Snapshots: Day 101
The Snapshot: “you are a people holy to the Lord your God.” (Deut 7:6) This verse follows an exhortation to not be like the pagans that the Lord will drive out of the Land. God had called Israel to be an utterly different people, a unique people, His people who have been redeemed from the fallen ways of the world and given a new blueprint as to how to live – and it is different from everyone else in this fallen world. That is also our calling (1 Pet 2:9), to live in relationship with the Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth (Gen 14:19,22) and be a different people, not in a super-pious, arrogant way, but as a cleansed and purified and humbled people, full of love and goodness, a people utterly reliant on their God. May it be so.
Further Consideration: When I was younger there was a time when Christians seemed to get themselves in a twist about holiness and in retrospect those who focused on holiness mostly seemed to demonstrate a distinct lack of it. In the Hebrew the original word from which we get holiness seems to express ‘separation’, while the equivalent Greek word in the New Testament seems to signify ‘pure’. Put together the idea seems to be separation to God, consecration to God. When this applies to God, it suggests separation of a perfect (pure) Being from material creation, and especially from mankind!
When there is a relationship between a person and God, that person takes on the holy nature of God. Holiness we might suggest, rubs off (see Ex 30:29, Lev 16:18). The fact is that when we came to Christ we entered into close relationship with God, and the reality of that was the presence of His Holy Spirit who now indwells us. The fact that the New Testament refers to us being “in Christ” also suggests the closeness which Jesus himself spoke about when he spoke of the vine (him) and the branches (us) – see Jn 15:4,5 and so again and again we see this unity that perhaps we take for granted, a unity that makes us holy.
Initially it was seen in Israel: “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” (Lev 19:2) so when Jesus prays, “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity,” (Jn 17:23) we cannot but infer that within this oneness comes this holiness. So, when Peter calls us “a holy nation,” (1 Pet 2:9) he knows we are this separate, distinct, pure, consecrated-to-God people. Whether we like it not, understand it or not, we ARE holy because He is holy.
It isn’t because we now follow the Law of Moses but because we have this living relationship with God the Father, earned by God the Son and administered by God the Holy Spirit, a holy Godhead who have worked to create a holy people out of the devastation of this Fallen World.