God is holy and even instructs us to be holy. What does it mean to be holy, and how can we meet that expectation?
God instructed His people, "You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy" (Leviticus 19:2). It's a command repeated throughout the Bible in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (1 Peter 1:15-16). But what does it mean to be holy? The Hebrew words translated "holy," qadash and its derivatives, carry the meaning of "set apart"—sanctified, consecrated, hallowed. The Greek words translated "holy," hagios and its derivatives, imply an absence of fault or impurity ( The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible ). To be holy means to be cleansed of faults and set apart by God, who is Himself faultless and pure.
Following the holy, just and good law of God (Romans 7:12) means adopting the flawless code of conduct set forward by God in the Bible. Keeping the Sabbath holy (Exodus 20:8-11) means observing it in the way that the Bible instructs us to, which sets it apart from the other days of the week. Being a holy nation of God (1 Peter 2:9) means living His way of life, which sets His people apart from the rest of the world. The Holy Spirit of God, which we receive through repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands (Acts 2:38), refers to the pure, untarnished Spirit of the Creator of the universe.
God wants us to be holy because the ways of man, which for the past 6,000 years of human existence have been an exercise in futility, will ultimately yield grief and misery. They are not faultless. They are filled with imperfections that lead to dissension and chaos. What God offers us is the opportunity to one day become like Him—without flaw. He wants us to find what has eluded so many for so long—peace.
For more understanding, please read our booklet What is Your Destiny?