How do you live a “Holy” life?
By Michael W. Gardner
The scriptures refer to holy ground, holy days, holy men, holy places, holy gifts, holy altars, holy garments, etc.. Just about anything could be called holy under the right circumstances. The word Holy is mentioned 596 times in the Bible (MKJV), 423 times in the Old Testament and 173 times in the New Testament. In the New Testament it is used to refer to Holy Spirit, holy city, holy angels, holy places, holy one and holy man among others. All these uses of the word “holy” don’t really give us a clear understanding of what “holy” means.
Consider what “holy” is used in conjunction with: holy and true, holy and beloved, holy and just, holy and without blame and holy and without blemish. So what does “holy” mean according to the scriptures? When used with a place it seems to mean that God had selected the place for a specific purpose. When Moses was on holy ground he was to show respect by removing his shoes but does that definition apply when using the word “holy” in regard to a person? A Christian is nowhere instructed to show uncommon respect to individuals. Calling a priest or preacher “Father” is in particular forbidden (Matthew 23:9). Being holy does not call one to a pompous and showy position of office.
To be holy is to respond to the calling of God. (Roman 8:28) What calling is that? It is the calling to accept his Son, Jesus, and to follow his commandments. Being holy starts with accepting Christ. We accept Christ thru baptism for the remission of sin (Acts 2:38) and being a part of his Church. Then Holy means being a people with a singular interest (1 Peter 2:9) in serving God. We are precluded, however, from taking this with us into seclusion for that does not serve God. We are told to be in the world but not of the world. (John 15:19) We are told that we should be like Jesus. He was in the world but he was holy. He never let the world influence what he would be (John 17:16).
So how do you live a “Holy” life? You live it like god would want you to live it and that, he has made clear, is to live the “Christian Life”.