Encouraging Holiness

Encouraging Holiness

1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

God who called you is holy. What does it mean that God is holy? The first place in scripture where the word ‘holy’ is used is in Exodus:

Exodus 3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

Moses was instructed to take off his shoes because he was in a holy place. The Hebrew word qodesh means sacred, consecrated, or dedicated for a particular purpose. Since Moses was in the presence of God he was in a holy place. The place became holy because God was there. A few minutes before, it was just an ordinary bush, but since God was there it now was a sacred place. This demanded reverence on the part of Moses.

Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

The Fourth Commandment is to keep the Sabbath day holy. The Sabbath was to be a dedicated day. It was set apart as different from all the other days. It was consecrated as a day of rest and reflection upon the things of God.

Exodus 26:34 And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.

The tabernacle was another holy place. It was different and set apart for the worship of Jehovah. It was not a common building. God had promised that his Spirit would dwell in the most holy place. Once again, we see that a place becomes holy when God’s presence is there.

Exodus 29:29 And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons' after him, to be anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them.

The garments Aaron and his sons were to wear were holy. They would be entering into the tabernacle to minister and their garments were different from the garments everyone else wore. Like Moses removing his shoes, the priests approached God’s dwelling with reverence and wearing something holy.

As you continue to read of the tabernacle EVERYTHING in it is called holy. So everything associated with the worship of the One True and Living God is holy.

God is holy

Psalms 99:3-5 Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy. The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.

God is not like a man. He is different, righteous, just, and pure. There is no evil in him and no darkness. The seraphim around his throne call out to one another constantly:

Isaiah 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

There is not another like him.

Isaiah 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.

The Holy God will be worshiped in a holy place, in a holy way by holy men who use holy instruments. When we understand that Jesus has made us a holy people and that we are now the temple of God, we can see that we are to be holy.

Ephesians 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Remember Moses? Since God’s presence was there, the place was holy. That is exactly what happens to the believer. We are an ordinary vessel. However, when God’s Spirit moves into the vessel, it becomes holy.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

A believer becomes holy because we become the dwelling of the Living God!

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Can you imagine God living in a brothel? What about a night club? Yet, that is what happens when a believer does not allow God’s holiness to take over his life. Since the One who lives in you is holy, He will bring holiness out of your life. That is why the Bible speaks of the fruit of the Holy Spirit:

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

This is what flows from the holiness of God. So when we as a church encourage holiness, we are saying that we must understand who we are in Christ. We are a blood-bought, holy people who have become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. We are God’s house. What kind of people ought we to be since God lives in us? Live like God lives in you.

A Church in Christ, nourished by His Word and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a witness for Jesus in the places where He is not worshipped and to join with the loud cry of praise in the places where He is.