Who may ascend?


Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart. [ NIV]

For the past couple of weeks since David spoke on this topic I’ve been thinking about the ‘power of a good conscience’. Have a look at David’s blog post on the subject to read up on what He said.

Our conscience has a direct bearing on our worship, but it doesn’t define who can ascend the mountain of the Lord ().

Our relationship with the Father, and therefore our worship, is not based upon anything that we have or haven’t done. Everything is based upon Jesus – the perfect one-time sacrifice for all our sins forever  (), so that when the Father looks at us He sees us as righteous as Jesus, he sees us with clean hands and pure hearts! Hallelujah. So the one who may ascend the mountain of the Lord is anyone who is redeemed by the blood of Jesus.

So if our conscience doesn’t change how God sees us then how does it affect our worship? Well, worship involves both us and God, and although an unclean conscience doesn’t affect God’s view, it has a strong bearing on our behaviour. When Adam and Eve sinned against the Lord it was them that hid from God, rather than God withdrawing from them () – their consciences condemned them. The result of an unclean conscience is that we don’t feel that we can fellowship with and worship God – we lose our understanding of Jesus’s sacrifice in our place.

This is summed up in where it says: Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God. So from a worship perspective it’s vital to keep a good conscience so that we realise that we can have confidence to enter the Holy place by the blood of Jesus (). So the call for us is to be holy, for He is holy ().

 

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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. (ESV)


Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place? (ESV)


14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (ESV)


And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (ESV)


21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; (ESV)


19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (ESV)


16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (ESV)

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