Living Holy


By: Mike Upchurch

In his first letter to the saints of his day, the disciple Peter commanded them to be holy…..

“but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy for I am holy.”‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:15-16

He was actually quoting Leviticus 11:44, where the Lord, speaking through Moses, commanded the children of Israel, the Jews, to live a holy life. Now we as Gentiles have been grafted into God’s chosen Family through Christ, and we are expected to live the same holy life required of them. The Greek definition of holy is this….


Pronounced hag’-ee-os

Sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated, holy, saint

Well, being holy by that definition is a struggle for most of us if not all of us. Being “morally blameless” is not something that I think can be accurately stated of me some days. The truth is we all have off days where our morally blameless compass points a bit off direction. 

So what does being morally blameless look like?  Well for one it’s proper use of the King’s English, right?  The use of thee’s and thou’s in your public prayers, correct?  Being holy in the way you pray has to count for something, right?  I mean after all, that’s the way the Lord prayed wasn’t it?

Actually no, not at all!  He prayed and spoke in Aramaic.  The translation of the original Hebrew and Greek begun in 1604 gave us the King’s English. We are no more holy with those 17th Century pronouns in use than if we spoke in Russian when we pray!

So what should we look like today if we’re trying to project holiness in our lives?  In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he listed attributes for Pastors (Overseers), Deacons, and Deaconesses, and they are traits we should all strive to have in our lives if we’re shooting for holiness.

He said they should be above reproach, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, not addicted to much wine, gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money, managing their households well, not double tongued, and not malicious gossips. 

Wow!  Those are certainly admirable qualities, and could define holiness, but talk about setting the bar high!  Still, we should strive.

Well, what should holiness sound like day today?  Like normal speech of course. Only without the modern slang or ‘cuss’ words inundating our modern language. Though they might add impact to an off color joke, they don’t really make us sound more intelligent. Especially in taking the Lord’s name in vain as casually as some do. With perhaps that exception, no cussing certainly won’t send you to hell if you’re saved. Avoiding it though, can allow you to appear more respectful of the people around you, and make you seem more refined, in addition to seeming godly. 

And it goes without saying your social media posts should reflect holiness. Some of the things I see are so near vulgar the devil must blush when he sees it. 

This isn’t Rocket Science. Our lives need to reflect Christ. They need to reflect the commands in the Bible. No, you don’t need to be an outcast of society or a “holier than thou” jerk to be around, but wouldn’t it be the highest reward you could receive if the Lord complemented you?  Look at what He said of Nathanael, one of the disciples, when meeting him……

“Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!””‭‭John‬ ‭1:45-47

Wow, what a testimony!  To have the Lord say that he had no deceit in him. That should be a goal… end each day having spoken nothing deceitful or even having that trait found in us of trying to deceive people! 

Living holy!  It’s hard; it’s near impossible sometimes, but it pays outstanding dividends. When you go around imitating the Lord, can’t you just imagine Him bragging on you to the Father?  Strive to be holy. Strive to be morally blameless. Great reward awaits you!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike