If you are a person that likes to highlight in your Bible, I encourage you to read through our passage today and mark every time you see the word “holy”. It occurs 15 times in our passage, and is a major theme in the book of Exodus and the rest of the books of Law as well. What is holiness? Dr. Bruce Ware puts it this way:
“To say that God is holy is to say that He is eternally separate and distinct from all impurity. The term holiness in Hebrew, qodesh, has the notion of separation, of uniqueness, of one-of-kindness.”
The holiness of God is something we must focus on here because it is the reason that He has given the Israelites all of these rules to follow in the first place. God is a God who is separate from us; he is pure in all of his essence. We are dirty; our sin is what has separated us from God.
God in his grace gave the people of Israel sacrifices and altars to purify themselves before Him. These sacrifices and altars find their completion in the person of Jesus Christ, who has given us the ultimate purification through His sacrifice on the cross.
God has commanded us to be holy as he is holy. Praise God that He has given us the Holy Spirit through Christ to make us holy! You cannot grow in holiness on your own merit just as you can’t do enough to save yourself in the first place. Growing in holiness is the work of the Holy Spirit. But often, we are unaware that there are areas of our lives that we have not given over to the Holy Spirit’s control. God wants all of our lives to be for His glory; therefore, we have an obligation to continually keep watch on our hearts and the places that they are weak, asking God to transform us more and more into the image of Jesus Christ.
What is an area of your life that you have been keeping for yourself instead of allowing God to purify? Will you confess your pride to God today and seek the cross?
The forgiveness offered from the cross is our motivation towards holiness.
By: Graham Withers