Friday, 7 February 2014

Holiness Embraces the Good

Leviticus 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.


Our church pastors are preaching through the Bible this year. We started our studies in Genesis and now have come to Leviticus. The pastors are choosing the topics of discussion as we go. This Sunday's topic was holiness. I usually take notes as the pastor preaches and so I like to post my notes here - maybe just maybe you will be blessed as you read.
First I will post a portion of Scripture from Leviticus that the sermon was based upon. Then I will share my notes.

Leviticus 26:1-13 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am theLord your God.Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.11 And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.13 I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

Pastor Ben was our speaker today. Here are the notes I took down as I listened to the sermon:

Sometimes we are not sure what to do with portions of the book of Leviticus. There are rules and regulations about mold, mildew, sores, clean and unclean etc.
Others are more straightforward. Leviticus 19:11  Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

We must remember that Leviticus is part of the bigger story. God is moving to bring people back into relationship with Him. Leviticus is part of the Exodus story.
God is teaching His people to be a people who are "set apart", that is that they are not to follow the pagan culture of their neighbors.
What does it mean to be God's people? We are to be a holy people!
Leviticus 19:1-2 says And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.
Hebrews 12:14 says Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
and 1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
So we see that God is calling his people to be holy - and it is right through the Bible - Old and New Testament.
There are two extremes - legalism and carelessness.
Holiness is not Legalism - Being holy is not keeping a list of rules, of do and don'ts. Holiness is not about external behavior.
Holiness does matter, we are not to live carelessly. When we think nothing matters or that we only want to talk of God's love, - then we are not being true to Scripture.

Holiness is about a wholeness or a completeness in our life. It is from within our heart that we obey God.
We are living in what is blessed of God, It is understanding and knowing God personally.
God saves us, then He builds relationship with us, we worship Him, we live in Him, He works holiness in us.
Exodus 34: 6-7 describes the character of God - And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation

Holiness means we are "set apart".
We are set apart for God's own use.
Jesus makes us holy, 
He has chosen me, It is something God does, God makes me holy, therefore I am holy. He sets me apart as His own and I follow Him.

We must live this  out ( being set apart )
We are a light to those around us. 
We are to be different from the people of the world around us.

God calls us to be loyal to Him - in our goals, our objectives.
He calls us to be loyal to Him in our priorities, and in our attitudes. Attitudes come from the heart.

In the area of finances - making money is not our ultimate purpose or goal in our jobs.
We are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
If our attitudes and goals are the same as the people of the world - there is a problem. We are to be different!!

Holiness requires discernment. We must be able to discern good from evil, evil from good.  What is pure and what is impure. This applies in all areas of life, including media and entertainment.
We need daily personal discernment in our life. The New Testament gives a few lists as to what is pure or impure. Lists are fine. We need to learn.
We need to be holy in our choices . We need to exercise discernment.

Holiness embraces the good, and rejects the bad.
Holiness is embracing what honors God, that which is pure and excellent and clean. And it rejects such that dishonors God, such as is an abomination in His sight.


  1. Dear Northern Sparrow,
    It is snowing here and there ar many sparrows feeding here along with other birds. I thought of you and decided to visit your site. I was so glad to see "Lord I Need You" posted it is one of my favorite songs also. Thank You for posting it.

  2. Dear Mrs CJB,
    Thank-you for your comment. The song Lord I Need You has been in my mind a lot recently. It is a beautiful song. It's another cold morning here, but the sun is shining brightly. God bless you always!!