By his will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:10 NET
To me the thought of being made holy through the sacrifice of Jesus is awe inspiring. I can’t wrap my mind around this truth nor can I express my thoughts to their fullest potential in this post or any other. As I meditated on this verse today I decided to take some time to research the issue of holiness to better define the thoughts and emotions that I experience when I read verses like this one. I pray that the article below will challenge and encourage you as you ponder the significance of your personal holiness and what it is God has done for you by making you holy through the blood of Jesus.
HOLY Biblical use of the term “holy” has to do primarily with God’s separating from the world that which He chooses to devote to Himself. As God’s redemptive plan unfolded through the OT, the “holy” became associated with the character of God’s separated people conforming to His revealed law. When the time became ripe for the saving work of Jesus Christ, His redeemed people came to be known as saints (literally, “holy ones”). The cross made this possible by inaugurating the fulfillment of the preparatory OT teachings on the holy, opening the way for God’s Holy Spirit to indwell His people.
God’s Unique Holiness as Separation God alone is “majestic in holiness” (Exod. 15:11; cp. 1 Sam. 2:2; Rev. 15:4). The uniqueness of His holiness is stressed in the repetition of the seraphic cry: “Holy, holy, holy” (Isa. 6:3; cp. Rev. 4:8). Indeed, the frequent title of choice for God in Isaiah is “the Holy One of Israel” (e.g., 12:6; 17:7; 29:19,23; 41:14,16; 47:4; 60:9). But God’s perfect holiness—the complete perfection of His attributes such as power and goodness—is a humbling and even terrifying thing when revealed to weak and sinful men (e.g., Isa. 6:5; Luke 5:8; Rev. 1:17).
Those things that God separates to Himself become holy, too. These objects of the Lord’s choosing are set apart from the world. For instance, the holy place in the tabernacle and the temple is hidden from the eyes of the people, and the most holy place (“holy of holies”) is only entered yearly by the high priest with the blood of atonement and a cloud of incense lest he die (Lev. 16). The privilege of being “a holy people to the Lord your God” (Deut. 7:6; 14:2,21; 28:9) is thus seen to carry weighty responsibility. Interestingly, not only can that which is holy be profaned (e.g., Lev. 21:6,12,15) but also contact with the holy transfers holiness to the profane (e.g., Ezek. 44:19; 46:20; cp. Exod. 29:37; 30:29; 1 Cor. 7:14).
The Ethical Mandate of God’s Holiness God’s chosen people, in separation from the world, are called to an ethical life in conformity to His revealed word. The command to His people is to “be holy; for I am holy” (Lev. 11:44-45; cp. 19:2; 20:26). This demand is not abrogated with the coming of Christ but is to find its fulfillment in the Christian community (1 Cor. 7:34; Eph. 1:4; Col. 1:22; 1 Pet. 1:16). Christians are to perfect “holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1 NASB). If necessary, God will discipline the followers of Christ for their own good so they “can share His holiness” (Heb. 12:10 HCSB).
The Ultimate Fulfillment of God’s Holiness David, fearing that his sin would separate him from God, prays, “Do not … take Your Holy Spirit from me” (Ps. 51:11 HCSB). John the Baptist, however, predicts that Jesus would inaugurate a new era for God’s people by baptizing them with the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11). The atoning death of Jesus, by meeting the just demands of God’s righteousness (Rom. 3:21-26), makes possible this intimate relationship of God and His people. Jesus, as the true Holy One, does not see decay in His death as the prophetic Scriptures foretold (Ps. 16:10; Acts 13:35). Thus His resurrection signifies the accomplishment of salvation and the inauguration of the age of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:4) in which the followers of Jesus are baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). This enduring promise for believers in every generation (Acts 2:38-39) is the empowerment to make them holy: the Holy Spirit makes them so (Rom. 15:16).
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, s.v. “HOLY,” n.p.