Holy - God's Holiness

Holy -- exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.

The Holiness of God

There is a danger of forgetting that the Bible reveals, not first the love of God, but the intense, blazing holiness of God, with his love as the center of that holiness. ~Oswald Chambers (1874–1917)

It is not the constant thought of their sins, but the vision of the holiness of God that makes the saints aware of their own sinfulness. ~Archbishop Anthony Bloom (1914– )

Absolute Moral Purity

The holiness of God means His absolute moral purity: He can neither sin nor tolerate sin! The root meaning of holy is separated. God is separated from man, He is in heaven, and man is on earth (Ps 47:8). He is transcendent above all his creation or creatures He created. He is perfect, and Divine, but man is imperfect. God is separate from man in nature, and character. High and lifted up sitting upon His throne of holiness (Ps 47:8).

Transcendent means:
1) Surpassing others; preeminent or supreme.
2) Lying beyond the ordinary range of perception.
3) Being above and independent of the material universe.

Used of Deity. God is transcendent as high above His creation as an archangel is above a grasshopper. Even this illustration falls short. Holiness is an attribute that guards the distinction between God, and His creatures. It speaks not only of an attribute, but His divine nature.

Of old, God appointed singers in Israel "that they should praise for the beauty of holiness" (2Ch 20:21). "Power is God’s hand or arm, omniscience His eye, mercy His bowels, eternity His duration, but holiness is His beauty" (S. Charnock).

"God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1Jo 1:5). In so much we read "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity" (Hab_1:13). Gods holiness is a sum total of all He is in perfection. God is love, God is just, God is wise, God is jealous, but when it says that God is holy its speaking of a perfection above all other descriptions. In the Bible we read of who God is and describing Him as holy more, and above all other names given. Before the Throne of Heaven, the seraphim crying, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts" (Isa_6:3).  God Himself singles out this perfection, "Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David" (Ps 89:35). God swears by His holiness because that is a fuller expression of Himself than anything else.

As it seems to challenge an excellency above all His other perfections, so it is the glory of all the rest; as it is the glory of the Godhead, so it is the glory of every perfection in the Godhead; as His power is the strength of them, so His holiness is the beauty of them; as all would be weak without almightiness to back them, so all would be uncomely or without holiness, real beauty or purity to adorn them. Should this be sullied, all the rest would lose their honor; as at the same instant the sun should lose its light, it would lose its heat, its strength, its generative and quickening virtue. His justice is a holy justice, His wisdom a holy wisdom, His arm of power a "holy arm" (Psa_98:1), His truth or promise a "holy promise" (Psa_105:42). His name, which signifies all His attributes in conjunction, "is holy," (Psa 103:1)(S. Charnock).

Approaching God

Our approach to God must be of utmost reverence. Only through the Blood of the Cross can we do so. The scripture says we have boldness to enter into the Holy place of God's throne room (Heb 10:19). In no way does this infer irreverence for the very Blood of his Son being spoken of demands reverence, and awe. The word in the Greek means confidence. We have full assurance through the Blood of Christ as to enter into the very presence of God. "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all about Him" (Psa_89:7). Then "Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool; He is holy" (Psa_99:5). Of Israel His demand was, "I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified" (Lev_10:3).

(Lev 10:1-3) Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took there censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spoke, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.

To worship God acceptably is to worship Him in Spirit and truth. Without a godly fear, awe and reverence is to bring upon ourselves the wrath of God as in the days old. For God has not changed, and the Blood of His Son demands far more carefulness and reverence than the blood of bulls and goats (Heb 10:28-29). To sanctify God is to acknowledge His holiness, to acknowledge Him for who He is. We who draw nigh to God have been given a great privilege and must see it as such with utmost care, reverence, and watchfulness, as becomes the holiness of the God whom we serve. We must desire to be holy for He is holy is to truly sanctify Him in our hearts and lives (1 Pet 1:15,16).

Seen at the Cross

The holiness of God is seen at the Cross. The holiness of God is what condemns the human race. The wrath of God poured out upon His Son shows clearly the truth of Gods hatred toward sin. More than His sentence against the fallen angels held in chains or those who are in hell with them to this day. His holiness is expressed in what He does, because of who he is. Jesus and the Father are one their hatred of sin is equally mutual. We see not only the wrath of God poured out upon his Son, but the Son giving Himself in our stead for our sin. When Jesus cried in the garden sweating drops of blood let this cup pass from Me but not My will thine be done. He was not doing so because of the pain and suffering, but because he was holy undefiled without sin (Heb 7:26). Because on the Cross He was made sin that we might be made the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21). Who Christ is, is why He done what He did though He could have called a legion of angels, and they would have come with swords drawn to defend Him. Christ willingly laid down His life for you and me, despising the shame of the Cross.

Never was the beauty of God's holiness seen as when Christ cried out My God My God why has thou forsaken Me. He was forsaken that we might not be forsaken. He was marred more than any man the scriptures says (Isa 52:14). Meaning He did not even look human after being beaten scourged and finally crucified. But Isa also tells us that it pleased the Lord to bruise Him, putting Him to grief and made His soul an offering for sin (Isa 53:10). Jesus suffered not only the pains of a sin cursed world through out His life, but also for our sin on the Cross, and how. By the very hand of His father. Though He had done nothing amiss. Every pain every sorrow every hurt to the end even the Blood of the Cross came by way of God His father. There is no other way to the Father accept through the Son. There is no other way to approach God accept by the Blood of the Cross.

