The Principle of Holiness

1 Peter 1:15-16

The Meaning of Holiness

Holiness in a believer denotes separation from and separation unto. In its primary sense it means separation unto God. The resultant state of this separation is separation from sin. This blessed condition makes a believer’s body sacred, dedicated, hallowed and holy.

The believer, in the ultimate sense, is the temple of God. He is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and member of the body of Christ, and is bound to the Triune God, who is independently, infinitely, and immutably holy. He is glorious in holiness. Exodus 15:11.

Let us see what the OT says about God’s greatest attribute. He is oftener mentioned as being holy than being almighty. Exodus 15:11; 1 Samuel 2:2; Deuteronomy 4:35; Isaiah 6.

In the presence of that awesome holiness the seraphim, creature of burning purity, cover their eyes, as if afraid to gaze upon or desecrate that absolute holiness.

On the other hand, it was the vision of the holiness of God that changed Isaiah’s life and made him a great prophet. In the blaze of that unapproachable light, his eyes were anointed, his lips were made holy and became the instruments of God. The victorious Christian life and fruitful service comes after a vision of the holiness of God.

    Moses—Exodus 3.

    Joshua—Joshua 5:15.

    John the apostle—John 13:23.

    Saul of Tarsus—Acts 9.

Power is God’s hand or arm, omniscience is His eye, mercy is His compassion, eternity is His duration, but holiness is His beauty.

Because God is so holy and beautiful, we all should desire to be conformed to His holiness and beauty. We are not commanded to be omnipotent or omniscient, but we are commanded to be holy. “Be ye holy for I am holy.”

Beloved, our God is beautiful—He is solitary in His majesty, unique in His excellency, peerless in His perfection, and awesome in His holiness.

Such a One must be obeyed, served, revered, adored and worshipped.

In the context of the absolute Holiness of God we hear Peter say, “As He who has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of life. Because it is written, ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy.’” These words were first spoken to Israel. God insisted on the purity and holiness of His people.

Let us look at a few things that God insisted on and compare them with what He desires for us. They were not to inter-marry, as this would defile the holy seed.

Paul says that we are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. This unequal yoke extends into the marital, business, and social spheres. They were not to worship their gods.

We are urged by John to keep ourselves from idols—1 John 5:21.

They were not to commit the sins of the heathen nations. We are exhorted to have no fellowship with darkness in its many forms. They were to be a separated people.

We are urged to come out from that which is evil or has the appearance of evil, and to be separate. Perfecting holiness in the fear of God must be our aim. 2 Corinthians 7:1. those who respond to the above experience in its fullness the Fatherhood of God. Beloved, those chosen for the New Birth are also called to a holy life.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9—Spiritual purity and holiness comes from the cleansing by the Word as applied by the Spirit. 1 Chronicles 29:5.