Leviticus 11:45 – For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
God’s purpose for Israel was that the nation be “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation”(Ex19:6).
Everything in the life of the Old Testament Israelite was either “holy” and thus set apart for God’s exclusive use, or “common.” And the “common” things were either “clean,” meaning that the people could use them, or they were “unclean” and forbidden to be used.
The Israelites had to be careful to avoid what was unclean. Otherwise, they would find themselves “cut off from the people” until they had gone through the proper ceremony to be made clean again. Because they were God’s chosen people, the Israelites had to learn to “put [a] difference between holy and unholy, and between clean and unclean”(Lv10:10).
God’s true churches today are supposed to be “a holy nation” in their present world, to “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”(1Pt2:9). To “shew forth” means ‘to tell out, to advertise.’
Israel revealed to the pagan nations around her the glories and excellencies of Jehovah, the true and living God. Churches today have the same privilege and responsibility. When Israel started to live like the pagans, they robbed God of His glory. And the Lord had to chasten them!
When churches get the false idea that we must become like the world around us to reach the world, we have missed our calling and command from God!
Paul severely rebuked the church at Corinth for this practice. And then he gave them God’s command:
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty”(2Co6:17-18).
God desires absolute obedience in motives as well as in practice. Though we do not observe all of the worship practices of Israel, we are to have the same spirit of preparation and devotion.
On Sunday morning, January 24, 1861, Charles Hadden Spurgeon closed his sermon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle with these pointed words:
“An unholy church! It is of no use to the world, and of no esteem among men. Oh, it is an abomination!…The worst evils which have ever come upon the world, have been brought upon her by an unholy church!”
Heed God’s call to purity!
“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”(1Pt1:15-16).