Who may climb the mountain of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.—No one who has a defect may come near to me…his physical defects disqualify him from presenting offerings to the LORD.—“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the LORD. “I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people…And I will forgive their wickedness and will never again remember their sins.”
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified—Though our hearts are filled with sins, you forgive them all.
… Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts!
God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus…He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy…
Ps. 24:3-4 NLT; Lev.21:18,21 NLT; Rom 3:10-12 ESV; Jer. 31:33,34 NLT; Heb 10:14 ESV; Ps.65:3 NLT; Heb 10: 16-17, 19-22 KJV; Ps. 65:4 ESV; I Cor.1:28,29 NLT; I Cor.1:30 NLT
Without a realization of God’s infinitely surpassing other-ness, His perfect holiness, His unapproachable splendor–that which the OT intimates in terms of a strict sacrificial system and the demand for shed blood–we will be clueless as to our own smallness and unworthiness and the inestimable privilege we’ve been given to draw near to God ‘as is’ and find grace and love without measure. We will make much of our ‘goodness’, and minimize our sinfulness. We will begin to view God as a doting grandpa who gives us everything we want because we are so cute.
But this isn’t the Biblical record. Yes, there was an original blessing. God made mankind in His image and for His pleasure. We were designed to walk with God and enjoy Him forever. But then came rebellion and its due consequence–death. And ever since, the natural human condition has been one of ‘original sin’and requisite condemnation. We can’t help ourselves out of it. But a better Blessing was coming, One who would die for the sins of the world. This is the blessing we most need, a Saviour to stand in our place before a holy God so that we might be acceptable once again, forgiven, loved, lavishly graced with every spiritual blessing….
It’s all God’s doings through the person and work of Jesus Christ, to the praise of His glorious grace, with no merit to claim on my part at all. The instant I think I am loved because I am lovely, the wonder of the Gospel begins to fade. Gratitude and worship shrivel. Ego swells. And an inordinate craving for affirmation sets in… The wonder of God’s unconditional love becomes lost in pre-occupation with self.
So I keep reading, in the Old and in the New, beholding God’s glory and His unfathomable love, seeing the nature of man and of God over and over again…that my heart may learn to praise Him only. I’m looking forward to the Day when self will be forgotten in the blinding intensity of the glory of God. In the meantime I am in Good Hands, both known and loved.
“…remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
*Eph 2:12-13 NASB; Rom 5:17 ESV