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What is holiness?

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God instructed His people, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2 Leviticus 19:2Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, You shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
American King James Version×
). It's a command repeated throughout the Bible in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (1 Peter 1:15-16 1 Peter 1:15-16 15 But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy.
American King James Version×
). 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 Romans 7:12Why the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
American King James Version×
) means adopting the flawless code of conduct set forward by God in the Bible. Keeping the Sabbath holy (Exodus 20:8-11 Exodus 20:8-11 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
American King James Version×
) 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 1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
American King James Version×
) 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 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×
), 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?

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