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Be Holy

Being holy isn’t based on feelings

I don’t know about you, but on Monday mornings, I don’t often feel all that holy. Thankfully, being holy isn’t based on how I feel at the moment, but on what Christ did for me on the cross. Nor do we have to go through the the ritual cleansings that the Israelites did. Since God had chosen the nation of Israel to be His special people through which He would fulfill His plan to restore fellowship between Himself and man, God commanded them to be holy because He is holy. God put into place the sacrifices and other rituals that would maintain their cleanness before Him. Because they were sinful humans, it was inevitable that they would become unclean – daily. Probably several times a day. So they had to keep doing the ritual cleansings that would allow God to remain in their presence.

Today, those ritual cleansings are no long needed or required because of Christ’s death on the cross. Once we surrender our hearts to Him and as Him to save us from our sins, we are made new. His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness. He has done the work for us. Once and for all.

To fully understand this verse, we need to understand what it means to be consecrated and what it means to be holy. As a Christian, this verse applies just as much to us as it did to the nation of Israel. God says to each of us, “I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.” So if God commands us to consecrate ourselves and to be holy, then we need to know exactly what God is commanding of us.

Consecrate Yourself

When we consecrate ourselves to God, we wholly dedicate ourselves to Him. It is the act of setting yourself aside and dedicating yourself to God. Consecrating involves separating ourselves from anything unclean or sinful so that our relationship to a holy God is not contaminated. It carries the ideas of being sanctified, holy, and pure.

2 Corinthians 6:17 tells us, “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” Paul also wrote in Romans 12:1-2, “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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.”

As children of God who have been saved by faith in Christ, we consecrate ourselves when we surrender our lives and will to Him as a living sacrifice and live our lives for the glory of God. Peter wrote: “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.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)

Be holy.

To understand what it means to be holy, let’s first look at what it means that God is holy. God is absolute perfection. There is no other God. He has no trace of in (James 1:13, Hebrews 6:18). No one can compare to Him (Psalm 40:5). It defines His character. His love is a holy love. Him mercy is a holy mercy. And his anger is a holy anger.

When we look at what it means for us to be holy, we know we are not perfect and without sin. So how, then, are we holy? We are to be distinctly different from the world. We are set apart from the world for the purposes of God. As children of God, we are to live according to God’s standards so that the world will know we belong to Him. God know’s we are not capable of being perfect. Instead He calls us to be distinctly different from the world. Peter tells us how to do this in 1 Peter 1:13-16:

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 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.”

We Cannot make ourselves Holy

There is absolutely no way that we can make ourselves holy. We only become holy through a right relationship with God by believing in Christ as our Savior. Until we become a child of God, we remain unholy without any hope of becoming holy on our own. However, when we place our faith and trust in Christ and seek His forgiveness for our sins and ask Him to be our Savior then the blood he shed on the cross cleanses us from all sin. In that moment we become a holy child of God, set a part from the world.

So – are you living a consecrated and holy life?

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