Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Holiness is Intimacy

These men in Messianic Judaism who say that Gentiles are not bound to the covenant, they have not only excluded Gentiles from the People of G-d but they have, perhaps more importantly, excluded Gentiles from a sense of intimacy with G-d.  Allow me to explain (and, briefly, since I've only got 10 minutes to write before I go to a church class tonight entitled "What is a Christian?"  Heaven help me to be silent tonight!)

The first time Kedusha is mentioned is in reference to covenant and being a holy nation:

"5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’" (Exodus 19:5-6)

My namesake, Peter, applies this to Gentiles in 1 Peter 2:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Okay, so why do I say that holiness is intimacy?  Because Exodus 19 shows that one must be in covenant to be holy for G-d.  Covenant is intimate.  

Before you can even be in covenant, you must reject idolatry.  This means not just rejecting idolatry but REJECTING ALL GENTILE WAYS (Lev. 20:23) because these will inevitably entice you to idolatry (Deut. 12:30).  

So, step 1 to intimacy with G-d, REJECT IDOLATRY and ALL GENTILE CUSTOMS (except those which are not rooted in idolatry and which have a logical use).

Step 2 is obviously joining the covenant.  All who accept Yeshua join the covenant (which is why Peter can apply Israel titles to Gentiles in 1 Peter 2).  

The so-called Noahide Laws are not intimate.  The fourfold decree in Acts 15 is not intimate.  So what IS intimate?

Following ALL the mitzvot in the covenant.  They are intimate because in them G-d has revealed something about Himself, about His love for His People.  

So what does all this mean?

It means that like the Jews, the Gentile Believers must start living apart from secular culture.  I'm preaching to myself as well.  I don't know how I'll be able to do this quite frankly.  But Scripture is quite clear:  if we follow the ways of the Gentiles (derech hagoy) then either we or our children will be pulled into "idolatry" (which can be many forms, not just worshipping an actual idol.  It can be materialism and humanism and secularism as well).

Well, I'm off to church to find out "What it means to be a Christian".  Heaven help me!









5 comments:

  1. To use Dan's words: "Don't confuse anyone with the facts..."

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  2. What about the position that 2 Peter is not addressed to Gentiles? Not my position, personally, but I'm curious how you'd respond to it.

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    1. 1 Peter is addressed to Gentiles. Check out this post:

      http://orthodoxmessianic.blogspot.com/2013/05/mataios-and-agnoia-using-ephesians-417.html

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    2. Also, check out the comments. They are helpful.

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