1. According to Merriam Webster dictionary: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.
2. According to Google Dictionary: dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred. (of a person) devoted to the service of God. saintly, godly, saintlike, pious, pietistic, religious, devout, God-fearing, spiritual, righteous, good, virtuous, angelic, sinless, pure, numinous, beatific, canonized, beatified, ordained, morally and spiritually excellent. sacred, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified, sacrosanct, venerated, revered, divine, religious, blessed, dedicated.
From the above definitions, who can possibly reach and attain such high standards? (Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.) Yet in Leviticus 11:45 & 19:2 God commands us to be holy as He is holy. Does God expect us to be better than we can possibly be? Is He an unjust God, commanding the impossible so that He can then punish us for failing to achieve His perfection?
However, Young’s Concordance and Strong’s Concordance both define holy as being ‘separate or set apart’. Here we see that to be holy is merely to be separate, set apart or to be different. So from what is God separate from or different from, that He can expect us to also be different? The easy answer is that God is different from His creation. As declared in Genesis 1:27 God had made mankind in His own image and likeness: that is, mankind was also made separate from, though placed in, the creation. We are the essence of God, which the rest of creation is not. Like God, we are different from the rest of creation. Thus, by Young’s definition we are holy as God is holy. Therefore, it is not possible for us to become holy, as we are that already.
From the Young’s definition, to be unholy would then mean that we are not different; that is, we are the same as everything else. However, we are not part of creation and are not a part of the natural environment (as in having evolved from other animals etc).
Holiness is therefore the state of being holy. This means that we are always in a state of holiness. However, did our holiness suffer through the Fall? Our true being-ness did not change. The change was that we became blind to our true spiritual nature, allowing ourselves to become ruled by creation instead of ruling it. So whether we realise it, or understand it, or not, we have been, are, and always will be holy, though we do need to awaken to our state of holiness.