Holy: dedicated, consecrated, pure, sinless, separated from sin

I Peter 1:15-16 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.

Conversation in this scripture means our everyday living or conduct. Holiness is a positive action word, not a bunch of do’s and don’ts. We live like we do because we love God and want to obey him. Holiness is not a negative word, even though some of the religious world would say so. If people are getting a negative impression about holiness because of the way we’re living in our everyday life, then we’re not living holy

Luke 18:18-24 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said…Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

The man Jesus was talking to had covetousness in his heart, he wanted his treasures and didn’t want to give them up. He did the commandments but it was out of ritual. We have to do what we do out of a heart of love. But to do that, we have to repent (turn away from sin with godly sorrow), forsake our way, and be saved. We can’t keep sinning and be holy. People can quit certain sins like smoking or drinking sometimes, but the only way we can stop all sinning is by being saved. The first step of holiness is when we repent of all sin and forsake our way to be saved. Jesus said we have to forsake all and love less (“hate”) everything to follow him.

Luke 14:25-27 And there went great multitudes with him: and he…said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Unless we forsake all sin and anything that would hinder us from following Jesus, we won’t be saved. Jesus taught that we have to forsake sin.

John  8:1-5  Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came…he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say…Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

The Jews that brought the woman taken in adultery weren’t being honest with Jesus because they didn’t even refer to the law correctly. The law said that the man and woman adultery should be put to death.

Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Jesus didn’t condemn the woman but told her to “go, and sin no more.”

John 8:6-11 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Jesus wouldn’t have told the woman to do something she couldn’t have done. Sin is a choice, a willful transgression against God’s will. The devil or your family can’t make you sin. You’re the only one that can choose to sin. Every bad thought that comes to our mind is not a sin, but it is what we do with those thoughts. It is possible to live free of sin if someone wants to. At another time Jesus told a man to “sin no more.”

John 5:5-14 And a certain man…which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith…Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked…the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Paul gave a list of some sins that will keep us from going to heaven.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

The world is saying that you can’t live without sin but that grace covers our past, present, and future sins. But scripture says that if we continue in sin, we’re a servant of sin.

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Romans 6:15-18 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

As long as we sin, we won’t be able to live a holy life. Grace doesn’t cover sin after we’ve repented and been saved. God is faithful to deal with everyone. The grace of God has appeared to all men and it teaches us to deny (say no to) ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live righteously and godly (holy) in this present world.

Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

The earth is going to be burned up and dissolved, so we need to live holy every day because the Lord is coming back like a thief in the night.

II Peter 3:10-11 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness…

We don’t talk or act the same way after we’re changed and made holy through salvation. Peter said “beware” because how we are living now is how we’ll be judged.

II Peter 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

The Lord doesn’t have any pleasure seeing the unrighteous die in their sins. If the righteous turn away from living righteous, none of their righteousness will be remembered. God will judge us by the way we’re living.

Ezekiel 18:23-28 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal…Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

God’s grace will teach us to repent and forsake sin, so we can be saved to live righteous and holy every day.

Ezekiel 18:30-32 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

 

(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)