Tags

, , ,

Holy

The word holy means sacred, set apart, revered, or divine. And yet none of those words is adequate to describe the awesome holiness of our God. John MacArthur writes this about God’s holiness:

Of all the attributes of God, holiness is the one that most uniquely describes Him and in reality, is a summation of all His other attributes. The word holiness refers to His separateness, His otherness, the fact that He is unlike any other being. It indicates His complete and infinite perfection. Holiness is the attribute of God that binds all the others together.

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 any of us.

“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Master Almighty” – Revelation 4:8

  • I know we are created in God’s image, and can share many of His attributes, to a much lesser extent, of course — love, mercy, faithfulness, etc. These are the gift of God to me and grow in me as fruit of His Holy Spirit.
  • Holiness is not something that I possess as an inherent part of my nature; I only become holy in relationship to the Messiah. It is an imputed holiness because of His great work.
  • Only in the Messiah do I “become the righteousness of God”
    • “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (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.
    • It is amazing. It is stunning. I stand in awe.
  • God’s holiness embodies the mystery of His awesomeness and causes me to gaze in wonder at Him as I begin to comprehend just a little of His majesty.

That God is holy means he is endlessly, always perfect. And his standard for us is perfection as well. “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect,” Jesus says in Matthew 5:48. That’s why we need Jesus. Without the Messiah Jesus taking the place for us and dying for our sins, we would all fall short of God’s holy standard.

Tozer says this about what God’s holiness demands:

Since God’s first concern for His universe is its moral health, that is, its holiness, whatever is contrary to this is necessarily under His eternal displeasure. To preserve His creation God must destroy whatever would destroy it. When He arises to put down iniquity and save the world from irreparable moral collapse, He is said to be angry. Every wrathful judgment in the history of the world has been a holy act of preservation. The holiness of God, the wrath of God, and the health of the creation are inseparably united. God’s wrath is His utter intolerance of whatever degrades and destroys.

Thankfully, the disciple of Jesus will never have to experience God’s holy wrath poured out. Through the Messiah’s death and resurrection, the penalty for our sins was paid and we were imputed (credited) with the Messiah’s righteousness. Now, when God looks on us, he sees perfect holiness of Jesus. Hallelujah! It is only in this that we can hope to stand in the presence of the blindingly pure, perfect, Holy One of Israel.

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 omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence, will never be shared by created beings. 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.