23rd November 2011

Holiness

“So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God.  Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord who makes you holy.”
Leviticus 20:7-8 (NLT)

Everything about God is holy.  His name (Psalm 103:1) and His works, as it says in Psalm 145:17 (KJV), “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and holy in all His works.”  1 Samuel 2:2 says, “No-one is holy like the Lord!  There is no one beside you, there is no Rock like our God.”

In general, holiness in the bible has two specific meanings, the greatness and goodness of God, and people or things that have been set apart for service to God.  Moses was told he was standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:5). This was because it was the place of divine revelation.

The Sabbath day was called holy because it was set apart from the other six days.  And the Old Testament also applies holiness to people, that is priests who were set apart to serve God.  Aaron as the high priest was “the holy one of the Lord” (Psalm 106:16 NASB).

Holiness is the goal of Christians.  “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life.  He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”  (2 Timothy 1:9).

Christ gave Himself as a holy sacrifice for us and He said just before He was arrested, “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth…And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth” (John 17:17-19 NLT).

In a similar way that our parents did their best to discipline us, doing the best they knew, “God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in His holiness.” (Hebrews 12:10).  Verse 14 tells us, “…work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.”

In conclusion, “…let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit.  And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God”  (2 Corinthians 7:1).  The holiness of God ensures there will be a final restoration.  God’s holiness will wipe the universe clean and create “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13 NKJV).  So just “as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”  (1 Peter 1:15 NKJV).

Prayer
Thank you, Holy Father, for setting us apart for service to you.  Please help us to do the things you tell us, so we can be true examples of living a holy life.
Amen

Study by Jill Newman 

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