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Thursday, August 22, 2013

How Can We Be Holy?

The Bible commands, Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16). Leviticus 20:7 says, Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.

“Holy” isn’t a word we use a lot. For most, it’s a scary concept. We know God is holy. He’s perfect. But, nobody’s perfect. Yet, we’re commanded to be perfect, too.

Read these verses:
  • Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God (Deuteronomy 18:13).
  • Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day (1 Kings 8:61).
  • Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you (2 Corinthians 13:11).
  • That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:17).
  • But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (James 1:4). 

So, we’re supposed to be holy, perfect. Yet we all know our own sinfulness.

If it’s a command, it has to be possible, right? Right. Especially if it’s God’s command.

He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust (Psalm 103:14).

So the Lord completely understands us and He still asks us to be holy. Maybe it’s important to know what it means.

Holy = most holy thing, a saint
Perfect = finished, complete, perfect, fitted

I think a key to understanding how we’re to get holy is found in the verse Leviticus 20:7, above. It says we’re to sanctify ourselves. We are to set ourselves apart for the purpose of being holy.

I like what the Apostle Paul said, Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Jesus also told people to follow Him (1 Corinthians 11:1). Jesus spoke the phrase follow me 18 times in the New Testament.

How do we follow Jesus? It’s simple, really.  
  1. We find out what He wants us to do by getting into His Word, the Bible. It will instruct us and teach us. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  2. When we know what Jesus wants, we make a conscious decision to obey His will.
  3. We practice doing right.
  4. Our motivation is pleasing God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Sanctification is the name of the process. It involves two people:
  • God. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
  • You. If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).

Sanctification is a life-long process. We learn, obey, learn a little more, obey more, and it never ends until we get to heaven. When we get to heaven, of course, we will be changed, have new bodies, and we won’t be able to sin any more.

What if you mess up? What if you sin?

We all do.

Thankfully, the Bible has a cure for that. It’s the lovely forgiveness of the Lord when we confess our sins. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

This isn’t a works salvation. The Bible says clearly that salvation comes only by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for our sins. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). The next verse shows how our process of sanctification is a result of our salvation: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (10).

So you see, biblical holiness, being perfect, is all about God working in us for His honor and glory. It’s about learning the Word and obeying it. It’s about being more Christ-like and actually glorifying God.

May we all be more holy, more set-apart for God’s glory, and more obedient.

If you do not yet know the Lord as your personal Savior, seek Him. (You could read John, chapter 3 in your Bible. It’s about a man who went to Jesus with lots of questions. It’s all about how to be born again.)

God bless you!

But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (1 Peter 1:15).


  1. Muchas veces es difícil mantenerse limpio sobre todo si vienes de un entorno mas centrado en el mundo que en el Señor pero es posible os lo aseguro.

    1. Claro que no es fácil, pero es lo que Dios espera de todos. Gracias por tu comentario. ¡Que el Señor te bendiga!

  2. I'm so glad it is about Him working in us - it would be impossible otherwise.

    1. Amen! Thank you for your comment. God bless us all as He works in us.


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