Psalm 15:1 “LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?”
Psalm 14 states that the fool says in his heart there is no God and as a result of that thinking the Lord says there is no one who does good. This is the state of man. Without a redeemer there is no hope. Psalm 15 then asks the question: “Is there anyone who can enter your presence?” The psalmist says there is and lists the qualifications required to dwell in the Lord’s sanctuary.
Many have tried to meet these requirements. Paul said in Philippians 3:3-6: “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh-- though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.” (NIV, bold my emphasis) Paul said when it came to legalistic righteousness, no one could find fault with him. He said although he could put confidence in the flesh he didn’t. In verse 9 he says: “…be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith”. Paul was pressing into the hope of the resurrection and that all his works were rubbish in comparison to this righteousness.
Jesus called the rich young ruler on this legalistic righteousness in Mark 10. This young man asked Jesus what the Psalmist asked in Psalm 15. What must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus said essentially the same requirements that psalm states. The following dialogue occurred between the young man and Jesus. "Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy." Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.” (Verses 20 – 22) Jesus is always able to touch the heart of the matter in each one of us. The young man at this point could not do what Jesus asked.
The disciples witnessed this whole interchange and were shocked. They had been taught that if they just kept all the rules they would be able to live on God’s holy hill. They asked, “"Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." (Verses 26b – 27) This is the only way. We can’t do it ourselves. We need to lay down our works and like Paul embrace the righteousness of God that is by faith in the Son of God. We have all sinned and fall short as Psalm 14 says in verse 1 but, but, but through Christ we have our redemption. What a relief! Amen!
Prayer: "Father I thank you that my redemption is in you. It is not by works but by Jesus' blood. Through him I am redeemed. Hallelujah!"