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Understand The True Meaning Of Holiness

Updated on September 20, 2014

What is holiness?

The bible teaches that GOD is holy and HE requires his people to be holy. Many churches have their interpretation of holiness. Some say that holiness must be shown in the way you dress because holiness is from the inside out. I will talk about that later. Others believe that in order to be holy, you can only be around Christians. Most people believe they know and understand what is holiness.

What really is holiness? The bible says in Hebrews 12:14, "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord."

In the Old Testament, GOD's people are called to holiness, which involves being distinct from other people. This is seen in the command to separate from other nations and from everything that can compromise commitment to the Lord.

In Leviticus 20:22-26 says, “You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them. But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples. You shall therefore separate the clean beast from the unclean, and the unclean bird from the clean. You shall not make yourselves detestable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground crawls, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.

In this passage we come to understand completely what holiness is. To be holy is to be set apart for GOD. The people of Israel had to keep the commands that GOD gave them in order for them to be holy. They were slaves in Egypt and had customs that GOD did not approve. GOD wanted to change that because the Egyptians worshipped other gods or idols. The people of Israel is a chosen nation by GOD. They did not choose GOD, but GOD chose Israel. Since the day that GOD revealed Himself to Abraham, GOD has set apart the descendant of Abraham. GOD chooses whatever or whoever HE wants to set apart.

The people of Israel had to distinguish between holy and the common, (Leviticus 10:10) by following the rules that GOD gave them and teach their children. In order to understand GOD's holiness they had to obey GOD's command. HE gave them a written law and rules to follow. GOD wanted the people of Israel to be holy, different than the other nations. We will discuss holiness in the New Testament in a little bit. The Old Testament is a shadow of the New Testament, much has not changed when it comes to holiness. Always remember GOD is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Holiness Of GOD

I would like to explain the holiness of GOD before discussing holiness in the New Testament. It is very important that we understand that GOD is Holy. If you want to live a holy life; you must understand and know as much as you can about the holiness. People walk around thinking that they are holy, set apart for GOD, but they are only living what other people have told them.

The people of Israel had to teach their children about the law and the rules that GOD gave them. Many people walking blind and thinking that they are holy. We must listen to our pastors and leaders, but we must also read our bibles to confirm everything that we are taught. GOD gave Israel written law and rules to follow. We have the Holy Spirit and Scriptures that can guide us through the process of sanctification. Sanctification is the process of becoming holy. It is a lifetime process until GOD comes to take those who are saved.

Christians are called to be holy as GOD is holy. When we understand the character of GOD and hold firmly to HIS holiness then we will begin to understand the character of our sins and hopelessness. People are helpless without GOD in their lives. We will realize that we need the Grace of GOD and only GOD can give us hope and peace.

GOD's holiness is found in HIS character: GOD is all knowing, has compassion, faithful, HE gives us grace and mercy, HE is just, patient, perfect, He is everywhere, righteous, sovereign, truthful, unique, HE is zealous with what is HIS.

“The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he." Deuteronomy 32:4

"But the Lord of Hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy GOD shows himself holy in righteousness." Isaiah 5:16

GOD has a plan for HIS creation which HE will certainly accomplish. It is carried out through the control of circumstances and His choice and use of people and above all in the life , death, resurrection and second coming of Jesus Christ.

Christians Are Called To Holiness

We are going to speak about holiness in the New Testament. We learned that GOD has called the people of Israel and they had to be distinct from the other nations. Their customs could not be the same as the other nations.

Christians are called to distance themselves from the ways and values of the world, which can be dishonoring to GOD and destructive to obedience to HIM.

Holiness is something that happen within us. When we give our heart to the Lord and believe what Jesus has done for us, we go through a process called sanctification.Jesus in John 17:17 prayed to the Father "Sanctify them by the truth". Jesus himself was set apart by the Father to carry out HIS will in the world. Sanctification is holiness.

GOD is holy, HE is completely separated from sin or evil. Holy GOD cannot have fellowship with sinful men and women. We have to somehow be made holy to have fellowship with GOD.

The Old Testament teaches that something may be separated from GOD by either sin or uncleanness.

The Fruit of The Spirit

How Can We Be Holy People When We Live In A Sinful World?

GOD's people can be holy even when they are surrounded by unclean things or people. When a fish is caught in salt water it contains no salt inside.

