Does your church talk much about living a holy life? It doesn’t seem to be a very popular topic – even in Christian circles. And yet hypocrisy is the number one reason people give for not wanting to have anything to do with Christianity. Or Christians. When we claim to follow Christ, but don’t look like Him we push people away from the One source of eternal life.
In his book “The Pursuit of Holiness,” Jerry Bridges defines holiness like this:
To be holy is to be morally blameless. It is to be separated from sin and, therefore, consecrated to God… To live a holy life, then, is to live a life in conformity to the moral precepts of the Bible and in contrast to the sinful ways of the world.”
The apostle Paul described it as “putting off our old self,” which belongs to our life before Jesus, and to “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Sometimes we compare ourselves to the world or other Christians and think we’re doing pretty good. But, God doesn’t call us to “pretty good.” His holiness is our standard (1 Peter 1:16). Jesus died so we could be holy. (For more on living a life of holiness see my study “Embraced by Holiness.”)
5 Benefits of Holiness
Holiness may seem hard, but the benefits far outweigh anything we might need to “sacrifice.” The gain is far greater than the loss of any worldly activity, behavior, or attitude.
Usually what it comes down to is simply our desire. Why would we want to live a holy life? The following five benefits are not the only reasons, but they’re ones Scripture mentions repeatedly.
- Holiness fosters intimacy with God and builds spiritual strength and stability (Psalm 15:1-6).
- Holy living makes us useful and effective for God’s purposes (2 Timothy 2:20-26).
- Our holy life causes people around us to glorify God (1 Peter 2:9-12).
- Holiness builds peace with God (2 Peter 3:10-18).
- A holy life pleases God and produces “fruit” (Ephesians 5:1-17).
I especially like the first benefit on that list. Perhaps you too long to experience a deep, intimate relationship with God, but often feel disconnected. According to Scripture, there is a direct connection between a holy life and experiencing God’s presence.
Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Psalm 15:1-2, NLT
The opposite is also true. Unholy living floods believers’ lives with the natural consequences of sin, including distance and strain in our relationships with God.
5 Ways to Foster a Holy Life
Humanly speaking, holiness is an impossible task. Only the Holy Spirit can spiritually transform us and produce holiness in our lives. Here are a few practical things we can do to cooperate with His ongoing work:
- Practice an awareness of the presence of God– God is always with us. He knows our thoughts, attitudes, and motivations. Intentionally reflecting on this truth will nourish holiness in our lives.
- Stay in the Word– The Creator of the universe has revealed Himself, His will, and His ways to us in the Bible. It describes the holy life to which God calls us. But we cannot live by God’s Word unless we know God’s Word.
- Be proactive in our battle against sin– Sin takes root in our lives, growing and multiplying. To be holy, we must dig it out by the roots and get rid of it. Ask God to also help you recognize areas of weakness in your life so you can guard against potential sin.
- Respond quickly to the Spirit– Have you ever responded to the prompting of the Spirit with “in a minute?” I certainly have. If you’re a parent, you understand that “delayed” obedience is simply disobedience. Sometimes, we even intend to obey – later. Unfortunately, our delayed obedience causes us harm and dishonors God. We may miss out on God’s best plan for us or even put ourselves in danger. Immediate obedience is always best!
- Make the most of trials– God uses persecution and the common trials of this life to refine our faith and shape our character. Rely on His strength and trust Him with the process.
- Keep an eternal perspective– If we allow the things of this physical world to dominate our thoughts and priorities, the temporal will drive our emotions and responses. But if we stay focused on God’s bigger, eternal picture we will be able to reject sin and stand firm in trials.
How have you thought about holiness in the past? Have you thought a holy life was too hard? Simply undesirable? Would love to hear your thoughts!
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God richly bless you for the article. I think of holiness daily.Matthew 5:8 for the past 8yrs I have been pursuing a life of holiness but as I grow daily in the Lord I realized that from 2010 I opened myself to sin which I was ignorant of until 2014. But I thank God that now I know a bit better and looking forward to live in holiness with Love for our Master and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth.It is possible to live holy by His Spirit.
Iam happy to read this wonderful text about holiness. I want to live a set apart everyday.
The Blood of Jesus is my holiness. I’m justified by the Blood, saved from wrath through Christ. Roman’s 5:9
The bible says that “If you love Christ you will obey His commandments. John 14:15.
It is true that our holiness comes from Christ, but holiness is more than a “positional holiness” You have to obey as well. Sin causes separation from Christ. Isa 59:2, 1 john 3:5-10
II Peter 3:10,11. For without holiness no man will see the Lord. Heb. 12:14
Yes, Christ gives us His holiness when He saves us. That gives us our legal standing (Justified) before God. But then God calls us to progressively make that “Positional holiness” a reality in our lives.
I appreciate this article on living a holy life. I pray that God will strengthen the author with might in her inner man. More understanding of the mystery of power of God shall be made known to anyone who dwell in God’s presence which holiness make possible. If two can’t walk together except there be agreement then God can’t walk with anyone who is not living holy. He warned “Be ye holy, as I am HOLY”. God bless you.
it is good to live a holy life, without no one can please God
Im so happy to read this article …i want to live a life that God wants me to live…thank you for sharing this wonderful massage God bless you
It’s necessary to live a holy life to our own benefits so l pray that the holy spirit will empower me to live a holy life.
Very powerful article ,may God vless you
This is what is lacking in our churches today that makes the church full of dry bones. God will help us.
Thank you for this article. I sincerely want to reconnect with my heavenly Father more, not with my daily prayers but with practical covenant practice. I ask for the Holy Spirit to help me and His church attain practical holiness through Christ Jesus. Amen!
I really appreciate this message.
May God help me my life holy.
