Holiness is one of the essential attributes of divine nature. It is not a new concept or notion dreamed up by anyone or the church. It permeates the whole gamut of the entire Scripture, the ordained Master Plan of God – both Old and New Testaments.

The idea of holiness comes from God. Holiness originates with God. He (God) alone is perfectly holy. The Hebrew word for holiness is qodesh while the Greek equivalent is hagiosune. These two words mean “separation”, or “setting apart”. In general terms, holiness is used to indicate sanctity or absolute separation from all that is impure, sinful, or morally imperfect. The term is used in reference to persons, places, and things. It is God’s nature. The Holy Bible lays emphasis on this attribute of God (Exo.15:11; 1Sam.2:2; Lev.20:26; Ps.71:22; 99:9; Isa.6:3; Habk.1:12; Rev.15:4; etc).

To be holy, as a child of God, is to separate from heathen and worldly attitudes and actions which characterize the heathens and unbelieving Christians as biblically ungodly people, or to exhibit Godly (or Christ-like) attitudes and actions which characterize you as a Christian believer, son or daughter of your Father (Mtt.5:48; Rom.12:1-2; 1Cor.6:14-18;1Pet.1:13-16;2:9-12). Holiness sets one apart from the world and to God. Therefore, holiness is Christ-likeness.

One may ask: Why personal holiness is imperative. The subject of personal holiness is not what we can discuss in one fell swoop. It covers a wide range of subjects in itself. The commitment to truth and holiness is at low ebb; the upsurge of religiosity without morality is a source of concern; and indeed, the spate of reprobacy in the church today is rather appalling and poignant. Today, holiness is becoming rare in the church: the people we imitate or copy have lost it; the church in the United States of America has lost it, and the church in Africa may soon lose it if we fail to preach and teach it. Thus, personal holiness becomes imperative.

Any society that refuses to be guided by proven truths will definitely slide into the complexity of vices, avarice, nudity, bestial behaviour of escalating proportion and severity. And “Perversion is moral blindness”, which takes “shine” out of existence, and sadly enough, the people (spiritual leaders) who should stand for the truth now embrace nudity, gay marriage/homosexuality, heterosexuality, lesbianism, divorce, drugs, alcohol, situational ethics, liberalism, falsehood, exaggeration, extortion, and anything that is not virtuous. The people under them follow their own desires of sinful nature, the works of the flesh (Gal.5:19-21), because there is moral blindness, doctrinal detour, and biblical misconstruction in the church today occasioned by the spiritual leaders. We must understand that the evil that dwells in man’s heart makes him unclean, unholy, and to falls short of holy God’s standard (Mrk.7:21-23; Rom.3:23), and to be in perfect consonance with the world and enemy of God (1Jn2:15-16; James4:4). To be conformed with His standard, therefore, there is a need for man to drop the old nature and put on a new life (11Cor.5:17), for the Spirit of holiness to work in his life so as to be declared as the son of God (Rom.1:4), and to be a partaker of God’s holiness (Heb.12:10). This is because the only visa to heaven is HOLINESS (Heb.12:14).

Evidently, it has become a source of worry that the pulpit in our church has been turned into a rostrum where thieves, rubbers, fornicators, adulterers, idolaters, and politicians exhibit their carnal intentions. It is a podium where falsehood or barefaced lies are cooked and served as delicious food to the innocent and spiritually dead congregation or laity. It is a platform where money invitation has replaced salvation and a call for genuine repentance; where toga of impurity and nudism are in absolute display; and where satanic voices are misconstrued for God’s voice. The end has come, be prepared (2Thess.2:4; Rev.13:14,15; Dan.9:27;11:30,31)

Besides, another source of trepidation is that the church of God which should be an epitome of holiness, purity, righteousness, love, obedience, humility, honesty, and integrity, is now the cesspit of falsehood, exaggeration, fornication, adultery, idolatry, and a sheer functional display of doctrinal deception, moral insensitivity, spiritual ignorance, and philosophical idolatry. The sheep-stealing, power drunkenness, heretical teaching, apostasy, self-centeredness, the deceitfulness of riches, passion for office and titles rather than souls of men and holy service, administrative lawlessness, financial recklessness, leadership abuse, and a stark ethical departure from God’s truth are now the order of the day (2Tim.3:1-5; Mt.24: 4-5,12,15,23). Thus, personal holiness is imperative.      

