Summary: To be Holy is to be set apart. Not “Holier than Thou”, not religious, but Holy in God’s sight. Are we set apart? To be set apart is to be a Christ-like example to those around us.
What do we mean when we say something is Holy? Look at your Bible. It says “Holy Bible.” What makes it Holy? The land of Israel is called “The Holy Land.” The city of Jerusalem is called “The Holy City.” Why? There is a quality about all three that they share in common, They all belong to God. The Bible is God’s Book; Israel is God’s land, and Jerusalem is God’s city. They are all God’s property. They are Holy because they belong to God. Are we?
When we think of Holiness what comes to mind? Holier than thou? I need to lead my life in a way in which people will see me as a very religious person? No, not at all “religious”, but approachable, and a real person with a love for Jesus Christ.
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord; looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” (Hebrews 12:14-15)
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. We are to live our lives in such a way that people will see the Lord, by pursuing peace and holiness. What does it mean to be Holy? To be Holy is to be set apart, to be different according to the world’s standards. In this epistle, it is explained as drawing near to God with full faith and a cleansed conscience; a genuine acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Savior and sacrifice for sin. You see unbelievers will not be drawn to accept Christ if believers’ lives do not demonstrate the qualities God desires, including peace and holiness.
In the Gospel according to John, chapter 13 verses 34-35, Jesus said; “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I have loved you. By this all will know you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
To be Holy is to be set apart. And how are we set apart? By loving one another, by pursuing peace and by truly striving to be Holy. Not striving to be religious. There are lots of religious people in our world, in our community who are set apart. You know who they are. The untouchables, whose actions fall short of their words, a “Holier than Thou” attitude.
When I think of Holiness, I think of how our relationship with Jesus Christ has changed our lives. We receive His mercy and grace, all for the asking. We receive His forgiveness even when we don’t deserve it, and most of the time we don’t. And all He asks of us is to love one another and be set apart so others would see Him through us.
When I think of holiness I think of passion. A passion for living a life that will bring glory and honor to God. To be Holy is to live life in such a way that people around us would notice a difference in how we approach each new day. Finding joy, encouraging others, standing in awe of God’s creation, and loving one another, even those who find fault with us. Living life with passion.
You have heard the two Latin words “Carpe Diem”, meaning “Seize the Day!” What does that mean to you? Seize the day. Live each day for all it’s worth. We could change it slightly to read “Carpe Deum” which means “Seize God” – and don’t let go. For God alone is the source of true passion for all we do in life.
Have you been around passionate people before? We are drawn to passionate people and I believe this is what God wants for our lives. To live for Him.
In Dr. David Jeremiah’s book “Life Wide Open” he writes about a young man who turned the surfing world upside down in the 1950’s. Killer Dana was the most notorious wave in California. When it was really ripping and roaring, the best surfers in the world gave it plenty of distance. Putting Dana Point on the map, these surfers knew that these waves were beyond their expertise, until a teenager named Phil Edwards came on the scene. I watched Phil Edwards growing up, and he was one of my hero’s. Ask Jerry and Lee Schultz about Phil. They know him pretty well; after all, he’s family. In 1953 Phil Edwards paddled out toward Killer Dana beside the best surfers in the business, and people gasped. Was this kid crazy? (Side note….sometimes passionate people are categorized as “crazy” because people don’t know what else to call them!) He wouldn’t last three minutes against the toughest wave the west coast had to offer. But Phil Edwards came right at Killer Dana and shocked the rest of the surfers as they were quickly paddling into shore. But Edwards challenged the wave with a style and artistry that gave birth to a whole new sport, performance surfing. He quickly became the great superstar of the sport, just as surfing was coming into its own through movies, Beach Boy songs and California culture. Edwards was unimpressed with the crowds. Even today, if you meet Phil, he would rather be in the background than the spotlight. Listen to what he says? “There are uncounted millions of people who now go through life without any sort of real, vibrant kick.” He gave these people a name; “The legions of the unjazzed.” He was talking about people who live their entire life without a passion for anything, who live their entire lives without taking risks.