Category: Holiness

For we have forsaken your commandments, which you commanded … saying, ‘The land that you are entering, to take possession of it, is a land impure with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations that have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness.
Therefore … never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’

Ezra 9:10-12
In the book of Ezra, we’re told that after the first wave of exiles returned from Babylon to Israel, the people grew spiritually cold. Ezra the priest returns with the second wave of exiles and is told that they have not separated themselves from the peoples of the surrounding lands and had married foreign women against the command of God. Being a godly man who had devoted himself to the study, observance, and teaching of God’s law, Ezra cries out in anguish and pulls hair from his beard and his head and tears his clothes in grief because of the gravity of their sin. His weeping and intercessory prayer on behalf of the Jews is so heartfelt and moving that they respond with profound repentance and make a covenant to make things right with the Lord. In other words, spiritual revival breaks out because of one man’s commitment to the Word of God and his love for the Lord (see Ezra 9-10).

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Holiness Idolatry Repentance

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Dying to Self Holiness Uncategorized

There are many lessons we can learn from the people of Israel and their experience in the wilderness. Some examples are pointed out to us blatantly by Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:6–11: 1) we should not lust as they lusted, 2) become idolaters as were some of them, 3) commit sexual immorality as some of them did, 4) tempt Christ as also some did, nor 5) complain as some of them complained. Whew. That’s quite the list to keep in mind as we walk the Christian walk.

While I was reading the book of Numbers this morning, I came upon another example that resonated with me:

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Holiness

Recently, someone told me that an individual’s Facebook posts have nothing to do with their spirituality. The discussion arose because we both know a man, elected to the position of deacon at his church, whose Facebook “likes” and “follows” consisted of pages of either obscene jokes and language or scantily clad women. To be fair, the primary purpose of most of the pages in mention was not to publish obscene language and scantily clad women. The overall theme of the pages was guns. But what goes along with guns in the eyes of the world? Women in bikinis that are three sizes too small for their ample bodies and the soldier’s favorite cuss word that can be used as an adjective, adverb, noun, and verb all in one sentence.

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Dying to Self Holiness Idolatry