To be holy is to be like God Himself—different from the sinful parts of the world; sanctified, our body and soul cleansed from the ever-present defilement of sin.
We are not completely, outwardly holy (in the daily, practical sense) the moment we come to Christ. God sees us as completely clean, but we still live in a world that influences us. We can fail to live up to our new birthright.
Holiness is a choice made possible by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in us. But there is a switch that turns this pursuit of practical holiness on, and that switch is our will.
We must desire holiness, or we will choose unholiness at every turn, because of the world and its incessant pressures, the weakness of our humanity, and the ever-present deception of the evil one.
A New Value System
What we value determines everything about us. If we are convinced that some unholy practice is valuable to us, we will choose it repeatedly.
That’s why it is so important to read our Bibles, and to really listen to God as He gives us His perfect reasoning—to renew our minds about the “why” beyond holiness.
As an example, consider the possibility of holiness presented in the life of the apostle Peter. God chose the formerly brash, denying Peter to be an author of Scripture and to show us the value of choosing holiness:
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NASB).
I must choose holiness today because …
- God is my perfect Father, so obedience to this calling is my wisest choice for the best life (vv. 14, 16).
- Unholy living was what I did in my former life when I was ignorant (v. 14).
- I am made in God’s image, and He has planned, through Christ, for me to be restored to His original design (v. 16).
- The highest price was paid so that I could be holy (vv. 18-19).
- Christ specifically came to make me holy, and He has the power to accomplish it! (vv. 20-21).
The greatest miracle on this earth is not the mere creation of everything that is, but that God could take completely fallen, depraved individuals and transform them to be like God Himself.
God is accomplishing this every single day in millions of His followers, and one day He will complete their transformation in heaven. With this confidence, purpose, and joy, I gladly choose holiness today.