ESM Blog

What Does It Mean to be Holy?

Kedoshim, meaning “holy ones”, was one of the Torah portions Pastor Mark covered last week.  Kesoshim comes from the word “kadosh” meaning to be set apart. From this we know that the holy ones are to be set apart or holy.

But do you wonder what you are to be set apart or separate from? Is holiness just for the part of your life when you are in church to hear the sermon? What exactly does holiness look like? Honestly, holiness is all encompassing because G-d says, You shall be holy to Me; for I, the LORD, am holy, and have set you apart from the people that you should be Mine. (Leviticus 20:26) What an amazing thought that G-d Himself has set you apart for Himself. What an incentive to be holy! It is like saying that G-d chose you. With this thought in mind, we do not want to put ourselves in contact with things that corrupt. What could corrupt a person? Could it be the things we watch, the things we listen to, the things we might take into our bodies, even the things we talk about? It is worth examining these things because G-d has chosen us to be holy and set apart for Himself!

As Pastor Mark mentioned, doing the Commandments with the right attitude and energy is holiness. Very practically this simply means loving G-d with all you heart, staying away from idolatry – anything that might take G-d’s place in your life  – honoring your parents, not murdering, or committing adultery, or stealing, or lying or coveting. Doing the commandments makes you holy.

Kedoshim tells us there are specific things we can also do to be holy. For instance, we can help the widows and the orphans, judge others fairly and even excuse the faults we see in them (Lev. 19:15). Here’s one we can all practice – don’t gossip! (Lev.19:16) Imagine that – not gossiping helps make us holy! Then, we are to love others as we love ourselves and help our neighbor if his/her life is in danger. (Lev. 19:18 and16). It seems logical then that we are not to hate our brother in our hearts, and along with not gossiping, we are not to slander people. (Lev. 19:16a and 18)

Can you see G-d’s heart for people in all of these commandments? G-d loves us and simply put, He wants us to show love for others. Incredibly loving others sets us apart.

When you consider what G-d is asking us to do to be holy for Him, it really is very doable. Even the couple of things that may seem difficult, we can do for love of our G-d, for our G-d is holy, unspeakably wonderful, the great creator and so much more. What could He possibly ask that we wouldn’t run to do?

You shall be holy to me; for I the LORD am holy.