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What do we mean when we say God is holy?

BY CAREY KINSOLVING Published: June 11, 2012

"Something that is holy is set apart as something special," says Jennifer, 11. "The Israelites took all their gold earrings and jewelry and things like that and made them into a golden calf. Moses was on Mount Sinai so he couldn't tell them not to. They worshipped the calf and considered it holy.

"God is not like the calf, though. He is the real thing. He is holy."

Yes, holy means to be set apart. The problem is that we set apart the wrong things as holy. The creation of a visible "god" is always a sign of spiritual deadness. Even though a man-made god may be big, shiny and golden, it can never impart life.

Have you ever seen a guy who has turned his car into an idol? What about hunting and fishing? Hey, I like to hook a trout, but no sport can serve as a substitute for a relationship with the living God. Even when women turn their homes into museums, they can't fill the void in their souls for an infinite, loving God.

"Do be sacred like a saint spiritually, belonging to God, set apart for God, spiritually perfect, very good, pure in heart," says Wesley, 11.

The word "saint" comes from the same root as "holy." In the apostle Paul's New Testament letters to churches, he addresses all Christians as "saints."

Sainthood is not something achieved by living on birdseed and wilted lettuce. We can't make ourselves saints by doing good works.

Amazingly, Paul even called the Corinthians "saints" in the letter he wrote to rebuke them for their carnal behavior. He reminded them that because their bodies were temples of the Holy Spirit, they should glorify God in their bodies and spirits (I Corinthians 6:19).

Spiritual regeneration works from the inside out to change behavior. When God changes your desires, your behavior will follow.

Christians who consistently fail to act like saints will be reminded of who they are by the loving discipline of a heavenly Father who truly wants the best for his children.

Sometimes we say to children, "Act your age." God tells his children to act like the saints he created them to be. He also wants them to be rulers in his kingdom. If disobedient saints could see their loss in God's kingdom, their current distractions would look like so many childhood toys.

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