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Holiness in the Bible: Big gift 2 Best Master

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Holiness in the Bible: Big gift 2 Best Master
Holiness is “separateness” from the profane. The “clean” or “pure” is essential, “ without which no man shall see the Lord: – Hebrews 12:14

Holiness in the Bible: Big gift 2 Best Master

Holiness in the Bible

O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. – Psalm 96:9

Holiness in the Bible

The first time we see the word in the Bible is in Exodus, the 2nd book of Moses:*

Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Exodus 15:11

an * means there is a short biography in my book SPIRITUAL LIVES.

Holiness is used 43 times in the King James* Bible; this noun form comes from the more frequent adjective “holy,” used 611. The meaning is “separate.”

It signifies “separateness” from the nonholy or profane. What is “clean” or “pure” is also related to “holy” in a ritual sense, i.e., free from defilement by the profane and in a potentially holy state.

The profoundest sense of holiness is that proper to God, absolute holiness consists in His “otherness” or His uncreated transcendence and majesty, a meaning related to His glory.

Holiness in Exodus

The first time we see the word “holy” is also in Exodus when God appears to Moses* in the burning bush. As Moses* approaches this amazing sight, he hears this warning/command:

“Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”– Exodus 3:5

Moses* was unfamiliar with God, and He was introducing Himself to him. The LORD had to teach Moses how to approach Him with reverence.

God’s holiness is so complete and overpowering that the ground He appears on becomes holy. Moses got this at once as God identified Himself:

I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham*, the God of Isaac*, and the God of Jacob* And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. – verse 6

Pharaoh did not get it:

And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go. – Exodus 5:2

He soon and painfully learned the LORD’s holiness through the plagues and miracles of His almighty power!

Holiness to the LORD

God delivered the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt to be His people. Through Moses,* He gave them the Ten Commandments and the Law at Mt. Sinaii.

This was a terrifying experience for the children of Israel.

Moses* records their reaction and the outcome:

Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.

Now, therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God anymore, then we shall die.

For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?

Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee, and we will hear it, and do it. – Deuteronomy 5:24-27

This was the impetus for having a high priest, a mediator between the LORD and His people.

Sinful men and women cannot approach our Holy God to whom, the stars are not pure in His sight. – Job 25:5

Holiness in the prophets

The prophets saw God’s holiness in powerful life-changing ways. The word “holy” appears 127 times in the 4 books of the major prophets, 56 in Isaiah* alone. He is not only Holy to us, but to the angels!

Isaiah* wrote of his vision of His holiness:

I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. – Isaiah* 6:1-3

Special precautions had to be taken to protect the high priest who had to go once a year into the Holy of holies. Bells were sewn into the hem of the high priest’s robe:

And it shall be upon Aaron* to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not.

And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. – Exodus 28:26

Aaron* survived his 40 visits to the Holy of Holies. But others were slain, 2 of Aaron’s sons for unholy acts in the Tabernacle, and David’s* servant Uzzah for simply touching ark of God.

Holiness in Leviticus

That Tabernacle was set up as a place of Holiness to God, and the entire book of Leviticus is devoted to this theme. Warren Wiersbe entitled his book on Leviticus Be Holy: Becoming “Set Apart” for God:

We serve a holy God. And as His children, God longs for us to pursue a life that is pleasing to Him. But what does this look like? The book of Leviticus provides the answer. Initially written for the ancient Israelites, Leviticus continues to offer timeless principles for living that remain relevant to believers today.

Leviticus sets forth the principles for us to live a holy life. They are showing Him our love by obeying His commandments and being separate from the world. Jesus’ brother sums this up 1500 years later:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

God had brought His people out of slavery in Egypt and given them the Promised Land. He had given them the law, the Tabernacle, and godly leaders to keep them close to Him.

The challenge for the children of Israel then and Christians today, is keeping focused on God and unspotted from the world.

God is Holy and invisible, and the god of this world entices God’s people with the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. (1 john 2:16)

Holiness guidelines for God’s people

In Old Testament times, these things of the world were manifest in idols and their worshipers. God’s teaching in Exodus is

Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces.

I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you.

Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.

Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you. Exodus 23:24, 31-33

When the Israelites followed these commands, they prospered. When they failed, God allowed them to have their way but disciplined them at the hands of the wicked.

After 1,000 years and hundreds of cycles of sin, repentance, and restoration, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah disappeared.

God’s people survived as the Jews, freed from idolatry, under the thrall of the Romans, but carrying on the worship of holiness set forth by Moses.

New Testament Holiness

A new Temple was built, and the Word of God taught in the synagogues including all those teachings about holiness and the Holy Messiah. The angel announced Him to Mary*:

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35

Twice more Luke refers to Him as “Thy holy child Jesus,” and reports that even the devils knew Him.

Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. – Luke 4:34

Jesus’ life was one of the separation and holiness required for the One who was to die to take away our sin. John the Baptist* saw Him and recognize His holiness and purpose:

Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29

After He took our sins away, He ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of God:

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.Mark 16:19

And what does this mean for us?

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. – Hebrews 7:25-26

Holiness for us

How thankful we are that Jesus has saved us from Hell and given us everlasting life. How blessed we are to worship Him and praise His name, to be members of His body the Church. But the New Testament has another teaching on how we should live:

St Paul* gave this message to the church at Corinth

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, – 2 Corinthians 6:17

He goes on to advise:

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:2

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. – 1 Thessalonians 4:7

The book of Hebrews makes it clear that holiness is not optional:

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: – Hebrews 12:14

St. Peter gives us the last simple but imperative counsel.

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

The message is clear and amazing! We are called to be holy. Let’s be holy today! Sing with me this song or listen to it here:

Called Unto HOLINESS

“Called unto HOLINESS,” church of our God,

Purchase of Jesus, redeemed by His blood;

Called from the world and its idols to flee,

Called from the bondage of sin to be free.


“HOLINESS unto the Lord” is our watchword and song,

“HOLINESS unto the Lord” as we’re marching along;

Sing it, shout it, loud and long,

“HOLINESS unto the Lord,” now and forever.

“Called unto HOLINESS,” children of light,

Walking with Jesus in garments of white;

Raiment unsullied, nor tarnished with sin;

God’s Holy Spirit abiding within.

“Called unto HOLINESS,” praise His dear Name!

This blessed secret to faith now made plain:

Not our own righteousness, but Christ within,

Living, and reigning, and saving from sin.

“Called unto HOLINESS,” glorious thought!

Up from the wilderness wanderings brought,

Out from the shadows and darkness of night,

Into the Canaan of perfect delight.

“Called unto HOLINESS,” bride of the Lamb,

Waiting the Bridegroom’s returning again!

Lift up your heads, for the day draweth near

When in His beauty the King shall appear.

Leila N. Morris, 1900

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto HOLINESS. 1 Thes. 4:7

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