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What Does It Mean to Be Holy ?

What does the word holy mean to you? Perfect? Pure? Awe-inspiring? The prophet Isaiah saw seraphs (heavenly beings) calling to one another "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory."( Isaiah 6:3) Certainly God is holy. He is the only perfect, pure and awe-inspiring One. I am tempted to think that He is the only one that the term holy can be applied to.

However,in the Bible, Peter tells us that we are to be holy. He quotes Leviticus 11:44, saying "Be holy, because I am holy." (1 Peter 1:16) The "I" refers to God Himself. Be holy because God is holy.
When it is applied to us, "holy" means set apart to God's service. Dedicated to His service. In Exodus 3:5, God told Moses to take off his sandals because the place where he was standing was holy ground. This was in a field surrounding a burning bush. That place was holy? The ground was not perfect or pure. It was holy only because God determined it to be. The ground was set apart for His purpose.

We are holy if we are set apart for His purpose.
In Romans 12:1, Paul urges us that, in view of God's mercy, to offer ourselves as living sacrifices "holy" and pleasing to God, as our spiritual act of worship.
How do we do this? We must stop conforming to the pattern of this world (trying to fit in) but be transformed by the renewing of our mind and allow God's Spirit to change the way we think.

In view of God's mercy
We have never been holy, perfect or pure on our own and we cannot work hard enough to be deemed holy. We are sinful. God's mercy was extended to us when Jesus Christ died on the cross as payment for our sins. He took our sins and we received His holiness. In view of that mercy we are holy - set apart for God's purpose.

In view of His mercy, I will remember that I am set apart for His service. He doesn't expect me to be perfect. He does expect me to remember Jesus' sacrifice on my behalf. Being set apart for His service doesn't mean that I must become a missionary or that I must work in the church building. Holiness is to be expressed in every aspect of my life. All of my life is to be dedicated to God as my spiritual act of worship.

Being Christian is more than being known for attending a Christian church. It is being holy. It is letting my Christian values permeate my life, every part of it, every minute of the day.


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Almighty God. The Creator of heaven and earth.
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