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The Attributes of God: HOLY

God’s love does amazing things in our lives. We are transformed by it into new creations.

  • When we are consumed by God’s love, nothing else compares.
  • Life is that clear.
  • God is good. His love is all empowering.
  • May we experience it all day long.
  • His kindness is overwhelming, overwhelming us like the ocean waves.

“The love of God working in me causes me to hate anything that is not in keeping with God’s holiness.” ~Oswald Chambers

God is uniquely holy

God is unique in His holiness. There is no one like Him in this regard. There is no one beside Him like this. Are there any other gods who are Holy? No there are not.

All the ways of God are holy. He is set apart from us in every thing He does.

  • Samuel 2:2 — 2 “There is no one holy like Yahweh, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.
  • Exodus 15:11 — 11 “Who is like You among the gods, O Yahweh? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?
  • Psalm 77:13 — 13 Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God?
  • Isaiah 40:25 — 25 “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.
  • Revelation 15:4 — 4 “Who will not fear, O Yahweh, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For all the nations will come and worship before You, For Your righteous acts have been revealed.”

The phrase “holy, holy, holy” appears twice in the Bible, once in the Old Testament (Isaiah 6:3) and once in the New (Revelation 4:8).

 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

      “Holy, holy, holy, is the Master  God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever |. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Revelation 4:8–10). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Both times “Holy, Holy, Holy” is used, the phrase is spoken or sung by heavenly creatures, and both times it occurs in the vision of a man who was transported to the throne of God: first by the prophet Isaiah and then by the apostle John.

Biblical use of the term “holy” has to do primarily with God’s separating from the world that which He chooses to devote to Himself. As God’s redemptive plan unfolded through the OT, the “holy” became associated with the character of God’s separated people conforming to His revealed law.

When the time became ripe for the saving work of Jesus the Messiah, His redeemed people came to be known as saints (literally, “holy ones”). The cross made this possible by inaugurating the fulfillment of the preparatory OT teachings on the holy, opening the way for God’s Holy Spirit to indwell His people.

Does Jesus the Messiah purify believers?

I confess to God that I have missed His goal for my life (aka sin). That has me walking in the light. Jesus cleanses me from my sins. That is such a huge deal. I don’t have to pay the price because He did for me.

I am clean.

I am pure.

That is worth a big shout out. Wow! Imagine that.

God is not angry with us. How do we know. The Bible reassures us that “God so loved [not hated] the world” that He gave His Son Jesus to purify us from missing God’s goal.

“God is light” (1 John 1:5) and, therefore, He cannot close His eyes to sin. But “God is love” (1 John 4:8) too and wants to save sinners.

How, then, can a holy God uphold His own justice and still forgive sinners? The answer is in the sacrifice of the Messiah Jesus. At the cross, God in His holiness judged sin. God in His love offers Jesus to the world as Savior. God was just in that He punished sin, but He is also loving in that He offers free forgiveness through what Jesus did at Calvary.

The Messiah is the Sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, but He is Advocate only for believers. “We [disciples of Jesus] have an Advocate with the Father.” The word “advocate” used to be applied to lawyers. The word John uses is the very same word Jesus used when He was talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit. It means, literally, “one called alongside.” When a man was summoned to court, he took an advocate (lawyer) with him to stand at his side and plead his case.

Jesus finished His work on earth — the work of giving His life as a sacrifice for sin. Today He has an “unfinished work” in heaven. He represents us before God’s throne. As our High Priest, He sympathizes with our weaknesses and temptations and gives us grace. As our Advocate, He helps us when we sin. When we confess our sins to God, because of Christ’s advocacy God forgives us.

What does it mean to “confess”? Well, to confess sins means much more than simply to “admit” them. The word confess actually means “to say the same thing [about].” To confess sin, then, means to say the same thing about it that God says about it.

Confession is not praying a lovely prayer, or making pious excuses, or trying to impress God and other Christians. True confession is naming sin—calling it by name what God calls it: envy, hatred, lust, deceit, or whatever it may be. Confession simply means being honest with ourselves and with God, and if others are involved, being honest with them too. It is more than admitting sin. It means judging sin and facing it squarely.

When we confess our sins, God promises to forgive us. But this promise is not a “magic rabbit’s foot” that makes it easy for us to disobey God!

Of course, cleansing has two sides to it: the judicial and the personal. The blood of Jesus the Messiah, shed on the cross, delivers us from the guilt of sin and gives us right standing (“justification”) before God. God is able to forgive because Jesus’ death has satisfied His holy Law.

But God is also interested in cleansing a sinner inwardly. David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God”. When our confession is sincere, God does a cleansing work in our hearts by His Spirit and through His Word.

The great mistake King David made was in trying to cover his sins instead of confessing them. For perhaps a whole year he lived in deceit and defeat. No wonder he wrote that a man should pray “in a time of finding out”.

When should we confess our sin? Immediately when we discover it! “He that covers his sins shall not prosper; but whosoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:13). By walking in the light, we can see the “dirt” in our lives and deal with it immediately.

  • 1 John 1:7 (NASB) —But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
  • Hebrews 7:26–28 —For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.
  • Hebrews 9:26–28 —Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so the Messiah also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
  • Hebrews 10:10 —By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus the Messiah once for all.
  • Hebrews 10:14 —For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
  • 1 John 3:4–6 —Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.