Be holy, for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:16
Holiness is a uniquely divine quality. It refers to God’s ‘otherness’ – to the huge difference between humanity and the divine. God is holy, pure, and clean in a different dimension. In Isaiah 6 the seraphim cry out, “Holy, holy, holy” without ceasing. This cry is not a conscious decision; it is a response of their being to the Presence of God. The astonishing thing is that the seraphim are not sinful. It is entirely to be expected that a sinner should cover his face before God, but angels that have never sinned are not covering their faces from conviction of sin, but from their overwhelming sense of awe at God’s Being. God in His holiness is above all that we can imagine Him to be. We become holy only through the work of the Holy Spirit. This means that we belong to God and bear His stamp and seal. Holiness means ‘set apart for God’. This explains why the Holy Spirit is grieved every time we do or think something that is unworthy of a vessel in which God dwells. We need the Holy Spirit. He has worked in our lives since we were conceived in our mother’s womb. He was present throughout our childhood. He was the One who, unknown and unnoticed, worked in us to incline our hearts to receive Christ in salvation. He longs to be known and fully received by us so that He might have full sway and impart His chief characteristic – divine holiness. The Holy Spirit does not make us divine, but He does impart the stamp of God’s Being. Receiving the Holy Spirit is a central point of entering into God’s plan for our lives. By it we are adjusted to Him and His ways.
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