First Peter 1:6 says, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Where was it written? In the Bible. Leviticus 11:44 and 45 are two verses where it is said.
But what does it mean to be holy? A few years ago there was a big emphasis on holiness in churches in the US. There were all kinds of conferences and discussions about holiness. I presume that most of it was very good and helpful. My friend John VanGelderen has a conference each year called The Holiness Conference. Though I have never been to one of his conferences, I know Bro. VanGelderen and I would probably very much agree with what he has to say each year.
But just recently I was sitting in church and the pastor was speaking on being holy. God gave me a simple thought on what holiness is. Holiness is living absolutely as right before the Lord as you know how in contrast to simply obeying rules.
When you need a rule, or a Bible verse, to tell you each thing that you should and should not do, you are not living holy. Obviously rules and specific verses from the Bible give us direction and are the only way we can begin to understand holiness. But if you have to filter every action that you take through a set of rules, then you are trying to live at the edge of sinfulness, not in the fullness of holiness.
From Matthew 18 we see Peter talking to the Lord. “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” The point being, “Don’t worry about the exact number Peter. Just forgive because it is right to do.” Peter was trying to quantify the rule of forgiveness so that he could make sure he did what was necessary, but not any more than that.
Holiness is living absolutely as right before the Lord as you know how. It is not simply obeying a list of rules. Isn’t that where the Pharisees and Jesus often clashed? Don’t be a 21st century pharisee. Live holy.