One definition given concerning being holy is this…. set apart for the service of God or a divine being : SACRED .(Merriam Webster) True holiness is impossible to obtain by ourselves because of our sin nature. Yet we are called to be holy before God. Being holy is not simply being good, for there are many people who are morally and ethically good, so that is not what makes a person holy. The question is, “How does one become holy before God?”
This a very important question because the Bible teaches to strive for peace with everyone, and for holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 ESV The simplest explanation is this; a person becomes holy when the righteousness of God is imputed into his life by the Holy Spirit. It is a gift from God that washes the evidences of sin from us, so that God might be recognized in us. When we are recognized as Holy by God, it is because He does not see us, but rather he sees his holiness in the presence of the Holy Spirit within us….. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, Whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
This is grace, mercy, kindness, love, and whole host of words describing how God willingly blessed us with the Holy Spirit. Being the Temple of the Holy Spirit is literally having the presence of God living in you. God is Holy; therefore, His presence has made you Holy before him. With this gift we have been called to live, giving evidence of his presence in our lives.
CALLED TO BE HOLY:
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV… For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 ESV
Our actions do not make us holy, but our actions will reflect and give evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. Obedience to God is only possible if you become a follower / disciple of his word. Over the years I have heard and even have said myself, “I can’t believe I use to do this or that”..…concerning a behavior, action, or thought process. What changed? As I studied or remembered God’s word and by the prompting of the of Holy Spirit, I became convicted. Conviction came because the Holy Spirit does not have fellowship with sin. For a person to walk in holiness is for a person to intentionally want to reflect Jesus in their life by following his life teachings. That is what a disciple does… they follow, learn, and live on purpose with a desire to bring glory to God.
BE A TEMPLE / VESSEL OF HONOR:
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as HOLY, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21 ESV
You will become a vessel of honor when you grow to love God more than you enjoy your sin. Loving God is how we grow more into the image of Christ and reflect his holiness. This is not a self righteous lifestyle; rather, it is a lifestyle of desiring and bringing glory to God by being a reflection of his grace. It’s not bringing attention to ourselves but rather attention to God’s ability to save us from death.
Sin is pleasurable and this is why it is so difficult to become a vessel of honor. The war between the holy and the unholy, wages war in our lives and will do so until we die and are raised with a new body without this sin nature. But until that time, we must remember the battle has already been won on the cross for the forgiveness of our sin. Therefore through His grace, press on in the battle to reflect God’s holiness and remember that you are not in the battle alone. You can do all things through him who strengthens you. Philippians 4:13 ESV
I hope I have made it clear that in and of ourselves we cannot make ourselves holy. Only God can do that, but we can take the responsibility of living on purpose in the pursuit of holiness. Here are some scripture to utilize in that pursuit.
Arm yourself…..I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:11 ESV
Live on purpose….. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as HOLY, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21 ESV
Rest is His grace…….He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 3:5-6 ESV
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David