Psalm 15:1-3 (NIV)
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others…
Imagine if these verses described the minimum qualifications for entry into Heaven. Do you qualify? Is your walk blameless…meaning that in every single thing that you do there is no sin whatsoever? Do you always do what is righteous…what is good and correct according to God’s perfect character? Do you always speak the truth…so that there is never even a spot of dishonesty? Can you say that you have never slandered anybody…never mistreated anyone you have come into contact with (your “neighbor”) …never uttered a negative insinuation about someone?
Who may dwell in God’s sacred tent? Certainly not you or me.
Who may live on God’s holy mountain? Certainly not you or me.
If you have ever fallen under the illusion that you can somehow earn your way into God’s good graces, today’s psalm should shatter that delusion into a million pieces or more. Not a single human being in all of history has lived up to God’s standards, and today’s list of them is by no means exhaustive. The God of the Universe is a perfect and righteous Judge and not a single one of us can stand up under His holy scrutiny. If you show up to the gates of heaven with a bucket full of your so-called “good works” thinking they will be acceptable to God…you are in for the biggest disappointment of your life. Even your best days and acts are like “filthy rags” compared to God’s righteousness decrees (Is. 64:6) …and these aren’t your garden variety household rags, by the way. In the original context, Isaiah is referring to menstrual rags and/or the rags used to cover up a leper’s dissolving flesh. Think about that for a few moments.
Back to the original question: Who qualifies to dwell in God’s sacred tent and on his holy mountain? The answer is clear – Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone. Jesus is the only person to have ever walked the face of the earth that has met God’s standard for entry. Certainly not you or me…but Jesus in our place. Jesus’ perfect record credited to our account. Jesus’ blood sacrifice applied to our sinful record. Jesus’ blameless walk superimposed onto every nook and cranny of our daily lives. Jesus’ perfect record before a perfect judge applied perfectly to a dirty, rotten record like yours and mine. Does that make any sense? Is that a fair deal? Are you worthy of such an arrangement? Am I?
We qualify for none of it…but through Christ…we get all of it. Through Christ we may dwell in God’s sacred tent. Through Christ we may live on God’s holy mountain. Amen! Amen! Amen!