What is holiness?

When the Bible talks about holiness or being holy, it is not really talking about being sinless.  If it was, how could days, ground, places, garments, pots and pans, the Bible, cities and even the Law be sinless?

You are special!

holinessWhat the Bible means by the word holy is for something or someone to be set apart, special or unique.  I like the word to be different.

If you believe in Jesus Christ, (or haven’t yet) , nevertheless you are called to be different, to be special and unique – just like God:

1 Peter 1:15 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;”

Swim against the tide

So, because you are different, unique and special, don’t live like everyone else, swim against the tide. Be like God. He is holy, unique and special; there is none like him!

1 Samuel  2:2  “There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.”

This means, you are not trying to be holy (different). You are already different; you have a holy calling (2 Tim 1:9).  The Bible calls you a saint which means: a holy one. We are part of a chosen generation, a holy nation and a royal priesthood.

1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

For Example: Prince Charles is called to be the King of England someday. He is set apart for that office. Therefore, he cannot live like a commoner, even though he enjoys amazing privileges, he also accepts restrictions in keeping with his calling.

Our responsibility

Likewise, because of the amazing calling on our lives as believers, we should get rid of everything that is not in keeping with that calling.

2 Cor 7:1  “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Consequently, as believers we are called not to love the world or the things of the world – that is holiness, being different from everyone around us.

1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Withdraw from society?

However, the way we do this is not to withdraw from the world or society and the sinful environment around us, but like Jesus  (who didn’t become a Pharisee or a separate one) – rather engage with it! In fact, the religious Pharisees hated Jesus so much for interfering in their world that they were prepared to separate him permanently by having him murdered!

The Pharisees believed that they were special and different and set apart from the common (unholy) people such as the tax collectors and sinners but didn’t realise that they were full of pride and children of the devil!

Put on Christ

No, God doesn’t call us to separate ourselves from the world, living as monks or nuns in a monastery. We are to put on Christ, wear him as our identity and get our hands dirty!

Ephesians 4:24 “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

For this reason, we are to follow the example of  Jesus the Son of God and become the friend of prostitutes and sinners.  Was Jesus worried that sin might contaminate him? Did he withdraw from the sinner because God couldn’t look upon sin? No, he contaminated sinners with the love of God, the most powerful antidote to sin on the planet!

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Further Reading:

Grace a license to sin?
Sinning wilfully
Is it possible to preach too much grace?
True Holiness

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2 thoughts on “What is holiness?

  1. Derek

    Hi Paul and Fran
    Excellent teaching Paul on Holiness.The truth of Gods word makes us free from works of righteousness
    You are a blessing
    I would like to make a donation to you but could not find the button to do so
    Your brother in Christ

  2. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

    Hi Derek,

    Amazing timing – just as I was thinking about putting a PayPal donate button on the site you reply to my post asking to donate!

    Please donate and we can see if it works!

    Really appreciate your encouragement .
    Grace and Peace to you

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