What Does it Mean to be Holy?


To be holy is to be completely set apart...to be different from everything else.

“Just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” 1 Peter 1:15

What does it mean to be holy? We know that God is holy...but what does that mean? To be holy is to be completely set apart...to be different from everything else. God’s holiness means that there is none like Him. In other words, He is in a league all His own. He is completely set apart and different from all created things—the one and only true God.

1 Peter 1:15 commands God’s people to be holy in all we do. This one short verse goes a long way in helping us to know God’s will for our lives. As believers, if we simply obey this verse, it will eliminate many of the struggles, questions and dilemmas that we face. God’s children are to be different. He has called us out of the world and into His family.

There will be times that we struggle with decisions, wondering what God’s will is in a situation. One way we can know the answer to this question is to look at it through the lens of God’s holiness. Is there a response that clearly sets us apart as followers of Christ? If so, we can know this is God’s will. Our responses, attitudes and actions should not look like everyone else’s. We have been given God’s power through His Spirit to live a life that is set apart and holy...lives that reflect the character of our holy God.

This is simple...but it is not easy. Making a choice that reflects God’s holiness is sometimes extremely hard. That is why we must rely on God’s power and not our own. Holiness not only reveals God’s character, it also requires God’s presence. There is a pervasive idea in Christianity that holiness boils down to a list of rules to follow. This could not be further from the truth.

Rules are external. Holiness is internal. It is the irrevocable call of God on every believer’s life. He has called us to be transformed into the image of His Son Jesus—the only perfectly holy person to ever walk on this planet. This is His will for every Christian.

Father, Thank You for setting me apart as Your child. I know that Your will is that I am holy, just as You are holy. Please help me to honor You today in all I do and say. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

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