1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
What exactly does it mean to be holy? The Blue Letter Bible Site describes holiness as such:
...The idea behind the concept of holiness is "separation." It comes from a word meaning "to separate or cut off." God is separate, or cut off, from everything that is sinful and evil—He cannot tolerate sin. John wrote this truth in figurative language.
To say that God is holy means that there is no trace of evil in His character. God does not look upon or take part in any sin, and He always does what is right.
Mankind, on the other hand, is well acquainted with sin and finds it hard to do what is right for anyone other than himself.
For some reason, it came to me today that we have lost touch with just how perfect, without sin and holy God truly is. If we were able to really relate to God's sinlessness, His perfection, His holiness -- just exactly how DIFFERENT HE IS from mankind, there would never be a time when we would not enter into true praise and worship of Him. We would join the likes of Isaiah, Elijah, Moses, and the Apostle John (and many others) who fell on their faces when confronted with God's holiness.
Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I forget to think about how God is PERFECT, sinless, HOLY; I take His holiness for granted and don't spend enough time reflecting on it, and so it loses its impact on me. He is set apart from and cannot even be in the presence of anyone or anything that has anything to do with sin, evil, imperfection and/or sinfulness. We're all so used to sin, evil, disobedience, rebellion and unholy living that we become immune to it; we accept it. We become "dumbed down", so to speak, to it.
Just a few 55 short years ago, Ricky and Lucy on "I Love Lucy" were husband and wife and morals were so strict that even though they were married, they were not shown to share a bed on that TV program.
In the 60's and 70's, that morality wall was broken down and in the 80's and 90's you began to hear more and more cursing and fowl language, seeing body parts "jiggle" (as in Charlie's Angels and Three's Company) became acceptable, skirts became shorter, necklines plunged, and eventually, we saw more and more nudity and language became more and more vulgar (as in Dallas). Today on HBO, Showtime and other premium cable channels, it is not unusual at all to see full frontal nudity, and sex acts performed and alluded to and the main stations of CBS, NBS and ABC offer such gems as Desperate Housewives and Sisters and Brothers.
In the last couple of weeks, I have heard the "f" word spoken by Steven Tyler and an advertisement promoting homosexuality to kids and teens during American Idol -- prime time TV, folks.
There is no doubt that we have become immune to sin and evil.
God's word says that we are to be holy as He is holy. He is set apart from it all, and He doesn't take part in it all. As I am writing this, the Holy Spirit is convicting me; telling me that I am not to be a part of sin and evil either; if it looks like sin or sounds like sin, it probably is sin.
God is holy and set apart and cannot and will not be in the presence of sin.
What does that mean to us as His people? We are commanded to be holy; we are to separate ourselves from sin and evil. If we were truly living holy, separated lives, wouldn't that mean that we would be removing ourselves from everything that has anything to do with evil or sin? My answer is, "yes", I believe we would be.