What is holiness? Websters Dictionary‘s definition says, “Exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness” Dictionary.com states, “Specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated”.
There are only a few things declared as holy in the Bible. It is important to understand as we consider worship and worshiping God as He wants to be worshiped.
- The first thing that the Bible declares as holy in the Bible is the Sabbath. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” (Ex. 20:8 NIV). The significance of the Sabbath holiness is great. Isaiah is shown that throughout eternity, we will keep the Sabbath, “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 66:23.
- The Holy Spirit is holy.
- Tithe is holy. “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.” Leviticus 27:30.
- God is holy.
- Jesus is holy. “For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;” Hebrews 7:26.
- God’s law is holy. “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12
We are called to be holy. The Bible tells the story of God’s people who are called to be holy, living among people who do not know God, or have rejected God. Consider the following:
“Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”” 1 Peter 1:16.
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9.
Therefore, everything that existed before the fall of man, when the earth was “very good”, was holy. A holy people, a Holy God, a Holy Law. A holy Spirit. A Holy Son. A holy Sabbath. A perfect world, before sin.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2. We see God and the Holy Spirit present at the very beginning of creation.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John declares that Jesus, was the one who created through the Father. The three holy members of the oneness of God were present before the fall of man.
Adam sinned when he ate the fruit. But how is this possible if there was no Law? How could Adam be penalized for a Law that he didn’t know or understand? But Adam did know the Law of God. Eating the fruit was the outward action of placing someone above God. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. The serpent told Eve that she will be as God if she ate the fruit that she was told not to eat. And she placed her own desire above the command of God which led to eating the fruit. The Law of God were not rules created to put checks and balances on a fallen race, they are the character of God. ( Read more on the Law and Gods Character ).
1 Corinthians 2:11-14
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:14
The Sabbath was instituted before the fall of man. Jesus died to restore things to the way things were before man sinned. Meaning, a perfect God with His perfect Law, His perfect people, and the perfect Sabbath. Genesis 2:3, “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Exodus 20:8, 11, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Hebrews 4:7-10, “Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
We are to be holy. We worship a loving, Holy God who sent His Holy Son Jesus to die, taking the place for those who choose to serve Him. And He sends His Holy Spirit to lead us to Himself and has set aside a weekly reminder of His Lordship and reminds us weekly to REMEMBER to worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10.