Many people want to show holiness with what they wear. The bible teaches us that we have to be different than the world. Holiness is not in what you wear. Holiness is what flow out from within you. I have heard many people say "holiness is from the inside out", referring to the type of clothes they wear. They are far from really knowing what holiness is. Don't get me wrong, we should dress modest. We should not dress in a seductive way. We should not dress in a certain way to tempt someone or catch their attention, but that has to do with being a stumbling block for someone. GOD does not approve of that. We should not be a stumbling block to anyone.

2 Peter 2:9-11 says, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation."

Throughout the bible, GOD teaches that our ways should be different, our conduct should not be as of the world's. Our behavior should reflect GOD, which is the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit has to do with the way we behave ourselves. Holiness is from within and it flows out through our conduct or behavior.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law". Galatians 5:22-23

The Spirit and the flesh are always against each other. Which sometimes it is difficult to do the things you want to do. We preach so much about holiness in our churches, but we have a struggle with the flesh that we have to deal with.

"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions,divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:18-21


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    • standontherock profile image

      standontherock 4 years ago from Allentown, PA

      Thank you d.william. I wish you the same...

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      That is exactly how i feel as well. I forget sometimes that new people reading my words have no idea where i am coming from. I, too, have a great relationship with God, and am quite comfortable not belonging to any particular religious group. I just do not feel that need in my life. There may be comfort in belonging to groups for most people, but i find that too tedious and too much work to try to please everyone when i have such different views on organized religion than the mainstream.

      I wish you success on hub pages, a great christmas, and a prosperous and happy new year.

    • standontherock profile image

      standontherock 4 years ago from Allentown, PA

      It's ok, I understand exactly what you mean. I know that I used bible verses to back me up, but my point about the whole thing is really to Have a Relationship with GOD. I am not a fan of religion. I have expressed myself in my first hub called "I hate religion, but I have a relationship with GOD"

      I got some feedback on it and I just need to change some things because I don't want anyone to think that I want them to believe in what I believe in, I just want to give my point of view. I am very open minded, I am always interested in hearing other people's belief because we all believe in something or someone or GOD.....

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thanks and i apologize for coming on too strong. My passion for change sometimes is too overwhelming for the religious minded to deal with.

      All that hate must end in order for the healing of our society to begin.

    • standontherock profile image

      standontherock 4 years ago from Allentown, PA

      d.william now your talking. Now you got my attention. I agree with you.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      stand: You have the right to decide how to live your own life. My point is only to be sure you are doing it because it is your choice and not because it is what others expect, or want, you to do.

      There is nothing wrong with living your life on a day to day basis as long as you enjoy yourself and harm no one else in the process.

      My foundation is the fact that i know in my heart that we are all part of the same family of spirits. The father that would cast out a child for being different by human standards is no father at all. Without love and forgiveness, there can be no family unity.

      We do not need organized religions to find inner peace and tranquility; as long as we feel a connection to the Oneness we are never truly alone.

      Free style prayers are as valid as ritualistic words and actions that lose their meaning and spontaneity after a while.

      If you have faith in your religious convictions, by all means keep them, but do not 'sacrifice' your own happiness in a false sense of atonement for being something that you did not choose to be.

      Being true to our own convictions is better than living a lie.

    • standontherock profile image

      standontherock 4 years ago from Allentown, PA

      You say judging is wrong, but yet you judge all different religion because you are correct and everyone else is wrong.

      Christians supposed have the Fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

      You are trying to teach me that I can do whatever my heart desire and enjoy life. I can live an disorganize lifestyle and be happy.

      I made a choice not to live as a homosexual. My decision, no one brainwashed me I didn't want to live that way any longer. I am happy and have no regrets. I believe what the Holy Bible says.

      I am reading your hubs, so far it seems so disorganized and scary because there is no foundation. Its like telling do whatever you wish

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Following Christ does not preclude being something you are not. Jesus had no opinions on being gay. It is NOT a lifestyle "choice". There is a lesson to be learned in my hub:

      When we learn to be at peace with who we are meant to be, then no one can make us ashamed for who and what we are in this life. Love is not a sin, and sex is not a sin. Abuse is. Religions abuse those who are born different and promote intolerance and hatred out of ignorance, not out of truth.

      Those of us who are born genetically different, know the difference, and that what we feel is not by choice. We do not choose who we fall in love with, but we do choose to deny it and the misery that accompanies that denial. When we try to live our lives by the standards of the ignorance of others, we are denying ourselves the greatest gift of all from God: our happiness. Everyone has the same right to that happiness and the same equality that comes along with that birth right.

      When the bible speaks of all the sins of mankind in Leviticus, et al, and every one of them is now decided as being superfluous except homosexuality, that in itself should give one pause as to whether to continue to believe we are products of sin, products of God, or products of life that deserve the same happiness as everyone else on this planet.

