Wholly Holy Versus Holey Holy


Well here we go again, playing with words. As I mentioned last week words are tools. Some of those tools seem a lot like other tools. But each has itís own use. Some of those tools are more useful than others and all of them are subject to being used, misused, or even abused. Consider the title of todayís sermon: Wholly Holy versus Holey Holy. These terms are homophones. That is they sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings.English has many words that are homophones such as so, sow, and sew. Another example is do and dew. The problem is how do we know what we are talking about when the words sound the same but mean different things. That being the case, how will I handle this without confusing the issue?Hopefully the context will make it clear. Letís give it a try. When I use the term Wholly Holy I am talking about Ö God. When I use the term holey holy I am talking about Ö men. Get it? Ok how about this then? God is Wholly Holy but men are holey holy.


Letís get serious. God is Holy. In fact he is completely holy in all ways at all times. He is Wholly Holy.


You and I on the other hand are not completely holy in all ways at all times. It might be said we are Holey Holy.


Letís be clear about what we are talking about.

*†† Wholly means completely.

*†† Holey means having holes.

*†† Holy means sacred or pure or morally blameless.


Letís look at a few scriptures.

*†† (Lev 11:45 NIV)I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.

*†† (Lev 19:2 NIV)"Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

*†† (Lev 20:7 NIV)"'Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God.


So clearly God wants us to be Holy, to be pure and moral. And we do have our moments. But, sooner or later, we go astray and need a refill of Holiness. Itís as if we were full of holes that let the Holiness of God leak out. So we go to God with a contrite heart and with repentance and ask for a refill. And, praise God, he gives it to us. But if the leaks arenít fixed then sooner or later back we go again. So we are a bunch of leakers. Admittedly some leak more than others. I suspect some never get filled at all, they simply leak too fast!


Paul said,

*†† (Rom 7:19 NIV)For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing.

*†† (Rom 3:23 NIV)for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

So Paul was also a leaker, but what about getting a refill?

*†† (John 6:68-69 NIV)Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. {69} We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

*†† (Rom 12:1 NIV)Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.


God knows we are fallible and have a propensity to sin. He knows we cannot be perfect but He is in the process of making us perfect. Not in this life, but in the life to come. Nevertheless, we must give our best to God. Even before Christ paid for our sins God wanted the best from us in terms of the sacrifices offered. Christ put an end to those sacrifices by being not just the best but totally perfect. Jesus was not a leaker. Here are a few more things we should understand.

*†† (1 Cor 6:19-20 NIV)Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; {20} you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

*†† (1 Th 4:7-8 NIV)For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. {8} Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.


Although we are not perfect now we are being made perfect. God has great things planned for us. After all we are the children of God. We are the brothers and sisters of Jesus. We are the body of Christ. We are the bride of the Lamb! Wow! Peter puts it like this.

*†† (1 Pet 2:9-10 NIV)But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. {10} Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.


Sometimes it seems that life is just more than we can deal with, and it is. But if we remember who and what we are then we will call on the power of God and we will be lifted up when we are down, held steady when we are unsteady, and loved to our destiny. Here is our destiny.

*†† (Rev 20:6 NIV)Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

*†† (Rev 4:8 NIV)Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."


God is Wholly Holy, let us strive to be Wholly Holy also. Let us strive to be like Him.