It cannot be said enough that holiness is a way of life required by God of His people. Holiness is not a mere suggestion of upright living rather it is a mandate to live outside the dictates of worldviews which are contrary to God’s Word. Even with this simplicity in explanation many seem utterly confused as to what holiness consists of and leave the matter to those clergy members who have no choice but to be holy. Yet scriptural text is not specific to clergy members alone rather the standards are required of all who name the Name of Christ.
The matter of holiness was addressed in considerable detail by Paul to the church at Galatia. He pointed out some very specific hedonistic practices that not only pull from holiness but also lend to the probability of eternal damnation if the practices continued. Galatians 5:19-21 points out “the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Many Christians are very familiar with some of the issues raised in this text yet many choose to overlook many of them for reason of convenience or even more sinister reasons. Most understand that the cry against adultery is a call for monogamous sexual relations in marriage yet the idea of fornication is often limited to heterosexual sex outside of marriage. This is a fallacy that needs to be debunked on every level. While fornication does include the noted definition the idea goes well beyond this over simplicity. Fornication includes all sexual sin including pedophilia, homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality. As such the call to return to sex in marriage between one man and one woman only is a return to holiness.
However, Paul did not only address matters of sexual impurity. Matters of the heart also prove to be prominent in his admonishment to turn a people to holiness. The fact is that the hearts of some people are contentious and seek to fight no matter the situation. They choose not to live in peace and are continually seeking ways to create strife on one end or the other. Paul calls this condition “variance.” Scripture advises us to live in peace (II Corinthians 13:11) yet variance is the antithesis of peace. Sowing seeds of discord and backbiting brings about matters that pull away from the idea of holiness through peace.
And there are other acts that are not conducive to Christendom. Drunkenness and dancing in the streets also pull form holiness. Paul calls the idea of dancing in the street with drunkenness “reveling” yet so many see no harm in this practice. It is true that this type of partying has moved from the streets, in most cases, into clubs and other venues. Yet the idea remains the same while the party goers honor false deities or other “icons” under the guises of having a good time. Further complicating the matter of reveling many have pulled this unholy practice into the House of God. Yes, the Christian can enjoy life but reveling and partying is an unholy alliance with the standard of godliness.
This brief overview of holiness points out the fact that God is holy. Those that worship Him must do so with not only the actions of holiness but also a life exemplifying the life of Jesus as well as an attitude that seeks only to please God. If the attitude to please God is pure in nature then the idea of holiness is not a matter for the clergy alone but is a matter for those that enjoy being an heir with Christ and being part of a holy nation.