You Must Be Holy

There are two things God says His people should live in accordance with. They are His judgments and statutes. On these their whole life is built to perfection. They are the basis to understanding God and the difference between the right and the wrong. They keep them in check at all times. In other words, they help us examine ourselves so that we are appraised by God as those called for His purpose. His judgments are from the Word; His statutes also in it. When He says, “you shall not…” or “you shall…” it is His statute to us. And when He relays the consequence of failing or keeping His statute it is His judgment. There are statutes and there are judgments that we ought to constantly bear in mind and the latter are the upshot of the former. They are utterly important to God, since they relate Him to us. Without them we, who are prone to lose our sense of being created by God for His glory, cannot live or walk with Him. Therefore, He sternly said, “You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am the LORD your God” (Lev. 18:4).

This applies to all generations to whom He proclaimed His name. His judgments play a significant role in understanding His statutes. For example, when Jesus said looking at a woman with lustful eyes is committing adultery in the heart, it is a judgment for the statute ‘you must be holy for I am holy.’ Again, when the apostles with the agreement of the Holy Spirit gave the gentile Christians the essentials to follow (Acts 15), it was God’s judgment based on the statute that Christ is the end of Law; circumcision is of no need. There can be seen many such judgments in the Bible. Not only this, but we also begin to understand how God guides His people through the Spirit to produce judgments that bring joy in His kingdom. God makes judgments based on His statutes. So, it is for us, if we desire to revere the Almighty Lord, to find the statutes and the judgments, and embrace them. They guarantee safe journey into eternity besides rewarding us the timely blessings of God that we rejoice and are lacking in nothing. The more we meditate on the Word, the more we find them for a righteous living.

God’s judgments give us strength to solve a situation or matter. They call for His statutes and allow us to apply them as necessary. Together they guide us in the fear of God. They make us into a people that love God more than ourselves. Then, it becomes both natural and undemanding to live in accord with them. This is our obedience to Him. Obedience does not come to us by birth or gifted at some stage in life, but it is an attitude that must be cultivated. It is the result of the choice we make after having understood the Word. Once we begin obeying, we dutifully perform His judgments and keep His statutes. Then, the consequences will be of immense joy. It has always been the case and will be. So, in the days of Nehemiah and Ezra “All the people went away to eat, to drink, to send portions and to celebrate a great festival, because they understood the words which had been made known to them” (Neh. 8:12).

The reason for their celebration is quite clear. They understood the words revealed to them and acted accordingly. They found the book of the Law after many years. They heard all the words in it that concerns God, His love and the things He performed for His children. They grieved and wept, because they were overwhelmed by what they heard. In the absence of the Law they had no joy, the kind of joy they found when they found the Law. The reason for it is evident. There was no understanding of God’s judgments and statutes. They did not discern between the right and the wrong. They lived apart from God. Where there is no understanding of His judgments and statutes, sin and the nature of the flesh inevitably prevails. It will be the same of us if we do not cultivate the habit of daily meditating on the Word; obedience will have no place in us. Having the Word and not meditating upon it in a manner pleasing to God is as good as not having the Law. When we read the Word with fear and in the Spirit, He brings its essence into our hearts. He leads us to His statutes and the judgments inferred from them, and at times even giving us wisdom to make judgments. So, when a priest like Ezra read the Law, people began to weep and grieve. They were pierced in their hearts to seek God’s forgiveness. They repented of their sins. They grieved for all the good things they missed. They wept until they were reminded of that day. It was a holy day, because they found God. He had forgiven all their sin. It was a day when He greatly rejoiced in His people turning to Him.

So, let me ask you, do you have similar feelings when you hear the Word or as you read it? When you realize how much God loves you, you cannot restrain from weeping. The things He did for you and will continue to do will make you emotional. For example, forgiving your past, present and future sins. Many times it is the joy and confidence He gives from the Word that will make you weep. The fact that He finds you joy or boldness everyday makes you emotional. And the key to such wonderful experiences hinges on you performing His judgments and keeping His statutes; they must become your routine. Then, you will sing. “Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting” (Ps. 106:1). The finest treasure for a Christian is God’s lovingkindness, because in it he will see Him perform great deeds for him.

Nevertheless, many are the churches that are setting aside the judgments and statutes of God. It has a downside. The unbelieving Israel saw it and the prophet had to say, “Why do You make me see iniquity, And cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me; Strife exists and contention arises” (Hab. 1:3). The consequence of disobeying God will surely appear. There will be chaos in their lives; their inner man frequently unsettled. So, dear brethren, as we look at the evidence in the Word, let us choose to lead an obedient life for God. For there was the Israel that loved God, wept at the hearing of His law and there was the Israel that turned their back to Him, did not desire to turn to Him and reaped the outcome. God separated the former from the latter by executing the judgments He long ago pronounced. Even so will be the case with the churches that do not obey Him. When they speak in His name or do works, it must be in accord with His judgments and statutes. But they have found other ways to seek and praise Him. They do not have the emotion that comes by meditating the Word, the key to be filled with joy and confidence. And unless they meditate upon the Word in fear and in the Spirit, they will face the outcome of ignoring God. For He said, “I am the Lord your God.”

True Christians know their purpose. It is by the following. “But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here” (John 14:31). They imitate Jesus. Jesus set His goal to show the world that He loves the Father. The only way He did it was by performing His judgments and keeping His statutes. It resulted in many knowing God. They believed in the salvation He offered through His Son. They confessed Jesus is the Son of God. They went on to testify of Him as the Savior of the world. They made it their aim to do exactly like Jesus. They obeyed God in whatever they received from Him. So, some became apostles, some prophets, some teachers, some administrators, some evangelists and the churches themselves became the light of the world. The churches being filled with the Spirit took steps to do that which was needed to spread the good news. Godly people were born to do works in the Spirit. By performing God’s judgments and keeping His statutes they let the nations know the goodness of the God of heaven and earth. So, Paul said, “Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:2).

As a child of God there is only one thing you ought to fix your mind on. It is holding firm the traditions God gave you in the Word. It means you perform His judgments and keep His statutes. There is so much advantage in doing them. Firstly, they maintain your righteousness that God credited you through faith, i.e. keep you holy. Secondly, they are the sure way to obtain all that you ask God. Third, they avail you God’s unassailable protection; His grace will always cover you. Fourth, they help you complete all that God desired from you. Fifth, they allow you to make judgments in accord with the statutes of God. Then, you will have godly impact on all you meet and it even surges to unknown territories. Above all, you will have God as your friend and guide. Therefore, obey Him. And if there is anything beyond this, it is summarized in the following. “IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE” (Heb. 10:6).

Posted in 2015, Archives, RECENT ARTICLES.