God wants you to be holy!
You can’t separate yourself from all sinners; we are all sinners!
But those who become defiled and do not purify themselves will be cut off from the community, for they have defiled the sanctuary of the LORD. Since the water of purification has not been sprinkled on them, they remain defiled.
Share this Devotional
God wants you to be holy!
There are many of these rites and rituals within the Old Testament that might seem odd to someone in our generation and culture. Today’s verse is no exception. The purification ritual seems strange and it might be difficult to see how it relates to today. The ritual of purification was given to the Hebrews to express to them God’s desire that they be a holy and pure people. God is absolutely holy and without any hint of sin or evil. It is God’s desire that we live a life that is totally free of sin.
God knows that we live in a fallen world and that our nature is fallen. As hard as we might attempt to live a perfectly holy life, we still have a nature of sin that is going to rise up occasionally and we will sin. Any time we sin we become defiled; we have the filth of that sin on our lives. The rite of purification was given so the Hebrews could be spiritually cleansed of the defilement of sin. The rite would remind them of the cost of sin and remind them of God’s holiness and His desire that they would be holy.
As Christians we are just as likely to sin as the Hebrews were. The effects of sin are just as polluting in our lives as well. Sin defiles us and pollutes our lives. We do not practice a rite of purification like the Hebrew people did. We have something infinitely better than an animal sacrifice; we have the sacrifice of Christ. Jesus, on the cross at Calvary, was the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Every person, every sin, for the rest of time was paid for on the cross that day almost two thousand years ago. Now instead of some ritual of cleansing we simply acknowledge to God that our actions were sinful and repent of them and we are cleansed of the impurities of our sins. Repentance and confession are vital keys to living a life of holiness before a holy God. Jesus provided that way.
Today’s verse instructs us about what should happen to someone who refuses to take advantage of this marvelous gift. By refusing the cleansing gift of forgiveness bought for by the blood of the Son of God they reject God and therefore are excluded from the community of God. Failing to repent and seek God’s forgiveness will separate you from God and from the family of God. As hard as this is to watch, it is vitally necessary. God is calling us to be a holy people. We must be careful not to allow other people’s defilement to pollute our lives. Someone that refuses to get their lives right with God will infect others with their rebellion. There are times when it is best to separate yourself from them until the Lord convinces them to repent and seek His forgiveness. Be careful though, you are not the Holy Spirit. You can’t separate yourself from all sinners; we are all sinners! Let the Spirit guide you and if you are uncertain how you should deal with an unrepentant person seek the counsel of others. God desires that we would be holy. We need to be more concerned about our own holiness than we are about others. Jesus, help us to come regularly to the cross to be cleansed.