Holiness

But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, “Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Holiness…sometimes it seems so unattainable. It has such a huge meaning that it’s hard to wrap our finite minds around it. Webster’s 1828 defines it as this –

HOLINESS: The state of being holy; purity or integrity of moral character; freedom from sin; sanctity.
Applied to the Supreme Being, holiness denotes perfect purity or integrity of moral character, one of his essential attributes.
Applied to human beings, holiness is purity of heart or dispositions; sanctified affections; piety; moral goodness, but not perfect.
Sacredness; the state of any thing hallowed, or consecrated to God or to his worship; applied to churches or temples. That which is separated to the service of God.

Surely God didn’t mean that we are really supposed to live up to that standard…did He? We tend to brush it off. It’s too deep to grasp, so we shrug our shoulders and move on to something more accessible. Or perhaps we see holiness as old-fashion and not “cool”.

I found it interesting that one of Webster’s descriptive sentences for holiness was the following: “We see piety and holiness ridiculed as morose singularities.”  Ah, is that it? Are we afraid of coming across as being “severe, sullen and austere”, too “holier-than-thou”? Is holiness too confining?

We are called by God and commanded to be holy! What will we do with this calling? Ignoring it will be deadly, yet embracing it calls for death as well – death of ourselves and possibly all that we hold dear on this earth. To be holy may mean that we have to give up our way of life, the idols in our hearts, and things we just “can’t live without”.

For, “what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?” If there are idols in my heart, then God can not dwell there, because God can not be a part of sin.

If there are idols in my heart, holiness hides.

“Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 2 Cor. 6:16

Where is the hunger for holiness? Why don’t we long for purity in our lives? Holiness is the state of being hallowed or consecrated to God or to his worship. It’s holding Him sacred and living our lives as such. Do we not know that we are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in us? ( 1 Cor. 3:16) Why don’t we live like it?

“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.”

These notes, from a talk that Leslie Ludy did, really impacted me – heart searchings in holiness…

Are you allowing the world to have access to your mind and your heart?

If we are truly set apart why are we allowing this in our lives?

Beware of mixing profane with the sacred. 2 Cor. 6:14-15

“A pure heart is one to which all that is not of God is strange and jarring.” – John Tavler

If the things of this world – trivialities, sensual movies, bad humor – don’t bother you – if you are comfortable with them – then your heart is not marked by the purity of heaven.

We have to live in the world but not participate or get caught up with the things of this world. It’s okay for the things of this world to be strange and jarring to us – in fact, that’s a good sign. So ask your self – are the things of this world strange and jarring to you or are they attractive and enticing? And are you going out of your way to participate in them and pay for them?

Where do I spend the best hours of my day?

Where do I turn for rest, enjoyment and pleasure?

Are there things in my life that I can’t imagine giving up? If so, it’s likely that it has an unhealthy hold on your heart or perhaps even become an idol.

There is no activity, no friendship, that is neutral – either it’s drawing you closer to Christ or it’s going to be pulling you away from Him.

Ask yourself…

What does this do to my relationship with God?

Does it distract you from Him or draw you closer?

That is how you weigh and make decisions.

Everyday I see or hear something that I wish I hadn’t heard or didn’t see. The news reeks with unholy and godless acts committed by people who ignore their Creator. How heart wrenching it must be to our God! It makes me determine in my heart not to add to it.

I pray that, by His grace, I can be holy. A sweet smelling savor to my Savior.

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8 thoughts on “Holiness

  1. Great post, and you are right holiness does seem unattainable somehow, but with Christ we can do all things and with His covering we can achieve. Thank you so much for the reminder to be holy!

  2. Interesting post and one I struggle with every day. Not the being holy part. I totally understand the benefits of holiness, its the achieving aspect I wonder about. How can we be holy if we are by nature sinful. How can we be perfect if we can’t be perfect. I just remind myself that Christ gave me his righteousness and that is what God sees. At some point the Lord will burn off those parts of us that aren’t holy and what remains will be good.

    • Hi Doug,
      I know what you mean. I think the key to this – being holy and perfect – must be in abiding and resting in Him. As John chapter 15 says, without Him we can do nothing. It is in Christ alone that we can be clean and holy and bear fruit for His glory.
      “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (vs. 3&4)
      Thanks for commenting. May the Father bless you on this journey.

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