You must not follow the practices of the land of Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not follow the practices of the land of Canaan, into which I am bringing you. You must not walk in their customs. You are to practice My judgments and keep My statutes by walking in them. I am the LORD your God. Keep My statutes and My judgments, for the man who does these things will live by them. I am the LORD. – Leviticus 18: 3-5 BSB
We are called to be different. The ESV translation says, “You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you.” The reason that God chose a people, the Jews, was so that people would notice they are different. God’s plan was that He would walk with Israel, and He will be their God and they will be His people. The other people in the World will see how these people act differently, think differently, treat each other differently, mourn differently, punish differently…. Then the pagans and the Gentiles will see Israel and notice the difference and want to follow after Israel’s God. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12) The Story of Balaam and Balaak and the talking donkey in Numbers 22-24 is from the similar purpose. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:19) God tells us that we are to BE IN THE WORLD, but NOT, of the world! This is what He means. We are to be like a chocolate chip, in a chocolate chip cookie. The butter, the flour, the sugar all became OF the cookie. They can no longer be separated out. You cannot remove the butter, flour, eggs, or sugar from a chocolate chip cookie. However the chocolate chips never loose their shape, their form, their sweetness, or their goodness. And even after a chocolate chip cookie is baked, you can still REMOVE THE CHIPS! The chocolate chips are IN the cookie, but NOT, OF, the cookie.
Leader, hear the Word of the Lord: “Be Holy as Your Father in Heaven is Holy!” (1 Peter 1:16) Jesus calls each one of us to become like our Father in heaven. He calls us to be holy. Holiness means to be in communion — in a solid and loyal relationship — with God. God is HOLY, and He is calling us to be HOLY!! Consider the fact that holy is mentioned 431 times, not counting the word holiness. The Hebrew word for holy is “qodesh” which means “apartness, sacredness,” or “separateness” showing that God is altogether holy, sacred, set apart or separate from His creation. The Greek word used for holy is “hagios” and has a similar meaning to the Old Testament word “godesh”, which is “pure, morally blameless” or “set apart” as in set apart for holy use, which is what the saints of God have been called to. The word “holy” is found in the New Testament 180 times and if you used holiness, then it’s almost 200 times that holy or holiness is used. It is obvious from the Scriptures that holiness is important to God. We are called to be like the Father and like the Son. God calls us to be LIKE HIM! Jesus said, “I am the way, I am the Truth, I am the LIFE….” In other words, Jesus is saying, “I am your example, what you see me doing, you do!” Jesus spent 33 years on this earth. Of all His purposes, plans and outcomes none of them was about having sex and being happy. They were not on His agenda, but seem to be on the agenda of many who “identify” as Christians, and most who do not. Jesus was here to do His Fathers business, He was here on a Mission, He was here to bring Glory and Honor to the Father, through the Son! We are to have a similar focus and a similar desire, will, ‘want’ of the heart! If being a true follower of JESUS was a crime… Would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Conduit, this is a common theme in the Bible for God’s chosen; BE DIFFERENT than the earth-dwellers, those whose life is lived for themselves, for the purpose of existence and gratification. One of the biggest things that differentiates children of God from children of the World, and the Prince of this world, is the desires of the heart. Leviticus 18, the entire chapter is about what NOT TO DO SEXUALLY. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality. (1 Corinthians 6:9. Also see Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:26-27)) We are all sinners, we all fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) We all stumble, but stumbling as a sinner is different from practicing sin. Practice is defined in biblical context as frequent, repeated, or customary action; habitual performance; a succession of acts of a similar kind; usage; habit; custom; as, the practice of rising early; the practice of making regular entries of accounts; the practice of daily exercise. (v. t.) To do or perform frequently, customarily, or habitually; to make a practice of; as, to practice gaming. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2) Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers. Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving. (Proverbs 4:14-15) Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2) It is time to check your citizenship. Are you thinking, voting, protesting, rallying like the world? Are you buying into the lies of the world? Are you keeping a ‘pound of flesh’, a ‘record of wrong’ like the world? Are you pushing CRT and BLM and denying forgiveness, mercy, and grace…LIKE THE WORLD? If you are to be LIKE CHRIST, then why are you ACTING LIKE THE WORLD? Examine yourself, your social media posts, your voting history… to see if you are still in the faith! (2 Corinthians 13:5)