A Holy God Part- 2
What God's Holiness Means About Him
In looking at God's holiness, it is necessary to understand just what importance the Bible places on it. In fact, every aspect of God's nature is holy. We tend to add holiness to a long list of His attributes. For instance we say that He is a loving, merciful, just and all knowing God. But they cannot be separated from His holiness. God's love is holy love, His mercy is holy mercy, His justice holy justice and his knowledge, holy knowledge. Nothing about Him can be separated from His holiness. With that in mind, let us further explain what it means that God is a holy God.
I. To Be Holy is to Be Distinct, Separate, and In a Class By Himself
The primary meaning of the word is to be separate. It comes from a word that means "to cut or "to separate." Maybe the best way to describe it is that something holy is a cut above something else. For example, we say that an exceptional garment or piece of merchandise that is outstanding, with superior excellence, is a cut above all the others. And so it is with God. It means that our God has no rivals or competition.
When the Bible calls God holy, it means that He is transcendent. In other words, He is so far beyond us and every other being as to be almost totally foreign to us. God is 'other', or different in a good way. For example, I Samuel 2:2 says: "There is no one holy like the Lord. Indeed, there is no one besides Thee, nor is there any rock like our God."
II. To be Holy is to Be Morally Pure
One major aspect of holiness is moral purity. When things are made holy, or consecrated they are set apart unto purity. While the idea of purity doesn't exhaust what it means to be holy, it includes it.
Holiness is usually defined in the negative sense as separated from all that is common and unclean. But when it comes to the holiness of God, it not only means that He is separate from all that is sinful, evil and unclean, but it also means that He is positively pure. And in this way He is distinct from all others. There is an analogy here which may be helpful. To be healthy is more than just the absence of illness. It also means to have a positive infusion of energy. God's holiness is not merely the absence of evil, but the presence of positive right. It is a purity of being and nature as well as of actions.
III. To Be Holy Means the Gospel is a Necessity
In Habakkuk 1:13 it says that the Lord is of "purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look on wrong." When we see the holiness of God it should impress us with the utter revulsion that God has for sin. And the Bible paints a vivid picture of our sins which have separated us from a Holy God. Scripture teaches us that all have sinned and fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23). And Ephesians 2:1-7 talks about how Christians were once dead in trespasses and sins and were the children of wrath. By that Paul means God's utter wrath against sin and those who commit sin. None of us on our own is fit to stand before a holy God.
That is what makes Jesus' death on the cross so beautiful. Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world when He died on Calvary. Jesus actually became sin for us, even though he knew no sin Himself. And now through faith in His name, we can be made the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21). It was a holy God, a hater of sin, who became sin for us. And it was through this that we can become holy like God. Jesus' death was a necessity. Nothing else in all the universe would do to make us right with God.
We need to look, in one final article, at what God's holiness should mean to us in our everyday life. But what we have already seen should make us view sin differently. For those who have not accepted Christ as Savior, you are living a life separated from a holy God. Accepting the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross is your only hope for salvation from the eternal consequences of sin, eternal separation from the presence of God. For those who are saved by grace through faith, it should cause us to want to live a life that will please our Lord. It is one that, only by God's help and grace, is possible. May we choose, out of love for Him and thankfulness for what He has done, to be Holy, just as He is holy.
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