Why Is it Important for Believers to Be in Pursuit of Holiness?

We have no holiness without Christ, for it is through our Lord Jesus that any peace and holiness that we may have come from— it is not something that we can produce on our own.

cross on top of mountain with sunrise, yannick-pulver-unsplash

What does it mean to be in the pursuit of something? The word pursuit is a noun. It is the action of following or pursuing someone or something. To pursue (a verb), is to follow someone or something in order to catch, or to continue or proceed a path or route.

What Is Holiness?

It is the state of being holy. To be holy is to be dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose, to be devoted to the service of God, or to be morally and spiritually excellent.

Our question today is to determine why it is important for us to be in the pursuit of holiness. Is there a purpose in us pursuing holiness? In chapter 12 of the Book of Hebrews, we learn that God’s act of discipline proves his love for his children and that there is a warning against refusing to listen.

A typical order given in the New Testament is for Christians to look for harmony and peace among themselves as well as other people (Romans 12:18; 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:13). Truth be told, this ability to "get along" is associated with our spiritual development (James 3:17; 1 Timothy 3:3; Galatians 5:22).

This is particularly significant with regards to the interactions among different Christians. Love not only serves to develop the church, but it is also an essential sign to the world that we are believers of Christ (John 13:35; 1 John 3:14; 4:21).

Alongside harmony and peace, the author emboldens holiness in our lives. Once more, this is a typical topic of the teaching in the New Testament. Christians are enabled by the Holy Spirit to live morally, exemplary, and godly lives (2 Timothy 1:7).

Sin is consistently the consequence of dismissing that power, one way or another (1 Corinthians 10:13). The people who continue in sin and transgression are demonstrating that they do not have the impact of the Holy Spirit in their lives (1 John 1:6).

The Hebrew Christians knew about the formal purging custom that would prepare them for Temple worship. They realized that they must be spotless or holy for them to even be able to enter the Temple.

Sin consistently impedes our vision of God, so assuming that if we want to see God, then we should eliminate sin from our lives (Psalm 24:3-4). Holiness is combined with harmony and peace.

A proper relationship with God prompts a proper connection with other believers, regardless of background. Despite the fact that we may not have affection for other Christians, we are to seek after harmony and peace for us to become more Christlike.

This verse does not mean we are intended to be saved dependent on our acceptable conduct or our good behavior. It is incomprehensible for a sinner without Christ’s payment to stand before God (Isaiah 6:5).

We should be completely righteous to be in the presence of God (Exodus 33:19-20). That capacity to be before the sight of God is actually what we gain from Christ's completed work for us (Hebrews 9:11-12; 1 John 3:2).

To have the ability to "see the Lord," we need the holiness that comes from the grace of Christ, through our faith in him (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18). Endeavoring to live as per that standard ought to be what each and every believer desire in their hearts (John 14:15).

Although we are told to “follow peace with all men,” there are some people who just will not be at peace nor have peace, no matter what we do. All Christians should strive to be at peace, not only with themselves but with others.

The “and holiness part of the verse is not something that we can produce on our own. We have no holiness without Christ, for it is through our Lord Jesus that any peace and holiness that we may have come from.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).

Why Should We Be Holy?

We ought to be holy in light of the fact that God the Father is likewise our Judge. We ought to be holy on the grounds that God recovered us at a boundless expense (1 Peter 1:13-17).

We are to be ready to act (“gird up the loins of your mind”), live with discretion, and set our expectations on the return of Christ.

The God of Israel, and who is the God of the Christian church, is holy. He sets the norm for ethical morality. In contrast to the Romans' divine beings, he is not spiteful, warlike, or an adulterer.

Not at all like the gods of the agnostic cliques (pagan cults) that were well known in the first century, he is not savage or unbridled. He is a God of mercy, kindness, and justice who cares for his children.

Our blessed God anticipates that we should copy him by adhering to his high upright guidelines. Like him, we ought to be more tolerant and just; like him, we should forfeit ourselves for other people.

After individuals submit their lives to Christ, they actually feel a drawback to their old ways. We are informed that we are to be holy in all that we do and resemble our heavenly Father. Being holy implies being completely committed or devoted to God, put away for his unique use, and put aside from wrongdoing and its impact.

We are to be separate and unique, not mixing in with the world, yet not being distinctive for the sake of being unique. What makes us diverse are God's characteristics in our lives. Our priorities and our focus should be his.

This is in direct difference to our old ways (1 Peter 1:14). We cannot turn out to be holy all alone, however, God gives us his Holy Spirit to assist us with being obedient and to overcome sin.

Try not to utilize the reason that you cannot resist the urge to slip back into transgression. We are to call upon the power of God to liberate us from transgression's grasp.

Respectful fear is not the type of fear that a slave has for a heartless master, yet the solid regard of a believer for the almighty God. Since God is the Judge of all the earth, we dare not overlook him or treat him nonchalantly.

We should not expect that our privileged status as the children of God gives us the freedom to do anything we desire. We should not be self-centered children, yet appreciative children who love to respect our Heavenly Father.

How Are We to Be Holy?

No one is adequate or has the capacity to save himself. Assuming that we want to live forever with Christ, we should rely totally upon the grace of God. This is valid whether no matter what sin we have committed.

We have all trespassed over and again, and any wrongdoing is sufficient to make us come to Jesus Christ for salvation and everlasting life. Aside from Christ, it is impossible for our transgressions to be taken away.

The method for becoming irreproachable is for us to trust Jesus Christ to remove our wrongdoing. We are to remain grounded in the gospel, placing our trust in Jesus alone to excuse our wrongdoings, to make us right in the sight of God, and to enable us to experience the life in which he wants.

When a judge has proclaimed the defendant to be not guilty, he has been absolved of the charges. Legitimately, the individual has never been accused of the crimes. When God excuses our wrongdoings, our record is cleaned. According to his point of view, it is like we had never trespassed, regardless of our past conduct.

For further reading:

What Does it Mean God Is Holy, Holy, Holy?

What Is Holiness? How Can We Be Holy?

What Does it Mean That the Lord Is Holy?

How Are the Sanctified Different?

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Yannick Pulver


Chris SwansonChris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. Chris is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. During his service, he received numerous awards and citations. Chris holds a Doctor of Ministry, an M.B.A., and a B.S. in health administration. Chris and his wife Vicki of 24 years reside in Madison, Alabama. If you are interested in having Chris deliver God's Word at your place of worship, you can reach him here.