Holiness is a church word. Ask anybody who doesn’t go to church, and they usually have no idea what you’re talking about. There is no need for them to know or practice holiness. So since at the church word, that would mean that everybody in church knows what it means, right?
Absolutely! Not. I could ask five people who go to church to define holiness and I would get five different definitions. Is that a bad thing? Perhaps. But holiness is taught and practiced different ways in different churches.
So I must be crazy to think that I can blog about it and talk about it. Maybe my message about holiness will only reach certain people. Some will be turned off by it and others will be my “Amen choir.”
We’re going to get into why that may be the case. But first, I want to define holiness in three different ways as the Bible describes it. Like any good preacher, I’ve found my three-point definition for a great three-point sermon. Here is how the Bible defines holiness:
- Separation. The first definition, and probably the most foundational is to be separate. God is separate from his creation. He is unique and unlike anything in creation. He is above it. In the same way, Christians are called to be separate from everything that isn’t in agreement with God. That would make us look quite different from everyone else, and that’s a bit scary. But that’s what we’re called to do.
- Sanctification. Holiness is also described as the opposite of worldliness. Sanctification simply means to be holy. Christians in the Bible are called “saints.” Sanctification is a big word that means we are following God’s path to be more like him. Does this mean rules? We’ll get into that later. It means to be opposite from the world. Worldliness is a huge issue when it comes to holiness.
- Purity. Holiness also speaks of being pure, unadulterated, unmixed. We are not double minded. We are not riding the fence. In the Bible, especially the Old Testament, the idea of clean and unclean is also associated with holiness. We cannot be mixed in our allegiances, our lifestyle, our behavior, our thoughts, or our actions.
As you can see, this is either going to be a fun journey to not only define but practice holiness where the rubber meets the road every day, or this will be the last blog post you read from me for a while. I’m hoping you will join me in this fun journey to describe and learn to practice practical holiness for everyday life.
A lot of people are talking about holiness. It’s a buzzword to pass around the church. People think it makes them sound pious when they talk about it. But after we talk about it, were going to talk about practical ways to do it. Leave a comment below to tell me how you would define holiness.