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  • Rick LoPresti

Holiness


What is holiness? Man has many false ideas. Religious leaders are sometimes the most errant. This was the case in the days that Jesus Christ was here in the flesh. The prophet Ezekiel said that God was going to remove the idols from Israel that they kept falling away from God by (Ezekiel 36:25, Ezekiel 37:23). This happened, but they went to the other extreme of empty, dry, outward religion without any real relationship with God (Matthew 23). They even went so far as to replace the commandments of the word of God with their own traditions (Mark 7:1-23). They thought they were holy, and they tried to appear to be holy before men, but to God they were not. Religion is not holiness, so what is? The word literally means to be set apart. This means that to be holy is to not be ordinary or common. It is to be special and different. Yet this is more than just being different than other people in an earthly way. In the Bible, it is to be separate from sin. There are two aspects to holiness. The first is as it related to God. God is holy because that is His nature. The Bible says God is holy 69 times. It calls Him the Holy One 43 times. It calls His name holy 20 times, and His Spirit holy 110 times. That is the foremost aspect of His nature. For example, 1John 4:8 says God is love, but God does not love evil because He is holy. The second aspect of holiness is how it relates to man. Man is not holy naturally. Our nature is tainted with a tendency to sin. Who teaches a toddler to lie to his parents when he does something wrong? No one does. It is in his sinful nature. The gospel of Jesus Christ is that He died for our sins, was buried, and rose again (1Corinthians 15:1-4). We respond to the gospel and apply it by repenting of our sins and thus associating with His death. We then associate with His burial by being baptized by immersion in His name for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:1-4, Colossians 2:8-12). We then receive of the same power that rose Him from the dead in the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Romans 8:1-16). His Spirit then works in us to develop holiness from within (Matthew 23:26, Galatians 5:19-24, 2Peter 1:1-11). So for man, holiness is not our nature, but it is us partaking of God's nature. God sanctifies us, or makes us holy (John 17:17, 1Thessalonians 5:23). For man, to be holy is to be separated from sin unto God.


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