holiness curiosity

To be holy, godly people, must we see that lived out in order to immitate it? Or can we learn it without seeing it? What resources do we have for this education?


9 thoughts on “holiness curiosity

  1. By “see” do you mean that a person actually has to look at someone being godly to then be godly themself? Or do you mean it in more of a metaphorical way. Like seeing holiness in the life of Christ.

  2. I would say that we don’t have to see holiness to be holy. I will pause here to say that it can definitely help and be extremely beneficial to see it in action, I think this is why mentors can be so useful. That being said, I think that preaching would, by and large, be unnecessary if we needed to learn holiness by seeing it. If expository preaching is done well, application is not always necessary (or even desired) because we will be convicted by the Spirit and be able to (hopefully) change our lives accordingly. If application happens in the sermon, it won’t always apply to our situation and we may just think “well that is great for some, but I don’t really have to worry about it.” Similarly, if we only base our holiness on the holiness of others, two things happen: we would be basing our holiness on fallen people (although I do think this would still be better than nothing at all) which could actually be somewhat detrimental, and we would be basing our holiness on someone who is not us. What I mean by that is we are all called to different lives and so will be called to different things and different struggles. One person may not have any struggle with something like pornography and so doesn’t worry about it too much while another might have strong temptation in that area, if the latter person based their holiness on the former person, they would be leaving themselves open to that particular sin (I hope that makes sense).

    I guess what I am trying to say is that it is better to base your holiness on what you see in someone else rather than nothing at all, but really, our holiness must come from that which is perfect and truly Holy. Solid expository preaching is crucial and so is Bible study. Our hearts can be convicted is we let them.

    Wow, I really hope that wasn’t too confusing!

  3. Now there’s a good question. I would say they are very, very similar in my mind.

    So just for fun I looked up righteousness because of its “christian buzzword” identity…

    The Hebrew word for righteousness is צדקים “tseh’-dek”, Gesenius’s Strong’s Concordance:6664—”righteous, integrity, equity, justice, straightness.”
    The root of tseh’-dek is tsaw-dak’, Gesenius’s Strong:6663—”upright, just, straight, innocent, true, sincere.” It is best understood as the product of upright, moral action in accordance with some form of divine plan.

    Check out that section. It’s fabulous in explaining how we Westerners mean something different than those coming from the Hebraic mindset. Personally, I like the Hebraic mindset better, but it’s easy to get stuck thinking like a westerner.

    Holiness, as I understand it, means being set-apart for God’s work and for His service. So the altar is holy because it’s set-apart for God… we are holy when set-apart for God… etc. I think, again, the western mind seems to think it means “closer to God” or “better”… but I think that’s a bit limited.

    So no, I suppose they aren’t the same thing :)

  4. They added an “im” to their Hebrew “tsedek” (“tsedekim”), just thought I would throw that out there. :) (and I am not sure why the article has added either an ‘alep or an ‘ayin after the “tseh”… well not really sure why they have the “h” there either… I guess I just have a problem with their transliteration.)

    I would say that being “righteous” means that are are justified (often the same work in Greek) in our actions, that our actions and way of life are morally “good”. But of course we are only truly justified and made righteous by the sacrifice of Christ.

    I definitely think that holiness is related to righteousness, but distinct. I see holiness as a process. We are set apart by God as his children and holiness is the process of sanctification to (hopefully) become more like him.

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