What is holiness?

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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). 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?


  • Temwa

    To be holy is to put on Christ and have the mind of God that is in the Holy Spirit we received at baptism. This is pretty much a lifelong calling.

  • twocents

    "The Holy Spirit of God, which we receive through repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands (Acts 2:38)" - After repentance and baptism, the Biblical precedence/example of Acts 8:12-17 is first, prayer for receiving God's Holy Spirit, followed next by the laying on of hands, and finally receiving God's Holy Spirit.

  • littlelessa

    Enjoyed the comment reading. Simply put.

  • Servant of the King
    The bible tells us that God is Holy and therefore we must be Holy also! So what is Holiness? Simply everything that God is we should also strive to be. But we also know that He is love and without love it is impossible to please God. The first four of the Ten Commandments teach us how to love God. “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make unto you any graven image…You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain…Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:3-8). In Matthew 22, Christ summarized these four, saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (vs. 37-38). So to sum it all up...What is Holiness? My answer would be "LOVE".
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