Holiness is not a man made construction but a work of the Holy Spirit. Holiness is not something a Christian works toward but something one already is if they belong to Jesus Christ.
When God commands us to be holy it is in the same sense that he commands us to be healed. “Be healed!” or “Be holy” which is not an act of behavior but an act of God. One is holy because he is born again and his life is holy because he is born again and belongs to God.
No one can be holy of their own recognizance. If we could give up our sin by keeping the law then why do we still need a Savior? Good works of any kind cannot measure up to the sacrifice of the body of Jesus and the shed blood of the lamb.
Take a look at this scripture and tell me how a pot or a bowl can make itself holy by an action?
“In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 14:20-21
The word holy in the Hebrew means to set-apart or separateness. While godly behavior is the result of being made holy unto the Lord, IT IS NOT a requirement to earn salvation.
Holiness does not come from man’s ability but according to the scriptures it is a work of the Holy Spirit. Scripture in no way implies absolute perfect behavior by one’s own ability because no one can be perfect without blemish or flaw but GOD HIMSELF!
When we become born again by the Holy Spirit Jesus Christ’s righteousness and holiness is IMPUTED to us. (Accredited to our account) We are set apart unto the Lord as vessels for his use in the same way as God set apart pots and vessels under the old testament to be used in his service.
The Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of holiness” because he is the sanctifier of all God’s vessels and makes them meet for God’s use by the washing of the word and regeneration of the Holy Spirit.
When the scriptures say: “Without holiness, no man shall see God” Heb. 12:14. What this means is not obedience to the Law of Moses but being born of the Holy Spirit into new life in Jesus Christ! Without being born again of the Spirit of holiness you cannot be made holy and therefore you have no inheritance in the kingdom of God.
God’s indwelling Spirit empowers his children to live lives that please him BUT all who seek to be justified by the law are not holy but defiled, defiled by the sinful nature whose works are in God’s sight filthy rags.
“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH righteousness without works” (Romans 4:6)
IMPUTED– attributed on behalf of another.
Jesus places His righteousness upon our record when we trust upon Him for salvation and this is what makes us holy and not behavior whether good or bad.
Holy is the Greek is hagios which means to be in awe, venerate, regenerated. When we are regenerated and set free from sin we become holy vessels unto the Lord. Faith in Jesus Christ is our righteousness and our fruit is then holy.
“For HE HATH MADE HIM TO BE SIN FOR US, WHO KNEW NO SIN; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” 2nd Corinthians 5:21
“And therefore it was IMPUTED to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was IMPUTED to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be IMPUTED, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead”
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; YE ARE FALLEN FROM GRACE” Galatians 5:1-4
“Therefore having been JUSTIFIED BY FAITH we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”, Romans 5:1.
“Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be JUSTIFIED BY FAITH .” Galatians 3:24
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.” Rom 3:21-26,
HOLINESS means to be set apart by God for a divine purpose. We are not our own but belong to God being bought with the price of the blood of Jesus Christ and therefore we live for him and not for our selves.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Rom 12:1
Holiness is synonymous in the new testament with SAINT or a sanctified one.
“For the perfecting of the saints,(hagios) for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Eph. 4:12
“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy (hagios) and without blemish.”
In conclusion, holiness is a work of the Holy Spirit and not a work of the law. Holiness is a position and not a behavior, however, those who are sanctified by the Holy Spirit and made holy unto the Lord will also bring forth fruit that is holy.