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”
Do we have to clean up our lives before we can be saved? No! But can we be genuinely saved without our lives being cleaned up? No! For by God-given faith in Jesus Christ we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. The old is gone. The new has come. For our old self is crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to righteousness.
Therefore, we are to not let sin reign any longer in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For if sin is what we obey, and if obedience is not what we obey, it will lead to death, not to life eternal with God. For when we were slaves to sin, we were free in regard to righteousness. And the end of those things is death, not everlasting life. For the wages (payment) of sin (active, deliberate, habitual sin) is death, but the gift of God (death to sin and living to God in obedience) is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For Jesus Christ said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we try to save (hold on to) our old lives, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we lose our old lives (we die with him to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness) then we have the hope of eternal life with God. For if we are ashamed of Jesus and his words in this life, he will be ashamed of us when he returns for his bride.
For Jesus Christ 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 now live for him and no longer for ourselves. He shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God out of our lives of sin (to redeem us) so that we would now honor God with our lives. So we aren’t supposed to live like we did before, but we are to put off our old self and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and we are to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
For the grace of God is not just forgiveness of sins so that when we die we get to go to heaven. God’s grace, which is bringing us salvation, trains (instructs, teaches) us to renounce (say “NO” to) ungodliness and fleshly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we await our Lord’s soon return. For Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
[Romans 6:1-23; Luke 9:23-26; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15,21; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 4:17-24; Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 2:10]
So none of this we can do of our own accord or in our own strength and power and purpose. We can do nothing in ourselves to earn or to deserve our own salvation. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ, i.e. unless he first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness and of our sinfulness and of our need to repent of our sins and to obey our Lord. For our faith is gifted to us by God and it is not of our own doing because Jesus is the author and the perfecter of our faith. Thus, our faith will align with God’s word and his moral character.
[John 6:44; Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 12:1-2; Hebrews 11:1-40]
So, the only way that any of us can have clean hands (deeds) and pure hearts, and the only way that we can live holy and godly lives and not continue in deliberate and habitual sin, in lying, cheating, stealing, sexual immorality, adultery, and idolatry, and the like, is if, by the grace of God, we surrender our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ and we die with him to sin, and by his grace and in his strength we live to him and to his righteousness in walks of obedience and in righteousness and holiness.
And the only way that we will receive the blessings of God, which include forgiveness of sins, eternal life with God, and entry into God’s eternal kingdom, is if we die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily (consistently, regularly), and if we walk in obedience to his commands in walks of holiness and righteousness – all by his grace and in his power and strength. For if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we will not inherit eternal life with God, regardless of what faith in Jesus Christ we have professed with our lips.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; 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; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; 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]
An Original Work / April 15, 2012
Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.
Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
By His Spirit, from above.
Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.