“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.”
God has called every Christian to a holy life. There are no exceptions. It is not the responsibility of pastors, missionaries, and the elders in the church. Rich or poor, learned or unlearned, influential or totally unknown, if you are a Christian you are called to be holy. The Christian electrician and the Christian real estate agent, and the Christian homemaker are all called to be holy.
This call to a holy life is based on the fact that God is holy. Because God is holy, He requires that we be holy. God has called us to be like Himself. Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God.
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).
In order to cultivate holiness, we need to hate sin as much as God does. Hatred of sin lies at the root of all true holiness. We must cultivate the attitude of Joseph, who said when he was tempted, “How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” (Genesis 39:9).
The holiness of God is an exceedingly high standard, a perfect standard. But it is nevertheless one that He holds us to. He cannot do less. 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.”
Study Jesus, pray to Jesus and seek to follow His example are ways we become more like Him.
- How does the idea of holiness impact your daily life?
- What can we do this week to become more like Jesus?