But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (Lifestyle); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1Pe 1:15-16)
Please note the words: “it is written.” The New Testament rests firmly upon the Old Testament. Some things in the Old were removed from the New, but many things are carried into the New Testament and are just as valid as they were in the Old Testament. We get the institution of marriage from the Old Testament, and some commands of conduct. Being holy as a product of connecting with God is as important in the New Testament as it was in the Old Testament. The big problem the Jewish people had with the Old Testament was obeying God from the heart. Isaiah said:
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (Isa 29:13)
Jesus quoted Isaiah: This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (Mat 15:8)
Our generation is more taken up with status symbols and being smart and entertained than with knowing about God. Francis Schaeffer said that America’s gods are “peace and affluence.” That is, we want to be big shots and we don’t want to rub anyone the wrong way. If they think up is down and east is west, let them have at it. We must not have a settled word on anything that matters much.
Of course, Isaiah had a version of that going on in his day: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isa 5:20-21)
Albert Barnes, (1798-1870) was a Presbyterian pastor in N.J. and then at the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, PA just two years short of his death. He lived five years beyond the end of the Civil War. He was an eloquent preacher but was better known for his printed expository notes that circulated in America and England. Barnes was gifted with an ability to simplify the explanations of Scripture. I give this as a background to the following commentary about “Being Holy in the New Testament.” When he spoke of “religion” he meant Bible Christianity. That’s what it was called in those days.
“Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy - Lev_11:44. This command was addressed at first to the Israelites, but it is with equal propriety addressed to Christians, as the professed people of God. The foundation of the command is, that they professed to be his people, and that as his people they ought to be like their God. Compare Mic_4:5.
“It is a great truth; that people everywhere will imitate the God whom they worship. They will form their character in accordance with his. They will regard what he does as right. They will attempt to rise no higher in virtue than the God whom they adore, and they will practice freely what he is supposed to do or approve.
“Hence, by knowing what are the characteristics of the gods which are worshipped by any people, we may form a correct estimate of the character of the people themselves; and, hence, as the God who is the object of the Christian’s worship is perfectly holy, the character of His worshipers should also be holy.
“And hence, also, we may see that the tendency of true religion is to make people pure. As the worship of the impure gods of the pagan moulds the character of the worshippers into their image, so the worship of Yahweh moulds the character of His professed friends into His image, and they become like him.” (Barnes)
A fitting question is, “Can people tell who our God is by the way we live and talk and model our faith as we live in a pagan society?” If we are going to obey the Lord in living a holy life, we are going to have to take time to read and study His word and obey everything He shows us. The Holy Spirit is still working today but one of our problems is grieving the Holy Spirit and resisting the Holy Spirit. It should not be that way. We must turn to God with all our hearts in this wicked day we are living in. Ω
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
FEBRUARY 23, 2017 – THURSDAY
A.M. Numbers 8-10 P.M. Mark 5:1-20
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MEMORY VERSE THIS MONTH: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. (Hos 4:6-7)
SONG FOR TODAY:
Acapella Men’s Chorus (3:54) Holy, Holy, Holy (Harvest Church)
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Our Eyes. I was told by two eye doctors that the number one thing to do in caring for our eyes is to do an eye scrub every day. Wet a clean bath cloth and squeeze onto the cloth 3-4 drops of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. Fold the cloth and spread the shampoo by working between fingers and thumb.
Open the cloth and apply the cloth to closed eyelids, left to right, in contact with the eye lashes. Use an un-soaped part of the wet cloth over eyes to rinse off the soap. Hold cloth under warm water again to rinse soap from cloth. Apply cloth again to further rinse soap from eyes. Rinse cloth and wring out. Apply to eyes to remove most of the water from the closed eyes. Morning and evening if needed.
Get enough sleep to allow your eyes to rest. Strength and health come before beauty. Watch your eyes for reaction to eye makeup or soap. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is the best eye soap. The scrub will remove lubricating oil from your eyes. Use a good eye drop to lubricate your eyes after scrubbing them. Keeping the eyes lubricated during the day is a marvelous feature of God’s creative design.
Blinking the eye re-lubricates the eye. The lubricant is fed through ducts built into the eye lids. If the ducts clog up, no lubricant can get to the eye. Also, a clogged duct can harbor infection. I had to have surgery on a tear duct to allow it to drain. Not fun. Scrub your eyes for comfort and insurance against eye injury.
Use sun glasses with a good rating to avoid glare and burning of the eyes. Sun glare contributes to the formation of cataracts. My eye surgeon told me to eat a lot of greens to guard against macular degeneration. There is now a dark red pill (Areds 2) that contains some of the ingredients in greens. If you’re driving nails, mowing, weed-eating, sanding, etc., use protective goggles. Ω