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