God is holy. Christians don’t have much trouble admitting that fact. The larger problem with knowing God is holy is that we don’t know what Holy is.
What does Holy mean? Most answer along the lines of “Without sin.”
What does Righteous mean? Um, without sin.
Holy isn’t just being without sin; holy means to be separate. God is wholly other than we are. God is a spirit; we are physical. He is completely different, totally separate from His creation. He is separate and He is separating a people to His name.
God wants us to be holy, separated and different. God wants us to avoid sin, this is obvious, but why?
After a very long list of laws, God tells Israel He wants them to avoid these sins because that’s what the nations He’s driving out of their land did. It’s not just an issue of doing wrong; it’s an issue of being different from sinful idiots.
Who we are as God’s children separates us from those who are not God’s children. Even in the OT the people were made holy by God, He is the one who sanctifies (makes holy, separates).
Can a person be separated to God and not act separate? Not if the person is around for any length of time. Even the thief on the cross made a separated stand from his fellow criminal.
We’re supposed to be different because it shows the character of our God. Whatever our world is doing: the opposite gives a pretty good idea as to what God desires from His Holy People. Let’s do that then.