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The Pursuit of Holiness by David Bernard

A good concordance is invaluable. It tells us that the word holy is used more than 650 times in the New American Standard Bible, apart from synonyms. Holiness as defined: It is in the highest sense belongs to God ( Isaiah 6:3 ; Revelation 15:4 ), and to Christians as consecrated to God’s service, and insofar as they are conformed in all things to the will of God ( Romans 6:19 Romans 6:22 ; Ephesians 1:4 ; Titus 1:8 ; 1 Peter 1:15 ). Personal holiness is a work of gradual development. It is carried on under many hindrances, hence the frequent admonitions to watchfulness, prayer, and perseverance ( 1 Corinthians 1:30 ; 2 co 7:1 ; Ephesians 4:23 Ephesians 4:24 ). Something or someone is made holy when the Almighty, who is Himself set apart from all creation, sets it apart for a special use or purpose. God is holy because He is more “set apart” from His creation than anything or anyone else. Basically, God’s holiness is a function of His transcendence. Because He is high and exalted, nothing in creation can match the Lord in His glory, power, and purity (Ex. 15:11; Isa. 33:5).

The Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer communicate God’s holiness in their treatment of His name. Fallen creatures instinctively forbid murder, but it takes special revelation to tell us that profaning God’s holy, set-apart name is illegal (Ex. 20:7). Jesus tells us that the very first thing we should ask for in prayer is for God’s name to be regarded as holy in this world (Matt. 6:9). The distinction between the Lord and His creation is so great that even His name must be respected as holy.