BOUNDARIES, PART 2, 24.01.19
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
“BOUNDARIES” (continued from Pt.1)
From Part 1 of “BOUNDARIES,” it became clear that God sets boundaries, and boundaries are purposeful. God’s Word not only encourages, but requires/commands His people to set boundaries between themselves and unbelievers; boundaries which limit the extent to which His people are sanctioned to participate in the the social realm; boundaries which put limitations on our behaviour, including our speech, as in the next point, carrying forward from #3 in Part 1:
(4) Followers of Yeshua must draw boundary lines around words spoken, for “the tongue is a small member—yet it boasts of great things. See how so small a fire sets a blaze so great a forest! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of evil placed among our body parts. It pollutes the whole body and sets on fire the course of life—and is set on fire by Gehenna” (James 3:5,6). “Set a guard, Adonai, over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips” (Ps.141:3). We are judged by our words, as well as our appearance, and actions.
(5) God sets boundaries around His people to separate them from the heathens, so they would not align with them, and become defiled. God still wants His people – believers – to be separate.
31“I will set your border from the Sea of Reeds to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates River.
32 Make no covenant with them or with their gods.
33 They must not dwell in your land and cause you to sin against Me, for if you worship their gods, they will be a snare to you.”
The household, dwelling places, as well as national borders require protection: “‘Set boundaries around the mountain, and consecrate it.’” (Ex.19:23). We should pray God’s protective shield around our households to protect family members and children, especially.
(6) Now, if under the New Covenant, our bodies become the “temple of the Holy Spirit,” we must set boundaries around our temples to protect them from those who would defile us; and that protect us from secular society, polluted by a corrupted humanity. We must be mindful of what we do/how we use our bodies – that they not be subjected to defilement. “Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Ruach ha-Kodesh who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Cor.6:19). God’s people are to set clear boundaries between themselves and the world.
(7) Social/Relational Boundaries: relationships, especially, must be guarded and protected. Paul expounds on the boundaries around the believer’s body, as it pertains to relational aspects, in that “the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body . . . Don’t you know that your bodies are members of Messiah?” (1 Cor.6:13,15).
One of several descriptions of boundaries is detailed when Paul teaches: “Shall I then take the members of Messiah and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or don’t you know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee from sexual immorality! Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body—but the one committing sexual immorality sins against his own body. For you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor.6:16-20). Defilement of the body is a serious matter in God’s view, and should be taken more seriously amongst God’s people. Today, lukewarm christianity has compromised God’s standards by joining the world’s standards.
Regarding relationships, God’s Word clearly advises “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What harmony does Messiah have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement does God’s Temple have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Cor.6:14-16). God’s people are not to be part of the filth and evil of society; not to be touched by unclean things or persons, but set apart for Him: “Therefore, come out from among them, and be separate, says Adonai. Touch no unclean thing. Then I will take you in. I will be a father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters” (2 Cor.6:17,18). It is clearly imperative, from theses passages, that God’s Word commands His people to draw boundaries between themselves, as followers of Yeshua, and the broader society, the secular worldly realm.
(8) Followers of Yeshua, and especially LEADERSHIP must draw boundaries to protect the Sanctuary: To approach God in intimacy requires right standing before Him. Levitical priests had to meet certain standards: “So the Levitical kohanim . . . They are ones who will enter My Sanctuary and draw near to My table to minister to Me. They will keep My charge. . . . when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they will be clothed with linen garments” (Exek.44:15,16). Although in OT times, it required certain attire, and applied only to the priests/Kohanim, after the coming of Messiah, the Blood of Messiah replaced the special attire, freeing all who would recognize Messiah as Lord, to approach Him; however, there is still a requirement of right standing before our Maker when we come into His Presence: “whoever eats the bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and then let him eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For the one who eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and quite a few have died. For if we were judging ourselves thoroughly, we wouldn’t be coming under judgment” (1 Cor.11:27-31).
“They are to be holy to their God, and not profane the Name of their God, for they present the offerings of Adonai made by fire, the bread of their God. Therefore they are to be holy . . . Therefore you are to sanctify him, because he offers the bread of your God. He shall be holy to you, for I, Adonai, who sanctifies you, am holy .. . He is not to go out of the Sanctuary or profane the Sanctuary of his God—for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him I am Adonai . . . .” (Lev.21:6,8,12). Although Leviticus is referring to the Kohanim (Levitical priests), all believers in Yeshua have been given special status as “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (1 Pet.2:9), the same requirement applies: “just like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in everything you do. For it is written, “Kedoshim you shall be, for I am kadosh.” (1 Pet.1:15,16).
God has placed a border around His people: “Lift up a banner over the peoples . . . . The Holy People, The Redeemed of Adonai . . .” (Isa.62:10,12). “You are to be holy to Me, for I, Adonai, am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples, so that you would be Mine” (Lev.20:26).
Living in holiness sets boundaries between God’s people and the secular world, placing a protective shield around those who belong to Him: “Do not fear, Abram I am your shield, your very great reward” (Gen.15:1). And just to restate, to emphasize, Peter in the NT says: “just like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in everything you do. For it is written, “Kedoshim you shall be, for I am kadosh.” (1 Pet.1:15,16), just as it was stated in the OT. It didn’t change; the same expectations remain; what is different is that we have the assistance of the Holy Spirit to enable us to walk in God’s commands. By the power of the Spirit, now, set boundaries around your faith, your heart, and all aspects of your spiritual walk as well as your physical walk.
© 2018, revised 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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