“‘Yahweh, o high and holy One, who shall be permitted to have fellowship with you, who are a consuming fire?’ A humble sense of God’s glory and holiness awakens the theme of Psalm 15 in the psalmist’s heart. If angels bow with veiled faces, how shall man be able to worship at all? The unthinking may think it easy to approach the Most High… and may have no doubts as to their fitness for it. But truly humbled souls often shrink under a sense of unworthiness, and would not dare to approach the throne of the God on their own. If it were not for Jesus, our Lord and Advocate—who is worthy to enter the heavenly temple because his righteousness endures for ever—the humble would never dare to draw near.
But Jesus is the perfect man, and in him all who through grace are conformed to his
image may freely come into the House of God.” (C.H. Spurgeon)
Cardiphonia:* Any and all who would approach God in worship will only be received if they are holy; indeed, perfectly holy. Only in this way may we draw near to a holy God. But no one other than Jesus has ever fulfilled this psalm to perfection. So it is through him and his righteousness, alone, that we may approach the holy hill and throne of grace today (Ephesians 2:13-22; Hebrews 2:17, 18; 4:14-16). However, although Christ’s righteousness counted as ours grants us access, we should not ignore the ethical demands of this psalm for our life and worship. If we are knowingly, wilfully and impenitently failing to do these things, our worship of God will be affected, and his pleasure in our worship will be diminished. We need the righteousness of Christ to cover us and then a righteousness like Christ’s to characterize us if we would offer acceptable worship to God.
* A word coined by and borrowed from John Newton (meaning “sounds of the heart”). The Cardiphonia comments in the Shorey Psalter are my personal reflections on the Psalm.
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