“I am the Lord who makes you holy”
God’s instructions to Moses recorded in the book of Leviticus concerning the priests repeats that statement several times. The priests were given specific requirements to follow from how to wear their hair, what to eat, what to wear, to how to treat their wives. And so that they wouldn’t start to feel overly good about themselves when they followed all God’s rules, so that they wouldn’t get prideful and begin to believe they were “all that”, God kept reminding them that it was he – not anything they did- who made them holy.
It’s the same with us in 2014. Many good people give to the poor, care for their families, tell the truth, pay their taxes and are faithful to their spouses. Many Christians go to church, abstain from alcohol and don’t go to movies, they read the Bible and never take the Lord’s name in vain. But the Bible tells us no one is righteous – not even one! It tells us all people have sinned and fall short when compared to God’s standards. And God reminds us it is by grace we are saved, not of anything we have done, so no one can boast.
The set apart life, the good we do is a natural outflowing of receiving grace. None of that can ever be a payment toward God’s favor. So the answer to the question I posted in the title is: Not good enough.
It’s Sunday morning and I hope you are planning to go to a Bible believing fellowship of believers to worship the Savior. You may teach a class or sing in the choir. You may have already written your check for the offering. But God would tell us this morning that none of that will get you closer to heaven. None of it. If you are going to church to get on God’s good side, you are going for the wrong reason.
“I am the Lord who makes you holy.”
Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding us today that it’s all about you. In and of myself, I am a sinner. I might be a good person. I might even attend church. But without your grace I am no better than the most wicked God-hater there is. I pray for your people today as we go into churches to worship you. May we do so with grateful hearts, humbled by your forgiveness, and determined to live lives pleasing to you. Not because we want you to love us more, but because we want to love you more and serve you because of your grace.