Holiness in Leviticus
Be Holy Unto The Lord
The book of Leviticus is a lost book to many people. They simply get lost in trying to read it. Yet when one finally begins to get his head wrapped around it he finds some very basic life principles.
A quick search of the book reveals several reoccurring words and phrases:
· The LORD spoke - 36 times.
· I am the LORD - 49 times.
· Holy - 92 times.
· Be Holy - 15 times.
These get combined into the great statement of Leviticus 11:44-45: "For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”
Most marriage ceremonies contain a vow that in essence says "I promise to keep myself for you and for you alone for as long as I live." The husband is sanctified by the wife (1Cor. 7:14). This is not our religious sanctification but rather the husband is now 'set apart' and 'dedicated' to the wife as opposed to any other woman. The two become one flesh. [The same can be said concerning the woman and being set apart to/for the husband.]
The interesting part of this is the simple observation that such sanctification to each other takes place in our minds and our mindset. We make the decision to 'keep ourselves'. With the element of love such keeping of oneself is not a burden at all. When both love each other we begin to see what God intended the marriage relationship to be.
So it is with our relationship to God. We are sanctified, set apart unto God. We are 'espoused unto the Lord' (2 Cor. 11:2). There is the element of religion in this in that, like the marriage ceremony, we enter into this relationship. Hence when one obeys the gospel he is said to be 'washed, sanctified, and justified' (1Cor. 6:9-11). There is also the aspect of love and fidelity involved. The basis of all holiness should be our love for God. In effect I say in my heart that "I promise to keep myself for Him, and for Him alone for as long as I shall live". We love Him with all of our hearts. The idea of being unfaithful to him becomes abhorrent unto us.
We willingly 'come out from among them and are separate' (2 Cor. 6:14-18), NOT because we are commanded but because our heart is solely dedicated unto God. Indeed there are lists of guidelines of things that we abstain from because we are holy unto the Lord, but they remind the godly person of their undivided loyalty unto God.
1 Peter 1:15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.
2 Corinthians 11:2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.