Sunday, November 18, 2012

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 15


Sub Title: The tent of meeting.
BOLD Christian outreach promises from the book of Psalm.


How can unholy people come into the presence of a Holy and Righteous God without being consumed by fire?
David asks, "Who may stay in Your tent?"
            "Who may live on Your Holy mountain?"
He answers, "Only the pure and righteous."
So how can we sinners stand in the presence of a Holy God?

At the time of David in the Jewish tradition the priest prepared themselves for entering into the presence of God by ceremonial washing and through the offering of sacrifices. They sprinkled blood on the altar and on their garments, and then they sprinkled blood on the people to remove the guilt of their sin. This was to make them righteous in the sight and presence of a Holy God. But this ceremonial cleansing was only symbolic and it had to be repeated over and over again. However, when Jesus, who was without sin, died on the cross He became THE sacrifice that paid the price for the sins of all people for all time, past, present, and future. By allowing Himself to be beaten and crucified on a cross He satisfied the demand that was placed on all people as a result of their inborn sinful nature. He made it possible for sinners to come into the presence of God by covering them with a robe of righteousness. This robe is a covering of blood (Jesus Christ's blood); the blood He shed in payment for our sin. It is given to those who believe in Jesus Christ.

Those who trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins are given just that, complete forgiveness of their sins. They become the adopted children of God. Their sins are covered by Jesus’ blood and they are brought into the presence of God as forgiven and redeemed children.

To answer David’s question, only those who have had their sins forgiven will be able to stand before God in His tent of meeting and to come into His presence on His holy mountain. This privilege came to those who believed in the promise of a Messiah and now comes through faith in Jesus Christ, who is the promised Messiah. Because Jesus has paid the price for our disobedience, we are now able to stand before God with our sins forgiven.

When we come to worship God do we take this privilege for granted?
Do we still stand in awe of Jesus Christ and what He has done for us?
Do we come out of reverence for God and all things sacred?
Do we have a healthy sense of fear, love, and respect for God and for what He has done for us?
Or
Are we going through the motions of worship out of duty or obligation?
Are we putting on a show for others?
Are we living the life of piety on the outside, but rebellious and unrepentant on the inside?
Are we taking God's love for granted?

Our faith will be regarded as God's approval of us who believe in the one who brought Jesus, our Lord, back to life. Jesus, our Lord, was handed over to death because of our failures and was brought back to life so that we could receive God's approval. Romans 4:24-25 (God's Word)

Now that we have God's approval by faith, we have peace with God because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done. Through Christ we can approach God and stand in his favor. Romans 5:1-2 (God's Word).

Since Christ's blood has now given us God's approval, we are even more certain that Christ will save us from God's anger. If the death of his Son restored our relationship with God while we were still his enemies, we are even more certain that, because of this restored relationship, the life of his Son will save us. In addition, our Lord Jesus Christ lets us continue to brag about God. After all, it is through Christ that we now have this restored relationship with God. Romans 5:9-11 (God's Word).

God said, "You will be holy!"
Jesus said, "You must be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect."

We are made holy not by what we do or how we act or think. This is not about having good morals or having a set of rules that we follow. It comes as we acknowledge our sinfulness and our need for forgiveness of our sins. It comes as a gift from God as He gives us the faith to believe that Jesus Christ has the power to forgive our sins. We are given God's righteousness and are made holy though faith in Jesus Christ!

"Who may stay in your tent?"
Is this an invitation to come into the presence of God?
Is this a question based on LAW or GOSPEL?
To understand the outreach promise of this Psalm one has to understand God's desire to have all people live with Him on His holy mountain. This is not meant for the select few who are morally good (no one except Christ fits in that group.), but for all who come to realize that they are unworthy of God's grace and in need of God's mercy. The promise is carried out and given to everyone who humbly places themselves at the mercy of God. The promise is made on the basis of the one who will settle the account of our sin with God. This one is the only one worthy to stand before God. This one is none other than Jesus Christ.

The promise is fulfilled in Jesus Christ!

In Christ we have redemption and forgiveness of sins and will be able to come into the presence of our holy God on His Mountain. As we BOLDly proclaim this good news to others we can be confident that those who by the work of the Holy Spirit humble themselves before Christ will be lifted up and set on high with God.

(God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, www.godsword.org).

I have also written Christian outreach related documents that can be found at http://peterkeyes.efoliomn.com

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