And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them,…
Verse 45, "For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy."
I. THE BASIS ON WHICH HOLINESS RESTS. The Divine call.
1. All religion must find its real strength as well as its root in Divine love. "We love him because he first loved us." A redeemed life must be holy. "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." We begin our holiness with the cross of Christ. He has cleansed us with his blood, therefore we must be clean.
2. The deliverance effected by God for his people is made the pledge of an eternal life by the special covenant, which separated them from all others. We must have fact and positive revelation and direct premise to fall back upon. He also calls us to himself, declares himself our God. He says, "Be ye holy; for I am holy." Likeness to God is our rule; fellowship with God is our strength and joy.
II. THE NATURE AND METHOD OF HOLINESS.
1. The holiness which God requires is personal holiness - holiness in life, manners, habits, food, everything which concerns the man himself. The distinctions of clean and unclean animals, etc., refer to natural laws of health and life.
2. Holiness must be the characteristic of God's people as a community. The laws of cleanliness separated the nation as a whole from other nations. They applied to all classes, and to every individual. The Church must be a holy Church. The lack of discipline is a terrible hindrance to the advance of religion. We must keep off the unclean. The covenant blessing will not be given unless the covenant law be observed, "Let a man examine himself." Defilement of sacred things is judgment to ourselves.
3. The holiness of this world's life is a promise and prediction of the higher holiness of the everlasting life. The clean and unclean animals were distinguished that the taint of death might be removed in the case of those fit for food. The distinction itself seemed to say all would be clean to you if it were not for death. When we are above the conditions of earthly life, then to be holy will be to be really like God - not in a mere negative purity of not being contaminated, not sinning; but being spiritually created afresh, with immortal natures, with perfect hearts to serve God, with life interpenetrated by his Divine glory. The holiness of the best Christian on earth is but an imperfect thing, largely a holiness of external regulation and separation from the unclean; but the holiness of the angelic nature will be a real and positive participation of the Divine. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them,