Scripture speaks of both a holiness we already possess in Christ before God and a holiness in which we are to grow more and more. The first is the result of the work of Christ for us; the second is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The first is perfect and complete and is ours the moment we trust Christ; the second is progressive and incomplete as long as we are in this life. The objective holiness we have in Christ and the subjective holiness produced by the Holy Spirit are both gifts of God’s grace and are both appropriated by faith.
What is holiness? The best practical definition that I have heard is simply “without sin.” That is the statement that was made of the Lord Jesus’ life on earth (Hebrews 4:15), and that should be the goal of every person who desires to be godly. Granted, we will never reach that goal in this life; nevertheless it is to be our supreme objective and the object of our most earnest efforts and prayers.
Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God.
To be holy is to be morally blameless. It is to be separated from sin and, therefore, consecrated to God. The word signifies separation to God, and the conduct befitting those so separated… To live a holy life, then, is to live a life in conformity to the moral precepts of the Bible and in contrast to the sinful ways of the world. It is to live a life characterized by the “(putting) off of your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires… and (putting) on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22, 24).
Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills.
Christian holiness is not a matter of painstaking conformity to the individual precepts of an external law code; it is rather a question of the Holy Spirit’s producing His fruit in the life, reproducing those graces which were seen in perfection in the life of Christ.
As Christians, we are called to maintain lives that can be “toured” by outsiders at any time, without embarrassment. A commitment to holiness means having a life that is always “ready for company” and open for inspection – a life that can stand up to scrutiny – not just in the obvious things, but in the hidden places where most might not think to look.
True holiness isn’t cold and deadening – it’s warm and inviting. It’s irresistible. Those who think otherwise have never seen it, but only its caricatures.
To be holy is to be wholly satisfied with Christ. Above all, it is to reflect the beauty and the splendor of our holy Lord in this dark world. In pursuing holiness, you will fulfill and experience all that God had in mind when He created you.
Holiness or sanctification is not just about purity or discipline. It is about displaying your radical difference, showing the marks of God’s ownership, and illustrating through your behavior the unusualness of your new life in Christ.
What is holiness? It’s not simply being set apart from sin. It’s being set apart to the glory and love and work of God.
Holiness…consists of that internal change or renovation of our souls whereby our minds, affections and wills are brought into harmony with God.
To be holy is to be set apart in purity. It is to be separated from what is common and ordinary in order to be devoted to God’s service. Whatever is holy is distinguished from the secular and dedicated to the sacred.
Holiness is…the habit of agreeing in God’s judgment – hating what He hates – loving what He loves – and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word. He who most entirely agrees with God, he is the most holy man.
We are so accustomed to equating holiness with purity or ethical perfection that we look for the idea when the word holy appears. When things are made holy, when they are consecrated, they are set apart unto purity. They are to be used in a pure way. They are to reflect purity as well as simple apartness. Purity is not excluded from the idea of the holy; it is contained within it. But the point we must remember is that the idea of the holy is never exhausted by the idea of purity. It includes purity but is much more than that. It is purity and transcendence. It is transcendent purity.