"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2
The word "holiness" means different things to different people. Most of those connotations are not especially positive.
Some people think pentecostal when they hear the word holiness.
Holiness might conjure up thoughts of saints such as St. Peter or St. Paul or St. John.
Often holiness is measured in terms of what you cannot do or a long list of things that you must do. Sometimes it is both. If you want to be holy you must not do this or that or the other thing. If you want to be holy you must dress in such a manner like wearing long sleeves and long dresses for ladies. Both men and women must wear their hair at a certain lengh. If you do not do those deeds or if you conform to the style you will not be considered holy.
Jesus came with a redically different style of holiness that wasn't dependent on what you can or cannot do. It wasn't about doing at all! It was about accepting what Christ had already done for you on the cross!
That is the good news I bring you today! Holiness is not about doing it is about dying - His death and yours!
No, you don't have to die physically as He did on the cross, but your selfish will must die. Your pride must die. Your spiritual independence must die. You must become a "living sacrifice" that is holy and acceptable to Him.
Holiness is less about how you live and mostly about how you love! You must love God and demonstrate it by surrendering to His will for your life. He must be the passionate love of your life!
In this great portion of Scripture Paul promises that if you will die and become as a living sacrifice, God will transform you by renewing your mind! He promises you that with this transformed mind and obedient heart, you will be able to discern and discover His perfect will for your life!
From now on, when you think of holiness or when you hear someone speak of it, don't think of holiness as doing, think of holiness in terms of dying!
Are you tired of doing all the stuff you were told you have to do to get holy? Are you weary of trying to live by the lists? Are you burdened by hectic demands of how to dress, how to style your hair, how to think and how to worship?
If so, will you do one last thing - will you die to Christ?