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Living a Holy Life

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 18:1–5.



Leviticus 18 is the official beginning of the second half of Leviticus. And how we knew that is this statement is very much like God uses for the rest of the chapter when he is going over a list of certain rules and commands. This is a part of the larger collection of Leviticus 17-26, which is called the Holiness Code.



The first half of Leviticus was all about making yourself ritually pure. Now being impure wasn't sin. However, purity gave you the ability to participate in the community life, and worship. Israel was called to be people of life, therefore, anything that had to do with mortality and death could make you impure. God is pure life therefore, when death enters His presence, it is annihilated. Therefore, you can see why it is a delicate matter to participate in the community that this Holy God lives in the center.



And now we see that there's a shift in my research is showing that this is actually the primary focus of the Book of Leviticus. And for the rest of the Torah, in the entire Hebrew scripture, we see God is more concerned with our holiness rather than our purity, that God doesn't want us to go around being religious, doing rituals to communicate with Him. Rather, God desires our entire life to be in worship to Him. It says numerous times throughout scripture that God desires mercy, not sacrifice in things like it, where God would rather us live holy lives than focus on being pure.



Jesus is addressing the topic of holy living when he confronts the religious leaders in the New Testament is when the religious leaders of Jesus' day seem to have ignore this part of the law. They were so concerned about purity and all about the rituals that they did not to remember to live holy lives. The Sadducees and Pharisees took advantage of their power and abused it, which is what the Holiness Code condemns. The focus of the Holiness Code is taking care of the poor in those who cannot defend themselves. We see all throughout the rest of this chapter that God is concerned for those who cannot defend themselves, that living holy lives is helping those around you, that what God wants us to do is to love those around us.



Where Jesus gets the second half of the great commandment, “love your neighbor as yourself” is Leviticus out of all places. Who would have thought? You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:17-18.

Therefore, what this book is all about and what sets the precedent for the rest of the biblical story, is that God is concerned with how we live our lives, that if we want God to dwell in our midst and for us it's live inside of us and dwell within us by the Holy Spirit.



We have to live holy that if we claim we follow Jesus but don't live it out, then we're fooling only ourselves. That if we want the true connection with God that we desire, then it is more than just being religious and going to church. It is a living our entire life, as Romans 12:2 says. “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God, for this is your true and proper worship.”


For more listen to episode 45 of "A Revolution to Lead" podcast, and do not forget to subscribe to our email list so our content comes to you.



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