Friday, February 10, 2006

Interrupting the Law to Bring You This Reminder

Most people who are going through a read-the-Bible-in-one-year plan are digging into Leviticus right about now. Although we remind ourselves that "all Scripture is God-breathed," it's easy to get bogged down in the endless lists of laws, wondering why it's necessary to read about regulations that don't even apply to us under Christ. There are nuggets of gold to be found among these pages, but they're usually difficult to find.

Today as I plodded through the pages of Leviticus 20-22, I began to notice that God repeats one phrase (or variations of it) again and again: "I am the LORD, who makes you holy." Law after law, and then another brief interruption: "I am the LORD, who makes you holy."

It occurred to me that we all--the Israelites then, and the Pharisaic legalists in our hearts now--need the constant reminder. It is not our keeping of the laws which makes us holy. If our holiness and acceptability before a perfect and holy God depended at any point in our lives on our faithfulness to a long list of do's and don'ts, we'd be toast.

Certainly we must strive to fulfill the law (not the miniscule rules which bound the Israelites, but the higher law of love which Christ instituted). It is for our good and for His glory. But it is not what saves us. The law cannot make us holy. Our best efforts fall far short. Our works can't save us...but they also can't make us holy after we're saved.

Only God Himself can make us holy. "I the LORD am holy--I who make you holy."


Anonymous said...

Hi ! This is in response to a comment you wrote in Justin Taylor's (?) blog. You were asking about resources on Islam.

You should read "The Trouble With Islam", by Irshad Manji. Its been a NY Times best seller for quite some time.

She is a muslim, who has serious issues with Islam. It should be available in any bookstore.

Additionally, her website is somewhere online. Google it. However, I recc reading her book first.

Now, given that this commentdoes not relate to your blog post, you can delete it. I just wanted to answer your Q.

In Christ,

Jules said...

Good thoughts.

I remember during my "Life of Moses" study being captivated by the stories, miracles and rich lessons of Exodus. And then there was Leviticus. You really have to be willing to dig deep and study, but I absolutely agree that there are tons of golden nuggets. I was actually shocked with how much God could teach me through this book that I had completely avoided for so long.

Keep on digging.