By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Every man must discern between good and evil. Each believer in Christ has a daily job to take into account things that may come his way and decide whether they are right or wrong. In doing so, we may live a life pleasing to our God and beneficial to ourselves and those with whom we associate.
One of the reasons that we pursue holiness and its beauty is so that we may reflect that righteousness that has been given to us by God through Christ Jesus, who is worthy to enter into the holy of holies in Heaven and execute his duties as our High Priest, our Mediator and our Advocate.
We cannot enter into that holy place with our sinful hands and hearts. We are not worthy, but Jesus is worthy, as stated in Psalm 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
This Psalm is defining the righteous life and the worthy death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It goes on to welcome him into Heaven in these verses: 7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
How, then, can we be welcomed into this holy place? It must be by the veritable righteousness of Jesus Christ, since . . . he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:21).
We also live holy lives that we might "keep thy word," as our psalmist here says. When we live holily, we shine forth the holiness that is expressed and commanded in the word of God, and we confess by this that this holiness is worthy of our work, and we then become good witnesses of God's word and his work in our stead, saving us wholly by his grace.
Also, we protect the word of God by our holiness by refraining from every evil way, by choosing the good instead of the bad, the right instead of the wrong, the holy instead of the evil. We guard God's word this way, not because it needs our protection, but because people lose confidence in the word when we live in opposition to it. We protect it in our own lives, professing that we believe it, and give confidence that we know it to be true when we follow its instructions, being wise, not in our own deceitfulness, but in our dependence upon God's word, which cleanses us and sanctifies us from the evil way:
John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.