I think we all tend to think of some people as especially “holy” – “saints” if you want to use the term. (Incidentally, that is what the word means in a literal sense … “holy ones”) Truly “holy” people, in our estimation, are very righteous, prayerful, “tuned into God,” knowledgeable about God and His word, kind, generous, given to compassionate acts and recognized as “holy” by others.
I’m OK with that … there are people like that. But I think all of that leads to a misconception about who ought to be considered “holy” if we’re not careful.
In my opinion, one of the really good things about the Reformation was that it led to emphasis that EVERYONE who followed Jesus – that put their trust in Him for salvation and had experienced “new birth” was “holy” – a “saint” if you pleased. The leaders in the Reformation spoke of “the Priesthood of all believers.”
Sometimes we think of that idea as simply a New Testament idea. That’s not true… In my Bible reading this morning I encountered these words in Leviticus in the Old Testament of all places…
“The Lord said to Moses, “SPEAK TO THE ENTIRE ASSEMBLY OF ISRAEL AND SAY TO THEM: ‘BE HOLY, BECAUSE I, THE LORD YOUR GOD, AM HOLY!” (Leviticus 19.1-2) And then a phrase follows over and over again in the following verses that establishes the basis for their “holiness”… “I am the Lord your God! … I am the Lord your God! … I am the Lord your God!”
So really this is a consistent pattern and principle in the Bible. Holiness is not something limited to a special caste of people! It is something that applies to everyone who is a follower of the “Living God” And the practical application of that in my life is the principle – that truth – that reality – needs to influence and govern every aspect of my daily living! Oh, I want to be that way in my life, Father God!!