You can never make yourself holy by external acts, but, if you are holy, your external acts will be the natural expression of holiness.  ~Oswald Chambers "Run Today's Race" page 23

Seen in the Law

The holiness of God is seen in His law, for it shuts or stops every mouth (Rom 3:19). Meaning all have fallen short of the glory of God all have sinned, the whole world is now guilt before God who is holy. Because God is holy He hates sin. Sin must be punished. God hates sin insomuch that as a person gives themselves to it they can become an abomination unto the Lord (Pro 15:8,9 and 26). This does not negate the truth that God loves the sinner. But we must beware of the truth of God's holiness in that He will and has judged sin at the Cross, and whosoever spurns that love is in danger hells fire. There must be an acknowledgment, and repentance of it through Christ.

Arthur W. Pink speaks of the holiness of God as proof of the divine inspiration of the Bible -

The "god" which the vast majority of professing Christians "love," is looked upon very much like an indulgent old man, who himself has no relish for folly, but leniently winks at the "indiscretions" of youth. But the Word says, "Thou hatest all workers of iniquity "(Psa_5:5). And again, "God is angry with the wicked every day" (Psa_7:11). But men refuse to believe in this God, and gnash their teeth when His hatred of sin is faithfully pressed upon their attention. No, sinful man was no more likely to devise a holy God than to create the Lake of fire in which he will be tormented for ever and ever.
  ~Arthur W. Pink "The Attributes of God" page 55

No rules or regulations can make us holy -

Rom 8:3 -- For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], (Lev 7:37).

Rom 8:4 -- So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].

The holiness which God demands is impossible unless a man can be re-made from within, and that is what Jesus Christ has undertaken to do. Jesus Christ does not merely save people from hell: "thou shalt call His name JESUS; for it is He that shall save His people from their sins", i.e., make totally new moral men. Jesus Christ came from a holy God to enable men, by the sheer might of His Redemption, to become holy. "Ye shall be holy. for I the Lord your God am holy...  Holiness is the characteristic of the man after God's own heart.  ~Oswald Chambers "Biblical Ethics" page 16

Final Word

A.W. Tozer said that God Himself is our refuge from Himself. That even the heavens, and stars are unclean in his site. To preserve His creation He must destroy whatever destroys it. For God's moral condition for the universe is health. That every wrathful judgment in the history of the world has been a holy act of preservation. That the holiness of God, the wrath of God, and the health of all creation are inseparably united. Gods wrath is His utter intolerance of whatever degrades and destroys. He hates iniquity as a mother hates a disease that would take the life of her child.

As God revealed Himself to the prophets and the Apostles they were overwhelmed by there own sinfulness. Jesus actually appeared in the O.T. even before He came by way of the virgin birth. When Daniel saw a man whom the Bible describes as Jesus (Daniel 10:8) there remained no strength in him. Daniel 's strength was gone and all that was good in him turned into corruption. Also in Revelation chapter one when John saw Jesus in His resurrected glory he said: "I fell at his feet as dead (Rev 1:17)."

Only God is Holy and truly good. He is separate in nature, and in character. Any true holiness, and goodness comes from Him, through His Son. The scripture says for us to be holy for He is holy, it does not say be ye holy as He is holy (1 Pet 1:16). God only is absolute holiness! Although He has called us to, and gives us the ability to be holy or share in His holiness to some degree. The word holy in the English is derived from the Anglo-Saxon halig, hal, which means well or whole. And just as Jesus asked many in His earthly ministry wilt thou be made whole. The same question today goes out to us. Wilt thou be made whole? God has made a way through His Son not only for the forgiveness of sin, but also to be whole, complete, and holy.

True Bible Foundations in Christianity "The Holiness of God" by Rev David Collins
Webster's Dictionary
The Standard of God

Don’t Jump

Inspired of God, Written by Sheryl D Miller

Proverbs 19:2 Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.

I would like to focus in on the second part of this proverb – about haste making mistakes.  Let’s see just what haste means: swiftness; rapidity; eagerness or necessity to move swiftly; urgency; careless or headlong hurrying.

In the past, I have been very guilty of being hasty! I am getting better at sleeping on things, rather than jumping on them. I have made some horrible mistakes in my life because of my impatience and impulsiveness.

One of my best friends and golfing partners is Jo Ann. Jo Ann and I laugh about how long it takes her to purchase anything because she has to mull it over for days or weeks or even months. But you know - I don’t see her making to many mistakes on her decisions. She actually has great wisdom when it comes to decisions because she isn’t hasty.

I am learning that when I sleep on something, I sometimes find out that I really can live without it. I had often made my decisions without consulting God, and paid the price. I have spent thousands of dollars needlessly on stuff that I don’t even have anymore.

Sometimes when I need to make a decision to do something, I don’t. God will lay something on my heart to do, and I either don’t think it’s a good thing (like I know what I’m doing; go figure), or I don’t have the courage to do it; and I have paid the price for these things in the past, as well. The price we pay for these things is usually emotional or physical; sometimes it can be monetary, but I have found that it is usually one of the first two.

My new game plan for decision making is this – I consult God first. Now, I don’t consult God on everything – I believe He gave us wisdom and common sense to dress ourselves or to choose what to eat; not that He won’t tell us what to do in these areas of our lives (He has a whole dietary plan laid out for us in Deuteronomy 14:3-21). I wait for His answer. If I have peace about moving ahead, I do, and if I don’t have peace, I forget about what I wanted to do.

So, before we jump, we need to make sure the bungee cord is attached at the other end, and if it isn’t – don’t jump!

John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.”

Image by: Andrew Skudder