We are told that those who are saved by Jesus have “clean hands and a pure heart, and have not lifted themselves up to falsehood or to what is false, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psa. 24:3-5). That’s all very nice but there’s one problem - none of us are like that. No matter how hard we try, we can’t fit that description.
Being saved by Jesus doesn’t save you from lying, or bitterness or lust or cheating or bad manners or rebellion against parents-- Jesus does not save you from sinning.
What then, are we saved FROM? We are saved from the penalty for sin. Jesus paid the price for ALL of our sin, the sins we have have already committed and the sins we will commit in the future. We are saved from the wrath of a holy God against our rebellion against Him and His holiness, our sin.
God can’t get any glory out of your good works and deeds. The Hasidic Jews go to great lengths to please God - they call it being more devout, more ehrlich. A follower of Buddha aims to attain a state in which they have no improper thoughts, views, speech, or behaviour. Muhammad is quoted as saying 'I was sent to perfect the ethical conduct'. The difficulty with all human attempts to be perfect is that, no matter how hard we try, we will always remain sinners!
The only way God can get glory out of humanity is by you coming to the cross and saying that you can’t save yourself and that you need Jesus to take away your guilt and shame. Only then can you have “clean hands and a pure heart”.
We have a new year commencing tomorrow. The past year with all its worries and cares has gone. There is new hope and anticipation for better things.
The joy in knowing Jesus is like a new beginning every day. Jesus came into the world to give you a new beginning. In finding a new beginning, you will find a new life. He will forgive you of your past and open the door for you to become a new creation. This is His promise.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor. 5:17 NLT)