Hebrews 12:14-29 - with concentration on verse 14

Hebrews 12:14, "Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord."

It has been a very busy week and yet, it is only Tuesday. Hmm, maybe it is just a normal week and my perception is out of kilter… I will need to give that some thought! Anyway, whichever it is my blog is due tomorrow, and I need to get after it.

I have looked at four commentaries and all of them agree that verses 14-16 are part of one sentence in the original Greek. I have decided to address only verse 14. I have for quite some time been concerned that we no longer preach or teach the importance of holiness in our Christian walk. So, when I read this verse that very plainly tells us to ‘pursue peace with all men, and holiness,’ I immediately thought, ‘Here we go.’ Now, I was reading it in the NIV, but because of a suggestion I checked it in various translations. Thus we could say that the Biblical picture is this: to be sanctified means being set apart. I looked it up in a few others and, guess what? There were translations that translated the Greek word as “sanctification,” not “holiness.” And, I thought, “There goes the whole purpose for writing on this passage.” But, often, first thoughts are not necessarily good thoughts!

So, here goes! “Being holy means reflecting the moral purity of God in righteous living" (Lev. 11:44-45, 19:2; I Pet. 1:13-16). Thus, we could say the Biblical picture is this; "to be sanctified means being set apart as holy in order that one might reflect the holiness of God Himself." Now, if you ask me about the difference between being holy reflecting the moral purity of God and being sanctified in order that one might reflect the holiness of God himself, I will set my pen down, fold my hands together, and tell you, “That’s a discussion for another time!”

by Paul Kightlinger, Elder Vice Chairman

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