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Posts Tagged ‘Holiness’

Leviticus is one of the books of the Bible many people confess they “can’t get through.” But I’m convinced that in giving us 66 books, God intended us to read and study each of them with diligence. I expect to receive insight from the book of Leviticus. I have not been disappointed.

For I am the Lord your God; so consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am holy. . . 5 For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; therefore you shall be holy, for I am holy.
Leviticus 11:44a, 45 (Amplified)

At first glance, these verses can be daunting–how can I be holy like God? One only need read the five books of the law to see the holiness of God and how unreachable that standard is for any human.

But then I consider the character of God and remember that God wouldn’t command me to be what was impossible for me to be.

God is holy–only God can make me holy.

Only God can set me–my life–aside for holy work. This is not something I can do for myself. I could never make myself holy–nor could any water or oil or ritual of man make me holy.

Holiness–the work of sanctification (being set apart for God)–is something only God can do.

So what is my part?

I must prepare. I must be available. I must obey.

See also Leviticus 19:2, 20:7; 1 Peter 1:15

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Romans 12: Holy?

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  Romans 12:1

What does it mean for me to be holy?

According to the dictionary, holy  is defined as:  “of, relating to, or associated with God or a deity.”  It can also mean “sacred” or “endowed or invested with extreme purity or sublimity; 3. devout, godly, or virtuous]

Often when I have heard holiness taught on, it is explained as being “Set apart to God” or the idea of being “separate” from the world and/or the things of the world.

But isn’t it usually God who is described as holy?    The answer is that God is holy, but the Bible is clear that the believer, the child of God, is to be holy as well.
  • Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love   Ephesians 1:4
  • That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish  Ephesians 5:27
  • For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.  1 Thessalonians 4:7
  • But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:15-16
 The idea of holiness among the children of God is not limited to the New Testament.  The following are Old Testament references that teach this as well:
  • Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.  Leviticus 19:2
  • For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.  Leviticus 11:44
 Holiness is necessary in order to please God, and for that reason we need to diligently seek it in our lives.  Hebrews 12:12.

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Jesus said,  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”  Matthew 23:27.

He meant they appeared to be clean on the outside, but inside they were nothing but a grave, full of the bones and carcases of dead men.  Jesus was getting at the issue of holiness.  Holiness is not outward compliance with rules and regulations . . . that is the definition of legalism.

Holiness is a heart transformed, desiring to go God’s way.  For the  truly holy man or woman, no outward rules are required.  The desire to please God, to obey God, to maintain fellowship with God will keep him or her from evil.  The Christian has very few outward restraints on his or her conduct.  The restraint is borne out of relationship with God.

May your heart be transformed so that you require no outward rules to make or keep you holy, but only a desire to please the heart of the Father, a love for the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit.

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