The Gospel in Leviticus, Part 4: Holiness

The most incredible life you can imagine is a life of holiness. Holiness is moral purity and devotion to God. It is relating to other people in ways that always please God. The Hebrew word for holy is qadosh, meaning “pure, devoted.” The Greek word for holy is hagios, meaning “pure, blameless, consecrated.”

God’s call to us to live a life of holiness is impossible without the help of Christ within us. We don’t try to live a life of holiness to prove our worth to God or to earn our salvation. We don’t live a life of holiness so that we can look down in judgment on others. We live a life of holiness because we want to fully experience abundant life in Christ.

PURSUE HOLINESS

As Christ-followers, our desire is to live a life of perfect holiness. On earth, we will never reach this goal. However, this should be our focus, our aim, believing that God will grow us in holiness from the moment of our salvation throughout the rest of our life. And then in heaven we will know and experience holiness in perfection.

With Christ within you, you can live a life of holiness for the next minute. Focus on honoring Christ with the immediate task at hand: the next thought you think, the next word you speak, the next action you take. Then, continue to walk in holiness. Walk with Christ, follow His way. As Jesus says, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). When you mess up, confess it to God, hear His words of forgiveness, then reset your life on holiness once again.

Pursue holiness.

Romans 12:1-2 (HCSB)
1 Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

HOLINESS IN LEVITICUS

In the book of Leviticus, God instructs us to live to a life of holiness because He is holy. Our holiness will follow His example, derived from His very nature.

Leviticus 19:1-2 (HCSB)
1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them: Be holy because I, Yahweh your God, am holy.

God instructs us to be holy because He has set us apart from the people of the nations that do not know Him. We are His people.

 Leviticus 20:26 (HCSB)
26 You are to be holy to Me because I, Yahweh, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be Mine.

God instructs us to live holy lives in our worship of Him. When we don’t live a life of holiness in the way we worship God, we profane His name. And this has to do with the way we worship Him every day, not just at worship services. The example of priests making burnt offerings to God in holiness is seen in Leviticus 21:6.

Leviticus 21:6 (HCSB)
6 They are to be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God. For they present the fire offerings to Yahweh, the food of their God, and they must be holy.

THREE PRINCIPLES FOR HOLINESS

As you read the instructions for holy living in Leviticus, keep these three principles in mind. Each of the instructions for holiness will fall into one these three categories. Notice the three principles, and an example of each principle found in Leviticus 19.

1. Pursue holiness in your worship of God. 

Leviticus 19:4 (HCSB)
4 Do not turn to idols or make cast images of gods for yourselves; I am Yahweh your God.

2. Pursue holiness in your personal life.

Leviticus 19:31 (HCSB)
31 “Do not turn to mediums or consult spiritists, or you will be defiled by them; I am Yahweh your God.

3. Pursue holiness in the way you treat others. 

Leviticus 19:17-18 (HCSB)
17 “You must not harbor hatred against your brother. Rebuke your neighbor directly, and you will not incur guilt because of him. 18 Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.

TO DECLARE HIS PRAISES TO OTHERS

Living a life of holiness points people to God’s love and salvation. When we live a life of holiness, with an attitude of humility, we will have opportunities to point people to Christ. They will see that we have been changed from darkness to light, from spiritual death to spiritual life, by Jesus our Savior.

1 Peter 2:9 (HCSB)
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

A CHALLENGE

Read Leviticus chapters 19, 20 and 21. For each place that God instructs us in regards to holiness in these chapters, determine what the principle it is that God is teaching us. Some are obvious. Some may require a little study. If you need help, go to mystudybible.com. As you study these chapters in Leviticus, ask God to empower to live your life in accordance with His Word, a life of holiness and Christlikeness. Everything that God asks you to do, He will empower you to do.

The best life you can ever imagine.

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