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Romans 12: Holy?

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  Romans 12:1

What does it mean for me to be holy?

According to the dictionary, holy  is defined as:  “of, relating to, or associated with God or a deity.”  It can also mean “sacred” or “endowed or invested with extreme purity or sublimity; 3. devout, godly, or virtuous]

Often when I have heard holiness taught on, it is explained as being “Set apart to God” or the idea of being “separate” from the world and/or the things of the world.

But isn’t it usually God who is described as holy?    The answer is that God is holy, but the Bible is clear that the believer, the child of God, is to be holy as well.
  • Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love   Ephesians 1:4
  • That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish  Ephesians 5:27
  • For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.  1 Thessalonians 4:7
  • But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:15-16
 The idea of holiness among the children of God is not limited to the New Testament.  The following are Old Testament references that teach this as well:
  • Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.  Leviticus 19:2
  • For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.  Leviticus 11:44
 Holiness is necessary in order to please God, and for that reason we need to diligently seek it in our lives.  Hebrews 12:12.

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