“For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”
No word more fully addresses the moral attributes of God than the word holy. The primary meaning of the word holy is separate. Because God is holy, He is distinct – far above and beyond all others in His character and nature. Holiness is the opposite of common or profane. To be holy is also to be morally pure. Holiness is the absence of sin. Everything about God is holy. His name is holy. His Word is holy. His tithe is holy. His church is holy.
We live in a day of great compromise and moral weakness. Sacred things are treated as being profane. The reverence for God that was once common is hardly found. Worship has become man-centered rather than God-centered. The sacred music of the churches has been replaced with sounds of entertainment. The call for holiness has given way to, “Come as you are. Be as you wish.” God has not changed. He is still holy. To judge by the saddening trends of contemporary religion, one would gather that the God of the Bible has been given a complete makeover and has redesigned His nature for the current generation. Obviously, this is not true. The image portrayed by the modern generation of celebrity preachers is a false image and is not the holy God of the Bible.
Not only does God exhibit holiness, He also requires holiness in His children. “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity” (Habakkuk 1:13). “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:14). “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8). Personal holiness begins with salvation. No one is holy apart from Jesus Christ. When one turns from his sin and trusts Christ completely as Savior, his sins are forgiven. At that moment, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the new believer; and God’s Word gives him the title of saint. Those who are saved are set apart to God as members of His forever family.
Personal holiness should also continue in our lives as we grow in grace, meaning that we are to be set apart to God and set apart from sin. God calls His children to live holy lives. Holiness should be reflected both in the desires of the heart and in the decisions of the life. Because He is holy, it is our desire and destiny to be holy.