[ecko_quote source="1 Peter 1:16"]For the Scriptures say, "You must be holy because I am holy[/ecko_quote]
There are three fundamental principles/truths that every Christian should get the revelation from the Holy Spirit God. Otherwise, your understanding of the Bible will be skewed. Last week we examined one of the principles related to “man’s three-fold nature (spirit, soul, and body). Today let us look at the second aspect - righteousness and holiness. By the way, righteousness and holiness are not the same. In brief, righteousness is what God does for you and holiness is what you do for God. Righteousness is a result of your acceptance of His work, and holiness is a result of Him accepting your works.
Under the New Covenant anyone one who believes and confesses with their mouth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and believes in their heart that God raised Him from the dead, they will be saved (Roman 10:9). The moment a person chooses to believe and confesses the Lordship of Jesus Christ, a supernatural miracle takes place. The Word says “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). This person becomes a new creature or a new person and their spirit is born again. At this point, this born-again person is cleansed from all unrighteousness (1John 1:9). If they are cleansed from all unrighteousness, how much unrighteousness do they have? None! Because they are totally cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit God dwells in the heart of a born again Christian and is sealed by the Holy Spirit Himself until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). Further, 1 John 1:5 says” God is light and in Him, there is no darkness at all” That is why an unclean spirit can not possess a Christian. It is because they already have the Holy Spirit God within them. The re-born Christian’s body becomes the home of the Holy Spirit, and He does not share His home with demonic spirits (1Corithians 6:19). The born again Christian cannot sin because God's seed remains in him as he has been born of God (1 John 3:9). I will reiterate once again that a man is a spirit, soul, and body. We can see how our spirit is cleansed through our born again experience and our spirit does not sin. For example, we will not accept and worship other gods even if it costs our lives. While the flesh (body) and soul are still subject to the temptations and addictions of the world.
In this regard, Apostle Paul said a war is taking place between spirit and soul/flesh. While our spirit man is righteous, our flesh (disobedient nature) must be brought into subjection and become holy. “flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want" (Galatians 5:17 NIV).
We will grow in the nature and stature of our Lord Jesus Christ and mature through daily meditation on the word. This will result in an increase of holiness in the Lord. However, we are never any more righteous than the day of our salvation. Righteousness is what we are, and holy is what we become. Righteousness is established and is constant. However, holiness increases through obedience. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). We become holy by obedience which activates the grace of God and empowers us to do His will.
Simply put, righteousness is a condition of the born again spirit of man. Holiness is the conscious submission of the flesh to the will of God and is obedient to the whispering voice of the Holy Spirit.
References: Cutting Edge