I am grateful to God for inspiring this author. It’s a job well done.God bless
Nice and helpful article Kathy! God bless!
I want to say a big thank you to you for this article. I now know where the people of God and the church has got it wrong over the years. Thank you I am blessed. More grace to your team. In Jesus Name.
Love is holy in John 14:21
I thank God for blessing you to write this article. It has blessed my life so well. I will walk the good work of faith with holiness in my life. Thank you so much!
Am happy to have found this article. Holiness is our responsibility as a Christian. If we are to receive from God we must Be holy.
Thanks for Sharing
Thanks for your article on living a holy life. How do one know he or she has the Holy Spirit ?
According to the Bible, every true believer has the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit’s work to bring spiritual regeneration. Every true believer will increasingly demonstrate love for other Christians and the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.
God bless the author
God bless you.
I have learnt a lot about holiness. Living a holy life is the only way we can receive from God.
Thank you Kathy. I love your article. today my heart is blessed because you nailed it to the point. holiness is the only way to be used by God Almighty. God bless you richly.
The holiness message is not popular in the land today. It is a doctrine compromised by many preachers and neglected by Sunday School teachers, yet without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Thank you for your commitment to the truth. May God through these messages raise up holy Christians and holiness preachers in our nation in Jesus name.(Amen)
Holiness also means enjoying God, feeling His pleasure in everything that we do! 🙂
Amen! Thank you for adding to the discussion!
Thanks i have learned a lot from you
Holiness exalte a nation but sin is reproach to the people.
Wonderful and powerful article indeed.
I decree and declare open doors of opportunities in every area of life that the blessings of God who has chosen you as an arrows head of God shall endowed you with wisdom and understanding in all your endeavors always Amen One❤📖🙏🏾
Holiness or santification is hating evil.Your contribution is not only disicive but shows the life you live, Bible says by their fruit we shall know them.
Holiness exalts a nation. It gives you speedy access to God’s mercy all the time. You don’t beg for God’s mercy when you live the life of santification
holiness is the reality of God almighty it only take the spirit if
God to be holy, the understanding of the reality of the spirit of God will enable man to work in the reality. your action does not determine the result but the understanding you have about the spirit of God produces the result of being holy. so get your self ready to study and pray for the spirit of God to lead you while you study.
I had asked the Holy Spirit this morning in communion with Him to give me a revelation of Holiness. “He whispered, ” It’s an inseparable life of intimacy with the Godhead”. (John 14:21 & 23 & John 8:29). He illuminated to my heart some of the same scriptures you used here and your first paragraph was the essence of His heart to me. Wow! what a confirmation and transformation. I never sought much to define holiness, and I am so glad I did this morning. I asked the Lord yesterday to teach me the character of the “Anointing” and He directed me to the first attribute of “Holiness”. Thanks to the author of this blessed teaching, what a confirmation! Your pointing to Him is so rich and rewarding and refreshing! Thanks again!
A very nice article,may God bless you to continue spreading the Gospel
Blessed be the name of God for making this article use to me in particular. I pray that God Almighty will expand this ministry to the level were u do not expects. Above all faithful shall He call u @ the end of ur ministry on earth.
Holiness is the hallmark of faith and power. To be truly used of God holiness cannot be left out.
Wonderful article! No holiness.. no purity.. no power! I’m also a gospel blogger. Keep up the good work on this blog.
Thank to our Lord jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit to give you wisdom to write this article. Be blessed again and again..this makes clear about holiness. It gave me more hunger to live a holy life during the day and night. I thought to be holy is a matter of living without a man if not married only, but this article clarified it. Wow the benefits of being holy encourage me.
Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I’m am glad the article encouraged and edified you! May God give you wisdom, discernment, and clear direction as you seek to live a holy life that pleases Him!
God bless you for taking time to share this thought. It blessed me greatly.
Thanks a million for this wonderful, insightful Message from the Throne of Grace for humanity. I have just gotten a sermon message from your Message.
I do sincerely appreciate this great exposition on God’s Holiness, and the need for us to be HOLY. God bless you richly. Peace!!!
Holiness is a goal so elusive that it is not possible for one seeking it to cry out ureka! It is desirable and necessary for a meaningful relation with God whose Holy Spirit is the catalyst in us to persist in our search for it.
thanks a lot and God bless you – this article has encouraged me to carry on pursuing holiness and purity regardless of what people may say.God is first – so i’ll do it for God…at all cost
May God bless you and gives you more wisdom because am blessed
we must be Holy in all ways because our we are worshiping is Holy, Also without holiness no one can see God. Amen
This Is A Spiritual Interpretation, More Grace Upon You, It Is Glorious!
My view of holiness just got a new boost, My view wasn’t enough to justify my claims. Your analysis answered quite a number of questions i have asked usually in the church that is always turned how, with the view that am too young to ask such questions. What more can i say. Thank you so much ma’am, More grace from all sides ma. I would love to subscribe to your website to get your updates.
This my dailh prayer that I live a holy life as my Lord demands it to me!
Many blessings to you Kathy.
Thanks for this lesson.
Very inspiring and informative.
May God bless you.
With your blessings I will use it for a home bible study.
a real eye opener
nice one may God increase you richly amen
Every Christian must have the agenda to be holy . It is by that alone that God can be proud of us. Thank you the author and may God bless you.
Much appreciation for this blog,God’s power helps us in turning away from evil.
Thanks alot karthy
Thank you very much for this article. Holiness is suppose to be a watch word for every believer but some Christians have been given a wrong impression that one cannot live a holy life. This article has really erased that wrong notion about holiness
Thank you for this preaching. I really understand what holiness means. God 🙏 bless you
Holiness is one of the qualification that God from his children, may God increase u
please ,this is a good teaching to enhance christians development ‘ thanks.
Thank God for this, it is very helpful, God bless you