Friday, August 16, 2013

The Call to Holiness

UV 842/10,000 The Call to Holiness Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of the Lord. Isaiah 52 v 11 Moving away from sin is like a wrenching but necessary experience. Joseph fled from the adulterous wife of Potiphar, leaving even his cloak with the woman. We have to similarly flee from sinful situations and break free from sinful habits. Since we are dealing with an absolutely hoy God, we must depart from our old ways and follow the straight and narrow. We cannot defile ourselves since God has declared us also to be holy once we are bonded with Him in Christ. We cannot remain in association with evil or as they put it in an expression, we should have no truck with whatever displeases the Lord. Financial discipline and integrity, sexual fidelity and purity, the disciplining of the tongue and the senses are all part of our call to holiness. The places we go, the words we speak and love to hear and see, the things we do, the people we relate and even our very thoughts and motives too, are all being watched by the Lord. Our eyes are the windows of the soul – so the movies and serials we watch on a regular basis have a huge impact on our minds. We have to lift up holy hands before the Lord in worshipping Him and hence our hands cannot give or receive bribes. We are called to be pure for it is the pure who will see God. If we have said or done anything impure or unrighteous, the Lord gives us an opportunity to break with the past and come out from it and purify ourselves again. The elaborate purification rituals and ceremonies listed in the Old Testament and followed to this day by religious Jews are a symbol of the inner purity and reverence required of us once we are in Christ. We are given freedom from such rituals but not from the inner discipline of purity . Just as a vessel is cleansed before use both from the inside and outside, we need to follow hygiene for our outside and a life of purity for the inside. We ourselves are chosen vessels of the Lord, chosen to have faith and to bear witness to all mankind. We are to remain pure and holy since we carry the message of the salvation of mankind- the gospel and we carry the instructions of the Lord on how to grow and bear fruit-the Word of God. Purity determines the efficacy, power and impact of our witness and our works for the Lord. It is in our hands to determine what kind of vessel we are or will be for the Lord- whether we are to be common and cheap vessels of wood or base metal or vessels of pure gold and other precious metals. Prateep V Philip

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