“Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
What is holiness and why does God command us to be holy? Being holy is defined as “invested with extreme purity” according to the World English Dictionary. The Bible describes God as being holy, holy, holy as a way to show the weight of His holiness. He is the definition of purity and perfection. His standard for His creation is nothing less than perfection. God created us to be holy and commands us to live a holy life.
Created into Perfection
Adam and Eve were created into perfection. They were put into the perfect environment and even could interact with God audibly. Everything was perfect. There was not any shame, guilt, injustice, greed, jealousy, or anything evil. They were also free to eat anything that they wanted except from one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Stop and think about that. They could eat as much as they wanted from every tree but one.
Sin Enters the World
The temptation that Adam and Eve faced was this: Did they trust God or would they rather be like Him knowing good and evil. It is really that simple. They both decided with the help of the devil, in the form of a serpent, to become like God. They had everything that they could ever want, but that was not enough. The Bible calls what Adam and Eve did, sin. Sin is, as I learned from my catechism class in junior high school, is any thought, word, or deed that is contrary to the will of God.
Effects of Sin Entering the World
Sin’s entrance into perfection forever changed the world. Adam and Eve had enjoyed fellowship with God before their fall into sin. Once they chose to disobey God, that fellowship was forever broken. The Bible is clear that all of us are sinners and there is no one that does what is right. Sin eternally separates us from God. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, that the penalty of sin is an eternity spent in hell in torment. It is important to note that there is absolutely nothing that we can do to atone for our sin debt. Sin requires the shedding of blood. We cannot earn God’s forgiveness by being good. In fact, the Bible calls our good works filthy rags because we are sinful and wicked to our very core. It actually uses the Greek word for menstrual clothes to describe them. Death, disease, violence, corruption, and outright evil also entered the world.
God’s Wonderful Plan of Salvation
“For God so loved the World, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God knew that Adam and Eve were going to fall before He even created the world. In Genesis chapter three, right after the fall of Adam and Eve, God begins to reveal his plan of salvation by telling us that Satan would strike the heel of one of Eve’s offspring but her offspring would crush the head of Satan. The rest of the Old Testament is filled with prophecies (Isaiah 53 contains a bunch of them) of a coming Messiah to die for the sins of the world. Jesus Christ fulfilled all of these prophecies to a “T”. Let us once again take a step back and think through what the ramifications of all of this mean.
- God became a man and dwelt among us for 33 years.
- He felt everything that we do (happiness, sorrow, sadness, pain, loss, despair, love, etc.)
- Had had physical needs like we do (hunger, thirst, rest, etc.)
- God was beaten and nailed to a cross for your sins and mine.
- He rose again on the third day.
- Payment is now available for our sins.
- Death has been defeated.
Jesus’ death and resurrection changes everything. Think about this: The God who made everything, would rather die on a cruel Roman cross at the hands of his creation, than to allow his creation to spend an eternity in hell. After all, hell was created for the devil and his angels. GOD IS AWESOME!!!
God’s Offer for You
“Here I am, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the doors, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.” Revelation 3:20
Jesus’ death and resurrection offers us a chance to have fellowship with God again and more importantly to be viewed as holy by God. How you may ask? God accepts His death and resurrection as payment for our sins because Jesus lived a perfect life and died as a sacrificial lamb. To break it down further, when we come to Christ in faith and repentance, God credits our sin debt with the blood of Jesus. He no longer sees us as sinners, but as perfectly holy and righteous. Our sins are forever removed from us as far as the east is from the west. How far is that you ask? Trying getting in an airplane and flying east. Do you ever get to the point of going west? No! That is how far our sins have been removed. They are paid for and gone forever!
All of us have a choice to make. We can either accept Jesus’ payment (atonement) for our sins or we can choose to face an infinite, holy God on our own merits. Sadly, too many of us have chosen to do the latter. Friends, we cannot be good enough. We fall way short, the Bible is crystal clear on this. We must repent (turn away from or go the opposite direction) of our sins and place our trust in Jesus and Jesus alone to be saved. He is our ONLY hope of salvation.
If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, pray a prayer like this and mean it with all your heart:
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. Please forgive me for all of my sins. I repent and turn away from them now and turn towards you. I accept your free gift of salvation and ask you to come into my life and be my Lord and my Savior. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus Name, Amen.
If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, begin to read the Bible everyday starting with the Gospel of John. For more help on living a holy life going forward, here is a link to an article that I wrote on Hubpages on How to Live a Holy Life.