Are you clean?
I don’t mean have you bathed lately. I mean are you holy? Are there things in our life today that are making us unclean?
Christ has made us clean and set us free from the power of sin but we can struggle to walk in this reality. It is easy to be influenced by the world around us rather than to influence the world with the Kingdom of God. But friends, we are called to be set apart, and while it looks different than the Levite priests, we are still called to be Holy.
Bible Reading of the day: Leviticus 21-24
To those who are with us for the first time, we have learned some precious truths from Leviticus.
“The Jews called the Book of Leviticus ‘wayyiqra’. This is actually two Hebrew words, ‘way’ and ‘yiqra’. They mean ‘and’ and ‘he called’. These words are the first words in the book in the Hebrew language. When the Jews translated their Bible into the Greek language, they gave the book a new title. The new Greek title meant ‘about the Levites’. Our title ‘Leviticus’ is the Latin word for ‘about the Levites’. Leviticus tells us that we can have fellowship with God.” (Easy English Bible Commentary).
And we see the sacrifices required for sinful man to have fellowship with a Holy God.
It is costly because our sins are costly. The wages of sin is death, but God made a way for us to have a relationship with Him.
Being Clean In the Book of Leviticus
In Leviticus 21, there are instructions for the Levite priests in order for them to be acceptable for service in the house of God. Leviticus 21:1-8 says,
“The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron’s sons, the priests, and tell them: A priest is not to make himself ceremonially unclean for a dead person among his relatives, 2 except for his immediate family: his mother, father, son, daughter, or brother. 3 He may make himself unclean for his unmarried virgin sister in his immediate family. 4 He is not to make himself unclean for those related to him by marriage[a] and so defile himself.
5 “Priests may not make bald spots on their heads, shave the edge of their beards, or make gashes on their bodies. 6 They are to be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God. For they present the food offerings to the Lord, the food of their God, and they must be holy. 7 They are not to marry a woman defiled by prostitution. They are not to marry one divorced by her husband, for the priest is holy to his God. 8 You are to consider him holy since he presents the food of your God. He will be holy to you because I, the Lord who sets you apart, am holy.”
How Does This Apply To Us?
They are told not to make themselves unclean with a dead body. Understanding this today is hard. We are likely not going around touching dead bodies and why was this important?
They are told not to make gashes on their bodies, too, and other distinctives of what a holy life looks like.
This all seems foreign to us today because we are under grace. If we were under Law, we would have no access to a Holy God accept by the provision we see that God made so we could.
Are You Clean Enough?
God is not just making a bunch of rules. There is the very real reality of God being holy and simply put, we cannot be in His presence or we would die.
In our casual culture, holiness is not something people think about much. But the common cannot enter the presence of God except by God’s incredible grace.
We are called to be set apart, friends, and it looks different than the Levite priests, but we are also called to be Holy. Are there things in our lives today that can make us unclean?
Got Questions commentary
According to Gotquestions.org: “The Hebrew word translated “unclean” in Leviticus is used nearly one hundred times in this one book, clearly emphasizing “clean” status versus “unclean.” Animals, objects, food, clothing, and even people could be considered “unclean.”
“Generally, the Mosaic Law spoke of something as “unclean” if it was unfit to use in worship to God. Being “clean” or “unclean” was a ceremonial designation governing the ritual of corporate worship. For example, there were certain animals, like pigs, considered unclean and therefore not to be used in sacrifices (Leviticus 5:2); and there were certain actions, like touching a dead body, that made a living person unclean and temporarily unable to participate in the worship ceremony (Leviticus 5:3).”
What makes us unclean and unfit for service with God?
A New Standard of Cleanliness
We are under grace, but that does not lower the standard. It raises it. Jesus said even our thoughts will be judged. Let’s look at the standard today.
“36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Hebrews 12:14 ESV
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV
“Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”
1 Peter 1:15-16 ESV
“But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.””
1 Thessalonians 4:7 ESV
“For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.”
1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Romans 12:1 ESV
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Leviticus 20:26 ESV
“You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.”
Are You Clean Inside and Out?
God invites us to know Him and to have fellowship with Him. This does not mean we are not still aware of His Holiness. When we get too familiar with a Holy God, we can rationalize our sin and think He condones it.
So the good news is, friends, we don’t have a bunch of regulations. And we are not under the Law. We don’t earn our salvation with good works because frankly, we could never be good enough.
But God commands that we be Holy. We don’t avoid sin because of legalism. We avoid sin because we love God and He has called us to Holiness.
This will mean I will try to order my life after His word.
Are You Clean in Word and Deed?
What I say matters. How I treat others matters. How I behave matters. Let us not abuse the grace that Christ died to give us.
Friends, we have an intercessor today – Jesus Christ. He covers all of our sins – not that we would continue in sin, but that we would be free from the power of sin.
We have been set apart. Let’s live differently so the world can find Jesus. Let’s not be like the world.
31 “You are to keep my commands and do them; I am the Lord. 32 You must not profane my holy name; I must be treated as holy among the Israelites. I am the Lord who sets you apart, 33 the one who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the Lord.”
Scripture of the Day: Leviticus 23:3
3 “Work may be done for six days, but on the seventh day there is to be a Sabbath of complete rest, a sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; it is a Sabbath to the Lord wherever you live.”
The Sabbath has been one of those hard areas for me. Resting does not come naturally to this girl. But because I love God’s word, I continue to ask Jesus to show me what rest looks like today for Christians. What areas do you struggle with?
Being clean is not about trying to fulfill the Law. We never could. But when someone has fulfilled the Law on our behalf, we show appreciation by submitting ourselves to His Lordship and by choosing to be like Him.
- Let’s live uncommon lives for a Holy God.
- May we seek to be like Jesus, not the world.
- May we humbly live these lives of grace and not abuse the precious grace we have been given.
- God calls us to be Holy still.
- Are you clean?
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #197: Leviticus 21-24
Scripture of the Day: Leviticus 23:3
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