Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Leonard Lauriault
Religion columnist 

We are to be holy

 


Building upon a previous article stating that we’re to be perfect as God is perfect, my last article (May 30, 2018) delved into how God is perfect and how we can be – are to be – perfect (Matthew 5:48). First Peter 1:15-16 says we’re to be holy in all we do because God is holy (Leviticus 11:44-45). So, this article will consider how God is holy and what it means for us to be holy.

But first, because it’s possible that many people don’t know what holiness is, Webster’s New World Dictionary Compact School and Office Edition (Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1989) defines “holy” as “1. Dedicated to a religious cause; sacred; 2. Spiritually pure; sinless; 3. Deserving deep respect, awe, etc.” Hmm. Fairly generic to any religious cause, but we can get a sense of what it means regarding God.

So, how’s God holy? Exodus 15:11 asks rhetorically if any god is like God, being majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, and working wonders. Since it’s understood that no god is like God, he’s different – set apart – from all other gods. In fact, “set apart” is a Biblical definition of “holy.” According to Webster’s Dictionary, cited above, “majestic” means “grand” or “stately.” And “majesty” refers to a sovereign, which means “Independent of all others; above all others; supreme.” The other gods, which are actually nothing at all, and those who wannabe gods actually have been subdued by the Sovereign God (I Corinthians 8:4; 1 Samuel 5:1-5; Isaiah 14:12-15; 44:9-10). Additionally, only God is completely righteous and there’s no righteousness without him (Romans 3:10, 21-26; 1:16-17; Hebrews 10:11-18).

So, how are we to measure up to God’s standard of being holy? First, we must recognize how important being holy is to us personally and how much our holiness means to God (Hebrews 12:14; 10:5-10). When we see Jesus (God, John 14:6-11; 10:30), we’ll become perfectly holy, but until then, we must strive for holiness by purifying ourselves from that which is unholy – sinful (1 John 3:1-3). We must consecrate (set aside) ourselves to God alone and maintain his holy status by being holy in all we do (Matthew 6:19-33; 1 Chronicles 16:23-29; Deuteronomy 32:44-52). We must keep God’s decrees (Leviticus 20:7-8; John 14:15-21). And, we must rid ourselves of unholiness (Acts 2:38-39; Ephesians 4:22-24; 2 Timothy 2:20-21; 1 John 3:4-7; 1:5-9; Romans 6:19-23, 1-7).

God has promised that if we’ll respect his holiness and take it on ourselves through obedience we’ll get to live with him for eternity. Jesus came to earth and gave his life to bring that about (Colossians 1:21-23). That’s how much our holiness means to God. Jesus has returned to heaven to make preparations for us to live there, but he’ll return to take us to heaven, at which time the earth will be destroyed (John 14:1-3; Hebrews 9:27-28; 2 Peter 3:10-13; 2 Corinthians 7:1).

Is Jesus preparing a place in heaven for you because you are living the holy life God expects, including seeking forgiveness when you fall short, which we all do?

Leonard Lauriault writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at lmlaur@plateautel.net

 

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