Him.”

Won’t you come and follow
Jesus Christ, your Savior?
He died so you’d be
free of control of your sin;
Free to follow His ways
in complete surrender;
Living sacrifices –
let His grace transform you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s