Living counter-cultural… God’s people really need to realize who they are!

Set Apart - sanctifiedIn my Bible reading yesterday and today I have been deeply challenged by God’s claim on our lives! In the words of Apostle Paul, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, Whom you have from God. You are not your own, you were bought with a price! So, glorify God in your body!” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)

This concept – this understanding – this truth runs so counter to the world view and values of the popular culture! In every way it is “counter-cultural!”

It has been, however, the core truth and foundational concept of God’s people down through the ages!

The passages I’ve been reading have been from Leviticus in the Bible… My Bible reading the past two days have been Leviticus 18-20 – passages where God through Moses identifies the unique and distinct lifestyle God expected of His redeemed people and the rationale – the truth – that was foundational to it. Phrases are piled up and repeated over and over again in the passage that identify that rationale…

  • “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God! 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 bring you… You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God!’
  • “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy!
  • “I am the Lord your God!
  • “I am the Lord your God!
  • “I am the Lord your God!
  • “I am the Lord!
  • “You shall fear [reverence] your God: I am the Lord!
  • “I am the Lord
  • “You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord!
  • “I am the Lord your God!
  • “I am the Lord!
  • “I am the Lord!
  • “I am the Lord your God!
  • “You shall fear [reverence] your God: I am the Lord!
  • “You shall love your neighbor as yourself… I am the Lord your God!”
  • “Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God! Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you [sets you apart as My holy people]!
  • “You shall not walk in the customs of the nations that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things… I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples…
  • “You shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine!” (Repeated refrains from Leviticus 18-20)
  • I don’t know how all of that strikes you, but it sounds to me a lot like 1 Peter 1:14-16 and 2:9-10:

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, so you also be holy in all your conduct! Remember it is written, ‘You shall be holy as I am holy!”

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called out of darkness into His marvelous light! Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people! Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy!”

We belong to the Lord! He has redeemed us with the precious blood [the life sacrifice] of Jesus! He has set us apart to Himself as His very own people! He has called us to live by a different code of conduct and values than the broader culture… The truth is, He has called us to be “counter cultural!” And by the grace of God that is how I intend to live! Don’t you?

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