Why Be Holy?
Do we live a holy and pure life in order to be saved?
Do we obey God in order to earn salvation?
If I am forgiven for my sins why should I live a holy life?
Why be Holy?
These are all questions we wrestle with in our lives from time to time. We ask these questions because we are seek to know our true motivations for living a Godly and holy life. The answers to these questions lead us to something deeper that we could ever imagine!
I want to focus on three verses to help answer the “Why be holy?” question and also share some others that will help you in your own discovery.
We are going to start in the small and often-overlooked letter of 3rd John verse11 (RSV) “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen God.” In this verse John answers the holiness question simply. We are holy because people who do good are from God and we are from God.
In another letter John writes, “You know that Jesus [he] appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.” (1 John 3.5-.6 RSV) Again the answer is simple. We are God’s people and God’s people do not sin. He doesn’t say God’s people shouldn’t sin or might sin but that no one who abides in Jesus sins.
Finally in Leviticus 11.44 - .45 (RSV) we find the foundational reason for holiness. “For I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls upon the earth. For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; you shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. " We as God’s people are holy because the God is holy! This is the deep end of the pool. When you start to meditate, study and experience God’s holiness you change your perspective on the world. No longer is it about you instead it is about God. No longer do we seek our own glory but we strive to reflect God’s glory.
The realization that the holy and sovereign creator God calls me to be holy like Him blows my mind. There is no way I have the power to do that! You and I don’t have that power but Jesus did. He opens the door for us to be holy by cleansing us and giving us the Holy Spirit.
Now that we know why we are to be holy we have another question to answer; “What does a holy life look like?”
(For further reading on the holiness question read Psalm 119.1-.3, 1st Corinthians 7.22-.23, Colossians 1.21-.23, 1 Thessalonians 4.7-.8 & .11-.12, Titus 2.11-.14 and 1st Peter 1.14 - .16, 2.9, & .11 - .12)