Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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Pictures of the Church pt 5

Pictures of the Church, pt 5

Be Holy As I Am Holy
The Hebrew word for holy (qadosh) means set apart. Israel was holy—set apart from the pagan nations around it. The vessels in the Temple were holy because they were set apart strictly for use in worship.

But none of this compares to God, who is completely holy. He is the Creator, and we are the creatures. He is perfect, and we are sinful. He is eternal, and we are mortal. He is all-powerful, and we are limited. As both Isaiah and Job show, simply seeing the Lord is enough to bring us to our knees (Isaiah 6:5; Job 42:5-6). His awesome presence moves us to cry out: “Woe is me! I am doomed without God!”

Still, as holy as he is, God wants us to share in his holiness. He told the Israelites: “Sanctify yourselves, then, and be holy; for I, the Lord, your God, am holy” (Leviticus 20:7). If we look at this verse in light of the images of the sheepfold, the vineyard, and the household, we can see how special the church must be in God’s eyes.

One of the central themes of the church is that it is holy, since it has been sanctified by Jesus himself. As far as its identity in Christ, its calling, and its mission are concerned, the church is spotless and perfect. And yet, as pure as the church is, each of us—every member of the church— is still called to deeper purification and greater holiness. That’s right. All of us, including full time preachers and teachers, are imperfect members of a perfect church!

How encouraging it is to know, then, that while God has called us to be holy, he has generously given us his own divine power to help make us holy. He has given us the grace that we need to live a new life in Christ. He has given us his Holy Spirit to guide us and comfort us and teach us. He feeds us through the Scriptures, bible study, prayer and fasting. He has given us everything we need to become the holy priesthood that he has called us to be.

to be continued...

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