“Be ye holy, for I am holy.”
Wait, what? Only God is holy, so what does the Bible mean when it says that we, unrighteous, imperfect, flawed, sinners are supposed to be holy?
As Christians, we know we are supposed to be a light in the darkness pointing people to Jesus wherever we go, and we know that we must live out our faith. After all, Matthew 5: 14, 16 says, “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
In other words, we’re meant to be a little like walking lights. You with me?
Jesus is so holy and so perfect that there is no way we can ever be as righteous as He is, and I don’t think that’s what the Bible means when it says to be holy like God is holy. Walking around pretending to be perfect and flawless as Jesus all while looking down on other people is sin. Being holy doesn’t mean walking around puffed up with pride, thinking we’re better than anyone else.
I believe that being holy means so much more than that. Because our sin made a separation between us and God, Jesus gave His life to bridge the gap, so we could enter His Father’s presence. Before Jesus died on the cross, no one could enter the Most Holy Place to be where God was. If they did, they would perish. Well, except for the high priest who could only go in to offer a sacrifice for the people once a year. But when Jesus died, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, making a way for all people to go into the Father’s presence at any time.
Jesus didn’t just make a way for us to enter His Father’s presence. After all, we couldn’t go into the High King unclean, could we? So, Jesus washed us. Cleansed us. Made us new. Made us holy.
We can’t make ourselves holy.
Only Jesus, who gave His very life for us and washed us in His blood, can ever make us holy before the Father. But we must let Him.
I’d also like to mention, that as children of the King, how we live our lives will reflect who He is to us.
Read that again.
How we live our lives will reflect who He is to us.
If God is simply a genie or a fairy godfather who we summon whenever we want so that He to can make all our wishes come true, won’t our life reflect that?
But if He is our Savior Whom we worship, Father Whom we adore, God Whom we rest in, we’ll be different. We’ll trust Him more. We’ll love others more.
By spending time with God, we’ll become more holy.
People need to see the light of God in us, and the only way that’ll happen is if we spend time soaking in His presence, being in the presence of the Holy One as He makes us holy and like Himself.
To be anything but shows the world how little we truly know Him.
For more information about living a holy life, I highly recommend most importantly, delving deep into the Bible.
As a resource guide, however, Jerry Bridges’ work, “The Pursuit of Holiness” is an eye-opening book you might want to read.
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12: 14
This article was originally published for the Judge/Light issue of Oh Beloved One magazine.