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Holiness comes from God and specifically the sacrificial death of Jesus for our having missed God’s goal for our lives. I am holy because Jesus has made me holy.

My job is to purify myself. I set myself aside for God’s holy work.

The holiness of God is the most difficult of all God’s attributes to explain, partly because it is one of His essential attributes that is not shared, inherently, by man. We are created in God’s image, and we can share many of His attributes, to a much lesser extent, of course—love, mercy, faithfulness, etc.

But some of God’s attributes, such as will never be shared by created beings.

  • Omnipresence
  • Omniscience
  • Omnipotence

Similarly, holiness is not something that we will possess as an inherent part of our nature; we only become holy in relationship to the Messiah. It is an imputed holiness.

Only in the Messiah do we “become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). God’s holiness is what separates Him from all other beings, what makes Him separate and distinct from everything else. God’s holiness is more than just His perfection or sinless purity; it is the essence of His “other-ness,” His transcendence. God’s holiness embodies the mystery of His awesomeness and causes us to gaze in wonder at Him as we begin to comprehend just a little of His majesty.

  • 1 John 3:1–3 — 1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
  • Exodus 31:13 — 13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Master who sanctifies you.
  • Leviticus 22:9 — 9 ‘They shall therefore keep My charge, so that they will not bear sin because of it and die thereby because they profane it; I am the Master who sanctifies them.
  • Deuteronomy 28:9 — 9 “The Master will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Master your God and walk in His ways.
  • Psalm 4:3 — 3 But know that the Master has set apart the godly man for Himself; The Master hears when I call to Him.