Psalm 24:3-5 “Who can ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart…”
Ascending the hill of the Lord sounds pretty great. Standing in His holy place sounds even better! But who truly has clean hands? And does anyone have a pure heart? Is that even possible?
“Purity” seems far off for everyone that has lived a life full of mistakes and hurts. However, the good news is that Jesus has taken care of every aspect of making us pure.
Just like God is a triune God, we are three-part beings. Our three parts are our spirits, souls, and bodies. When sin came into the world, it brought death into every part of us. The work of Jesus brings life into every part of us.
The Bible says that we have been saved, are being saved, and will be saved by the grace of Jesus. This is referring to our three parts! Our spirits were permanently “saved” by Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. Our bodies will one day be “saved” by His return, when we get new heavenly bodies. It is our souls that are still in the process.
Our souls are made of our mind, will, and emotions. It doesn’t take long to see when those are not pure, even after someone gives their life to the Lord. There are many emotions and desires that don’t match up with God’s standard for purity. So how do our minds, wills, and emotions become pure?
The way of the world is to not care at all. “Follow your heart,” “Do what makes you happy,” and “Find your truth,” can be found written on anything from coffee mugs to t-shirts. The way of religion would be to try and “fix ourselves.” Self-help books are one of the most popular genres available. If only we would try harder, follow more rules, then we could become pure as He is pure.
Neither of these paths lead to purity. The way of the world leads to sin, which leads to death, and the way of religion leads to self-righteousness, which leads to death. The only way to purity is The Way, Jesus.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of this earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
The lyrics of this song are echoed in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” All we have to do is look to Jesus. Spend time with Him. Learn who He is, exactly the way He is, and we will find ourselves transformed. Overtime, the image we behold will become who we are. His purity becomes our purity, as we spend time gazing upon it.
Practically, Jesus changes things in our hearts. He does not do this all at once. Little by little, He reveals parts of our heart that need healing, correction, or transformation. God is the one that shows us these things, and He is the one that fixes them. We do not have to strive to become pure. We only have to keep our hearts open to the one that imparts His purity to us.
His death on the cross is what justified us forever. His life is what sanctifies our souls. His return will be what glorifies us to live eternally with Him in a new body. All we have to do is give Him our “yes.”