Leadership and holiness are both desired for attainment, are recognized when they are lacking, yet both leadership and holiness are challenging to articulate.
Holiness is a Person
God is holy and the embodiment of holiness.
“For I am holy.” ~Leviticus 11:45c
“Thus says the Lord your Redeemer, the Holy One…I am the Lord, your Holy One.” ~Isaiah 43:14a, 15a NASB
“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, The Almighty, Who was and Who is and Who is to come.” ~Revelation 4:8b NASB
Jesus Christ is the perfect example of leadership and holiness lived out upon the earth. Webster states a leader is one that “leads and guides” while holiness “denotes purity of heart, freedom from sin, and integrity of moral character.”
“Jesus Christ is the perfect example of one who walked in holiness. If we look at how He lived and exemplified holiness, we see a life committed to honoring God, showing love, honoring parents, serving others, and keeping the body holy.” ~Aretha Grant
God’s Call for Holiness
God calls us to be holy unto Him.
“You are to be holy to Me; for I the Lord am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples (nations) to be Mine.” ~Leviticus 20:26 AMP
God wants us to imitate Him by walking in love toward others.
“Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. Walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us, and offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.” ~Ephesians 5:1-2 WEB
God gives us everything we need through Jesus Christ.
“For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” ~2 Peter 1:3 AMP
Holiness Standards – God or Man
Holiness is not something we can “work up” rather, it is something we become through the work of Jesus Christ. “The reality is that both salvation and sanctification are by faith, accompanied by repentance and obedience.”1
Past notions of holiness dealt with “stern prohibitions against drinking, dancing, and playing cards” while current churches (when holiness is discussed at all) is often associated with moral behavior such as sexual purity, financial honesty, and commitment to private prayer.”2
God convicts us of sin through His Holy Spirit, then we repent and receive His cleansing work. God does not condemn us. “This is the difference between condemnation (which is from the enemy and drives us away from God) and conviction (which is from the Holy Spirit and drives us into the arms of God).”3
“Cultivating a lifestyle of holiness does not mean that we must draft a list of dos and don’ts to live by. We are free from the letter of the law which kills (2 Corinthians 3:6) and now live according to the dictates of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-18).”4
“Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you everything you have.” ~Billy Graham
Holiness: God’s Plan for Fullness of Life
In Holiness: God’s Plan for Fullness of Life, Henry Blackaby shares his heart cry for revival, “Let our nation, our churches, and our family lives receive a deep personal encounter with God. And may we be reoriented back to God at every level of life.”
Blackaby states the hard truth, “When you do not fear God, you will not fear sin. There is a direct relationship between a high view of God and a high view of sin. A low view of God brings a low view of sin. When there is no fear of God, there is no fear of sin.”
Blackaby speaks on our need for revival, “Revival is exclusively what God does to His people. Lost people cannot be revived because they never had life in the first place. They first have to be saved – awakened to their lost condition. God is shouting at His People saying, ‘It is not the lost who need to repent – it is God’s people who need to repent!’ We are the ones who have moved away from the Lord.”
“When I get my life right with God, my life becomes a highway over which God can go to convince and convict others of their sin. The highway of holiness is something God creates, but when God creates a highway of holiness He exposes sin like a refiner’s fire.” ~Henry Blackaby
The Fire of His Holiness
In The Fire of His Holiness, Sergio Scataglini shares, “The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to bring conviction of sin (John 16:8). God speaks very directly and specifically and His Word is clear. He tells us what is wrong with our hearts, our thoughts and our affections and [calls for] repentance from us. If we listen to His voice, He will change us. That is the work of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 7:10).”
Scataglini addresses sin, flesh and the Spirit of God, “Remember, holiness is not a list but a person: Jesus Christ. He has become our righteousness and sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30). Legalism believes salvation is by faith but that sanctification is by works. But the reality is that both salvation and sanctification are by faith, accompanied by repentance and obedience. Even though self-discipline is necessary in our lives, it will not produce holiness.”
