What does it mean to be holy? A few months ago we asked the students what they thought it meant, here’s a few of the answers.
- filled with the Holy Spirit
- to be perfect and sinless
- follow God
Most of the students had a fuzzy idea of holiness, but some had no clue at all. If we can’t define holy, how can we expect to live holy lives?
Its crystal clear in the Bible that God expects us to live a holy life. Check out a few of these scriptures:
- Leviticus 19:2
- 1 Peter 1:15
From both of those passages we can see that God expects us to live holy lives because He is holy. We serve a holy God, and he demands our holiness.
See God alone is holy. He is set apart from everything else in creation. He is perfect and unchanging, as opposed to the rest of creation which is marred by our sins and is constantly changing. The world is always looking for its next big thing, so it never finds it. Musicians, athletes, politicians, technology, celebrity; nothing has any staying power or lasting value. What the world values today will be thrown out with their garbage tomorrow
But because of God’s holiness and unchanging love, He is worthy of our love and devotion. We can safely and confidently give our lives to God, knowing that he is separate from the world and perfect in all that He is. No matter who you are, where you go, or what you do, God remains holy, and His love for us never changes. We are His treasures, and we are never more than a step away from His arms.
So if God is unchanging and holy and we are not, how can He love us or expect us to live holy lives. This is the awesome part. If you have accepted Christ as your savior, you belong to God, and therefore, you are holy in His sight. It’s that simple.
You see God knew we couldn’t live holy lives on our own. He knew sin would always be a wall between us and Him. Thats why He planned all along to send Jesus as a final and ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Jesus death on the cross and His resurrection made us holy. Colossians 1:22 says;
“Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.”
What that means for us is that as soon as we accept Jesus as our savior and ask forgiveness of our sins, God sees us differently. He sees us as holy, because He is viewing us through the lens of Jesus’ obedience and sacrifice on the cross.
If all of this is done for us than we must be off the hook, right? Does Jesus work on our behalf to make us holy mean we don’t have to worry about how we live, act or think? Not quite.
Our lives as Christian’s must look radically different from the world around us. Our lives and how we live them is our testimony to Jesus’ sacrifice and what it means to us. What does that look like? In Colossians 3:12, Paul tells us.
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Sound familiar? Sounds an awful lot like how Jesus lived His life.
But Jesus is the Son of God, how can we possibly live our lives to the same standard He did. Than answer may seem disheartening, we can’t. Not on our own at least. The world is full of do-gooders and people with kind hearts. But that doesn’t make them holy. It makes them nice people. God’s call to us to be holy means more than just being nice and kind, it means making the right moral choices, it means loving God and people. And God gave us help to do it.
It may seem overwhelming, but God has given us the Holy Spirit to help and guide us in this life to make the right choices and to live a holy life. And we will see it in our lives when we let the Spirit guide us. Just look at Galatians 5:22-23, the Fruit of the Spirit. When we see that in our lives, we know that God is at work. God will never call us to do something He hasn’t equipped us for.
Are there areas in your life that are not holy? What do you need to do to make a change in your life? Spend some time with God this week, ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to identify those parts of your life. The time to live holy is now, what are you waiting for?