Holiness? What’s That?

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14–16).

You’ve been back in school for a couple of months now, and I hope you’re killing it in that math class. But how you answer the next question might change how people see you in your school. You might be called names. Some of your friendships might get awkward. And it just might change your life.

Here’s the question: How do you define the word “holy” according to the Bible?

Now STOP. Before you click away because you’re thinking I’m going to talk about priestly robes and sacrifices and rituals, we’re not talking about that . . .

Here are a couple ideas about how I would define this word:

  • Holy living is living life according to the way Jesus asked us to live.
  • Holy living is honoring God in everything you do.

There are a few things that will happen when you live a holy life:

1. People will make fun of you.

You probably won’t be doing some of the things that people around you are doing. And they’re going to make sure you know they don’t like it.

Pssst, here’s a little secret: Sometimes when people make fun of us for not joining the thing they’re doing, it’s because they really feel insecure and guilty and want someone else to suffer, too. So keep that in mind.

2. It’s going to be difficult.

You might not be tempted to do drugs or to have sex. But at some point I guarantee that you’ll be faced with something that’s extremely difficult to say “no” to.

A holy life isn’t an easy life! But . . .

3. It will be worth it.

A holy life is worth the difficulty. You might not understand how not participating in something “fun” can be worth it. (Hey, I still feel that way sometimes.) But if you ask a believer who is further down the road of life if waiting on something like sex or saying “no” to something “fun” in the moment is worth it, I know they’ll tell you it’s so worth waiting or not participating. Because God’s ways are always best for us!

Here are three verses that will help you form a definition of what “holy” means.

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness (1 Thess. 4:7).

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work (2 Tim. 2:21).

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Rom. 12:1).

The passage that’s at the beginning of this post comes from 1 Peter 1. Verses 18–19 in that same chapter tell us that we were ransomed from our “futile ways” (we could also call that “ways of living according to the world”) not with gold or silver, but with “the precious blood of Christ.” We were saved from our sins because Jesus gave His life for you and for me. Mind blown!

Are you living a holy life that reflects the gratitude and worship you have for His sacrifice?

We were bought with a price—God’s only Son died for us. So when He tells us to live holy lives, shouldn’t we consider it an honor to do so? (That’s what Romans 12:1 says!)

Let’s learn from each other in the comments section!

  • How would you define holiness?
  • How are you challenged by holiness in your own life? What is it difficult to say “no” to?
  • Have you been ridiculed for choosing holiness?

Dive deeper into the topic of holiness! Here are some resources to check out:

About Author

Beecher Proch calls the Hill Country of Texas home. When he’s not writing, performing with his three siblings in their band, or attempting to get a smile out of someone, you’ll probably find him working on a new entrepreneurial venture. Beecher is passionate about influencing the world for Christ’s Kingdom through stories, be that blogging, writing meaningful music, or going about it the old-fashioned way and taking a pen to the page.

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