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HOLINESS IS EXPECTED
Yet another command for the believer
"...but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy.' " (1 Peter 1:15) (See also Leviticus 11:44,45)
How can we possibly be holy? God certainly would not have given us this commandment if He didn't expect us to follow through. He didn't just say it once. Did He only say it in the Old Testament, and not in the New Testament? No. Did He give the commandment in the Bible, but doesn't apply now? I think not.
Recognize Me in your midst.
I have been with you at all times.
It is you who needs to recognize
What I have already done
and continue to do.
I need you to recognize
My saints among you.
Those whom I have set apart as holy,
I invite to come into My house as priests,
ready to minister to Me
in sacrifices, prayer and worship.
I need all to be a part of My earthly house,
in preparation for eternal abode with Me.
In the beginning, God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26) The triune God connected us with Himself from the very beginning and set us apart to be with Him. "And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine." (Leviticus 20:26) So! There it is! From the very start we are plunged into being connected to God because He ordained us to be separated to Him.
Jesus explained, "You are of this world; I am not of this world." (John 8:23), stating our place in contrast to His. Still, Jesus yearns to take the "natural man", filled with the Holy Spirit, and set him apart from the things of the world. "For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God." (1 Corinthians 2:10)
We become dedicated, sanctified, cleansed and consecrated in Him alone. Just as the Old Testament had its priests, chosen by God to minister in His temple, so we, likewise are "...chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:4,5) Instead of burnt offerings, we who are "set apart" today to minister as priests are expected to delight God with sacrifices of "...a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart--the sacrifices of righteousness." (Psalm 51:17) Our priestly sacrifices are of the spiritual realm.
Righteousness, then, is not something we have to strive for. It's been given to us through Jesus who died on the cross. He became that once-for-all supreme sacrifice, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The Apostle Paul urges us to "...present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God...And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:1,2)
All our Holy God desires of us now is the surrender of our very selves so He can truly rule over us: body, soul and spirit. Holiness naturally follows, belonging not only to God and angels, but also appointed to us as well!