Is it holy?
I find that many people are intimidated by the word holiness. This word conjures up ideas of being overly religious and squeaky clean. Most people are fairly aware of their own imperfections that a label such as “holiness" seems so far from reality that it barely enters their vocabulary.
I have recently returned to a passage of Scripture that is often the source of some of the intimidation factor surrounding the idea of being holy. 1 Peter 1:15–16 reads, "But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” This passage of Scripture carries one of the great commandments of the New Testament, "be holy because I am holy." This command comes from God himself for people like you and me. Could it be that this truly is the expectation of God placed upon imperfect people?
As I studied the text of this famous passage of Scripture, it dawned on me that holiness is a command given in light of a very specific event in our lives. The command to be holy follows the great transaction known as salvation by grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ. In other words, holiness is not a quest for perfection in all we do and say. Holiness is a new ability given to us because of the freedom we have from our sins because of the grace of Jesus.
If you happen to be a Christian reading this post, you have been given the power of God to make holy choices in your life. There was once a time when you were only able to do wrong because sin was your master. The salvation of Jesus breaks the chains of our sin and frees us with the new ability to be holy in all we say and do.
So, by the grace of God, holiness should not be a great burden in our lives. We do not stand at the bottom of the treacherous mountain of God hoping to climb our way to the top and thus, achieve holiness. Instead, our Heavenly Father has graciously relocated us to the top of the mountain with Him so that we might live in the security and power of a personal relationship with God. That is when we realize that God has given us everything we need to be holy.
Practically speaking this means the way we look at life changes. Instead of asking, “Is it a sin to…?” we ask, “Is it Holy?” Instead of seeing how close to sin we can get we turn and run the other way. We now live by the question, “Is it Holy?” You might be surprised how one simple question can change whatever you are doing today. So, are you ready to ask yourself the question?
“Is it HOLY?"