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Do You Want To Be Holy?
Page 3 of 4
The second covenant
The insistent love of God and the second –and definitive– covenant
Heb 8:10-12 "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My Laws into their mind and write them in their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not each man teach his neighbor, and each man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more."
What had to be done
As was said, the substitution through the clean animals worked for some time but left God unhappy and man frustrated, so things had to be changed. God decided that for both to come together He would not depend on mankind anymore. He was not going to depend on man’s strength; the sinful nature within him was stronger than him. He was going to do things with His strength. He was going to act Himself to finally get His children free to come to Him.
For that, two things had to be achieved.
Man was not holy, so he had to be made holy if both where to walk on the same plateau, and then he had to be brought into the Garden.
Man knew that the Presence of God dwelt in the Inner Place of the sanctuary, which was so to say, the Garden of the Presence of God, but he also knew that he could not go into that place without taking with him the blood of the goats or lambs. That blood meant that man recognized that he had a sinful nature, and that he believed God’s word that sin could only disappear from the face of the earth through the shedding of its life. So he put his sins on the lamb and killed it. Only holding in his hands the blood of an animal that had been killed could the priest enter into God’s wonderful presence. Only that blood made it possible for the High Priest to come before the Holy One, because it showed that God’s law had been fulfilled, that obedience was in charge, that God’s will was being accepted by man.
The lamb and the priest –a dialog
Let us for a moment imagine a situation that could have happened during the first Covenant. The people would raise the lambs, and there was a little lamb very happy. It had a good life. It was eating well, it was getting nice, there were no problems in him, it was healthy, and then suddenly a man comes and buys it out of the flock. "Oh, thank you. Now I have a new friend", it thought. And then it sees that it is been brought before a priest and feels the priest’s hand on its head. It feels good, and then he feels his new friend’s hands on his head while whispering words, and the little lamb feels so good that they are liking him. And wanting them to know that it is appreciating their caressing it lifts his eyes to look at them as to say “thank you, I love you too”, when suddenly it is struck with terror.One hand of the priest is on his head, but the priest’s other hand is holding a knife and going to its throat! He is going to cut its throat!
With desperation a cry comes out of its mouth: "–Wait a minute, what are you doing? Hey, stop! Stop! Stop!"
So the priest halts. "–What do you want?"
"–What are you doing?"
"–I am going to kill you."
"–Because I need your blood to be shed."
"–You want to shed my blood? Why do you want to kill me? What have I done? I haven’t done anything!”
“–No, you haven’t, but this man has sinned, and he has brought you to replace him in what he deserved. Because of his sins he deserves to die, but you will replace him.”
“–But I am clean! I haven’t sinned against God! My life is clean!"
But the priest says: “–No, not anymore. The moment the man confessed his sins while putting his hand on your head his sins where placed on you and he was receiving your cleanliness. Your life free of sin has been given to him, and now you have his sins."
“–But, what do I have to do with this man's sins?"
"–Well, you have really no guilt in this man’s sins, but God said that if man would get a clean lamb to replace him in death, the cleanness of the life of the lamb would be given to him. If you don’t die, the man will have to die. Only through your sacrifice will him be granted the entrance to God’s Kingdom to fellowship with the Almighty."
“But my blood is still inside of me and this man’s blood is also still inside of him. And when you cut my throat my blood will be shed on earth, but his will still be in him. Why do you say that he will receive mine? How?”
“We don’t know how it happens, but we believe. We have faith that God does it, since He is the One that made it happen, just for us to be able to be accepted into His Presence, into His fellowship. We believe it happens, because God has given us the necessary faith to believe in Him and to obey Him”.
"–Why don’t you guys kill yourselves then? Why are you killing me?"
And the priest answered,
"– No man can bring us to God. Only clean blood can replace sick blood; only a clean life can replace a sinful life, and all of us men have a defiled blood. There is only this one way which God has made Himself to accept mankind back to Him, and that is through the shedding of the blood of the pure Lamb”.
What was done
God Himself decided to come and take the place of the lambs, and bulls and goats, and He declared that whosoever believed, whosoever accepted the faith which He gave man to believe in this His work, would be a partaker of the results of it.The Trinity decided to do it, and the Son of God offered Himself for the job.
Adam was told to do God’s will and couldn’t.
Jesus would pick up that order from God and fulfill it for Adam.
Heb 10:9then He said, "Lo, I come to do Your will, O God."
He came to do what Adam had not been able to do, and He fulfilled God’s will to the smallest detail, thus living the life that was really meant to be on this earth, with God fellowshipping with man all the days of his life.
He came to this earth governed by sin, but didn’t allow sin to overcome Him, but defeated it.
He walked in perfect obedience to God, thus never stepping out of holiness; therefore, He was holy.
He took as His only will to fulfill God’s will. Nothing was to be His. Everything was only going to be according to the Father’s desire. A complete walking in God’s ways, the desire God had had from the beginning, and by doing that, He dismantled the old system, which existed only to cover the faults, just to purify the flesh.
Heb 9:13For if the blood of bulls and of goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh,
Heb 10:9then He said, "Lo, I come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first so that He may establish the second.
