Holiness is a wholehearted desire for God: a lifestyle set apart for him, a life lived wholly for him.
It is easy to begin well; the real test is to finish well. Bearing fruit until the end – continuing faithful in holiness – is the test of true faith.
At this point in Nehemiah’s account, God’s people having settled in Jerusalem Nehemiah returns to the king. But on his return he finds that the people have returned to their old ways of compromise with the world; they had quickly fallen away from the zeal that they once had. Nehemiah responds by calling them back to holiness.
Here we see the importance of holiness, the three priorities of holiness, and our own inadequacy.