November 22, 2014

The pursuit of Holiness

Leviticus 20:26. Not legalism. Not rules or standards or laws. Holiness is a state of being. Holiness is what God is. He is that which separates. When God is around, the line is drawn. 

God's people are called to holiness.1 Peter 1:15. We are called to be obviously different, freed from the state of lawlessness that unbelievers are enslaved to. Leviticus 10:10. The call of Holiness is not to deprave us of pleasure, it's to simply revive our taste for the pleasure of God'presence.

Holiness returns us to our original design. We were made to be sons and daughters and companions of God. The commands in the Word of God are not exhaustive. The list of the works of the flesh in Galatians 5 for example- not exhaustive. The "seven deadly sins" as they've been coined-not exhaustive. We'd never succeed in following every single law. Instead, they are lights to our path to holiness-to God. Proverbs 9:10. They are, if you will, enablers. They help us become aware of what is, and what isn't detrimental to our relationship with God. Holiness is the antivirus to sin. Numbers 15:40, 1 Thessalonians 4:7.  Our constant exposure to godliness and its benefits creates an awareness of ungodliness, and increases a desire for what God is. Psalm 51:11.

To be holy unto God is to be in covenant relationship with God. Leviticus 20:7. Yet there is the principle that clean and unclean can not inhabit the same space. What fellowship has light with darkness? Paul writes.To realize that the almighty God, creator of all that exists, desires to make himself fully accessible to you and I is incomprehensible. To try to understand why he loves us so desperately enough to become as one of us, just so he could interact with his creation and bridge the gap between us and him, is beyond mortal knowledge. 

Of course covenants go two ways. Just as God makes himself completely accessible to us, inviting us to seek and know him, so We must make ourselves fully accessible to God. This is what holiness accomplishes. It's a re-institution of a covenant that is rooted in relationship with Jehovah. The pursuit of holiness is a pursuit of God, (Psalm 93:5) and the only way to get back to God is get back to our original nature- in his image and his likeness- holy. Ephesians 4:24.

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
2 Corinthians 6:16-18 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

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