Holy Or Holier Than Thou

The Lord loves holiness, but he despises a holier than thou attitude.

This is best seen in his rebuke to the proud in Isaiah 65:5 (NKJV) where he addresses those who say: “‘Keep to yourself, Do not come near me, for I am holier than you!’ (God says) These are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all the day.”  

Our holiness is to be our Christ centeredness – 1 Corinthians 1:30–31 (NIV): “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’”

There is to be no false pride or vain comparison among ourselves in Christ.  As says Galatians 6:4 (NIV): “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.”  Everything that we are or ever hope to be will be a gift of grace, a work of God on our behalf.

We can be like the apostle Paul who had a terrific testimony and great self esteem but who was exceedingly humble: 1 Timothy 1:15 (NKJV): “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 

There is no holiness without love: 1 Thessalonians 3:12–13 (NKJV): “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”  As the beloved disciple John wrote: “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” – 1 John 4:16 (NKJV)

— Brad Heilhecker