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Holiness

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  • Holiness

    1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,[a] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

    First note that acting in obedience to God's instructions is not in opposition to setting our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ, but is in accordance with it. We should be holy in all our conduct as God is holy. In verse 16, the author quoting from the OT Scriptures and in a high context society that also brought to mind the context of what is being quoted, so let's look at the context of the quote to see how we are to be holy as God is holy.

    Leviticus 11:44-47 For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. 45 For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” 46 This is the law about beast and bird and every living creature that moves through the waters and every creature that swarms on the ground, 47 to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean and between the living creature that may be eaten and the living creature that may not be eaten.

    Here, the command to be holy as God is holy is in the context of the dietary laws. "To be holy" means "to be set apart". Something can not be clean and unclean at the same time, so to be holy is to be pure or spotless. The deeper meaning of God commanding His people in regard to dietary laws is to teach them to be discerning about everything that they took into their bodies so that we would not become polluted by the world around us. In every action, we should consider whether it is something that God would have us do. Are we bringing glory to God or dishonor? We are either facing toward God or away from God, there is no middle ground.

    Leviticus 19:2-4 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. 3 Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. 4 Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God.

    God has ordered the world in a way that He wants us adhere to, so we are to be holy be revering the parents that God has put over us. God has blessed the seventh day and made it holy or set it apart, so we are to be holy by treating God's Sabbaths as holy. We are to be holy by not polluting ourselves with the worship of idols.

    Leviticus 20:7-9 Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. 8 Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 9 For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him.

    We are to be holy as God is holy by keeping God's statues in accordance with His holy, righteous, and good standard. Again, we are to be holy by honoring our parents.

    Leviticus 20:22-26 “You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. 23 And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them. 24 But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples. 25 You shall therefore separate the clean beast from the unclean, and the unclean bird from the clean. You shall not make yourselves detestable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground crawls, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. 26 You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.

    Again, holiness is associated with keeping all of Gods statues and rules and doing them, as well as with keeping God's dietary laws.

    Leviticus 23:2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.

    We are to be holy as God is holy by keeping all of God's appointed times, which includes the Sabbath as one of the feasts.

    Numbers 15:40 So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God.

    Deuteronomy 28:9 The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways

    1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

    Speaking to Gentiles, who were not a people, but were now the people of God, the author says they are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God's special possession. What God said about Israel is now true about Gentiles:

    Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

    We can not be a holy nation without God making us holy and without faithfully following God's instructions for how to be holy.
    "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

  • #2
    "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment..." (Jas. 3:1).

    Comment


    • #3
      "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment..." (Jas. 3:1).
      I'm speaking to myself as much as anyone else about our need to be holy in our conduct, but for the most part I'm interpreting Scripture with Scripture. If you think that I'm wrong in my reasoning, then I'd appreciate you interacting with what I said by explaining where my error is. However, if I'm right, then I'd hope that you pause to consider the implications.
      Last edited by Soyeong; 04-13-2015, 10:07 PM.
      "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Soyeong
        We can not be a holy nation without God making us holy and without faithfully following God's instructions for how to be holy.
        In case this last part wasn't clear, our holiness is found in God, not by what we do. Rather, following God's instructions for how to be holy is what those who are made holy by God should do.
        "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
          "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment..." (Jas. 3:1).

          "Peter understands that what is said of God's covenant people under the terms of the Old Covenant is exactly what must of God's covenant people under the New."

          I watched the whole video and agreed with pretty much everything he said about what 1 Peter 2:9-10 said in regard to a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession. However, it didn't really interact with my main point about what 1 Peter 1:13-16 is quoting, so that still stands.
          "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

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          • #6
            in a high context society that also brought to mind the context of what is being quoted
            The higher context, of course, is that Jesus has fulfilled the Mosaic Law and that a new Covenant has been inaugurated that for those who are in Him the Mosaic Law no longer applies.

