Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
What does holiness mean if it’s different from blameless or pure? Does holiness mean sinless? Do we still sin after accepting Christ? (yes). Can we still be holy? (yes) Let’s look deeper into the meaning of being Holy.
Holiness – definition means “set apart”
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Holiness began with God. The use of three “Holy’s” toward God is a measure of great holiness. What does the Bible mean when the word Holy is used? In Isaiah, the angels were looking at God almighty and declaring He is “Holy, holy, holy”. More holy than anything else on earth or the heavens. God is all-powerful, omnipotent, was never created, lives outside time. All creation, visible & invisible, was created by God. God is different from all creation, from angels to apples. He is set apart from creation, or He is “holy”. Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. God is Holy. He is different, separated from all creation.
Holiness in the Old Testament
Exodus 3:1-5 – When Moses saw the burning bush, he began to walk toward it. God called out to Moses and told him to stop and take his shoes off because it is holy ground. Why was it Holy? Because God was there. Wherever God is, holiness is there. That piece of ground was different than other locations. It was set apart by God for a divine purpose.
Exodus 40:33-34 – Moses built the tabernacle to God’s instructions. The innermost part of the tabernacle was the Holy of Holies. The place where God would meet with Moses. It was holy because God was there. There were great care and caution to obey God’s commands in making the tabernacle because it was where God would meet with man. The tabernacle was holy (separated), Israel was a holy nation (separated from all other nations) because God was among them in the tabernacle.
Holiness does not mean sinless it means separated. Where ever God goes, the place becomes Holy and is separate from the everyday world.
Holiness in the New Testament
Holiness is only possible if God, the source of holiness, is present.
Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
God with man – Jesus came into the earth as totally human, and TOTALLY GOD (Holy, Holy, Holy) Jesus was separated from all humanity. Read John 1:9-11.
John 1:9-13 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
If we believe in God and give Christ our heart (John 1:12-13) we can become a “child” of God through spiritual birth. We can become connected to God, or better yet God in us. God, who is holy, moves into our hearts along with His holiness. We become separated from the world. We become Holy.
Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
How to Grow in Holiness
The question, do you still sin? (yes, you do) When you sin do you lose your holiness? No. Holiness means separated. You have separated away from the world and toward God. Remember Ephesians 1:4 calls us to be Holy and blameless.
How do we increase our holiness as we work to overcome sin (blameless)? Rely less on your abilities through self-improvement efforts and saturate yourself with God’s presence. The more we become separated from worldly attractions and more saturated with God, Christ, Bible, worship, the more we grow from glory to glory and become more holy. We will never get to “Holy, Holy, Holy” status, but because God is in us as we follow Christ and the Holy Spirit, we are holy. We are separated to God, a vessel for His glory to the world. You will be noticed, hated but also sought out by hurting people.
1 Peter 1:16 “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Let your lightnside glow with holiness. This dark world needs people who are Holy. A people who carry God with them. A people who are separated from the crowds. A people who have the light of God in them. Let it shine.