God's word in today's world

Holiness 101 Cum Laude

I was not a very good student at varsity. Amongst others, I managed to cram my three-year BA degree into five years, especially because studying was not my best subject. I did all I could: Managed a restaurant; drove buses for Intercape; ran my own irrigation company – and these don’t even include my social activities. Obviously, all these things interfered with my studies fairly often.

We had loads of subjects and the subsequent degree in the “school for angels” meant even more work. That was largely academic, however. Your personal relationship with Jesus Christ was your own baby. I wonder if fewer of us would have fallen by the wayside if those clever lecturers had rather assisted us with this.

Like a subject on holiness. Yes, Holiness 101. We know so little about holiness and I suspect it has to do with the fact that we are received and born in sin. It’s as if we constantly try and get further away from holiness. Sin comes automatically.

So now I hear you ask: What is the meaning of holiness? The direct meaning of holiness is to be set apart for God. Your whole being is totally fixed on God. You and everything about you is set aside to be used by God.

Looking back on my life, it seems like a tug-of-war with sin on the one side and holiness on the other. It’s a terrible toing and froing between the two and, unfortunately, I have to say holiness doesn’t always come out the winner.

I still have to improve a lot to become totally focused on God where I can be completely set apart and dedicated to be used by Him alone.

That is why we have to pray strongly: 13… May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers. Or as The Living Bible version puts it even more clearly: 13This will result in your hearts being made strong, sinless, and holy by God our Father so that you may stand before him guiltless on that day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns with all those who belong to him.

This is what we should strive for: … so that you (we) may stand before him guiltless on that day …

Yes, I know we are going to trip and fall hard a few more times. But we have to get up and try again. We must consciously try and sin less and be set apart more to be used by God alone. And the Holy Spirit will always help us with that.

Then, when Jesus returns one day, we will pass Holiness 101 Cum Laude.


1 Thessalonians 3:11-13


How far are you on the road to holiness?

What sin is still very present in your life?

What do you have to do differently?


Father, I am so ashamed, because I’m not doing well in Holiness 101. I want to sin less. I want to be set aside for You more and more. Amen.

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