1 Thessalonians 5:23, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

When Jesus came to this earth He walked in perfect holiness.  He lived a life that was separate from the sinful world.  Jesus taught His disciples to come out from the world and live like Him.  For you to truly be the disciple Jesus wants you to be you must desire to be holy like Him, 2 Corinthians 6:17.

Peter also outlined the call to be holy in 1 Peter 1:13-17, “13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.”

Consequently, holiness is not just following “rules,” though God’s commandments are to be obeyed, but the heart of holiness is to desire to be like God in character, thought, and deed.  Jesus said to be perfect like your Father in heaven is perfect, Matthew 5:48.  God knows that no one is born perfect that is why He sent His Son Jesus to die for man’s sins so we could be born again perfect (whole and complete).  God’s plan was not only for us to be saved from our sins but also to be sanctified from our sin.

Jesus told us to be perfect because He not only came to give us salvation but He also came to give us total and complete sanctification.  “Sanctification” means “to be made perfectly holy; without an sin, stain or blemish.”  Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 that when we were saved we were also fully washed, sanctified, and justified, “9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

You probably didn’t even know that when you asked Jesus to forgive your sins that you were not only forgiven of sin but you were set free from the power of sin. The power of sin was broken in your life and the presence of sin was totally removed.  Therefore, because you are in Christ, God no longer sees your sins, but He sees Jesus and His righteousness.  Therefore, by the righteousness of Jesus you are able to live a holy life free from sin- now that’s good news!  Paul declared in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  Now according to Paul in the opening verse you are to allow God to keep your whole spirit, soul, and body blameless until Christ returns!  And if you were to sin let the Holy Spirit sanctify again “through and through.”  So the normative and natural state of your life is to be holy like God is holy!    

Therefore stand for holiness in the following three ways: (1) Believe and declare that by the blood of Jesus you have been saved from the power, presence, and penalty of sin; (2) Live holy by the indwelling power and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit; and lastly, (3) Teach others to forsake all their sin and live fully for Jesus!


Are you holy like God is holy?  Why or why not?


  1. Explain from the Bible why you should stand for holiness.
  2. Pray that God will use you to reach out to those who live unholy lives- both inside the church and outside in the world.
  3. For more information regarding standing for holiness read the following books, “The Fire of His Holiness,” by Sergio Scataglini and The Knowledge of the Holy,” by A.W. Tozer.