A Call to Holiness Rabbi Michael Weiner
A Call to Holiness
We all have a calling on our lives to holiness. The Hebrew word for “holy” is Kadosh. It means to be separate, distinctive or apart. Apart from what? Apart from an evil world. God’s people blend in too much with the rest of society. We want to be accepted, but God says something else.
John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. But you are not of the world, since I have chosen you out of the world; therefore the world hates you.
Stop Craving Evil Things
1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so we wouldn’t crave evil things, just as they did.
The children of Israel were delivered by God from slavery in Egypt. But their craving for idol worship and sins of the flesh remained.
1 Corinthians 10:7-9 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” And let’s not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did – and in one day 23,000 fell. +And let’s not test the Lord, as some of them did – and were destroyed by serpents.
We might be tempted to think idol worship is far from us, but is it? Anything that becomes preeminent (above God) in our lives becomes an idol. Sports, a favorite TV show, a person such as a spouse or a child, your cell phone, social media, games or any technology can all be types of idols.
God Is Not Mocked
Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived – God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that he also shall reap. For the one who sows in the flesh will reap corruption from the flesh. But the one who sows in the Ruach will reap from the Ruach eternal life.
The physical reality is that Israel was delivered from slavery. The spiritual reality is that God’s people must be delivered from slavery to sin. Remember the Lord’s prayer? Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. This does not contradict grace. It partners with grace. Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my loved ones, just as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence – work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
I’m not trying to put a “guilt trip” on anyone. I am inviting the conviction to live according to God’s righteous principles. Who among us has no need to repent? If we think we don’t, that somehow we’re exempt, then immediately we must repent for the sin of pride.
We All Must Grow
There are only two options, ripening (growing) or turning rotten (dying). Nothing in nature stays the same. All of us, from the oldest to the youngest, must maintain an attitude of growth. We all need to continually change into the image of our Lord and Savior.
1 Peter 4:12-14 Loved ones, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal taking place among you to test you – as though something strange were happening to you. Instead, rejoice insofar as you share in the sufferings of Messiah, so that at the revelation of His glory you may also rejoice and be glad. If you are insulted for the name of Messiah, you are fortunate, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
That’s right, “you are fortunate!” Try living according to God’s righteous principles just today, then do it again tomorrow. Before you know it, you’ve built a lifetime of holiness.
Philippians 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves, which also was in Messiah Yeshua … 7a He emptied Himself … 8a He humbled Himself.