Holy is the Lord
1st Peter 1:16, “It is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
God is a Holy God. What is holiness? Holiness is moral perfection. When the Bible commands us to be “holy” as God is Holy, it simply means that we are to do our best with the help of God's Spirit to be perfect. When Jesus said “Be ye prefect” in Matthew 5:48, He was speaking in the linear. Jesus was telling us to “be being perfect.” If we walk in God's Spirit, we can live above sin at any given time. However, we must realize that our sinful flesh is always going to war against the Spirit of God.
Our flesh is prone to sin and does NOT want to obey God. As long as we are living in the “body of this death” as the Apostle Paul called it, we will not escape committing sin. Sin is a curse upon mankind. The Bible teaches that those who “walk in the Spirit” will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Unfortunately, we all walk in the flesh at times. This does not give us God's permission to sin nor condone sin in any way, it simply means that we are sinners by nature.
It is heresy for anyone to teach that we can always live perfectly. Can we live perfect at any given time? Yes, we can live perfect in any given instance if we want to. HOWEVER, we will NOT always walk in the Spirit.
As a matter of fact, very few believers walk in God's Spirit. Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Every born-again believer “lives” in the Spirit of God, i.e., we have Christ's Spirit dwelling in us (Romans 8:9). However, not every believer walks in the Spirit of Christ. Galatians 5:25 is clear evidence that a believer can “live” in the Spirit of God without actually walking in the Spirit of God. There are many carnal and immature believers today, like the members of the church at Corinth (1st Corinthians 3:1); but they are still saved certain and cannot lose their salvation. Salvation is the gift of God, without works of self-righteousness (Romans 4:5; Titus 3:5).
We can do right in any given moment of temptation because God will make a way of escape (1st Corinthians 10:13). No one can say, “The Devil made me do it.” We CHOOSE to sin, no one makes us sin. No one ever “falls” into sin; rather we willingly walk into it. We all have a freewill.
You see friend, every believer has the Holy Spirit of God living within. The Spirit of God convicts us of sin (John 16:8; Hebrews 12:6). The Spirit of God guides us into all truth (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit of God comforts us (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit does many things that you may not have realized. If you'd like to learn all about the Holy Sprit, then read this excellent book by Pastor Jack Hyles, Meet The Holy Spirit.
The Bible is holy, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2nd Timothy 3:15). The Word of God is Holy, it is moral perfection. If we are to live holy as God is holy, then we MUST live by the Bible. If you disobey the Bible, you are unholy. If you are a friend to the world, then you are unholy. There are many unholy alliances in this world, such as the Ecumenical Movement (i.e., the unequal yoke between Catholics and Christians, pioneered by the unholy Billy Graham).
“Holiness” means to be sanctified, set apart FROM the world and TO God. It means to live for God! Hollywood is unholy! The abortion industry is unholy! Janet Jackson and her disgraceful sissy brother are unholy! The alcohol industry is unholy! The cigarette industry is unholy! Madonna and her hellish music are unholy! Eddie Van Halen is unholy! Britney Spears is unholy! I could list thousands of worldly entertainers, all enemies of God because of their alliance with the world against God. If you are a friend of the world, then you are the enemy of God (James 4:4). The Catholic religion is unholy! The casinos and taverns across America are unholy.
Why are all these people and places unholy? Simply because they are all enemies of God, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). Everyone in America who promotes or allows abortion is unholy! Everyone in America who watches sex scenes on TV is unholy. The TV is extremely unholy, set on fire of hell! The world is a wicked place (1st John 5:19). This has always been the case. It is rare to find born-again believers nowadays, much more harder to find Christians who are living holy lives.
If we are to be holy as God is Holy, then we MUST hate sin. “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Proverb 8:13). “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 97:10). Most believers are not holy and couldn't care less about hating evil, let alone fighting it. “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” (Psalm 94:16).
Holiness is not some religious term, it is the hallmark quality of our God and Creator. Our God is a holy God, the ultimate moral perfection. Jesus Christ is Almighty God Who came to this earth and lived a SINLESS life (2nd Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15). Jesus is holy. We are to be Christlike as born-again believers. Sadly, some of the least Christlike individuals are Christians. You don't hear too much about being holy these days, even in our churches. Listen friend, holiness is NOT just some religious term for ministers wearing robes. No, holiness is for you and me, everyday people.
Holy Living is Only for Born Again Believers
Please don't misunderstand this article, holiness cannot get you to Heaven! You can live as holy as you may try and still go straight to Hell when you die. The reason is because no amount of good can make up for the sins we've already committed. If you've ever told as much as one little lie (James 2:10), you're under the condemnation of God and bound for hellfire if you don't get saved (Revelation 21:8... “and all liars”). How many people do you have to murder to be considered a murderer? That's right, just one! So how many lies do you have to tell to be considered a lair? That's right, just one! If you've ever told one lie, you will burn in the Lake of Fire someday if you die in your sins. You had better acknowledge your guilt of sin for breaking God's Laws, and trust upon Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, to forgive your sins (Acts 10:43; 16:30-31).
The Bible commands all men to repent toward God by faith in Christ Jesus to have their sins forgiven. Then as believers God wants every believer to live holy in obedience to the Bible. We don't live right to BE saved; we live right because we ARE saved. Eternal life is a free gift from God... freely provided, freely offered, and freely received.
Holy living is for God's children (i.e., those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior). If you're not a born-again Christian, then all your righteousnesses are as filthy rags in God's sight (Isaiah 64:6). We cannot impress God with our own self-righteous works, we must place our faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS (Matthew 6:33).
To those of you who are already saved, eternally secure in the everlasting arms of Jesus Christ, then God wants you and me to be holy, even as He is holy. Let us awake to righteousness and lay aside the unholy living which so easily sidetracks us from serving God, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before” (Hebrews 12:1).
~by David J. Stewart