      There is truly peace in the freedom from the judgments of others. They can judge all they want, but until they walk a mile in the shoes of those they judge, those judgments mean absolutely nothing at all. And especially in the eyes of an all loving God of Universal Oneness.

      I just published another hub on the new Pope's decree asking all Christians to refrain from judging others, including the GLBT community. Judging is wrong in every aspect and not very ''christ like'"

    • standontherock profile image

      standontherock 4 years ago from Allentown, PA

      d.william, I chose not to live a gay lifestyle. I follow Christ now, but like I said I will be reading your writings and I hope you can introduce to me the Universal oneness....I am a very open minded guy, I like studying other religions, but it seems that you don't completely understand Christianity.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      you are way off track here.

      I am certainly not calling you mentally ill. Those with mental problems caused by their religions that i dealt with were at the point of self destruction from overwhelming and unfounded guilt, fear, and inner pain that they themselves associated with their inability to reconcile religious teachings with reality.

      Your reactions are typical of those who are so indoctrinated that even the thought of questioning those beliefs are too painful and frightening to explore.

      I really do not care what your beliefs are, but when those beliefs take precedent over reality, it is my obligation to call it to the attention of those who don't realize they are only torturing themselves with their core beliefs that are grossly flawed.

      If that makes you mentally compromised, then i suggest that you seek some kind of counseling before it is too late. No one should ever live their lives with such guilt and inner pain as to deny their own happiness because of the child abuse they have endured at the hands of what they consider "holy" teachings.

    • standontherock profile image

      standontherock 4 years ago from Allentown, PA

      I have made my research on the Holy Bible and the History of the church. I have chose to service Yahweh. The Creator of all things. I have overcome from a lot of the errors that I was taught as a child but I believe in the Holy Bible. If you care so much for the mentally ill (since that is what you are calling me), why do you attack people with your god?

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      My God is the universal oneness that caused all there is today to be. I was brought up in the Roman Catholic Church, and their God is not one i care to be associated with.

      I believe nothing of the bible that was created by The Roman government after they created the catholic church. The origin of the bible was, and still is, untenable and a creation of man to serve a purpose that was not of God's making.

      We need to learn the history of things before believing them without question.

      You might want to read this article as well:

      I spent the biggest part of my working life caring for the mentally ill, so this is not simply conjecture or supposition.

      My deprogramming took many years to complete by myself. Today there are many programs designed to deprogram people from their childhood trauma of religious abuse that takes minimal time and with the same effectiveness.

      When one realizes that we can have a personal relationship with God without the middle men of religious fervor, it is exhilarating and peaceful.

      History shows that Jesus was but a man, and his faith was Gnosticsm. That is what i have adopted for my personal inner peace.

      We are all children of the oneness. There is no separation of souls after death based on the likes of religious teachings that are as silly as Dante's Inferno.

      My belief is that we all return to the same spirit world we originated from, but with greater wisdom attained from our sojourn through this material plane of existence.

      I live without fear, without hatred, and without any unfounded guilt for things i have no control over in this life. I do not fear God, for i know we will all be re-joined after our earthly departure.

    • standontherock profile image

      standontherock 4 years ago from Allentown, PA

      d.william, Who is your god or God? I'm starting to believe that you don't agree with the Holy Bible. Who do you serve or pray too?

      GOD is love, but we should live our life in a respectful manner. I quote verses from the bible because it is a tool to better ourselves. There is no confusion or mental illness.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      This is frightening and scary stuff. It is little wonder that there is so much mental confusion (and mental illness) associated with religion when these nonsensical ideas are taught to children before they reach their age of reasoning.

      God did not write anything, you do realize that, i hope. These words are the tools of men, for control over the lives of others. One cannot prove they are truth by quoting them. By doing so, actually invalidates them.

      To live one's life in fear of their God is truly a wasted life, when there is so much beauty and love in this world to enjoy.

      My "God" has given us these beauties to enjoy, not to hide in the closets of fear. "My" God also has given us a brain to think with and with the capacity to learn new things, new ideas, and share those ideas with the world around us. My God has also given us a brain to exercise by utilizing common sense, and critical thinking through the use of logic, and the ability to view the realities of life without judging others. To teach love and understanding to others, help them to be individuals who love and respect others, respect nature, and respect the creators of all there is without fear, or guilt.

      I pray to my God to enlighten yours to peace and harmony, not fear and unfounded guilt.


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