THE STANDARD OF HOLINESS

“These are the commandments that the LORD commanded Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.” Leviticus 27: 34 (ESV)

Today’s reading wraps up the book of Leviticus, which, if we were honest, is no small task to read through! However, several scholars regard Leviticus as one of the most important Old Testament books as it outlines in detail the standards of a Holy God and how He is to be praised and worshiped. 87 times throughout Leviticus, Moses writes of “holiness” as he outlines how people were to approach God. In His law, God commands us to “be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy” (Lev 19:2; 11:44-45; 20:26). God’s standard is extremely high -- holy perfection!

Jesus will summarize these high standards in two simple commands (Matt. 22:35-40): Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. I don’t know about you, but sometimes even following Jesus’ two commandments is difficult!

God’s holiness provides His people with a high standard to imitate. In Galatians 4, Paul reminds us that because the law’s standards are so high, we can not live up to them. We need Jesus, who lived perfectly under the law, to redeem us sinners who were cursed under the law (Gal. 4:1-7). Because of Jesus, believers now have an incredible title of “son”. We are no longer a slave, but an adoptive son and heir through God (Gal. 4:7).

As the old hymn sings, “My sin, not in part, but the whole, / Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more”. Our inability to measure up to the holy standards of God was nailed to the cross and the entire weight of our sin was placed on Jesus. We can rejoice as we look to Jesus to run our daily race with endurance (Heb. 12: 1-2). We can rejoice that Jesus, with great joy, will present us blameless before the presence of a Holy and glorious God (Jude 24).

Further study
•1 Peter 1:14-16 •Psalm 99•Romans 12:1-2

by Eric Adams, Deacon

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