And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, addressed Ezra: We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. -- Ezra 10:2
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Scattered Thoughts on Holiness
The Lord requires us to separate ourselves from the world, not in terms of physical distance but in spiritual dimensions. Thus the children of Israel were forbidden to marry outside of the Covenant People as a sign to us not to cohabit with or unite ourselves to the world’s matrix. We corrupt our spiritual DNA by mixing it with apostasy, unbelief, and materialism.
In John 17, as Jesus prays for His disciples, He acknowledges that they will remain in the world while declaring that, like Him, they are not of the world. They not of the world, even as I am not of the world (John 17:16). Jesus, however, sent them, and sends us, out into the world to encounter tribulation and persecution for the sake of the kingdom.
The distinction and the dividing line between the Christian and the non-Christian is not that we inhabit different physical spaces but different psychic spaces. Our souls are in different spheres though our bodies may interact. The non-believer inhabits and lives according to the fallen, distorted, Adamic world still ruled by the satanic “powers and principalities”. We live in the kingdom, and the kingdom lives in us.
Marriage within the boundaries of the covenant produced righteous children leading ultimately to the Seed of Abraham, Jesus the Christ. The significance – that is, the “sign value” -- of marriage transcends the relationship between a man and his wife. The womb is a creative space, and we can find such space in our interactions with the world system and marry ourselves to it. The products of that union may have some good qualities, but they also contain the seeds of corruption. This is what we see over and over in the great tragedies, whether it’s Shakespeare, Wuthering Heights or Goodfellas.
We can avoid that by uniting ourselves with Christ. Look at 1 Corinthians 7:14, For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. We are the Bride of Christ. We are made holy by Him. We become His creative space. The Church has – or maybe, is a matrix, too. The offspring of the union between Christ and His Bride does not have that built-in element of decay and degeneration.