A true understanding of the doctrine of the holiness of God is fundamental for us to be able to understand the command of God to all of His children: “…Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16; Leviticus 11:44,45, 19:2)
Because God alone is perfectly and entirely holy (Revelation 15:4), we know that no human being can ever be as holy as He is. Nevertheless, Scripture declares that holiness is the will of God for each and every one of His children (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). In fact, God’s chastening work in our lives, which is a proof of His love for us (Revelation 3:19), is for the very purpose of producing holiness in our lives (Hebrews 12:14).
But practical holiness is not some passive thing that “happens” to us. Scripture declares that holiness is the deliberate decision to yield our bodies to the purposes and will of God (Romans 6:19-22). It is recognizing that our old man or old life in Adam has been crucified, and that we are new creatures in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17) and must choose to put on that new man each and every day (Ephesians 4:20-24). We put on this new man as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus (Colossians 3:10; 2 Peter 3:18). This growth in holiness is an ongoing process in the life of each and every believer (2 Corinthians 7:1).
However, we need to remember that holiness is not some thing; it is some One, and that Someone, of course, is The Lord Jesus Christ. As we fellowship with The Lord (1 Corinthians 1:9), the result will be Christ-like holiness, a holiness that bears the fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) of abiding in Jesus (John 15:4,5). Man-centered religion can only produce an outward form of holiness (Matthew 23:25-28) that denies the very power of true holiness (2 Timothy 3:5), which is the cross of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18-31). The very spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of holiness (Romans 1:4), working on the inside of the believer (Ephesians 3:16), enabling us to be effective witnesses (Acts 1:8).
All of the things pertaining to this walk of holiness stems from the sovereign work of God in our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:23). “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)