But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Some believers have confused holiness for righteousness, assuming that there's no difference between both. Though often used by many interchangeably, holiness is not the same as righteousness and the difference between the two needs to be clear.
Holiness is a place in God; a condition. When God sanctifies something, whether it's a place, a person or a thing, it becomes holy. That person or thing becomes separated from all others unto God. It includes two aspects. Firstly, the Lord separates you or sets you apart; and then secondly, He separates you to Himself. It is one thing to separate anything or anybody to other things, but that doesn't mean you've separated that thing to yourself. But in this connection, God separates you from others to Himself; for His sacred use, thus you're holy!
As God's children, we've been sanctified by the Spirit of God. So we're called holy. That's our condition. Also, when God's presence comes upon someone or when God's presence comes to a place, like it did on Mount Sinai in the Old Testament (Exodus 24:16) it becomes holy. The temple in the Old Testament also was called holy because the presence of God was there, and God had separated that place for Himself.
Righteousness, on the other hand, is a nature. It's the nature of God that describes His rightness; His ability to do, and be right. He is never wrong, He's always right. Whatever He does is right. When He imparts this ability to be right and do right into your life, you automatically become righteous. This also gives you right-standing, which means you can stand in His presence without a sense of condemnation, inferiority or guilt.
Righteousness is your nature now; it's the character of your spirit. You're not the only the righteousness of God in Christ, as the scripture says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, instead, you're both righteous and holy (1 Corinthians 3:17). In Hebrews 3:1, we're called holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling. You share the same life and nature with the Lord; His nature of righteousness and holiness have been imparted to your spirits; you're one with Him now: "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Hebrews 2:11).
I am the temple of God and God's Spirit lives in me, therefore, I am holy, as He is holy. By virtue of Christ's death, burial and resurrection, I've been declared righteous, justified and sanctified unto God, therefore, I live and walk daily in the nature of God that has been imparted into my spirit. Praise the Lord!
Rhapsody of Realities November 25, 2011
--Pastor Chris Oyakhilome