Summary: Holiness is devotion to the service of God, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement.
You Shall Be Holy!
1 Peter 1:14-16 holds truth that gives a child of God knowledge and at the same time sets him on a pathway in this life which enables him to achieve God’s best. “As obedient children; do not be conformed to the passions of former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NAS)
Considering that Hebrews 12:14 says, “Make every effort… to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” It is a good idea to gain Biblical understanding of holiness. “Holy” (????? hágios) is a religious awe, something or someone sanctified for the Lord’s use. Practical application: It is devotion to the service of God, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement.
To live a life of holiness is to have Holy Spirit illumination of the truths found in the whole counsel of God’s Word. It is to live a life that indicates that the sinful nature has been overcome, the influence of this world’s system has been cast off, and the lies of the devil fall on deaf ears.
Most Christians do well at avoiding lifestyles of murder, homosexuality, adultery or thievery. However, bitterness and a critical spirit keep them from continued fellowship with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. The vice-like grip of anger and resentment often comes from nursing bad attitudes towards work, disappointment in friends and family and having wrong expectations of this life. Surrender to our temper and persistent sin keeps us from enjoying the victorious birthright of holiness that is promised to the children of God.
The worldly view that holiness is shown in plain hairstyles, long skirts and black stockings is not a Biblical precept, nor is someone with a holier than thou attitude necessarily a holy person. Holiness is very much a Scriptural truth. The whole book of Leviticus is devoted to the subject. The word “holy” in various forms appears in the Bible at least 600 times. Leviticus 11:44 says, “I am the Lord your God, consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.” In writing about “Living as Children of Light” the Apostle Paul writes, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)
Holy Spirit illuminated Christians understand that their desire to overcome sin is not for themselves, but rather from a longing to avoid breaking the heart of God. They know that living by faith is both knowing the Word of God and then trusting Him to provide the ability to live out His precepts. They do not categorize sin as either unacceptable or tolerable. They see the whole counsel of God’s Word as coming from a holy Lawgiver. Thus, His children are bound to conform to His will. They know that there are only two choices, obedience or disobedience to the Lord, Jesus Christ. Let it be said of you, “That person is hungry for the holiness of God!”