What is Holiness, and is it still required today?
In this so called modern world, we see an eroding of moral fabric, not only in a secular sense, but sadly, in the church as well. Questionable messages are thrown from the pulpits worldwide, leaving some of God’s people confused. We see God depicted daily as a loving caring Santa Clause like figure, if you will, who lives in the sky. Unfortunately, some of us only relate to Him when we are in need of something. There is no depth in our relationships. Everything is superficial, and based only on what we can get. Our hands are stretched outward, while we greedily shout, ‘Give me, give me now!’ at God. But have we ever stopped to ask the question, ‘What do you want God? What do you truly desire of me?’
Many have actually outwardly or subconsciously done away with many of the cherished teachings in God’s word. One of these is the call to holiness. While seeing a bearded figure, wearing camel’s hair for clothes, shouting to any and every one about living holy, may seem farfetched, I believe that the message is one that like many in the word of God is very relevant to our time. I could even go as far as to say it is needed now more than ever before.
So just what is holiness? As I see it, holiness is that secret ingredient that qualifies us to see God, (Hebrews 12:14). A.W. Tozer had this to say “Holiness, as taught in the Scriptures, is not based upon knowledge on our part. Rather, it is based upon the resurrected Christ in-dwelling us and changing us into His likeness”. ― (A.W. Tozer, Preparing for Jesus’ Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope). The Greek word for Holiness is Hagiasmos and also means “Sanctification”. Dennis McBride breaks holiness down into two parts. According to McBride, holiness can be viewed in two spectrums i.e. objectively or subjectively. He describes objective holiness as being set apart, or positional holiness. This can either be negative or positive. Negatively, its objective meaning refers to being set apart from sin, and positively as set apart as unto God. Subjectively it connotes an inward cleansing, which he refers to as practical holiness. The negative subjective meaning is referred to as a state of being purged from sin, and positively subjective, as being refined, regenerated, renewed in one’s mind and soul.
Can we in this day and age live holy lives? God’s word says in 1st Peter 1:16, ’Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy’. This is clearly a command; God has called us to holiness. God will not ask us to do something that He has not equipped us to do. We can plainly see in His word that we have the capacity to live holy lives. In 2nd Timothy 1:9, we see that we have been given the grace to live holy lives. It reads, ’He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.’
Why should we live holy lives? As stated before, living holy is a command. In first Samuel 15:22, 23, the prophet Samuel states that obedience is better than sacrifice. He likens the act of disobedience to God to the act of witchcraft. Another reason why we should live holy lives is because God’s holiness is one of the most exalted things about His nature. In Isaiah 6:3 we see that the beings in heaven repeat this over and over. It reads, ’And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory’’. If we truly want to be like our Father who is in Heaven, we should try emulating Him. Everything that encompasses Him is holy, thus we should aspire to holy living. Thirdly, we should work on living holy lives, as without it, we cannot see Him (Hebrews 12:14). If we truly want to see God, we should aim to be holy. A fourth reason to live holy is because it’s a form of worship unto God. Roman 12:1 states (Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship).
BENEFITS OF HOLY LIVING
-Holy living grants us life and guidance
(Amos 5:14 New Living Translation) Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed.
-Holy living grants us generational blessings
(Ps 112:2 New International Version) Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
-Holy living brings us good health
(Proverbs 4:20-22New International Version)
My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
-Holy living gives us a legacy
(Ps 112:6 New International Version)
Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.
-Holy Living gives us all round blessings
(Matthew 6:33 New International Version)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
EFFECTS OF NOT LIVING HOLY
-Unholy living can result in a loss of one’s inheritance
Numbers 20:12 / Hebrews 3:18, 19
-Unholy living results in destruction
-Unholy living results in loss of anointing.
(1st Samuel 15:23)
-Unholy living results in death
(Genesis 6:5-9 )
HOW TO LIVE HOLY
-We can live holy through the renewal of our minds
(Romans 12:2 New International Version)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
-We can live holy, by living according to His word
(Psalm 119:9 King James Version)
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.
*I hope that this message was a blessing to everyone that read it. The purpose of this message was not to knock members of the faith, but rather to cause an awakening .God bless.
Written By Makeba Hudson