By Brother R. Michel Lankford
Holiness is not just an Old Testament Idea. Holiness is not a New Testament Concept. Holiness is a WHOLE Testament concept. Holiness is a BIBLICAL concept. What is even more important is the fact that holiness IS in fact a salvation issue (e.g. Hebrews 12:14cf; Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:14-16)
In the New Testament we are commanded to be holy as God is Holy:
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ” You shall be holy, for I am holy .” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NASB)
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1 NASB)
Remember What Holiness Means
Hebrew strong #6918 (QAEDOSH) literally to be set apart; to separate out for the most noble use.
In the ancient Hebrew word picture it conveys the idea of having the best and most useful part of the wheat after everything else is separated out or left behind after everything is separated away from the chaff, whatever is best whatever is most useful whatever is most productive after all the chaff is removed or separated out; that is holy.
Greek Strong #40 (HAGIOS) literally to be set apart; to separate out for the most noble use. Literally to be set apart as sacred; to be physically pure and morally blameless. Also, to be religiously and ceremonially separated out or consecrated for special use.
To be HOLY means to, “Separate out.” In simplified terms Holy means to separate out the good from the bad, or the best from the not as good until only what is the most useful, the most beneficial and the most pleasing to YHWH remains. In practical terms then, to be Holy AS YHWH is Holy simply means that we choose to separate things out in the SAME Way that YHWH Separates things out. If YHWH and Messiah says that He Likes something; If YHWH and Messiah says that He praises and delights in something; we will also likewise choose to delight in, praise and honor that SAME thing the way that YHWH and Messiah does. In the same manner if YHWH and Messiah says that He hates something, or that something is grievous offensive or ABOMINABLE to Him, we will also NOT delight in those things, but we will be repulsed and turn away from the SAME things that YHWH separates Himself from. If YHWH and Messiah unites Himself to something, I want to unite myself to that same thing. If YHWH and Messiah is offended by and separates Himself from something, then I want to separate myself from that SAME thing as well. That is literally what it means to be Holy as YHWH is Holy. By the way… Holiness IS too a salvation issue: Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: (Hebrews 12:14; cf. 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).
To be holy literally means “to separate out” one thing out from another thing.
To be holy as God is Holy, or like the Holy One who called us, literally means that we are commanded to separate things out in the same way that YHWH Almighty Himself separates things out.
Basically, if God joins Himself to something, we must likewise join ourselves to the SAME thing; and if God says that He removes Himself from something, then we should likewise remove ourselves from the SAME things that God removes Himself.
Holiness is a Salvation Issue
What “New Testament Christians” oftentimes neglect is that Biblical Holiness IS in fact a salvation issue. There are TWO New Testament writers which clearly suggest in very strong terms that Holiness is REQUIRED to enter Heaven:
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
So, pursing peace and sound relationship with others, and Holiness before YHWH Almighty is REQUIRED if we are ever to see God someday.
Notice that even Paul (the Apostle of Grace) SAID that we MUST conduct Holy Separations and be holy in order to be accepted and received by God as our Father:
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
Let’s Unpack this CRITICAL Passage: Did you catch verse 14-15?
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
The word lawlessness in the verse is (ANOMIA- Strong’s 458-459)
Greek Strong’s # 458-459 –(ANOMIA Lawlessness IS SIN)
- The condition of being without Law
- Being ignorant of the Law
- Violating/ Breaking the Law
- Having contempt for the Law
- “To be destitute or in violation of the Mosaic or Jewish Law“ A.KA. Illegality; iniquity; to break, transgress or walk in violation of the Law- (see also 1 John 3:4)
(See Thayer’s and Strong’s Lexicons)
Notice that in this passage Paul the apostle suggests that God lumps those who practice LAWLESSNESS together with UNBELIEVERS. He is suggesting that genuine Believers should not have fellowship with those who reject God’s Laws or His Commandments. In this passage, Paul lumps those who reject and walk outside of God’s Laws and Commandments right along with those who are in darkness, who are serving Belial instead of Christ; he classifies lawlessness as a characteristic being equal with UNBELIEVERS.
This is yet another passage where Paul clearly demonstrates that Paul could NOT be teaching AGAINST keeping God’s Commandments. He just said right here that we had to SEPARATE FROM LAWLESSNESS, in order to be accepted by God as our Father. So, if he promoted anomia or lawlessness, then Paul would be promoting people NOT being accepted by God, as our Father, even according to his own teachings.
Notice that Paul said we had to SEPARATE FROM all of the following:
- What ever God considers Unclean
God Promises: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”
- So, if I want YHWH Almighty Creator to be my Father, I MUST practice Holiness. I must practice SEPARATING myself from certain things, and I must unite myself to YHWH, and NOT unite myself to these things. That’s the biblical definition of holiness.
- IF I want YHWH Almighty Creator to received me as His child, then I must practice Biblical Holiness. I must separate myself from certain things, and UNITE myself to what YHWH Almighty SAYS that He will unite Himself to.
- So, the question that every Christian must answer is, Do I want God to be my father, and do I want Him to recognize and receive me as being His Child? If I do, then I MUST practice cleansing myself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” I must practice Biblical Holiness. There simply is no other viable choice. This is even in the New Testament.
Questions to Ask Ourselves. ..
- Do I want God to receive me as His own?
- DO I want to be accepted by God to consider me HIS Child?
Brother R Michel Lankford