What does it mean to be Holy?

If someone were to walk up and ask you, “What does it mean to be a Christian?” how would you respond to that? The truth is we could define that in so many ways that by the time we’re finished we might just end up right back where we started. What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? Perhaps the best way to answer that question would be to show them by your actions. Living a life of holiness. But what exactly does it mean to be holy? 

To be holy is to conform to the image of Jesus. Remember, God is the principle embodiment of what it means to be holy. No description is used to describe His character and His behavior more than the idea of holiness. Thus, if we call ourselves Christians and believers of God, then we must live up to the description of that title by following our Lord and walk worthily. The characteristics that are true of Him must be true of us otherwise we are atheists walking contrary to His gospel. 

Part of being holy is treating sin for what it is. Sin is the very antithesis of God’s nature (1 Jn. 1:5). Thus, it ought to be far removed from us. When sin is in our lives we begin to spiritually deteriorate. If we condone it, it spreads rapidly like wildfire ravaging the souls of all it takes captive until nothing is left but pain and regret. 

Our love for God and man lessens and we are bound and blinded by the misguided realities of sin (Judg. 13-16; Job. 20:5; Gal. 5:17; Jam. 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15-17). As a people pursuing holiness we must hate sin because it separates (eternal death) us from God. It prevents us from properly conforming to the image of His Son (Psa. 5:4; 34:14; 97:10; Amos 5:15; Isa. 1:5-6; 59:2; Ezek. 18:4; 20; Rom. 5:12; 6:15-16, 23; 12:9; 1 Thess. 5:5, 22; 1 Pet. 2:9).

Being holy also means that we strive to be pure. Many scriptures use the word “pure” to speak of God’s holiness. They can be interchangeable. To be pure is to be free from any contamination. To be pure is to be undefiled, without blemish, no stains, untainted by immorality and free from sin (Psa. 24:3-4; Matt. 5:8; 2 Cor. 7:1-2; Eph. 4:25-32; Phil. 4:8; Col. 3:8-16; Jam. 4:8; 2 Pet. 3:14; 1 Jn. 3:3; Rev. 6:16-17; 7:9, 13-17). 

Being holy and pure means that we guard our hearts and our minds. According to Jesus, the epitome of purity starts by keeping our hearts in check. We cannot let emotions get the better of us. We also must not allow familial and friendly ties to lead us down the wrong path (Psa. 51:10; Prov. 4:23; Jer. 17:9; Matt. 15:18; Rom. 6:13; 12:1).

Being holy means that we are different from everyone one around us. We think differently and behave differently than the world. They are carnal in thinking and their actions show such things. If we want to be holy, if we want to see God then we must be spiritually focused (Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:1-3). We should set spirituals goals for ourselves. It is important that we start small and build on these goals. It would be unwise to set any expectations that we know we will not able to accomplish. 

Christianity is all about holiness because Christ is utterly Holy. Holiness is perhaps the greatest aspects of God’s nature and as His children we are called to mimic His nature. May we all strive to be holy as He is holy.