The notion of holiness has an upper pole and a lower pole, and in our consciousness it always moves between the two poles, going up and coming down … And this ladder, leading from the bottom up, is considered to be the path of denying the world … However, it also can be considered as leading in the opposite direction. In this case, it will be considered as the way of affirming of world reality through consecration of the latter.
Thus, according to the Apostle Paul, holiness is, first of all, alienation in relation to the world of sin, denial of it. Secondly, it is specific positive content, because the nature of holiness is Divine, it is ontologically established in God. At the same time, holiness, he underlines, is not moral perfection, though it is inseparably connected with it, but is "co-eternity with unworldly energies." Finally, holiness is not only the denial, the absence of any evil, and not only a phenomenon of another, Divine world, but is also a firm assertion of "world reality through consecration of the latter."
This third side of holiness says that it is a power, transfiguring not only a man, but also the world overall, so that "God may be all in all" (1 Cor. 15:28). In the final analysis, all creation must change ("And I saw a new heaven and a new earth" — Rev. 21:1) and reveal God. However, only man can play an active role on the part of creation in this process, and that is why he is given full responsibility for creatures (Rom. 8:19-21). And here the importance of saints is revealed with particular force, who became the rudiments (Rom. 11:16) of future universal and complete consecration under the conditions of earthly existence.
Saints are, first of all, different people, differing from those living "after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8). Different, because they struggle and with God’s help overcome "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16), everything that enslaves the people of this world. In this weaning of saints away from the world of threefold lust, from the atmosphere of sin, can be seen one of the fundamental characteristics of sanctity and unity of the initial apostolic and Church-traditional understanding of it.
-- A. I. Osipov, The Path of Reason in Search of the Truth (Source