Holiness

‘Holiness unto the Lord.’ Zechariah 14:21 KJV

Holiness should always be ‘unto the Lord’. Any time we make it ‘unto men’, it’s wrong and misguided because it’s just pride and pretence. Jesus condemned the Pharisees not for their acts of piety, but because they performed them to impress others. Not only did they live by a long list of religious ‘do’s and don’ts,’ they also kept a scorecard on others who didn’t live up to their list and denounced them for it.

Some of us grew up in homes and churches where this happened and, when the word ‘holiness’ is mentioned, we squirm and think of grim faces and pointed fingers of accusation. That’s not Bible holiness, that’s legalism! God hates it, and the Bible condemns it.

To understand what true holiness is, think of the word ‘contamination’. It’s one of every hospital’s greatest concerns. It’s why doctors in an operating room insist that their surgical instruments be constantly sterilised; caps, gowns, and gloves worn; and the environment in the room maintained at a temperature where germs can’t live. Are you getting the picture? Now adjust the lens a little bit, and you’ll see the spiritual application. True holiness does not isolate you from the world, it insulates you from its contaminants.

Paul corrected the Corinthian church for their approach to the communion table: ‘In eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.’ (1 Corinthians 11:21 NKJV) So Paul addresses their spiritually sloppy, anything-goes attitude. ‘For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many [have died].’ (1 Corinthians 11:30 NKJV) What’s the answer? ‘Holiness—unto the Lord!’

SoulFood: Exod 34:29–35, Mk 9:2–27, 2 Cor 3:7–18

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2022

Today’s Readings

Exodus 34:29–35

29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30 Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them. 32 Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the LORD had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. 33 And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.

34 Whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, 35 the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Mark 9:2–27

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.

And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. 11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”

14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

Mark 9:2

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,

1 Corinthians 3:7–18

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.

Sun 24 October, 2021


CALENDAR
Select a specific day

Post Date

Recent Articles

The Messiness of Christmas

We don’t tend to think of dark things at Christmas. We think of light and joy; a content baby in a manger, who doesn’t even cry. (I always questioned that line in Away in a Manger.) Everything is sweet, happy, calm, and like a Hallmark movie

Jots and Tittles: Hanukkah

Hanukkah—also known as the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication—is still celebrated today. It’s an annual event and it goes for eight days. It commemorates a great victory and a wondrous miracle.

Switchfoot: United Through Music

Being part of a successful band for twenty-four years is a rare achievement, but Chad Butler from Switchfoot has lived that reality. There have been many highlights over the years, and while he admits that the experience has been a gift, it’s also a wild ride.

The Sations

It was a quiet night in watching Netflix that prompted Dom, wife Laura and Dom’s sister Rachel to form their band, ‘The Sations.’ Dom says he and Laura wanted to try something different, so they invited Rachel to join them and decided to try writing a song.

Donate to vision

Over 80% of our income is from the freewill gifts of wonderful people just like you.
So thank you for helping. Your generous support is 'Connecting Faith to Life'.