Saturday, June 11, 2011

Leviticus and Our Holiness Code

“For I am the LORD your God; sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.”

~Leviticus 11:44a (NRSV).

The theological nexus, the fundamental nectar, of Leviticus — the early manifestation of God’s perfect Law — is the impassioned invocation to holiness.

As we get beyond the miry detail, climbing through the clouds of legalism and into the hallowed ether, we’re able to see God’s purpose for the Law. This Lord of love is a most pure and ‘safe’ God.

This piece of Divine character is to become ours. It’s God’s heartiest wish that we’d want such purity of mind and heart. And it’s this sense of heavenly congruence that brings us ever closer to the Spiritual Presence of this incomprehensible Celestial Being we call God.

Human Holiness is Nothing About Perfection

The intent behind the Levitical Law is about a way to holiness.

From our brokenness — in discussion around the unattainable: absolute holiness — we need to comprehend the difference between the intent of the Law and our level of achievement with it.

God never holds us up to the Jesus-standard; and never did. That’s why the plan for salvation was conjured and enacted.

Human holiness — our sanctification in God — is everything about the humility-of-reliance upon every resource of human weakness in the strength of God alone.

Home in God’s Holiness

This way we’re home in God’s holiness — made clean (sanctified-via-actuality) to know inner blessedness.

Possibly a feeling, the experience of this state of blessedness is made certain when we combine knowledge of our salvation with the process of trusting obedience.

Blessedness, as a feeling, is experienced when we act with a mind of holiness; one underpinned with a heart attuned to God.

Our Hope is Entrenched in ‘Process’ Not ‘Outcome’

Our intention for living, where fitted with God’s intention for our lives, is holiness, but it’s not an expectation that we’ll reach or attain this holy status with any vibrant sustainability.

That, as a goal, is fraught with failure and eventual despair. Satan’s broken many a work-hardened Christian this way.

Our focus is rather on the ever-continuing process of recurrent sanctification — to never give up trying to please God, not via effort, but through trust — not on reaching some ultimate “outcome” of maturity.

The maturity of holiness is only ever engendered for the moment’s provision. We’re vouchsafed in the Lord’s purity in the next realm, but via trust for the moment in this one.

Holiness can only be ours contingent in accord with the will of God. Because we don’t always perceive the perfect will of the Lord, or necessarily choose for it if we are aware, holiness by process is deeply conditional. It’s an ironic maturity to accept our broken fallibility.

Our holiness is imperfect. Thank God we’re made holy far beyond our capability.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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