Originally scheduled for December 21
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you
cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or
do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are
(1 Corinthians 10:21-22 NASB)
One of the most neglected concepts in the
modern church is that of holiness. The central idea of holiness is
that of separation, something set apart. Holiness, therefore, has
Holiness first means that you are
separated from the world. There are things you do not do, places you
do not go because they tend to pull you away. Note, please, that the
list of places and things is different for each Christian.
Holiness also means that you are
separated towards God. As you give up the things of this world, you
replace them with the things of God. Indeed, as holiness grows, it
is not so much recognized by what you don’t do but what you do for
Note that neither of these is driven by the
idea, “what will so-and-so
think?” Holiness is not concerned with public opinion.
We take this concept in response to Paul’s
question here about the Lord being provoked to jealousy. Jealousy is
usually taken as an evil thing; but there are certain instances in
which it is perfectly normal and righteous. God’s love for us is a
jealous love; just as my love for my wife is a jealous love. We hear
from the modern world that if I really love my wife I would let her
have sex with anyone she chose. Both of us would reply quite simply
that we have chosen each other, exclusively. In fact, I’m rather
particular about the point (and she is too). If you want to know
why, consider this: the jealousy of lovers for each other produces
faithfulness in marriage. People are sometimes surprised at how long
the two of us have been married; they take it as normal that
marriages will break apart. It’s rather a self-fulfilling prophecy;
if you don’t think your marriage is going to last, it probably
But Christ’s marriage to the church is designed
to be eternal. Therefore God is a jealous God, watching over his
bride to bring her in to complete and holy faithfulness.
There is a dull temptation to treat communion
as routine. Especially if it is given every week, it sometimes seems
to descendent being a rather boring ritual. But remember — the Lord
is a jealous God, watching over his bride. If he is not pleased with
you in this, remember that he is much stronger than we are.
Therefore, examine your self before you partake of communion today.
If the dullness of repetitiveness has said in, ask him to spark the
Holy Spirit in your life. Self-examination leads to repentance;
repentance leads to forgiveness — the very grace of God.