Let’s look to the scriptures to see if we can answer your good question. It is important that we realize that we who have put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ have been made holy already. This is our standing before God. A few verses that show us that truth are:

  • Colossians 3:12, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, HOLY and beloved…”
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:27, “I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the HOLY brethren.”
  • Hebrews 3:1, “Wherefore, HOLY brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling…”
  • 1 Corinthians 1:2, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called SAINTS…” The word ‘saint’ is the same Greek word as ‘holy’.

We see then, that we ARE holy in our position before God, but we need to live out that truth in a practical way. Let’s begin by reading 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so BE YE HOLY in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, BE YE HOLY; for I am holy.” The Greek word for holy is ‘hagios’. It is defined as ‘sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious.” We see that this is the type of life the Lord wants us to live. We are to be holy in “all manner of conversation.” Other translations use the word ‘behavior’ rather than ‘conversation’. This is more accurate for we are to be holy in more than the words we use, but also in the lives we live. Where do we find the power to live such a life? The answer, I believe, is in verse 16. The Lord Jesus is holy so we should follow His example.

James 3:17 tells us, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” We need to fill our minds and hearts with the pure Word of God. This is our source for Godly wisdom. To live holy lives, we need to know the mind and ways of the Lord. We cannot do what we consider to be right. Proverbs 14:12 is clear, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” It is through properly learning the Word of God that we learn what is right, what is pure, what is holy. That Lord Jesus said of Himself in John 8:29, “I do always those things that please him.” The Lord knew His Father’s will and His obedience was exact and perfect. We, too, can know the Lord’s will by study and prayer. When we seek to know the Lord through His Word, He will show us wonderful and precious things about Himself. The more we know about Him, the more we can follow His example and live holy lives.There are many practical things we might think of that we can do to live holy lives. Things such as:

  • Give to the poor.
  • Visit the sick.
  • Be faithful to attend the church meetings.
  • Encourage others.

While each of these are important, these tasks can be done without being holy. There are plenty of unsaved people who do most of these things. HOLY LIVES PROCEED OUT OF HOLY HEARTS. In Luke 18, we read of the prayers of a Pharisee and a publican (tax collector). We read how the Pharisee prayed in verse 12, “I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.” These might give the impression of a holy life, but the portion shows us how this man was simply exalting himself in his actions. His heart was not holy, therefore his life could not be holy, no matter how many benevolent things he might do. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 says, “…ye ought to walk and to please God.” It is the life that is holy that will please the Lord. For more thoughts on what actions reflect a holy life, read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12. (229.10)