Growing up Baptist, it took me a long time to get comfortable with the "H" word! HOLINESS. Like many people, I had a gross misconception of what that actually meant. It didn't help that in ignorance, my wrong ideas were reinforced by preachers and teachers from various Christian denominations. Thank God, I've learned to read and study the bible for myself!
Let me start by telling you what HOLINESS is not:
1. It is not what you wear: No make-up, no pants wearing, long dresses, no bare arms showing and absolutely no cutting of the hair! Whereas I can certainly identify with the need for modesty in dress and have no doubt that there actually are some holy women under those long dresses, it's not the clothes that make them HOLY! (Matt. 22: 27-28) Jesus told the Pharisees, Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
2. It is not isolating yourself from sinful people : The Amish religion tried this and if you've ever checked out the reality show, Breaking Amish, you'll see that it doesn't work! They too, have a list of No, Nos. No electricity, no cars, no clothes of bright or gaudy colors, no taking of photographs. They separate themselves as much as possible from non-Amish people to lessen the contamination of sin in the world. That's impossible to do and not biblical at all. Jesus said in Luke 5:32: I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. You can't hide from sin or sinful people, you have to deal with it or them when and however it comes.
3. Rules and Rituals: Church laws, kind deeds, no smoking, no drinking, no dancing, etc. some have great benefits in practicing, much you do as the result of spiritual growth but in and of themselves, DO NOT MAKE YOU HOLY! Any time YOU do something trying to earn the status of Holiness you're on the wrong path. All our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Not by works of righteousness that we have done but because of Christ mercy are we saved! (Titus 3:5)
So if these things don't cut the mustard for holiness, how can one possibly call themselves HOLY? It's quite simple actually. Biblical holiness is to be in right standing with God, conforming to His will and His Word! YOU see it's all about having a Relationship with Christ. He is the one who justifies us (declares us righteous)- 2 Corinthians 5:21.
We are Holy because He is Holy (I Peter 1:15-16). Positionally, God already sees us this way! But do not think this gives you a pass to sin as much as you want! Absolutely not!
Holiness is to be pursued, practiced, and held up as our daily goal throughout our lives! It is a commandment not an option; It is imperative to have fellowship with God and have our prayers answered. It fulfills our divine purpose for living, and the rewards and benefits are beyond compare!
HOLINESS IS STILL POSSIBLE - EVEN AS SIN IS MAKING A POWERFUL RESURGENCE IN OUR WORLD!
What changes do you need to make in your life style to live in obedience to God? When will you start reaping the benefits of this wonderful inheritance, a life of abundance (John 10:10)?
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