Through the Word in 2020 / Feb. 17

We are reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators. You can download it free of charge from:

Today’s 4 readings are: Matthew 17:14-27; Acts 24; Psalm 39. Leviticus 5-7.

Leviticus 7:1 uses a curious phrase about the guilt offering: “It is most holy.” Not just holy, but most holy. What we learn here is that “holiness” may admit of some sort of gradation. We’ve seen this before. In the Tabernacle itself, there is the courtyard, then the holy place and the MOST holy place. All are holy, and yet not all are the same.

Now there is something here of sweet importance to us as Believers. While we are called “holy” now, saints or the sanctified – it is not as though we are yet “most” holy as we will be. But holy nonetheless.

Trying to be holier than we can be in this present life leads to impossible tensions. And it can lead to a crisis of anxiety for many who dearly want to walk as uprightly as they can, and yet find themselves still sinning. Thus many in the perfectionist movements either ending up lying to themselves or others, or bear the mind weakening effects of a mental dissonance that can lead to even greater emotional or mental breaks.

We are not what we were before we came to Christ, wholly sold under sin. And God forbid any of us become comfortable with our sin. But we do need to be comfortable with the reality of sin until the day when in the Resurrection we shall at last be most holy. Yes, sin is to be hated. Yes sin is to be fought. But no, we cannot chase the fool’s gold of imagining a holiness that is not yet ours, and will not be until Jesus returns. We are not what we were before – hallelujah! But neither are we yet what we shall be. And that deserves a hallelujah! as well.

Father, make me as holy as I can be in this life, but remind me that I am not yet glorified, so as to trust completely in Christ as all my righteousness now.

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