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As I would express it, holiness (in one sense of the word) can mean being set apart or dedicated to the service of God. As the word is more commonly used, it refers to being without sin or wrongdoing. In this sense, there is: -- absolute or perfect holiness, as possessed by God; -- positional holiness, in which the holiness of Christ (as God incarnate) is imputed or transferred by God to those who place their faith in Christ's sinless life, atoning death, and resurrection (rather than in their own imperfect righteousness) to make them acceptable to God and to gain eternal life in God's presence; and -- progressive holiness, in which people who have put their faith in Christ for their salvation strive throughout their subsequent earthly lives, with the aid of God the Holy Spirit living within them, to grow continually closer in their thoughts, words, and deeds to Christ's perfect holiness (although this will never be fully achieved in this life).
In my opinion, holiness exists for those things God takes for himself. For people, holiness refers to the state of those who have given up their body, soul and spirit to God,whom God accepts, for God's own purposes to do as he wills with them The holiness of God is then present to a limited degree within these people. We can perhaps perceive holiness when we see God's workings through particular individuals. In Christianity there is a normal progression in holiness beginning with water baptism on through baptism of the Holy Spirit and beyond.There are also holy offices within the Church such as apostle, prophet, teacher, miracle worker or healer. God may take certain physical objects as holy because of their use and meaning in religious rituals or ceremonies. One example is the wine and wafer of communion for Christians. The bible (which contains the Word of God) is also holy in itself. Visible holiness may cause extreme fear and weakness in people, as with the keepers, when the angel of of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled back the stone at Christ's tomb (Matt 28:2-4).
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