Holiness is not some abstract theological system that we’re merely called to sit and talk about; it’s a lifestyle of purity in word, thought and deed that we’re to emulate. Holiness is quite literally separation from anything that God hates. And what exactly does God hate? He makes it abundantly clear in Galatians 5:19-21 which says:
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
Notice that the Apostle, inspired by the Holy Spirit, states in no uncertain terms that anyone claiming to know God who lives in sin (sexual immorality, lust, outbursts of anger, etc) won’t be a partaker of God’s Kingdom; they’ll be forever lost and will eternally suffer the wrath of God in Hellfire.
Those who deny themselves, take up their cross and truly follow Jesus, on the other hand, will experience God’s Life within them to live not only free from sin but even more than this they’ll walk in the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Paul states as much in Galatians 5:22-23 when he says:
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Thus we have the difference between a genuine Child of God who walks in holiness and a counterfeit who comes dressed as a sheep but inwardly is a goat. There is never any “middle ground” in the Kingdom of God; you’re either all in or all out. Many today talk the talk – they know the lingo! – but only those who “do” the Will of the Father will enter into Glory:
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’”
Notice that Jesus said that on judgement day that “many” will believe themselves to be saved who will learn that He never knew them. Why? Because they broke His laws (plural). According to Jesus Christ in Matthew 7, law breakers are fakers!
Grace will empower us to walk in redemptive holiness where we’ll abstain from sin and walk in the Power of the Holy Spirit. This, and this alone, is genuine Christianity. While many today hold to an abstract view of holiness, the Word of God presents Holiness as a tangible reality in the life of the Believer.
Hebrews 12:14 “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.”