Spending Time in God’s Presence: The Gospel

Praying HandsThis article is the 5th part of a series.  If you have not read the previous installments, you may want to begin with them.

We are on a journey into the presence of God.  We are following the path laid out for believers in the time of the temple/tabernacle.  God’s people would come to Jerusalem to worship.  They would come into his presence with singing.  They would enter his gates with thanksgiving.  They would enter his courts with praise.

Once inside the main area, the approach halts at the altar of burnt sacrifice and at the laver.  Here is where we come to the heart of worship.  It is the gospel.  In Old Testament times, God’s people brought a multitude of sacrifices to be offered to God.  The primary sacrifice was that of the best lamb.  It was offered to God for their sins.  In our journey, it is here that we claim the gospel as our only means of approaching God.

Without the gospel, we are sinners unworthy of being in God’s presence.  Jesus was the sinless sacrifice offered for our sins.  His sinless life was substituted for our sinful life.  His righteous life was substituted for our unrighteous life.  Jesus took upon himself the penalty of our sin, which was death.  God then counts us as righteous.

We have been given access to the presence of God…not on our merit, but on Christ’s.  So we by faith turn from our foolish sin and follow him.  Without Christ’s death, you cannot enter God’s presence.  Even if you could, you would be consumed by the holiness of his presence.

So when I pray, I do not approach God without realizing that he bids me because of the blood and sacrifice of Jesus.  I repent afresh of my sin which had such a deadly price.  I agree with God that they are horrific.  I find then that I am cleansed from all unrighteousness and am eager to be in God’s presence.

Please understand that if this gospel is not a reality in your life, you have no hope of standing before God.  Understand that God is holy and requires sinlessness.  You can’t offer that.  Only by faith in Christ’s death and resurrection can you have hope.  He was sinless for you.  He died for you.  He lives for you.  He offers you this life.  Turn from your sin and turn to Christ.

When the gospel is a reality of our lives, all the other aspects of prayer take on new dimensions.  We sing with a new heart.  We thank him for such a sacrificial gift.  We praise him for the wonders of his salvation.

We should continually be coming to this altar and laver.  In light of the gospel, we must continually repent and be cleansed.  Cleansed…then we are ready to move closer into his presence.

If you have questions about the gospel, please let me know.