Holiness [Bible Study]

Holiness can be defined as being set apart or consecrated unto God. To be holy can also mean to be without impurity or corruption or sin.

We say that God is holy which means set apart; without corruption, sin, or impurity. God is set apart, there is none like Him, but in His set-apartness, He is also perfect- blameless and pure.

How do we become holy?

We are chosen

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him in love.

Ephesians 1:4

He chose us in love. Way before He created the world, before you and I existed, God had already purposed to choose and separate us to himself. It’s not by accident, it was by thoughtful intent that we were chosen in Him.

We cannot call ourselves to holiness; we have to first be chosen in Him. From this revelation, we can be able to live holy. God had a desired purpose in choosing us so that we might be holy and blameless. He didn’t choose us to be servants or to be gifted; His initial purpose was to call us to holiness.

He saved us and called us to holiness

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. 2 Timothy 1:9

Again it’s repeated, we are called to holiness, it’s not by works but by purpose and grace. This removes the burden of trying to be holy before Him. Rather, it reminds us that holiness is a ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ first.

By sanctification

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17

Sanctification is the process by which we become holy. One way is by the truth of the word of God. God’s truth has the ability to sanctify us to holiness. We, however, cannot do this by ourselves.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13a

The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to come into our lives and guide us into all truth. And in knowing the truth, we are sanctified. We can read the word of God without sanctification because we are reading it apart from the Spirit of truth. When the Holy Spirit guides us into truth, he also takes us through the sanctification process.

God sanctifies us

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you through and through[ that is separate you from profane and vulgar things, make you pure and whole and undamaged- consecrated to Him– set apart for His purpose]; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete and [be found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 AMP

Some translations say, “May the God of peace make you completely holy”.

Therefore, God not us has the role of sanctifying us to holiness, we only have to submit ourselves to the process.

Sanctification is God’s will for us

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

By beholding Him

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

As we behold him, we are transformed into the same image. What is this image? Holiness. The only thing that God is interested in duplicating in His children is His holiness.

Holiness doesn’t come from anything we do, it comes from having the ability to see Him correctly. And as we see Him in holiness, it becomes ours too.

We behold Him in the Word. We behold Him in communion and fellowship. We behold Him by becoming well acquainted with Him.

But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “ You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

We cannot be holy until we behold His holiness. It’s in beholding we become transformed into His image.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:29

To conform has the idea of changing one’s beliefs, actions, and attitudes to match another. God has the intention of conforming us to the image of His Son; where our beliefs, actions, and attitude match his. This is the process of sanctification.

We cannot conform to that which we don’t know. So in knowing Him, we are able to submit to God’s plan of conforming us to the image of the Son.

We do our part to complete holiness

We have first seen that God calls to holiness, then He sanctifies us, but that’s not all, we also have to do our part to complete holiness.

We don’t initiate it, but we have a part to play in making it compete in our lives.

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

Through the fear of God, we cleanse ourselves from anything that would defile us, and in doing so we complete our holiness.

How do we cleanse ourselves?

But if we are living in light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

We cleanse ourselves by making sure we are living in light, before God and with each other. And in this, the blood of Jesus has the power to cleanse us from anything that would defile us- from every sin.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

We don’t cleanse ourselves, we bring ourselves before Him through confession( which is coming into agreement with God about our sins), in this, he is able to forgive and cleanse us.

We conform to holiness

As obedient children do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who has called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct. 1 peter 1:14-15

Where we used to conform to sinful ways, we now begin to conform to holiness. We begin to change our behaviors, actions, and attitudes to match the holiness that He represents.

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created in the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

There is the work of putting off our old self, and renewing our minds; we also put on the new self which is in the likeness of God in holiness. This is not automatic it is something we have to learn through process and training.

Through God’s help, we put off our old selves and learn to put on a new self in Him. Through this, we are able to walk in the holiness that God requires.

More Bible studies:

 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 Bible study

Sonship Bible study

The love of God Bible study

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