Summary: So many within the HOLINESS MOVEMENT (non-charismatic), ORTHODOX METHODISM, and WESLEYAN-ARMINIAN Churches (and, sometimes educational institutions) struggle with understanding, appropriating, and teaching BIBLICAL HOLINESS.
ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION DEFINED
“…the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.’”
Entire Sanctification is a term we hear; and, often we misunderstand it. The idea is simply stated in one of God’s oldest commandments (ref. our text). God is holy; and, His supreme passion AND commandment is to have His redeemed children to be like Him! The greatest incentive – and, perfect example – we have to live a holy life is the very holiness of God. For that reason, we must understand some realities about the holiness of God.
THE HOLINESS of GOD
When mankind is confronted by the spiritual comparison of his/her sin-infested nature and the eternally-holy nature of God, he/she is compelled to admit as the prophet Habakkuk did (Hab. 1:13; NKJV) – “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil; and, cannot look on wickedness…” God separates Himself from all sin; and, it is the holiness of God that ever-exposes the sinfulness of mankind. It was only after Isaiah “saw the Lord,” and heard the seraphims crying, “holy, holy, holy,” that he became aware of the corruption of his own heart (ref. Isa. 6:1-4). The sacrificial death of God’s only begotten Son enabled God to satisfy the demands of His holiness in atonement and cleansing. God’s holy love led Him to forgive AND cleanse mankind from his sinfulness…all because of His Son’s sacrifice.
IS it POSSIBLE for MANKIND to MEET GOD's STANDARD of HOLINESS?
The immediate question that comes to mind in light of this command is: “Is it possible to truly be holy?” In order to please God and keep His command, we must! God never said: “Be omnipotent, for I am all powerful;” or: “Be omniscient, for I am all wise.” Rather, He emphatically declared: “Be holy, for I am holy.”
Man was originally created in the likeness of God, not in His omnipotence or omniscience; but, in His likeness…in His holiness.
Therefore, God does not expect us to live-up to these other eternal, divine attributes. He does require that we live holy lives by His grace and power! A loving, holy God would not tantalize us with a command as specific as this if it were impossible for us to live a life of personal holiness outside His grace.
Personal holiness in its simplest and highest form is loving God with all of our hearts, and our neighbors as ourselves. To love anyone or anything more than we love God is sin
(Deut. 6:5-6) – “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  And, these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.”
Sinful, human nature is such that it must have a master. We humans are going to serve someone or some thing. Holiness is giving our hearts wholly (completely) to God, and allowing Him to be the Master of our all of our lives! To allow any one person, any one object, any one issue or philosophy to take mastery over our lives is sin.
Our hearts cannot be divided in their loves and loyalties. If we expect to enter into the gates of heaven, He must be the supreme object of our affections! Holy living is not an option for a few special saints. Holy hearts and holy living is the explicit command of God for all men…everywhere!
SO, HOW DO WE BECOME HOLY?
Before we can begin to live holy lives, we must repent of our sins and receive Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. (Romans 3:23) – “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” When we repent of our sins, we become new in Christ Jesus. (2 Cor. 5:17) – “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
This spiritual transformation – frequently referred to as the new birth – sets us free from the guilt of past sinful living. We are forgiven of every sin we have ever committed. The next step in beginning to live a holy life is making a complete surrender of our hearts and wills to God. At some point following conversion, the believer will sense the need of a deeper cleansing of his heart from its sinful condition. This experience – known as entire sanctification – is different from the new birth.
• The new birth deals with guilt caused by the acts of sin committed in the past.
• Entire sanctification deals with the sinful condition of the heart which is the cause of rebellion against the Spirit of God until the heart is purified.