He replaced the covering rituals with a full obedience, and nevertheless, He also shed His blood.
Why was that?
God had decided that the life of man was to be in his blood, and He never changed that.
Heb 9:22And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood is no remission.
And God never changed the specifications of how sinful man was to be made clean. The remission of sin could only happen if the sinners’ lives where withdrawn from the realm of the living. The only way sin could disappear from the face of the earth was making man disappear from this earth, because sin was in man. Sin had defiled the creature created in the likeness of God and it could not be repaired any more. Sin had ruined God’s creation. It was not repairable. And so, only the death of the flesh returned the sinful nature back to the dust from where it was taken.
His holiness and His blood
Jesus was the only man that ever walked in holiness on this earth, and then, the Trinity decided to give this holiness to mankind, thus fulfilling God’s greatest desire: that mankind would be able to walk in holiness and in righteousness before God, as it was promised to them.
Luk 1:74-75that He would grant to us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear,in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
Jesus offered himself as a Lamb to God, and God accepted that all men that would believe in His Word should be made anew. They should die in Jesus’ death and have Jesus’ holy life in them.
And the Lamb of God was crucified, and to this day, all who believe that Jesus is the Lamb of God and confess their sins, putting their lives in that cross with Him, receive the shedding of their sinful life in the shedding of Jesus’ blood and get Jesus’ holy life placed in them, thus obtaining admittance into the Presence of the One who is Holy and who is impatiently awaiting for all sinners to take this faithful path and come to Him.
We are being made holy because Jesus gives us His holiness and takes our sinfulness.
It is not that we can make ourselves holy. No. Eventually we can turn our behavior into a righteous one with a certain degree of effort, but we can never make ourselves holy by performing good deeds. Holiness in man is only found in Jesus, and we can only be made holy by faith, if we receive His gift, if we accept to receive His life in us.
God said that He would change the sinner’s way of life, and He did so by offering the sinner to give his sinful nature to the Christ and to receive the Lord’s holy life in him. And that sacrifice of the Lamb of God was fulfilled in the Cross. By the offering of the body of Jesus Christ we are sanctified, we are made holy.
Heb 10:9-10then He said, "Lo, I come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first so that He may establish the second. By this will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
He made holy and He made perfect
But the most beautiful thing of all, is that not only is man being made holy, but that this beautiful holy nature will remain in us men and women forever! Once and for all! God will never remember our iniquities against Him, because the nature of the Holy Jesus is in us. Because we have received the faith to believe that work of love God made.
Heb 10:10By this will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Heb 10:14-17For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Rom 5:17-19For if by one man's offense death reigned by one, much more they who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.)Therefore as by one offense sentence came on all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came to all men to justification of life.For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.
And then God, after having put the sinful nature of man on His Son, sent His Son to the place where sin is to be kept. In hell. That is the place of those who want no fellowship with God. But hell could not hold the holiness of Jesus’ life, and God resurrected Jesus from the dead. Jesus had surrendered his life to be put to death. And He accepted His blood to be shed. And by His resurrection, He is now as our Priest in the Presence of the Father forever. He is holding His own blood in front of the Father’s eyes, like saying: “All those who are coming in my holiness to meet you Father, have been bought for you with this my blood”.
You want to know who “the saints” are?
Follow me to the book of Revelation.
Rev 14:12Here is the patience of the saints. Here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
12 …here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Were the writers wrong when they addressed the churches as “the saints”? No, they were right. But quite a lot of the members of those churches didn’t comply with what holiness requires! Their behaviors weren’t exactly holy!
That is also true. So why are they then called “holy”, or “saints”? Because they have accepted the will of God as their will. But they don’t fulfill it! Most of the time they fall back into sin!
Yes, but they return to the Lamb of God day after day and ask for His blood to be sprinkled on them.
The holiness has replaced the sinful nature. Man has been enabled to live in holiness! Sin has no more power over mankind when it has accepted the life of Jesus within them. Yet the sinful flesh still remains on man until its death. And in that meantime man fights against his own unredeemed flesh, and eventually is also defeated by it. But the Lamb of God is always –forever– there to let the holy blood wash away all sins. The law of God has not been taken away. Blood is still necessary to remit the sins.
Heb 9:22And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood is no remission.
God has supplied mankind with a Lamb, and we are holy because His holy life is in us and we are made righteousness through the cleansing of His blood.
In the epistle to the Hebrews the writer mentions that the blood of the former sacrifices sanctified, made holy, purified, the flesh, but the blood of Jesus purges our consciences. That is a complete and profound cleansing, not only of the outside, but also in the inside of man.
Heb 9:13-14For if the blood of bulls and of goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh,how much more shall the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God) purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
To be able to walk in the Garden of God’s Presence, to be able to dwell in the fellowship with God, man needs a holy nature. And that he has received when he accepts Christ as His Saviour and Lord.
But he also receives the blessing of the cleansing power of the blood of the Lamb of God that is sprinkled on him each time dead works appear. The power of that blood enables to serve God and defeats sin. Men and women who walk under the power of Jesus’ blood are holy not only in nature but also in action. Just like in ancient times man could not overcome the strength of sin, it is still so today. But today we can run to our deliverer.
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