They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!. The whole earth is filled with his glory!”– Isaiah 6:3.
There are people who believe that in order to be holy, you cannot have anything to do with this world. Others think that you need to be at every church service serving and when you are not in church holiness requires reading your Bible and praying. Others think that you must live in an equal parts mixture of humility, love, tolerance, discipline, peace and faithfulness. Still others think that holiness and fun cannot co-exist, so you can’t enjoy yourself at all. And lastly people think being holy is adhering to a wide-ranging long list of “do’s” and “don’ts.” But what is holiness really?
One thing that we can all agree with is that we are called to be like Jesus. John tells us in 1 John 2:6, “those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” Jesus was and is the prototype we are asked to emulate. So we are to be holy, like He is holy. Most people would accurately point out that how exactly can we be as holy as Jesus was? He was spotless, blameless, perfect. How could anyone live up to that standard? Besides, doesn’t 1 Samuel 2:2 say “No one is holy like the LORD!” So, if there is none holy but the Lord, how do we fulfill 1 peter 2:9 which says, “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation…” To be a holy nation, a holy people, Christ’s holiness has to become our holiness.
It is true that Jesus Christ, our Savior, stands alone in perfect holiness. And because Jesus alone is holy and perfect, God does not recognize any other person. So to be received by God, we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. So one day when we stand before Him, we will be received by the grace of Christ and we did nothing to be more holy. “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)
But this amazing work of God does not stop when I accept Jesus as my personal Savior. I’m not just left on my own to be holy from this point forward. Good thing. Jesus is working through the Holy Spirit to make me holy—and what God starts, He will finish. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6).
Fortunately, my salvation is not contingent on my being holy in conduct but on the perfect holiness to be found in Jesus Christ, my Savior and my God.
- Is being “holy” just a synonym for moral purity? Why or why not?
- How well do you think you mirror and reflect the holiness of God in the world? What can you do this week to improve that rating?