In Bible times, the people of Israel had a temple dedicated to the worship of Yahweh. It essentially consisted of a series of courts and halls (the inner and outer courts, and their numerous gates), and the main building (the Tabernacle) where the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies) were located. The Temple symbolized the presence of God amid His people.
We now know that the Temple of those times was a teaching aid to help us understand what the “Heavenly Temple” looked like, and the reality of God dwelling in man as His Temple, as stated by Apostle Paul.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.1 Corinthians 3:16-17.
A few reminders here for us. One of which is the fact that YOU ARE HOLY. Holiness is not primarily a way of acting or behaving, it is a state of being. The Holy Spirit dwelling within you, the believer, is proof of the fulfillment of all of God’s promises in Christ and is also proof of God in man. God is Holy. God in you is what makes you Holy (i.e, set apart). Hence you do not try to live holy so you can be Holy, you live holy because you are holy.
In essence, you are a mobile “Most Holy Place”, because the same way the Ark of the Covenant (in the Most Holy Place) signified the presence of God amongst the people of Israel, is the same way the Holy Spirit points to the presence of God within us. Only this time, we’ve gone past types and shadows. We’re experiencing the real stuff now.
Hence the stiff warning from Paul not to defile any part of us with darkness and sin. Again, we do not stay away from the acts of sin because we are trying to be holy, we stay away because we are Holy, sanctified, and set apart.
Believing otherwise would be like a man clad in white, trying to stay away from dirt so his clothes can become whiter than they are, as against staying away from dirt because he is clad in white.
The former man in white would only earn frustration, as surely his clothes would grow no whiter. The latter man in white would however be at peace as he knows he is already clean and is doing all he can to remain that way.
Take your eyes off sin, and focus on what God has called you. Holy and blameless. Man has a way of becoming what he constantly beholds (and meditates on).