Holiness is not a denomination, nor is it a brand. And at risk of going out on a limb, neither is it in and of itself, a complete way of life. Holiness, or the act of being Holy, is a single attribute of God. Some of His other attributes are His: Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Immutability, Righteousness, Sovereignty, Love, and Mercifulness. Even though God’s Holiness is one of many attributes, it does take preeminence over all others. Meaning, even though God is Love, His Holiness will not allow Him to “love” sin. Even though He is a Merciful God, He cannot forever tolerate sin.
How does this relate to the Christian person who seeks to live as an exact image of God? Unlike God, in our physical bodies we cannot be everywhere at the same time. We do not know all things. We change constantly. So, what attributes are we to have?
New Living Translation (NLT)
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
In other words, since we are Holy, or a separated group of people that have been cleansed by the Blood, we should be clothed in mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience… we should budget space, or make room for the faults of others… and we should forgive them. We should demonstrate love at all times, and we should live in peace with ourselves… oops, and wait for it, wait for it…finally, we should always be thankful!
To push it a little further, you can generally tell what type of person someone is by the clothes they wear. A homeless person does not typically wear Armani suits. A business person typically will not wear dusty, stinky, 30-year old trousers to work. Therefore, a Holy person should wear the articles of clothing listed above. If you are not wearing them, you are not only misrepresenting who you are, but ultimately you’re misrepresenting what being Holy is all about.
This is how you can tell who is Holy and who isn’t. You can’t tell by the length of their skirt, or the length of their hair, or because they have it branded on a T-shirt.
In fact, Jesus once said that there is a clear cut and simple way to tell who one of His was.
He said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples… if ye have love one to another.”
So, there is really no way to demonstrate that you are Holy, by acting Holy. There is no such thing. You demonstrate you are Holy by wearing the proper articles of clothing. So, focus if you will on being Holy, but don’t forget to put your clothes on. In the end there is nothing Holy about being naked.
Lastly, in ancient times, when time came to make a sacrifice in the Temple, the priests would find the lamb, or whatever sacrifice being made, that had been set aside for this purpose and was spotless and without any blemish. In other words, they would find the one that was, “Holy”. Only the highest quality materials were to be used in the Tabernacle and in the Temple. Anything dedicated or devoted to God was to be the best.
Be Holy – and Kind
Be Holy – and Thankful
Be Holy – and Humble
Be Holy – and Patient
Be Holy – and Merciful
Be Holy – and Loving
Or else it would be like a sacrificial lamb being prepared and never being used. Your Holiness doesn’t do me any good at all, until you’ve offered yourself up on the altar…completely.