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"Ye Shall Be Holy Men Unto Me" (Exodus 22.81)

These words really sum up the requirements of all the foregoing commandments. The people of the LORD must be separated from all defilement. The standards of the nations round about were not to be theirs. They were to live on a far higher plane than those who had no knowledge of the LORD.

The lesson for us is both simple and clear. Peter, in his first letter, brings this Old Testament teaching over into the New when he says,

Like as He which called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living; because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1.15, 16).

An outstanding fact about sin is its defiling character, and we are exhorted in 2 Corinthians 7.1 to "cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." In order to achieve this standard we need to be separate from all the defiling things with which this world abounds. The dangers of spiritual defilement are greatly underestimated. In the religious world around there are So many man-made doctrines such as those concerning which the Lord Jesus said, "In vain do they worship Me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men" (Matthew 15.9).

How low oftentimes is our understanding of what really constitutes SIN! "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14.28).

The thought of foolishness is sin" (Proverbs 24.9, R.V.M.).

"To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4.17).

"Sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3.4).

We might well be appalled at such a standard, but we have the word and Spirit of God to guide us. The HOLY SPIRIT strengthens us, and "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous" (1 John 2.1).

The psalmist asks and answers a very important question in Psalm 119.9, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word." He also says, "Thy word have I laid up in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee" (verse 11). We have the following testimonies as to the holiness of God:

Let them praise Thy great and terrible name:

HOLY IS HE.

Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at His footstool:

HOLY IS HE.

And worship at His holy hill;

For the LORD our God is holy (Psalm 99.3, 5, 9).

HOLINESS becometh Thine house, 0 LORD, for evermore.

(Psalm 93.5).