1 Peter 1:16
Because it is written, be ye Holy for I am holy
The subject of Holiness is one that has undergone so much debate in the Christian circles. While some look at it as a biblical requirement for every Christian, others think it is a yoke that should not be carried by those who live under the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the midst of this seeming confusion and uncertainty, we can get clarity from God by His Word. Holiness is to be consecrated from anything vile and set apart to God. It is God’s charge to every one of his children to live holy. To live a life that honours God and His presence. To straighten out the issue of Holiness, we have to begin by understanding the origin of holiness. God is Holy. He is the embodiment of Holiness. This is, in fact, one of the most powerful attributes of our God. HOLINESS. It implies that the very presence of God brings Holiness and demands Holiness. Now let us examine that closely.
Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the first fruits of his increase…
Israel was set apart for the Lord and God dwelt amongst them. His presence in their midst sealed the fact that He had called them apart from the rest of the world to be his chosen people. It is the same case with the church, the body of Christ.
In Exodus chapter 3, we are told of God’s appearance to Moses in the burning bush. The bible says when Moses saw the bush burning, he decided to draw closer to see why it burned but was not consumed. Then the Angel of the Lord spoke to him from the midst of the bush and said; Do not come nearer, put off your sandals from your feet for the place where you stand is Holy ground. (Exodus 3:5).
Why did God call this place Holy ground? It was the same place Moses must have visited more than once with the flock of his father-in-law. But on this particular occasion, he could not walk there like he usually did with his sandals on. God forbade it. Why? Because Elohim was present this time around. His manifest presence was on that mountain and that presence made the mountain Holy. It is not that the mountain had any special qualities. What made the mountain special was the presence of God on It. That presence which brought Holiness to the mountain demanded holiness on the mountain. Take note that the Lord told Moses to take off His sandals because where he stood was holy ground, not so that it could become Holy ground. That is important to understand and it will help us clear some misconceptions about the issue of holiness, which have in fact caused many to despise the subject.
Our opening verse clearly instructs us to be holy. Now that is to Christians. It is not an instruction to everyone because not everyone can observe it; here is the reason why. Christians are made holy by the presence of God in them and they are instructed to live holy in reverence and honour of that wonderful presence. The day you accepted Jesus as Lord and saviour, God Himself, by His precious Spirit came into your heart and made you His dwelling place.
1 Corinthians 6:19
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
The spirit of God does not just dwell in you, He is one with your spirit. There is such a unity and oneness between your spirit and the Holy Ghost which signifies the unity of the Godhead.
1 Corinthians 6:17
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit.
Take note of the phrase “one spirit”. It tells of the oneness every child of God has with Him. Now the very presence of God in you by His Spirit makes you Holy. Remember, wherever God dwells, there is holiness. This holiness has to be honoured by every child of His and the way to honour and reverence the presence of God is to live Holy. That is why God demands that every one of His children walks in Holiness. When you live in sin, you dishonour the presence of God in you and that seriously strains your relationship with Him. In the old testament, God’s presence was said to dwell in the temple and because of that, the temple was to be a sacred place. But now we have become God’s dwelling. We are His tabernacle and it has pleased Him to make His dwelling in us. We live in Him and He lives in us. Since we know that He is a holy God and that He despises impurity, what manner of lives are we supposed to live? The bible clearly states that God is so holy, He cannot even look at iniquity. That is why He says, be holy, for I am Holy. Remember without Holiness, no man can see God. Sin dishonours the presence of God in our lives and seriously strains the relationship we have with him. You cannot live for God and live in sin at the same time. His presence will not allow it.
1 John 3:9
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
This brings us to one of the most important tips to living a Holy life. The consciousness of the presence of God. You see, if you have received Jesus as your Lord and saviour, Christ dwells in you by the Spirit and He is always with you. Have you ever wondered why we have people doing terrible things in hiding which they will not dare to do in public? It is a result of their consciousness of the Presence of people. Some Christians live differently in their houses, neighbourhood or job site and act differently when they are in church or around other Christians. They put up a form of Godliness when around church folk but can do terrible things when everyone is out of sight? The reason is their consciousness of the presence of people. If that consciousness can hold you back from sin in the presence of people, surely a consciousness of the fact that God is with you always will help you stay aware of who you are and help you live accordingly. Walk in the consciousness of God’s presence and you will walk in holiness. You cannot have reverence for the presence of God if you are not conscious of that presence. Be conscious of your oneness with God and walk in Holiness.