Holy, Holy, Holy
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: 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. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
Holiness is misunderstood or ridiculed by many today. What is holiness? It is cleanness. It is purity. It implies a separation from the things of this world that are not holy. Holiness is wonderful, practical, and beautiful. God is completely holy and so is his name as we see in the verses above. Those who understand this and who love and seek to please him will pursue holiness in their own lives.
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
I Thessalonians 4:7
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 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.
I Peter 1:13-16
As we see in the verses above, not only is God holy, but God:
has called us to holiness.
tells us plainly that we are to worship him in holiness.
commands us to be holy.
Now all of this is a tall order and we must remember that it is impossible to attain this in our own power. We will not be perfectly faithful in this at all times. When we get a glimpse of God's holiness we understand how desperately far we fall short. If not accompanied by a good understanding of God's love and forgiveness, we would likely descend into hopelessness rather than grow up unto holiness.
To adopt the unholy ways of this world is rebellion toward a holy God and sometimes results from a lack of understanding of what holiness really is. This rebellion offends a holy God and always results in serious consequences.
God commands his own to be holy (clean and pure) but he is repulsed by those who take pride in a false holiness while considering themselves to be better than others. God's people are to humble themselves and conform to God's holiness. This is not a theoretical thing - it brings about real change in daily life.
I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
Holiness is not an option, it is essential:
Follow peace with all men, and holiness,
without which no man shall see the Lord:
May God give us all an understanding of what true holiness really is and instill in us a sincere desire to follow in its wonderful, practical, and beautiful path.