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Be Ye Holy
Chapter 1:
Holiness – The Foundation of Separation

Immanent Holiness

It is overwhelming and almost incomprehensible to see that God who is holy in His nature and who transcends man (and all His creation) in His holiness also condescends to dwell with man. Scripture teaches this truth mainly in Isaiah in the Old Testament, although it can be supported with passages such as Psalm 24:4ff. God says that He dwells "with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit" (Isa. 57:15). Jaeggli states the case aptly: "The Holy One of Israel is distinctively great in the perfection of His character and in His separation from sin, yet He also is intimately close to His people."28

This relationship develops on the basis of man's humility and repentance. When man sees his sinfulness in the light of Godís holiness and turns to God, then God revives him. Isaiah 58 promises the same restoration to Israel when the nation forsakes sin and turns to the Lord.

Grasping this truth brings a new understanding of salvation in the New Testament. Paul declares: "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (I Cor. 1:30). Scripture provides wisdom for man, which enables him to turn to Christ in faith (see II Tim. 3:14-15). In salvation God also gives man justification, redemption, and sanctification, or holiness. Holiness is a part of God's gift of salvation! William Burt Pope thrills the soul with a statement that summarizes the Scripture's teaching on this point: "We should not, however, do justice to this attribute were we not to point out that it is revealed towards men only through an economy of grace which renders it possible that sinners, trembling before the Holy God, may become partakers of His holiness."29

This fact is clearly stated in a number of passages (I Cor. 6:11; Heb. 2:11; 10:10, 14; 13:12). This powerful doctrinal truth is the foundation upon which the believer can live in an imitation of God's holiness. God not only is intrinsically holy and greater than man in His holiness, but also in His holiness He comes to man through Christ to save him.

Henry Thiessen summarizes this fact of a chasm between God and man and the way God has provided to bridge it: "First, there is a chasm between God and the sinner. Secondly, that man must approach God through the merits of another. Thirdly, we should approach God with reverence and godly fear" (Heb. 12:18).30

God has revealed His holiness in Christ for the purpose of saving sinful men. The reason that sinners can have eternal life and fellowship with God is because God has given righteousness and holiness to men in the person of Christ. If you have never trusted Christ to save you, I have the privilege to tell you that if you will receive Him (John 1:11-12) you can know what it means to be justified before God. In Christ you will have fellowship with the holy God and the power to imitate His holiness in your daily life.


Be Ye Holy: The Call to Christian Separation. By Fred Moritz. ©1994. BJU Press. Reproduction prohibited. This work is available for purchase at the Bob Jones University Campus Store (phone: 1-800-252-1927; web address: Please note, due to browser limitations, the Hebrew and Greek words are not displayed in their original languages.

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