The Golden Cup [Part 2]
By Alan Wright — August 29, 2016
Are you ready for some good news?
You’re holy unto the Lord. Nothing can change your sacred status in Christ. You’re His. You’re set apart. You’re one of God’s “holy ones.”
Today’s text: “King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand. Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.” (Daniel 5:1–4, ESV)
In the middle of Babylonian King Belshazzar’s wild party, he defiled the things of God by commanding his minions to bring in the holy vessels of Israel so the partiers could drink themselves drunk in an idolatrous orgy while praising their pagan idols.
Those old, golden vessels probably dated to the time of Moses. They were set apart for exclusive use in the tabernacle. That’s what it means to be holy – set apart, only to be used by God.
Therein is the spiritual battle for the Christian. You’re set apart in Christ but hell wants to use you. You’ve been adopted by God for His exclusive ownership but hell wants to act like you belong to the darkness.
The secret to conquering sin is not in trying to be holy but in recognizing that you have been made holy (Hebrews 10:10). You’re “holy and blameless” according to Ephesians 1, but it’s not by your own merit. You’ve been reckoned as righteous because of your faith in the finished work of Christ.
When hell wants to use you, when the darkness wants to claim you, the way out is not personal will but divine truth. You can wake up in the morning and announce, “I’m God’s holy vessel, made perfectly acceptable in His sight. I’m set apart for Him and nothing can ever separate me from Him.” When you see your life as holy unto the Lord, every vulgar thing seems out of place to you.
Belshazzar had his little party, but the handwriting was on the wall. Centuries later when the perfectly holy vessel of the Son of God arrived on planet earth, the rulers of this world thought they had defiled Him with a cross – but the handwriting was on the wall. The Son of God was defiled by our sin while the Accuser and his minions mocked, but we who believe were washed clean. You’re holy in Christ. And that’s the Gospel!