            The quotations from the Pentateuch are to establish that that the church is now the true Israel, not the Jews, and that there is are high demands on the people within - but not the Mosaic Law.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Paprika View Post
              The higher context, of course, is that Jesus has fulfilled the Mosaic Law and that a new Covenant has been inaugurated that for those who are in Him the Mosaic Law no longer applies.
              We certainly don't have to get circumcised any longer, and we're dispensed legally from any purity rituals. However we're still obligated to fulfill all the moral commandments.

              The quotations from the Pentateuch are to establish that that the church is now the true Israel, not the Jews, and that there is are high demands on the people within - but not the Mosaic Law.
              This I agree with.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                We certainly don't have to get circumcised any longer, and we're dispensed legally from any purity rituals. However we're still obligated to fulfill all the moral commandments.
                The obligation exists not because we're under the Mosaic Law but under something else. Scripture doesn't use the 'moral law' category at all.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                  The obligation exists not because we're under the Mosaic Law but under something else. Scripture doesn't use the 'moral law' category at all.
                  I'm not sure this can be interpreted as "The Mosaic Law has been abrogated." Any while Scripture doesn't use the 'moral law' category as such, the first council (of the apostles no less), determined that gentiles need not be circumcised in order to be baptized. So clearly as a Christian you're dispensed from those rituals, but all the other laws you're supposed to keep. Take usury for instance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                    I'm not sure this can be interpreted as "The Mosaic Law has been abrogated."
                    Good thing I never made such a claim, isn't it?

                    Any while Scripture doesn't use the 'moral law' category as such, the first council (of the apostles no less), determined that gentiles need not be circumcised in order to be baptized. So clearly as a Christian you're dispensed from those rituals, but all the other laws you're supposed to keep. Take usury for instance.
                    It hardly follows from Acts 15 that since one ritual is dispensed with, "those rituals" whatever they may be are dispensed with as well, and that "all the other laws" are still to be kept.

                    My pointing out that Scripture doesn't use the category of 'moral law' is to jerk the reader from automatically projecting such common external concepts onto Scripture, as it tends to distort and obscure. Does Paul use the categories of 'moral law' or 'ceremonial law'? If not, then let's see what he actually uses and try to understand why.

                    Also, those that hold to Divine Command Theory will have difficulties making a distinction between 'moral law' and 'ceremonial law' since by basic premise all commands from God are moral.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                      I'm not sure this can be interpreted as "The Mosaic Law has been abrogated." Any while Scripture doesn't use the 'moral law' category as such, the first council (of the apostles no less), determined that gentiles need not be circumcised in order to be baptized. So clearly as a Christian you're dispensed from those rituals, but all the other laws you're supposed to keep. Take usury for instance.
                      Isn't usury addressed in the NT though?
                      Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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                      I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                        Isn't usury addressed in the NT though?
                        Its also addressed in the Old Testament, even more strongly. I don't want to play act a moral theologian in this discussion, because I realize my inadequacy on this subject. However its not as if Christ simple abolished the whole of the Mosaic Law, and only such things as have been mentioned in the NT apply. And its also the case that we're called to be holy, which implies that we should strive to live free of deliberate sin, no Christian gets a free pass to sin (I know you're an Eastern Orthodox so we should see eye to eye on this).

                        I'm kinda reacting strongly to anything that resembles the notion of "I'm a Christian, I believe Christ rose from the dead and I love Him, but its okay that me and my girlfriend are sleeping together even though we're not married. I mean we're all sinners, and its faith that saves so there." which is really prevalent in my country.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                          I'm kinda reacting strongly to anything that resembles the notion of "I'm a Christian, I believe Christ rose from the dead and I love Him, but its okay that me and my girlfriend are sleeping together even though we're not married. I mean we're all sinners, and its faith that saves so there." which is really prevalent in my country.
                          Right. So could you actually address what I'm saying instead of projecting the theological imbecility of your countrymen?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                            Right. So could you actually address what I'm saying instead of projecting the theological imbecility of your countrymen?
                            Given this response I think I'll just bow out of this conversation.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                              Given this response I think I'll just bow out of this conversation.
                              Do come back when you're less reactive.

                              Comment

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