“We have experienced church growth without holiness. While the Church is pulling people out of the icy waters, the lifeboat itself is sinking. It is good to continue to grow as a church, but it is best – and necessary- that we grow into the holiness of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~Sergio Scataglini
Scataglini encourages us to pray:
“Thank you, Lord, for dying on the cross for me. Lord, I know that I can live a life of holiness and purity. That is why right now, I receive the holiness of Jesus Christ. Angel for the Lord, take away my vile garments and give me new ones. Give me garments of purity, holiness and joy. My Lord, forgive my sin and free me from my rebelliousness. Change my character, transform my conduct toward my family, my work and my church. Make me a new person.
Lord, empty me from everything that is mine. Cleanse my heart. Empty it out so that I may be prepared to receive the fire of holiness. Lord, I promise that I will take care of this fire; I will treasure it. I will keep it, with Your help, until the day of Jesus Christ. I will hate sin and live a life of purity for You. I promise it, my God, in Jesus’ name.
And now my Lord, embrace me with Your love. I receive Your mercy, grace, forgiveness, approval, purity and fire for my church and my city. I receive it now!
Thank You, Lord, for loving me so much. Thank You for Your forgiveness; I receive Your forgiveness although I cannot pay You in any way for it. Thank You for Jesus who paid the price. Now I receive the purity of Jesus Christ in my life.”5
The “holiness of Christ can be imparted to us. First Corinthians 1:30 says, ‘You are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.’”
People ask Scataglini what the key is for an outpouring of God, and his answer is, “I believe the key is availability. We did not hinder the work of the Spirit, but made ourselves available to God.”
“The depth of our prayer life will determine the depth to which God will use us. We must spend time with the Lord, praying and seeking His face. As we spend time with Him, His character, purity and passion will become imprinted upon our hearts and souls.”6
Once you have repented for your own sin, you may want to repent for your city or your nation. The following prayer was prayed at a National Day of Prayer event in Fort Worth, Texas:
Lord, forgive us for being politically correct instead of biblically and morally correct.
Lord, forgive us for violence in our homes, in our streets and in our schools.
Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us for racism, sexism and intolerance.
Father, forgive us for the abortions, pornography, and child molestations.
Purify your people, Lord. Purify the Church, and then purify this nation.
Forgive us for calling it an alternative lifestyle instead of an immoral lifestyle.
Forgive us for calling it safe sex instead of illicit sex.
Forgive those who preach justification for everybody, instead of justification for the repentant.
Forgive us for our fear of responsibility and accountability, while insisting upon our rights.
Forgive us, Lord, for polluting the environment, not only physically, but also morally.
Have mercy, Lord.”7
1 Scataglini, Sergio. The Fire of His Holiness: Prepare Yourself to Enter God’s Presence. 2015.
2 Scandrett, Joel. What Does God Mean When He Asks Us to be Holy as He is Holy? Published by Christianity Today – Christian Bible Studies on February 28, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2023, from What does God mean when he asks us to be holy … | Christian Bible Studies (christianitytoday.com)
3 Scataglini, Sergio. The Fire of His Holiness: Prepare Yourself to Enter God’s Presence. 2015.
4 Is Being Holy Even Possible, Since Only God Is Holy? Published by Got Questions [GQ]. Retrieved April 26, 2023, from Is being holy even possible, since only God is holy? | GotQuestions.org
5 Scataglini, Sergio. The Fire of His Holiness: Prepare Yourself to Enter God’s Presence. 2015.
6 Scataglini, Sergio. The Fire of His Holiness: Prepare Yourself to Enter God’s Presence. 2015.
7 Scataglini, Sergio. The Fire of His Holiness: Prepare Yourself to Enter God’s Presence. 2015.
100 Bible Verses about God is Holy. Published by Open Bible. Retrieved April 26, 2023, from What Does the Bible Say About God Is Holy? (openbible.info)
Blackaby, Henry. Holiness: God’s Plan for Fullness of Life. Thomas Nelson Inc, 2008.
Grant, Aretha. 6 Ways to “Be Holy for I Am Holy” (And Why It’s Important). Published by iBelieve on October 4, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2023, from 6 Ways to “Be Holy for I am Holy” (And Why It’s Important) (ibelieve.com)
Stobart, Andrew. Holiness – The Journal of Wesley House of Cambridge – Volume 4 (2018) Issue 1 – Holiness & Leadership. Retrieved April 26, 2023, from Holiness (cam.ac.uk)
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. http://www.webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary
Bible Gateway Blogger Grid Member #bgbg2 #BibleGateway