How to be holy in two easy lessons–and what to do when you’re not

Being holy thoretically depends on two easy concepts:

  1. Knowing God’s Word—what He wants.
  2. Obeying.

The problem is, we can’t do it. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10). For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10).

Not one person in the history of the whole world has been able to live up to the standard of holiness, even the first two, Adam and Eve, who were created holy. The only exception was God in the flesh, Jesus.

So, does this mean we throw up our hands in despair?

Of course not. The command to be holy is part of Scripture: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).

We can’t be holy, but we should be? Is that right?


It’s a goal.

How do we do this? Know God’s Word. Obey it.

For example, here are some of God’s commands:

  • Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it (Psalm 34:14).
  • Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (Matthew 22:37).
  • But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life (Romans 6:22).
  • There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).Take the escape!
  • Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).
  • Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).

And, so many more!

When we sin, we can get clean again by confessing our sin and forsaking it. 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).

The only goodness that we can have is through forgiveness in Christ. We have none by ourselves. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5).

Holiness will ultimately happen when our spirits are completely redeemed—in heaven. Until then, we learn and obey—and confess—and go on.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 1:24)

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