What does it mean to live a holy life?
Holiness is a word that is spoken about frequently in church but we don’t often have the opportunity to understand what it truly means. There are many words that we can describe to use God including good, merciful, gracious and loving, but holy is often see to have much more weight to it.
What does the Bible say about holiness?
In 1 Peter 1:16 it says “be holy because I am holy.” Holiness is one of the core attributes of God and he not only uses it to desribe himself, but also for what we should be.
The Hebrew word used for holy is kadosh which means separate or set apart. Where God has incredible characteristics of mercy and grace and goodness and faithfulness, it’s the addition of holiness that sets God so far apart from any person or thing on this earth or the heavens.
The bible says that without holiness we will not be able to see God. It’s one of the unchanging demands from God that we are all holy. We need to maintain holiness of life and of our hearts if we are going to see God and remain in eternal fellowship with Him. God’s holy nature demands holiness from those who worship him and requires us to be purified. Leviticus 20:7 says “sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.” God calls us out of a life of darkness and evil so that we might live a righteous, pure and sanctified life. And God can make us holy if we will commit our lives to Him!
What are some characteristics of a holy life?
- It sets us apart from the evils of the world and puts us in a position of being useful for God’s kingdom. God doesn’t require us to be perfect, but he does want us to choose to be set apart and uniquely different from our surroundings in the world.
- Another key characteristic of a holy life is the fruit. As we become more like Jesus and go through the process of sanctification the fruit follows. Galatians 5:22-23 speaks about the fruit of the spirit being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. How are you going with these in your life?
- In Psalm 15:1 David says “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?” Verse 2 follows on to say “The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart.” These verses help us identify a few more characteristics of a holy life as one whose walk is blameless, one who does what is righteous and one who speaks the truth from their heart.
- Finally, humility. Many of the most godly men in the Bible were incredible humble.
- A holy person will follow after humility and will see his own shortcomings before others. The bible frequently reiterates that the first will be last, and the last will be first.
What about characteristics of an unholy life?
Romans 1:21-32 is a great passage of the Bible that speaks of God’s wrath against sinful humanity and we can identify many key characteristics of an unholy life, including:
- Not glorifying God or giving thanks to Him, having futile thoughts and those who have foolish hearts that have been darkened
- Sexual impurity – God gave them over to their sexual impurity and idolatry
- Worshipping images and serving images instead of God
- Wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. Ungodly people are envious, murdering, deceitful and malicious
- They gossip, slander, hate God, are arrogant, boastful and always finding ways to do evil
This presents a stark difference to those living a holy life. We always need to take a good look at ourselves and ensure that we are not living a life consisting of unholy ways.
If you do identify areas, take this to the Lord in prayer and work out how you’re going to cut it out of your life. Surround yourself with christians who will help and encourage you on this journey and get serious about it. Remember to seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you.
Looking for more?
If you want to learn more about holiness, head over to Spotify using the link below to listen to the full podcast episode on how to live a holy life. If you haven’t already, make sure you listen to the first half of this series too!
Written by gracebuckman
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