I Thessalonians 4:7

For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 

Thinness, hollow-eyed gauntness, sandals, long robes, stone cells, no jokes, frequent cold baths, fasting, getting up at 4 a.m., clean fingernails, stained glass, self-humiliation and religious sounding chants… these are the images of many when they think of holiness. Things reserved for the realm of austere monks and mystics. But nothing could be further from the truth.

I appreciate the more accurate thoughts of the following concerning the Biblical significance of holiness for all of us who know our Lord—

“Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervors, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks and willing as God wills.”

-John Brown

“Holiness is the everyday business of every Christian. It evidences itself in the decisions we make and things we do, hour by hour, day by day.”

-Chuck Colson

“Resolved, never to do anything which I would be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.”

-Jonathan Edwards

“Holiness is not inability to sin, but ability not to sin.”

-G. Campbell Morgan

“Holiness is the visible side of salvation.”

-C. H. Spurgeon

“Jesus Christ’s holiness has to do with human life as it is. It is not a mystical, aesthetic thing that cannot work in the ordinary things of life; it is a holiness which ‘can be achieved with an ordinary diet and a wife and five children.’”

-Oswald Chambers

Romans 5:17-18 reveals we are either “in Adam” or “in Christ.” If in Adam we are controlled by the Fall— obeying the instincts of our ruined nature of sin. If in Christ, we are to be controlled by the Call— obeying a redeemed, new nature. A life governed and guided toward holiness empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Uncleanness is what we inherit by reason of our natural birth, but when we are born again we operate by holiness if we choose to submit to our Lord and Savior Jesus. We are no longer the natural man who loves darkness and delights in vileness, but rather a new man who delights in virtue and light.

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

-Heb. 12:14