Holiness is from the Greek word Hagios which is to be literally holy, and set apart for God and his purposes for our life. It is a lifestyle of righteousness, separated to a greater life of living, with the aim of measuring up to the full stature of Christ (Eph 4:13).
Holiness is a life of freedom, victory and power which the world will never see again. We are called to imitate his holiness - in thoughts, words and deeds. We serve a good and amazing God because He never commands us to do anything that He won’t empower us to do.
1 Peter 1:15-16 - Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
Proof of Salvation
Christianity is not a life of good morals, honesty and attending church – it is to be Holy for He is Holy. We are to become like Jesus Christ, God Himself made flesh, and measure up to His standard of Holiness. It must be in our every affair, in every condition, towards all people.
Christ calls us to radically respond individually. Proof of our salvation is to live a life of holiness which is to be eventually dead to sin. We must watch out and pray against the sins to which we are inclined to. Scripture is clear without holiness no one will see the Lord (Heb 12:14).
Job 31:1-7 - I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. For what is man's lot (portion, reward) from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high? Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong? Does he not see my ways and count my every step? If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit - let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless
He Came to set you Free
When God brought out the Israelites out of Egypt it was His plan from the beginning to make them a nation set apart for Himself (Exo 19:4-6). When God said, Be holy, because I am holy, it was not a request or an option – it was a command. Our life should mirror the characteristics of God Himself. After you are saved, God no longer calls you a sinner - He calls you Righteous! (Matt 5:20)
God didn’t save you to take away your guilty conscience and still own your life. He came to set you free and bring you back to what you were created for – to become like Him. You were bought with a price, in fact the highest price in the universe, the blood of Jesus Christ. Your life now no longer belong to you.
Your value is therefore the greatest value in all Creation, regardless of who you are or what you have done. As a response, we are to do good works to further His Kingdom and living lives of righteousness worthy of the calling.
Heaven is a Holy Place
Isaiah 6:1-3 - In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted … Above him were seraphs … And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
We must be holy, because without holiness on earth we will never be prepared to enjoy heaven. Heaven is a holy place. The Lord of heaven is holy and the angels are holy. The unholy and disobedient would hate heaven because ‘Holiness’ is written on everything in heaven and the air that they breathe.
A man may go great lengths and yet never reach true holiness:
It is not knowledge—Balaam had that;
Nor great profession—Judas Iscariot had that;
Nor doing many things—Herod had that;
Nor zeal for certain matters in religion—Jehu had that;
Nor morality and outward respectability of conduct—the young ruler had that;
Nor taking pleasure in hearing preachers—the Jews in Ezekiel’s time had that;
Nor keeping company with godly people—Joab and Gehazi and Demas had that.
Yet none of them were holy. These things alone are not holiness. A man may have any one of them and yet never see the Lord.
Our Response to God’s Great Salvation
Most people want to go to heaven, but they are unwilling to do it God’s way. But the reality is if they refuse to be Holy and live God’s ways they won't make it. Since no greater gift could ever be given than the gift of salvation in Christ, no gift then could ever demand a greater response and the greatest obligation.
It is not an accident of language that the Holy Spirit is called first and foremost ‘Holy’. The Spirit, being God, must be absolutely and infinitely Holy and free from evil. He is holiness itself, the sum and essence of all that is unspeakably pure.
1 John 1:6-7 - If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not live in the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.
The true Christian is not to be happy but to be Holy. We are to love what God loves and hate what God hates. We have the mind and heart of God written on our very own hearts. When we fall into sin and temptation our response should be of conviction, sadness, confession and repentance.
Holiness is directly related with our sexuality and it is essential that we live pure lives. The Bible is clear that sexual immorality is a sin against our own body (1 Cor 6:18). Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and we need to protect it and guard it whatever the cost.
Reflections from EternityHow will we ever be at home and happy in heaven if we die unholy? Death works no change. The grave makes no alteration. Each will rise again with the same character in which he breathed his last. Where will our place be if we are strangers to holiness now?
Suppose you were allowed to enter heaven without holiness. What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you feel there? To which of all the saints would you sit down with? Their pleasures are not your pleasures, their tastes not your tastes, their character not your character.
Do you think one would delight to meet David, Paul and John, after a life spent in doing the very things they spoke against? Do you think he would rejoice to meet Jesus, the crucified One, face to face, after cleaving to the sins for which He died for?
Heaven is a never–ending Sabbath. The saints do not rest not day or night, but praise "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty," and singing the praise of the Lamb. How could an unholy man find pleasure in occupation such as this?
Would he stand before Him with confidence and join in the cry, "This is our God . . . we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation" (Isa 25:9)? Do you not think rather that the tongue of an unholy man would cleave to the roof of his mouth with shame, and his only desire would be to be cast out?
He would feel a stranger in a land he did not know, a black sheep amid Christ’s holy flock. The voice of cherubim and seraphim, the song of angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven would be a language he could not understand. The very air would seem an air he could not breathe…
All people, regardless of who they worship, what religion, person, animal or object, will become who their god is. God is the Model of all holiness. As we worship Him we will become like Him in every way – Holy, Blameless and Above Reproach (Col 1:22).
Take courage and examine yourself today. Do you want to attain holiness? Do you feel this day a real desire to be holy? Then go to Christ. Wait for nothing. Wait for nobody. Linger not. Do not think to put it off another day.
Go and say to Him in prayer your desire to be like Him, and surrender every area of your life to His Glory in your pursuit of Holiness. This, my friend, is the greatest pursuit ever known to mankind…