Friday, December 4, 2015

Separated

Numbers 6 records for us God's instructions for those that would take a Nazarite vow. The phrase that caught my attention in these instructions was in Numbers 6:2 - "to separate himself to the LORD". 

This phrase is repeated in the chapter on a few other occasions. Even the footnote reveals that the word "Nazarite" means "one who separates" or "one who consecrates" himself. In Numbers 6:8, Moses makes the connection between this separation and holiness. He writes, "all the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD."

To be "separated to the LORD" and "holy to the LORD" carries with it the weight that we are "separated for the LORD" and "holy (consecrated) for the Lord". 

Paul, who himself may have taken a Nazarite vow in Acts 18, draws a couple of parallels for the NT believer in his letters.

In Romans 12:1-2, Paul calls all believers to "present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." 

Then in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, he declares, "you are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

Since we are the "peculiar" people of God (1 Peter 2:9-11), we are called and compelled by the gospel to be separated and consecrated to and for the Lord. Because He, in his grace through justification, has declared us righteous, we are moved by the presence of the Holy Spirit to pursue a consecrated life unto God.

But, are we really? Or, are we just playing church and playing religion? Do we just do enough to ease our conscience "until the next appointed time"? 

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