The People of God Shall Live Holy Lives

Deuteronomy 23

The Lord God is holy; therefore, his people whom he walks among shall be holy. There are eleven commandments given in this chapter: The first commandment specifies whom to exclude from the assembly of the Lord: No emasculated male, no one of illegitimate birth, and no ammonite or Moabite because they did not give them food and water when the sons of Israel came from Egypt. However, they are not to exclude an Edomite because he is a brother, nor an Egyptian because they were aliens in Egypt. The sons of Israel are to keep from every evil thing when camping together. If a man has a nocturnal emission, then he must leave the camp, wash with water, and not return until sundown. There shall be a place outside of camp to dig and cover up their excrement. If a slave escapes from his master and comes to the land of Israel, they are not to hand him over, but he shall live among the sons of Israel. The sons and daughters of Israel shall not be prostitutes, and money received from prostitution shall not be received in the house of the Lord. The sons of Israel are not to charge interest to their countrymen. They are to do whatever comes out of their mouths. They may eat the fruit of there neighbor’s vineyard, but cannot take the fruit.  The same goes for their neighbor’s field of grain.

The Lord God is holy; therefore, the people called by his name shall be holy. It seems harsh that persons should be excluded from the assembly of the Lord God; however, a day and hour is coming in which God will judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom he has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:31) All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them from one another; the blessed of the Father will inherit the kingdom prepared for them before the foundation of the world, but the accursed will go into eternal punishment. (Mt 25:31-46) Justification is the legal declaration of God, that a person is righteous in his sight. Sanctification is the process by which a person is actually becoming righteous. These cannot be separated. Focusing on sanctification alone leads to legalism. Focusing on justification alone leads to lawlessness. The elect of the Father will respond to the gospel with repentance and faith.  Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (Jn 14:15) Jesus’ commandment is love for the church. (Jn 15:12-17)  

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