Holiness is our calling, but not our strong suit.
“A major task of the Church is to make disciples, which means she guides us in the pursuit of holiness, the central call of every serious Christian…Of late, the Church has not done a good job of demonstrating holiness…The hard truth is that too many see Christianity in terms of self-improvement or as a guide to successful living; the command to holiness, the impetus for such change, is too often ignored.”
- Chuck Colson, The Faith
“Paul calls the law holy because it gives us the principles on which to tell the difference between good and evil…just because after showing us what is good it necessarily points out the punishment for the transgressor, but also good because it is the source of good things, showing us what they are and persuading us that they are desirable.”
- Theodore of Mopsuestia, Pauline Commentary from the Greek Church
“The law was holy because it testified that those who kept it were holy, righteous and good and were not guilty of sin in any way whatsoever.”
- Cyril of Alexandria, Explanation of the Letter to the Romans
“He himself says, ‘Be holy, for I am holy,’ that is to say, choose me and keep away from what displeases me. Do what I love; love what I do. If what I order seems difficult, come back to me who ordered it, so that from where the command was given help might be offered. I who furnished the desire will not refuse support. Fast from contradiction, abstain from opposition. Let me be your food and drink. None desire in vain what is mine, for those who stretch out toward me seek me because I first sought them.”
- Leo the Great, Sermon 94.2
“Pious souls of the Lord, what the Lord admonishes us is not to be considered merely in passing, for he says, ‘Be holy because I am holy.’ Although this term properly belongs to all the Christian people, according to what blessed Peter says, ‘You, however, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,’ this term seems particularly to apply to all priests in a special way. In all the letters which are addressed to the Lord’s priests by any man whatsoever, it is especially indicated that they are holy. Since then this term is applied to us, we ought to inquire what precisely is its meaning. It is only through Greek that the interpretation of the word holy can be discovered. For agios is the Greek for ‘holy,’ and agios has the meaning, ‘not of the earth.’ Therefore if we are more solicitous for heavenly things than for those of earth, this term is not unfittingly applied to us.”
- Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 1.19
“When people from different races and nations are called to abandon all their differences and to take on one mind, drawing near to him by one faith and one teaching, by which the soul and the heart become one, they are one holy people.”
- Andreas, Catena
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
- 2 Corinthians 7:1
This would be a good time for a review study of the faith once for all transmitted to the saints. Order your copy of The Faith, by Charles Colson, and download the free study guide to use for yourself or your group.