Q. What is the biblical definition of a person who has clean hands and a pure heart for the Lord? Just one who believes in Him or is it much more?
A. Psalm 24:3-4 says, Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
It is not possible for any human to meet this requirement, but all things are possible with God (Mark 10:27). He sent His son to die for us, and raised Him from the dead to prove that His death was sufficient to cleanse us from our sins.
Our own attempts to become righteous leave us clothed in filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) but everyone who relies fully on the Lord’s death and resurrection to purify them has clean hands and a pure heart, and can stand in His holy place. That’s because God has imputed to us a righteousness from Him that comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe (Romans 3:21-22). God made him who had no sin to be sin for us that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
“Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us to make us holy, cleansing us by the washing with water through the word, to present us to Himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).