“Very Religious” Versus “True Holiness”

Sunday, May 24, 2015

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24 KJV).

Is it merely religious, or truly holiness?

Recently talking among a group, I heard a person comment about a certain woman’s modest apparel. Another person replied, “Oh, yes, she is very religious!” (The implication, a common one, is a “religious” person dresses decently and acts respectfully.)

Ironically, it was “religious” people in the Bible who did some of the most disturbing things. Did not “religious” Cain murder Abel his brother (Genesis 4:1-15)? When Baal worship infected Israel, did not “sodomites” appear among the Jews (1 Kings 14:24; 1 Kings 15:12; 1 Kings 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7)? Did not the innumerable pagan priestess prostitutes who roamed Corinth’s streets at night “serve” Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love? (Hence, Paul urged lustful Christians in Corinth to marry in 1 Corinthians 7:2,9.)

Furthermore, Ephesians talks about “true holiness” (today’s Scripture). This implies that there is such a thing as false holiness. Anyone can appear to be set apart for God’s purposes, can be doing things that are noble and nice and noteworthy, but yet they are actually not serving the God of the Bible at all.

Remember Israel’s “very religious” behavior in Isaiah chapter 1. They would raise their hands, assemble for their festivals, offer animal sacrifices according to the Mosaic Law, visit the Temple, and so on. God said He was so sick of seeing such hypocrisy that He hid His face! They were not doing such things by faith. They did not believe His Word. They just loved to appear religious because it appealed to their flesh.

One day, when God calls His Christians home to heaven, we will see once and for all who is a Christian and who is not. Those who remain on earth will be manifested as “false holiness” (the “very religious” bunch). One can fool some of the people some of the time, but one cannot fool all of the people all of the time. And remember, no one can fool God any of the time! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should Christians accept the practice of cremation?