In the first instalment of this topic I wrote about common misconceptions and ideas regarding holiness. You can read more about that by clicking here.
I also ended Part 1 by defining holiness, which is nothing more than absolute perfection, completeness and wholeness. To say God is holy is to say God is absolutely perfect and absolutely complete and absolutely whole. He has no flaw nor any lack. In Himself is utterly perfect. More specifically His life-force, the very life of God is holy. His life is perfect, absolute, complete and whole.
To live holy does not mean to always do everything perfectly, it means your very life-force is absolutely perfect because it originates and roots from absolute perfection.
Mat 5:48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
The word perfect here means to no longer need anything for completion. Our Father is completely complete and we, as His offspring are completely complete just like Him, because we are in Him. But what is completely complete? Is it our actions or our beings?
Well if you look at my actions, you will most definitely say I am far from perfect. But when you look at my life-force, the very substance of my being, you will be met with absolute perfection and wholeness because my life is Christ. (Col 3:4). As He is, so are we in this world! (1 John 4:17)
1 Pe 1:15-16 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
Does this fit with how I defined holiness? I say holiness is about being, yet Peter writes about our conduct that needs to be holy. Can you act in ways that are unholy and act in ways that are holy? Of course. But this is no simple concept to wrap one’s mind around, and I am still trying to wrap my mind around it myself. Please bear with me…
How does one act unholy? Well if holy means complete and whole, then unholy must mean incomplete and empty. What actions can be seen as unholy, as incomplete and empty? I believe this is a matter of covenant. Under the law, people were never complete. They were never perfect and they had to constantly try to become perfect in order to fellowship with God. Since the law never made anything perfect, (Heb 7:9) living under that covenant results in nothing but unholy living.
Under the law, both righteousness (your good deeds) and unrighteousness (your bad deeds) are unholy because the law was not given to perfect you, to complete you or to make you whole. It was given to show you exactly how imperfect you are, how in need you are and how empty you are regardless of your own efforts to become complete or perfect (also known as holiness)
To be holy in all your conduct means to let all your conduct reflect the completely complete and wholly whole New Covenant. Conduct free of striving, free of performance anxiety, free of religious hoop-jumping and pious pretention. Realize that you lack nothing, that you are a co-heir with Christ, that you have received the exact same inheritance as Christ and that you are one with the Father, the Son and the Spirit.
From that realisation alone will you be able to successfully renew your mind and see your life transformed. To see the indwelling holiness, completeness and perfection of Jesus Christ be imaged and reflected in your entire being! When that starts happening, immorality will be the furthest thing from your mind. What you do is a result of who you think you are. If you come to know who you really are, what you do and how you do it will change very quickly!
So how do you live holy? You live in and from His completeness, His perfection and His wholeness. If you are firmly planted and grounded in this, there is nothing on this planet that can have mastery over you, instill fear in you, manipulate you, control you or enslave you, especially not sin and immorality.
Look at those areas of your life that you would say are unholy, immoral or sinful. Now see and realise that those areas are not who you are. Do not define yourself by what is imperfect. Rewrite the dictionary of your life and redefine yourself according to God’s thoughts towards you and live every moment of every day drawing strength from the joy that is Christ, the Risen One, the Completely Complete One.
Next time I will write a little more about the practical side of living holy. Stay tuned!
Peace and Joy!