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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

The Meaning of Holiness (The Call to Holiness Part 4)

Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

To be holy is to be pure and to be set apart, that is, to avoid sin and to keep away from being influenced by the secularist culture of the world. To be holy is to “be separate .... and touch nothing unclean” (v.17).

Paul distinguishes what is of God and what is not of God, and tells us to avoid the latter. “Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers.” (v.14). He then makes the contrast in these ways (v.15-16a):

Of God

Of the World









Temple of God


We are not to have partnership, fellowship, accord, commonality or agreement with the latter (v.15-16a). In other words, we are to avoid the influences or things of the secularist world. We are to keep ourselves apart. Though we cannot avoid living in the world, we are in the world but not of it.

Why? “For we are the temple of the living God” (v.16b). God is holy, and we too are called to be holy. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Especially when we receive Holy Communion, Christ is literally physically in us. Further, we are created by God and we are His children, destined to live eternally with Him in heaven. “I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” (v.18).

All these happen while we are still on earth. But God cannot co-exist with sin. For God to be with us in our earthly sojourn, we must really become His people. We must be His special possession. We must be set apart. We must be holy. “I will live with them and move among them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.” (v.16c).

So how do we become God’s holy people, accepted as His family? “Therefore, come forth from them and be separate, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will receive you” (v.17).

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