Sermon quotes on holiness

Henry Blackaby

When Holy God draws near in true revival, people come under terrible conviction of sin. The outstanding feature of spiritual awakening has been the profound consciousness of the Presence and holiness of God.

Jerry Bridges

Many Christians have what we might call a ‘cultural holiness.’ They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them…But God has not called us to be like those around us. He has called us to be like Himself. Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God.


Emil Brunner

Only at the cross of Christ does man see fully what it is that separates him from God; yet it is here alone that he perceives that he is no longer separated from God. Nowhere else does the inviolable holiness of God, the impossibility of overlooking the guilt of man stand out more plainly; but nowhere else does the limitless mercy of God, which utterly transcends all human standards, stand out more clearly and plainly.

Oswald Chambers

God has one destined end for mankind – holiness! His one aim is the production of saints. God is not an eternal blessing-machine for men. He did not come to save men out of pity. He came to save men because He had created them to be holy.

Sinclair B. Ferguson

The holiness of God teaches us that there is only one way to deal with sin- radically, seriously, painfully, constantly. If you do not so live, you do not live in the presence of the Holy One of Israel.


Eugene Peterson

There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness.

Eugene Peterson

Like the sacramental use of water and bread and wine, friendship takes what’s common in human experience and turns it into something holy.


J. C. Ryle

What is the reason that some believers are so much brighter and holier than others? I believe the difference, in nineteen cases out of twenty, arises from different habits about private prayer. I believe that those who are not eminently holy pray little, and those who are eminently holy pray much.

J. C. Ryle

Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God’s judgment, hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word.


Charles Spurgeon

If you would be holy, you must live close to Jesus.


AW Tozer

No man should desire to be happy who is not at the same time holy. He should spend his efforts in seeking to know and do the will of God, leaving to Christ the matter of how happy he should be.

George Whitefield

It is an undoubted truth that every doctrine that comes from God, leads to God; and that which doth not tend to promote holiness is not of God.

David Brooks

People shoot for happiness, but they often feel empty, alone, and without meaning…People shoot for happiness but feel formed through suffering…Happiness wants you to think about maximizing your benefits. Difficulty and suffering send you on a different course…the right response to this sort of pain is not pleasure. It’s holiness…placing the hard experiences in a moral context and trying to redeem something bad by turning it it into something sacred. In the process, we may not come out healed; we come out different.

What Suffering Does, New York Times, April 7, 2014

Kevin DeYoung

The hole in our holiness is that we don’t really care much about it. Passionate exhortation to pursue gospel-driven holiness is barely heard in most of our churches. It’s not that we don’t talk about sin or encourage decent behavior. Too many sermons are basically self-help seminars on becoming a better you.

The Hole in Our Holiness, Crossway.

J.C. Ryle

We must be holy, because this is one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world. . . . Jesus is a complete Saviour. He does not merely take away the guilt of a believer’s sin, he does more—he breaks its power (1 Pet. 1:2; Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 12:10).

Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots, Charles Nolan.

Jen Wilkin

Simply put, God’s will for your life is that you be holy. That you live a life of set-apartness. That, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you strive for utter purity of character (Heb. 12:14). Every admonition contained in all of Scripture can be reduced to this. Every warning, every law, every encouragement bows to this overarching purpose. Every story of every figure in every corner of every book of the Bible is chanting this call. Be holy, for he is holy.

In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character, Crossway.

Clement of Alexandria

Therefore let us repent and pass from ignorance to knowledge, from foolishness to wisdom, from licentiousness to self-control, from injustice to righteousness, from godlessness to God.

D.L. Moody

A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine. 

Kevin DeYoung

With all the best intentions, we tend to flatten the biblical view on holiness until we squeeze out the dynamic nature of life with God.

Taken from The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung, © 2012, p.64. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

John Stott

Do you want to be holy? Then you will suffer.

The Cross of Christ

Bryan Chapell

Challenges to holiness without mention of grace force a human-centered religion. After all, people cannot do what they are told to do apart from Christ’s grace. That’s John 15:5, right? “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Requirements of holiness by themselves actually wound people because without provision of divine aid, they either will despair of hope or they will begin to claim their own righteousness is what makes them acceptable to God.[1]

Preparing and Delivering Christ-Centered Sermons II: Communicating a Theology of Grace. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015.

Jared C. Wilson

God doesn’t “just” want you to be happy; he wants you to be holy as he is holy and to find true, lasting joy in him.

The Gospel According to Satan: Eight Lies about God that Sound Like the Truth, Nelson Books, 2020.

Paul Tillich

The question our century puts before us is: is it possible to regain the lost dimension, the encounter with the Holy, the dimension which cuts through the world of subjectivity and objectivity and goes down to that which is not world but is the Mystery of the Ground of Being?

Jackie Hill Perry

Like trees, words have roots. Dig underneath the letters’ soil and you’ll discover its definition. The root word of “holy” means “to cut” or “to separate.” When applied to everything outside of God, whatever is holy is whatever is set apart unto and for God. For example, God sanctified the Sabbath day, setting it apart from all other days as one in which His people were to rest in Him. That’s why the Sabbath is called holy throughout the Old Testament. God separated it; He set it apart. In another example, the ground on which Moses stood was called holy, not because the dirt was divine but because the presence of the Holy One sanctified it, setting it apart from all other ground (Exod. 3:5).

Holier Than Thou: How God’s Holiness Helps Us Trust Him, B&H Books, 2021.

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