Say to Them
Leviticus 19:1-2a NASB
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
“Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them… (Cf. 1 Co. 14:1-3; Eph. 4:14-16; Eph. 5:18-20; Heb. 3:12-13; 1 Thess. 5:11)
It is not just the prophets and the pastors and teachers and elders who are to speak to the congregations of the saints of Almighty God. We, as the body of Christ, are to speak to one another for our edification, exhortation, strengthening and comfort.
We are to speak the truth in love, one to the other, so that we will grow to maturity in Christ, and no longer be tossed back and forth by various winds of doctrine and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. As we each do our part, which God has assigned us to do, we will help one another to be encouraged in our walks of faith with our Lord.
We, too, are to be filled with the Spirit of God, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. The songs do not have to be ones which are professionally recorded or performed, or only those which are considered worship songs. But, they can simply be scripture put to music or to poetry. And, they should have a message for us, the body, and not just be songs of praise to the Lord, for we are to speak them to one another for our mutual encouragement and strengthening in the Lord.
And, why do we need this? So that none of us has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. And, so that none of us may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. And, too, so that we are not easily led astray by those who would try to deceive us, or so we don’t give up.
Leviticus 19:2b, 4, 5 NASB
‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. (Cf. 1 Pet. 1:14-16)
‘Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the Lord your God. (Cf. 1 Co. 10:14; Eph. 5:5)
‘Now when you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. (C.f. Rom. 12:1-2)
To be holy means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made into the likeness of Christ. And, it means to be separate unto God and to his service, to live for him in doing his will.
It means we no longer live for sin and self, but we live for the honor and pleasure and praise of our God. So, we don’t behave in all the same ways we did before we believed in Christ, for Jesus Christ set us free from our slavery (addiction) to sin.
Thus, if we are living lives which are separate from the world, and separate unto God, that means we will not make the people or the things of this world our gods (our idols). For, Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15).
Basically, to be holy means that we give our lives over to our Lord as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our acceptable worship of him. And, we are no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are transformed of the Spirit of God in the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Leviticus 19:12, 14b NASB
‘You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the Lord. (Cf. Matt. 23)
‘But you shall revere your God; I am the Lord. (Cf. Heb. 12:28-29; 2 Co. 7:1; Rev. 11:18; Rev. 14:7; Rev. 19:5)
If we revere the Lord, we will honor him for the holy God that he is, and we will honor his Word, and we will do what He says. We will worship him in spirit and in truth. We will be devoted to him and to his service. We, too, will fulfill our duty to him. For…
“We have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:12-13).
We will not dishonor our Lord by making false pretenses of living spiritual lives while we hide our secret sins inside. We will not use God as a cover up for evil, either, neither will we act all spiritual to impress others, while behind closed doors we are living in gross immorality. We will not knowingly instruct others in the right way while we are willfully doing what is wrong.
But, we will take God and His Word seriously, and we will endeavor, in the power of the Spirit within us, to do what it says. We will purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for our God. And, we will walk in integrity, in honesty and purity before God and before our fellow humans, both in obedience to our Lord and as our witness as to God’s saving grace which has taken place in our lives.
Love Your Neighbors
Leviticus 19:11, 16-18 NASB
‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. (Cf. Rom. 13:9; Eph. 4:17-32)
‘You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the Lord. (Cf. Eph. 4:31)
‘You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. (Cf. 1 Jn. 4:20)
‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord. (Cf. Rom. 12:19; Heb. 10:30)
If we truly honor and love our Lord, and if we revere him and his Word, then we will love our fellow humans with god-like love. This love prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, honest, pure and just, so it will do no harm to its neighbor.
Thus, we will not steal from, kill, slander, abuse, trick, manipulate, hate (despise), or lie to one another. We will also not lust after, envy, accuse falsely, commit adultery against, or otherwise do others harm. And, when we are wronged by others, we will not get even, nor will we hold on to bitterness and unforgiveness.
But, we will forgive as God forgives. But, we need to remember here that when God forgives our sin, he does not turn a blind eye to further sin, nor does he give us permission to continue in sin without guilt. He does not comfort us in our sin, but he helps us to put sin to death. And, he sets boundaries for us, and he gives us the law of love to follow. So, forgiveness does not give someone permission to continue sinning against us.
And, we will be honest, trustworthy, kind, generous, thoughtful, considerate, helpful, honorable, faithful, moral, pure and loving toward one another. We will consider others’ needs above our own, and we will do what we know to do, and as God directs, to help meet others’ needs. And, this includes that we will share with them the gospel of our salvation, but the whole gospel, not gospel lite, so that their greatest need will be met, which is to have union and fellowship with their God and their Lord Jesus Christ.
Keep the Word
Leviticus 19:19a NASB
‘You are to keep My statutes.’” (Cf. Jn. 14:23-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Jas. 1:19-25)
Bottom line, if we obey the Word of God, and we do what it says, and we don’t just walk away and forget what it says and then go about doing our own thing, we will live holy lives, we will love our neighbors, we will revere and honor our God, and we will speak to one another for our mutual edification, encouragement and strengthening in our walks of faith with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Your Servant Witness
An Original Work / March 13, 2012
Humbly I bow, Lord, before You,
Bringing my requests to You.
May I listen; hear You speaking.
May I follow You in truth.
Gently lead me in Your service.
Guide my steps and strengthen me.
Fill me with Your love and mercy.
May I live for Thee!
Let me be Your servant witness,
Telling others of Your grace.
May I always share the gospel
With those I meet face to face.
May I show the love of Jesus,
Caring for the needs of men;
Be Your servant witness always
For my Lord, Amen!
My desire to be like Jesus,
Living for Him ev’ry day.
May I obey all His teachings
Given me, so I’ll not stray.
Love You, Jesus, Lord, my master.
You are the King of my heart;
Follow You where’er You lead me;
Not from You depart!
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. May You bring it home to our hearts. Amen!