Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” – Leviticus 19:2.
There are numerous Bible verses about the holiness of God and the goal of living holy lives before God. Exodus 15: 11 says, “Who is like you among the gods, O Lord—glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, performing great wonders?” I Samuel 2.2 says, “No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” Leviticus 20:26: “You must be holy because I, the Lord, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.” Then there is Hebrews 12:14: “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.”
So what does living a holy life mean in practical terms for our life; can we by our own strength make ourselves holy? The answer is no.1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 says, “God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” A spiritual, holy life is not produced by our trying or our struggling, but by the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
In 2nd Timothy 1:9, we read these words: “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”
To be holy means to be separated to God. Being set apart to God makes us holy. We are not made holy by doing good things. We are made holy, or sanctified, by faith in Christ, just as we are saved by faith. Little by little, as we grow and live with the Lord, we will become more like Him. Paul said, “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
The Bible gives us specific, practical instruction for this process of sanctification that we can apply to real life.Things such as refusing to repay evil for evil, rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, and giving thanks in all things—to name a few. The Bible makes it clear that every Christian should expect to grow in holiness over the course of his or her life.
As we look at Jesus, think about Jesus, study about Jesus, pray to Jesus, and seek to follow His example, we become more like Him. We begin to think like Him and act like Him. We become like Him because we are set apart to Him. This is true holiness.
- How does the idea of holiness impact your daily life?
- What can we do this week to become more like Jesus?