Now, having understood the state of the modern-day church, leaders, and followers, there is an urgent need for us to work out our own salvation personally with fear and trembling(Phil.2:12). In other words, take your stand, or rather a bold stand to oppose any ungodly act both in the church and in our workplace. You can be an oasis of holiness surrounded by a vast and dense forest of functional display of religious deception, corruption, manipulation, social delinquency, political debacle, comatose economy, leadership mistrust and ignominy, and moral perversion. Your promotion may be delayed, you may not be ordained while others who are less qualified are ordained and promoted. Be not dismayed, one thing is certain, promotion comes from no man but God. He is the only One who can promote and demote (Ps.75:6-7). The title we bear today does not matter to God. If any Archbishop, General Overseer/Superintendent, or Most Senior Apostle does not meet the standard of God in the book of Hebrew12:14, he/she will only be gazing at heaven in hell. That will not be our position in Jesus’ name. God recognizes all of us as brethren (brothers/sisters) not the big title we bear (Matt.23:8-12).

Why personal holiness is highly imperative is that it is the only way we can make heaven in the present high level of moral deception. Besides, God told me in 2007 that: This is the time to separate holy people from the unholy ones in the Redeemed Christian Church of God”. This is not voice. It was written exactly like this by one ageless man. Every letter was purely and legibly written in white in that revelation. This revelation gave me an electric spark that turned on the light bulb of my spiritual understanding about the subject HOLINESS, which its divine import is TOTAL SEPARATION from ungodly acts. The authority that your pastors and church have over you cannot be greater than that of God. God has the final say. The Word of God is the final authority. They may call you different kinds of names, give you catalogue of descriptions or labels such as “too proud”, “too known”, “tool holy”, “he always does things on his own and he does not want to be part of us”, and so on. I know Potiphar’s wife might had given more uncomplimentary descriptions to Joseph than this. And, I know that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego might had, perhaps, been labelled more descriptive than anyone today who tries to be faithful or rather be holy. My candid advice is that, do not disobey authority, and do not disobey your pastors or leaders because disobedience amounts to unholiness. However, always look at the biblicality of what they ask you to do and how Godly this is. It is on this ground you can obey or disobey the authority and/or your pastors. There are biblical examples. Joseph said, “…how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen.39:9). The biblical Midwives spared the Hebrew babies contrary to Pharaoh’s orders because they feared God more than a mere mortal (Exo.1:15-18). What about Mordecai (Esther 3) and Esther (Esther 4) who acted against the king’s orders but in the end, Mordecai was honourned (Esther 6). The three Hebrew men ( Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) disobeyed the order of King Nebuchadnezzar by not bowing before the king’s idols, the golden image, he set up, but remained dauntlessly faithful to God despite unpleasant circumstances (Daniel 3:16-18). Daniel was such another man who stood on his ground that he would not serve any other God than the Creator (Daniel 6). Thus, HOLINESS means total separation from ungodly acts. And, since we are living in an ungodly world, we must be prepared to face the attendant consequences of our holy actions (1Pet.3:13-20; 4:12-19). But, in the end, we shall triumph and rejoice, and be honourned. (Amen).

To end with Pauline advice in Philippians 2:12: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Brethren, let no one deceive you, the race to heaven is PERSONAL. If you think that the holiness of your parents or pastors can save you, you are deceiving yourself. Hence, HOLINESS becomes imperatively personal. …‘Be ye holy; for I am holy’(1Pet.1:16).   

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