Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy. – Leviticus 20:7
Once more the LORD spoke to Moses to give the people of Israel instructions on how to conduct their daily lives and to live holy before God. Among his instructions to Moses was the command that the people were to consecrate, or set apart, themselves and be holy. Why? Because God said he was holy and is the one who made the people holy. The people could not make themselves holy; only YHWH could do that.
Throughout time people have misused, abused, and confused the nature of this command from God. (I must preface that we are not under the Law but grace for those who might think I’m being legalistic.) The Jews got it wrong and still do so to this day by thinking that observing a code of dos and don’ts makes them holy. Being holy is a state of being. We can make the conscious decision to not partake of the world’s offering and defile ourselves, but this choice doesn’t make us holy.
It is the same principle that applies to our righteousness. The Jews could have personal righteousness from observing the Law, but they would never make it into the presence of the Almighty based on their deeds. Why? It’s as David noted, we are born into sin. Thus, we are guilty of breaking God’s Law from conception. Therefore, we were in need of a Savior from birth. We could do nothing to be undefiled as was Jesus upon his birth. We were born of man and inherited Adam’s original sin nature. Jesus was born of the woman and of God and thus born without sin. He was and still is the only person who could ever fulfill the Law’s requirements and be pure and earn righteousness that comes from observing and fulfilling the Law. Thus, we are MADE righteous in God’s eyes through the righteousness of Jesus.
Accordingly, we cannot make ourselves holy in our own power. Jesus told the apostles that salvation by human means was impossible, but ALL things are possible with God. Thus, the holy God makes us holy. He decides to set us apart and use us for his glory. We accept his love gift of eternal life through Jesus by grace through faith and are thus made holy through the work of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus. Yes, you choose not to defile yourself with unclean (worldly) things and practices, but it is the God, who is holy, that makes you holy.
Let him who has ears to hear, read and understand.
Father, thank you for opening my eyes more clearly today to see and know that you are the one who makes us holy. We make the choice to do holy or unholy things, but your Spirit makes us holy. We are born into this world and can do nothing to make ourselves holy and to be saved from eternal damnation. Those acts are done by the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and through the resurrection. I hereby am holy because you made me holy. I acknowledge your supremacy in the matter and humble myself under your mighty hand. You are God alone. Thank you for making me holy when I couldn’t. In Jesus’ name, Amen.