What is Holiness?

This is an post on our OKC Sisters Newsletter from Cindy Beall, our campus pastor’s wife about our upcoming bible study. Would love for you you join us!

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From Cindy:

I’d like you to join me on a journey this year. It will most likely be uncomfortable at times, but absolutely worthwhile. You will see some qualities in yourself that you appreciate and others that you hope no one else notices. You will be challenged, encouraged, convicted and motivated as we learn what it means to be holy.

Did you know that holiness is expected in the life of every believer? (1 Peter 1:15-16) Did you know that it’s the promised birthright of every Christ Follower? (Romans 6:14)

Interested? Nervous? Excited about this journey? Good. Let’s boogie.

According to Webster, holiness is the state of being holy. When you think of the word  holiness, what comes to mind? I imagine God comes to mind, but maybe you also think of a few individuals who are known for their faith or good works. The Pope? Mother Theresa? A foreign missionary? Your pastor? These people all may be holy but holiness isn’t just for the leader of a church or ministry. It is for you and me if we call ourselves Christ Followers!  Holiness is essentially conforming to the character of God.

You may be thinking, “Cindy, I will never be completely holy and have God’s character so why even try?” And you’d be right. We’ll never achieve holiness but we are called to pursue it, to “run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Cor. 9:24). Pursuing holiness will take effort on our part. Not a works based type faith by any means because our salvation is secure at the cross! But it takes willingness on our part to say no to our sinful habits and walk how Christ would want us to walk (Gal 5:16).

What does conforming to God’s character look like? It’s simply stated but far from simple to do:  Love what God loves and hate what He hates. God loves people and He hates sin. Oftentimes, we get that turned around and we end up loving our sinful habits and find ourselves trapped in a godless lifestyle. We also judge others and treat them poorly instead of loving them as Christ has called us to do.

As we walk this road and learn what it means to be holy, remember that God is for you (Rom. 8:31). God looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7) and knows when your motives are pure. He knows when you are trying to honor Him with your whole life because he knows you completely. (Ps. 139:1). But none of these actions will be genuine unless you’ve completely surrendered your life to Him. We cannot live a partially surrendered life and expect to be holy. Pastor Craig said it best a few weeks ago: “Our only reasonable response to Jesus is to give Him our whole lives.”  I believe that when we do this, holiness will be something we desire. And that, my friend, will change our lives.

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